I am amazed at how quickly this semester has passed. Our much-anticipated documentaries are completed—and awesome. This class tackled many tough topics, and we definitely had some good laughs. I think human rights are important and I realize now that active effort is required in order to uphold these rights. We go Rhodes; we are some of the most privileged people in the world right now. Not many people our age have a laptop. This class showed me that we must capitalize on our position to make positive change. In crafting our documentary, I was able to approach and converse with a variety of people I would otherwise have never given the time of day. I heard some incredible stories, even got beat at Scrabble by a street person at the Manna House (he was good). What I uncovered was a vicious system of racism and oppression, the likes of which whites for the most part ignore, and blacks for the most part cope. Of course, it is not that simple. Many white people do not directly contribute to the system, and many black people are not oppressed. This is because the system is not directly tied to race; it is tied to wealth. According to Marx, the divide is between the bourgeois and the proletariat. Unfortunately the system has not changed to greatly since slavery; many blacks remain the proletariat. The cop at the beginning of our documentary emphasizes this point. He says he didn’t realize being a police officer meant enforcing class divisions.
I think everyone picked really interesting film topics, and the ones I’ve seen thus far have turned out really well. It amazes me after a semester of studying human rights just how flawed and insensitive people’s views can be toward the subject. I cannot believe, for instance, that churches, the alleged moral backbone of society, still condemn homosexuality. I can’t believe the gross human rights violations perpetrated on other countries’ people by my own country. This class has opened my eyes to the vast amount of real problems plaguing our society. I look forward to addressing and overcoming these issues as we strive toward a better tomorrow.