Women’s suffrage

The Suffragette was an educational movie that taught me many new things about the suffrage movement in England, and I liked it a lot. Personally, I didn’t know that much about women’s fight to vote in any other countries than Norway and USA, so I enjoyed learning about the Suffragette movement. What I learned form this movie is mainly that there was a name for the group of women fighting for their right to vote, and that Emily Davison jumped in front of a horse and died to put their case in the media and hopefully get more attention. I also learned that it took ten more years after the first women got to vote until all the women in England earned the same right.

There are many similarities in how the women fighting for a vote were treated by the people in society who were content with only men being able to vote. The people in both Norway, USA and England had similar reasoning as to why the country was better off when the men had all the power. One of the arguments used was that women didn’t know what was best for them because they were immature. Another argument was that women’s role in society was to just work in the house and take care of children anyway, so they didn’t need to vote because what went on in society didn’t concern them.

Earlier I mentioned Emily Davison who jumped in front of the king’s horse at the Epsom Derby. Previous to her full-time work as a suffragette, Emily Davison worked as a teacher until 1909. Davison joined the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in 1906. This union was founded by Emmeline Pankhurst who held a big speech from a porch in the movie. Pankhurst encouraged Suffragettes to use “deeds, not words”, to get a vote. Emily Davison did many deeds, like frequently being arrested for public disturbance and burning post boxes. Jail was therefore a known place for her but being incarcerated did not stop her from her activism. Suffragettes that were arrested were not considered political prisoners, so Davison and many other women refused to eat while in prison to protest this. After many years of becoming increasingly militant, she did her final act who cost her life but earned worldwide attention to her cause.

The campaign for women’s suffrage in the US began even before the Civil War, but the first national suffrage organizations were not established until after the war. The two organizations, one lead by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and one lead by Lucy Stone, were established in 1869. 21 years later they merged as the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Anthony was the leader of this association from 1892-1900 and was a very good speaker who was frequently lobbying. During the presidential election in 1872 she voted illegally and was arrested but refused to pay the ticket she was sentenced to pay. The case was dismissed, but the act sent a clear message of what her goal was,a nd what she was willing to do to achieve it. Anthony and NAWSA were essential in the fight for women’s suffrage in the US, and 15 years after Anthony’s death American women got to vote for the first time, in 1920.

Stormzy

Stormzy, or Michael Omari, is one of my favorite artists, and holds two of my all-time favorite songs, so I definitely heard of him before. His songs have a big range of themes, but some of the prominent and recurring ones are the struggles black people face in society today, celebrating the black youth of Britain, drug use, gang violence, Christianity, and addressing political problems. Stormzy calls himself a “political analyst” because he is doing exactly that, analyzing politics and addressing problems, shining a light on them and making people talk about and discuss them. Some examples of things he has addressed in his songs are knife crimes and racism. He also called out Theresa May over Grenfell, a horrible fire in a building that killed 72 People.

The Hate U Give

THUG, also known as The Hate U Give, is a novel written by Angie Thomas published in 2017. 16-year-old Starr Carter is the main character, and she lives in “the ghetto” while she attends a private school in the good part of the city. She witnesses her friend Khalil getting shot by a police officer and struggles to cope with this, in addition to other problems in her everyday life as a black girl in a predominantly white school.

Towards the end of the book, Starr eventually stands up for herself and her friend and does what she feels is right to do. I think the book portrays the story a lot better than the movie, and I also like the point of view in the book better because the focus is on the police brutality. The movie on the other hand portraits the gang violence and black on black crime as the main problem. In the book this is just a way of describing how things are in Garden Heights, and not what the story is mainly about. The critique by Melina Abdullah and Patrisse Khan-Cullors in the Los Angeles Sentinel also talks about this.

What I like the most about the book is the way the author describes the situations in Starr’s life. She manages to pull the reader completely into the story and makes them feel like they are in the story. Once you start reading it is almost impossible to stop.

All in all, I prefer the novel because it tells a different story than the movie. It talks about police brutality and shows the reality of struggles that black people face every day.

The Hate U Give – opinion on the first three chapters

I have already read this book before, and I consider it to be the best one I have ever read. The plot, the character developments, the way the author shines a light on such important matters and issues. I also love the way she portrays Starr’s thoughts about living in society today being a black person, and the challenges she and so many other black people face every day.

On that note, I feel like that was what stood out in the first three chapters. Starr introduces us to some of her challenges, like how she must change her personality and act different around white people in order to be perceived the right way. The part that stood out the most to me is how Starr was told at a very young age what to do if she is confronted by a police officer, and how she memorized the steps of what to do.

It is as if the list of steps is imprinted on her brain. It is hard to choose what I like the most, because as I already mentioned the whole book is absolutely brilliant and I love every single part of it.

