Journal Entry #2 – The “N” Word

What does being a nigger-lover means to the residents of Maycomb County?  Why is this a powerful insult?

In literature, the word “nigger” is usually replaced for the “N-word.”  Usually, it refers to black or dark-skinned people, in the present, being one of the most racially offensive words.  It was commonly used in the past, but the last century, it appears to be a word which is used each day with more frequency.  It has been started to be used by black people, referring to other black people, but it is just acceptable when said by people within this community.  When this word is used by someone who’s not black, referring to someone who is black, it is considered racist comment.

To Kill A Mockingbird, a novel written by Harper Lee has been banned in different schools due to the use of the N-word.  Harper Lee uses this word for the purpose of providing readers a clearer view of the context and values o the community in which the novel is based on.

Atticus, as a lawyer, is defending a black man, Tom Robinson who has been accused of raping a white girl.  In the novel, the narrator’s father, Atticus, is frequently called by his friends and neighbors a “nigger-lover” for defending Tom Robinson.  This term was not only derogatory towards black people, but also a derogatory term against the white people who supported blacks.  This term reinforces racism which was lived in that era.

In my opinion, been called a “nigger-lover” was such an insult because blacks were seen as a lower class, they were seen as an inferior community with no value.  A white who is called to be a “nigger-lover” instantly seen as inferior, even though his/her race; you become categorized as a poor, dirty, lazy, and invaluable person, since defending or liking black people was unacceptable during the 1930’s.

 

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Journal Entry #3 – Discrimination In The 21st Century

Picture of the four players eating at the restaurant where their entrance was denied after their entrance was allowed a few days later.

Segregation in the United States during the 1930’s was common.  Society was divided based on their color skin, this determined the opportunities you had, where you were seated in the bus and trains, where you drink water, the schools you went to, along with many other things.   This was an issue believed that was left in the past, though recently, many cases related to the color skin, have been occurring, for example in the United States, with the former president: Donald Trump; and in Panamá, with the sudden prohibition of colored skin people entering to a restaurant in a prestigious area.

During March of 2017, four players of the Sub 17 National Soccer Team of Panamá, were invited by their coach, Felipe Borowsky to celebrate their accomplishments after being selected to participate on the Sub 20 national team.  The invitation was in a restaurant located in one of the most luxurious areas of Panamá City.  When the four players arrived at the restaurant, the waiter asked to sit and wait for a table since supposedly, there was no space.  

While they were waiting, a family of five arrived, and they were given a table.  Felipe Borowsky, at his arrival at the restaurant and saw the four players waiting, proceed to ask the waiter why were they waiting.  The waiter answered to Borowsky’s question: “ we have a target.”  While some believe the discriminative incident was due to their color skin, and others say it is because of the stereotype that Panamanian soccer players are poor, and are robbers. After this incident, many Panamanians have refused to assist to this restaurant, as a way of communicating that they are against any type of discrimination.

Collective Identity Unit: Yankees’ Life In Panama

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Yankees’ Life In Panama

Questions that helped us guide our research:

  1. When did the group arrive?
  2. Why did they come?
  3. Where are they located geographically on the isthmus?
  4. How were they treated?
  5. Why were they treated this way?
  6. What were their living conditions?
  7. What conflicts ensued?
  8. How did they contribute to society?
  9. How did they become part of the Panamanian society?
  10. How are they viewed today?