Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Round 1

Please read the following article on Sheriff Joe Arpaio. A racist Sheriff in Maricopa County, Arizona.

The following is an opinion from one of this blogs editors...

I think it's clear where the debate lies. Do the accused really have the same rights as the unaccused? My answer is a resounding 'YES' (well, to an extent obviously). The only problem here is it isn't as simple as that. Sheriff Joe clearly shows a little bias in his judgment. He seems to have a vendetta against illegal immigrants and his methods demonstrate that. Not only is this a grey area on the moral compas, but it's also coupled with the fact that he borders on civil rights violations. The main issue I have is not even what I have already mentioned. It's the simple fact that this is not what he should be focusing on. Statistics show that crime rates have gone up in his county alone since he has been in office. It's really easy to look at statistics and draw conclusions, but one must look beyond raw numbers to deduce why this is occuring. Look at faces of the victims. Immigrants aren't the downfall of the country like some media likes to portray. Rather, they are the victims. America has much more to do with their socioeconomic status. We, as America, should have some more social responsibility than that. Despite the accomplishments Sheriff Joe Arpaio has made, his direction and lack of judgment is really not the best thing for the prison system, Arizona, or the US.

What do you think of the Article and Opinion? Please let us know.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Poverty Among Hispanics

In America, the population is about 305 million people. Of that 305 million, about 44.3 million are Hispanic. With 100.7 million minorities, Hispanics make up almost half, making them the largest group of minorities.1.

With those statistics in mind, let us focus in on how many Hispanics are at or under the poverty line.

The poverty line in America is defined by the following chart2.

Using these numbers as the guideline of poverty, an approximation of Hispanics at or under the poverty line is around 9.1 million people (21%).3. In 1991, the poverty percentage among Hispanics was 28.7%, clearly in the 18 years since then there has been a fair decline in Latinos in poverty, but there is still work to be done.4. With the recent financial trouble in America, the numbers could very well have risen; just so happens at this time the data is not available.

So, what determines a family to be "poor"? Before we discuss the actual income numbers, are there underlying situations that make a family "poor"? Based on the National Longitudinal Surveys (1997) "factors associated with the socioeconomic resources of the family of origin and individual aptitude at the adolescent stage, as well as educational and migration decisions made in the course of the transition to adulthood, influence the risk of falling into poverty."5. Now what does that mean? Basically some families become impoverished because of their general background- before adulthood. If a young teenager is pulled from his/her home to immigrate to a new country, that transition period may determine whether or not the child is successful in life. If their parents do not push educational growth due to the fact that money is more important now than in the future- chances are that child will remain in the system of high turnover jobs*. But if the parents strive for the changes they were looking for in the new country, per say the American Dream in the U.S., that child may end up pursuing post-secondary education and a white collar career. It is not only the parents that determine future poverty in their child, but also the child themselves. If the child comes to this new country and feels unaccepted in "normal" society but feels like family in a gang or other groups in the criminal world- factors like this may lead to a "poor" future. If the child starts their own family at a young age, the continuation of education or growth in a job becomes difficult and some might settle for easier choice- quitting. The previous were just ideas on how to interpret the study's factors of poverty, merely the previous were opinions, I hope you the reader can come up with your ideas on why poverty might happen.

When it comes to the actual economic view points of poverty, once that child grows into young adulthood and then eventual adulthood, their past may follow them. These pasts can either hold them back in the career world or push them forward. Some ways that can keep an adult from getting a job in a life sustaining career are; criminal charges and jail time, drug use, number of young family members, ability to speak the common language, amount of education, lack of residency, or experience. With these things and (I'm sure of it) more working against job applicants, it's important that at a young age for the child and parents make decisions based on the future. Yes this is an opinion- yet again- but if people had this mind set, perhaps the work towards lowering the poverty level would improve. Statically 2 out of 5 Hispanics in America were foreign born, $34,000 is the average Hispanic household income- $21,000 average for Latinas, $25,000 for Latinos (National Average; women $27,000, men $37,000), 52% of Hispanics over the age have a high school diploma (National rate: 80%) and of that 52% only 10% have a bachelor's degree, 20% of the nations births are to Hispanic women- of that 20%, 36% of the births are out of wedlock.3.

Granted, I just threw out a lot of numbers and you have to take them in yourself and see how you perceive this data, how does this data affect the poverty rate among Hispanic people? I would encourage you to do your own research and create a better understanding and awareness for yourself. It is important for people to understand the importance of the data before ranting against it or working towards improvement. I hope what you have read has sparked a flame within you and Please leave Social Justice a comment, we want to know your thoughts.

Thank you.

*High turnover jobs- the rate at which an employer gains and loses employees.6. in this blog I'll be referring to high turnover jobs as those in the fast food industry, blue collar, unskilled and skilled. Although some jobs keep employees for years, its just referring to this a jobs that don't need much scholastic training.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Meet the Social Justice Committe

For the First blog posted by the Social Justice Committee, I'd like to introduce you to the committee. These are the people who will be creating and editting this blog.

"Social Justice is important because we must speak for the voices that are unheard."
Organizational Leadership and Supervision

Javier "Social Justice is important because the topics we discuss affect everyone in the world"

Melissa "Social Justice Committee is an important committee because it alerts Embajadores members and people in general about injustices going on with minority groups, such as Hispanics, African-American, women, gays, and lesbians. It is a great committee because it makes people aware of issues occurring and helps reduce injustices."
Elementary Education

Joe "The social justice committee is great--it helps increase the awareness around issues that most people at Purdue are affected by but don't think about very often."
Mathematics and Biology

Hector "Coming from a state that has a lot of immigration, I have witnessed the 'socialjustice' that actually goes on and I'm disappointed. Moving out of Arizona hasshown me how oblivious the rest of the country is about this social injustice,and I would like it if this issue became more well known."
Mechanical Engineer

Kristen "To me, I think Social Justice is important because people in the community need to be aware of the issues surrounding them. If not there would be no social growth and the racial barriers could never be broken."

Not Pictured:
Raul "I think Social Justice is an important commitee not because of what it does but rather what it stands for."
Mechanical Engineering

I hope that you will continue to be interested in the articles, information, ideas, and issues we discuss and post on this blog.

If you have any questions, comments, or ideas; please leave us a message. Your words are important to Social Justice, make yourself heard.