The Outcome of The British Election

Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party won the UK election, with 43.6% of the votes. They now have 365 seats, which is 47 more seats than after the previous election.

The Labour Party now has 203 seats, which is 59 less than they had after the previous election. They had their worst election result since 1935.

Altogether there was a 67.3% turnout of voters, which is less than the election before, in 2017.

Now that the Conservative Party has a vast majority, Brexit will definitely go through, and If the plan goes through the UK will leave EU on January 31st 2020. The outcome of this event has been speculated on, but we do not know for sure what will happen. What we do know is that the UK will need new trade deals, and this might make the economy in the UK worse while they negotiate with the EU.

Wales, Ireland and Scotland expressed that they might consider having a referendum to determine if they should leave Great Britain if the Brexit deal happens. Now it is happening, so referendums in these countries might be a possible outcome.

I think the people who voted for leaving EU will be very content that this finally will go through, and I think the people who voted against are frustrated, but have realised that there is nothing left to do at this point. Brexit will go through and the countries involved will have to deal with the consequences as they occur, both positive and negative ones.

The US Constitution and the Supreme Court

The American Constitution is one of the oldest constitutions still being actively used today. It was written in 1787 and ratified in 1789, but since then it has been changed several times. In this blog post I will talk about how the American Constitution was made and the first Amendments, but I will also talk about the Supreme Court and its powers and role in the American political system.

The American Constitution is an important part of the country’s political and legal system. It established the country’s national government and fundamental laws, as well as guaranteeing basic rights for (some) of its citizens. Delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia were the ones who signed it on September 17, 1787. The delegates wanted a stronger federal government with the three branches – executive, legislative and judicial – and included this in the document. The Constitution was not ratified – signed by all the states – until July 1789. This was because some states did not want to sign it as they were skeptical to the document as it did not reserve undelegated powers to the states and lacked protection of basic rights like freedom of speech.

In order to change the Constitution, an amendment must be proposed either by the Congress or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures. If it is proposed by the Congress, it must get a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Explained a little simpler, it is very hard to change the Constitution.

The Constitution has 27 amendments. The first ten, also known as the Bill of Rights, were written by James Madison. They got their name because they mention one by one certain individual and state rights that cannot be taken away by the government. Some other important amendments apart from the Bill of Rights, are number 15 about voting rights, number 17 about Popular Election of Senators, number 19 about Women’s Right to vote, and number 20 about Commencement of President Term and Succession.

Women’s right to vote is one of the most important amendments by my opinion, because it prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote based on sex. The amendment was introduced to congress in 1878, but was not passed until 1920, 42 years later. Tennessee was the last state to sign the amendment, of the 36 needed to ratify it.

Another important part of the American political and legal system is the Supreme Court. It is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States and has complete jurisdiction over all federal and state court cases. The Constitution gives it the power to check the actions and decisions of the President and Congress if necessary. If the President defies the law, the Supreme Court can tell him that his actions are not allowed by the constitution.

Decisions made by the Supreme Court have influenced the American society in a variety of ways. Some decisions I think are especially important, are Brown v. Board of Education (1954), and Loving v. Virginia (1967).

In 1954 there was a unanimous vote that separating educational facilities for different races was unequal. This decision was made because Linda Brown had to take a dangerous route to school, because the closest school was for whites only. Her father thought separation like this broke the 14th Amendment that states “no state can deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Mr. Brown and twelve other parents challenged this segregation policy on behalf of their 20 children. This led to mixed race schools and helped pave the way for a more multicultural American society.

Loving v. Virginia was a case that found that people of any race, anywhere in the US, could get married. The decision was made after Mildred Jeter, a black woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, got charged with breaking the law when they got married. Interracial marriage was illegal in 16 states at the time, Virginia being one of them. They went to D.C. to get married but were sentenced to one year in prison because they lived in Virginia. Loving then sued together with the ACLU. Later the Supreme Court unanimously voted that the law was unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment. This case was essential in the case dealing with gay marriage too.

These are all the things I was going to talk about in this blog post. Have a nice weekend!

Presidential candidates in the 2020 election

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris The former San Francisco district attorney and attorney general of California, Kamala Harris, is one of 17 presidential candidates for the democrats before the 2020 election. Kamala is 55 years old and is currently working as a California senator. Questioning Mr. Trump’s cabinet nominees and his Supreme Court nominee quickly drew attention to her. In addition to this, she is one of the few Democrats who joined the Senate after 2016. Her signature issues are Unveiled middle-class tax cut legislation last fall, and she has championed a liberal civil rights agenda in the Senate. According to her web page https://kamalaharris.org/ , she prosecuted transnational gangs that exploited women and children and trafficked in guns and drugs,  when she was California’s Attorney General. Her web page also states, “We’re not accepting a dime from corporate PAC’s or federal lobbyists.” which says something about her values and morals as a person, as many candidates accept donations from corporations as the NRA. If Harris were to become president, she would not only be the first female president, but also the second black president.

Child Poverty in the UK

One in three children in the UK are currently living in poverty. That is four million children and around nine in the average classroom. This is the highest rate in the industrialized world and is predicted to rise to five million in 2020. What defines children living in poverty in the Unites Kingdom is when their family has an income below 60% of the UK’s average, when adjusted for family size.

Child poverty in Great Britain is a continuously growing problem. The poverty rate in the UK is the eighth lowest in the European Union, but a little under the EU average. 98% of the most deprived areas are in cities. The local authorities with the highest number of areas among the most deprived in England are; Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Manchester, Knowslet and Hull, Hackney and Tower, according to an article written by the Guardian in 2010. These areas are still in this position today. According to The Guardian, the percent of children living in homes below 50% of average income in Norway was 3.6 in 2009, while in the UK it was 16.2, and in USA it was 21.7.

Children are the age group that is the most at risk of living in poverty. In the age group 0-4, 34% of all the children in the UK live in poverty. The age group that has the least people living in poverty is the age group from 65-69, where 16% are below 60% of the average income, when adjusted for family size. Ethnicity also plays a big role in these numbers, considering that Pakistani and Bangladeshi people were more than three times more likely than white British people to live in the most deprived 10% of neighbourhoods in England in 2013, according to the UK Government. Actually, in 2011 the highest poverty rate looked like this: Bangladeshis 65%, Pakistanis 55%, black Africans 45%. Meanwhile the lowest poverty rate looked like this: Indians 25%, white other 25%, white British 20%. Knowing that 65% of Bangladeshi people in the UK are poor, is disturbing when you also know that about 0.7% of the total population were Bangladeshi at the time these numbers were presented.

As I already mentioned, the number of children in the UK living in poverty is set to rise to five million in 2020. Rising living costs, low wages, and cuts in public services and benefits are three major reasons why this number is rising. For this blog post it was hard to find more recent data, but most of this data was based of the years from 2009-20013, so it is from around the same years. It is still relevant for our understanding of the United Kingdom’s child poverty problems, as those numbers don’t just magically change in a few years. Fighting child poverty, and poverty in general, takes a lot of time and effort, and is hard to do.

Illiteracy in India

Not being able to read or write negatively affects you throughout your whole life, but it negatively affects society as well, maybe even more than you think. About 30% of the world’s population is illiterate, and India has the highest population of illiterate adults with a staggering almost 290 million individuals.

Before reading more about illiteracy, it might be nice to know what the world means. “Literacy is the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals to develop their knowledge and potential and to participate fully in their community and wider society.” According to the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). Illiteracy means the inability to read or write, to explain it the easy way.

When a large part of the population in a country is illiterate, it affects the socio-economic progress, and in India illiteracy is a big problem with many dimensions. There are many imbalances in the country that are part of the reason why India has such a large illiterate population. Some of these are gender, income, state, and caste imbalances.

Having a large portion of the population in a country not being able to read or write prevents society from developing at a steady rate. Crime rates also increase, and so does incarceration. In addition to this, there are higher unemployment rates, increased poverty rates, increased drug and alcohol abuse, and it’s harder to vote. These are all problems that affects society in India, but it’s hard to make change when education is the solution, but that is not accessible to the majority of the country’s population.

Helping adults and children to learn how to read and write requires education, and in a country where 18 million children work on the streets, it’s even more important to give access to education. There are people in India working every day to help these children learn, but it is hard to do when education requires qualified teachers, school supplies, infrastructure and money, and there is a shortage of these necessities.

Illiteracy is a huge problem, and teaching people to read and write should be a top priority in all countries. It is hard to achieve a smaller rate of illiteracy when problems that seem to be more urgent and visible in the everyday life are the ones society choose to deal with. It is hard for a society where most of the population are poor and illiterate to start the process of learning, because most people don’t know that reading and writing is something they should know how to do in order to improve their lives, and society around them. They don’t know this simply because they lack education.

British Politics Aside from Brexit

Hello

Today in class we read about different political issues in Great Britain, apart from Brexit. The issues I read about talked a lot about poverty, homelessness and social care. It turns out that there are a lot more people living in poverty in Britain than I thought.

January 1st, 2018, the rise of homelessness had more than doubled since 2010. Every hour, five families became homeless. Reading this was startling because I always thought of Great Britain as a wealthy country with good economy, that was able to supply their people with necessary things such as food and proper social care. This is not the case at all.

From 2018 to 2022 the number of children living in poverty is predicted to rise to 5.2 million, which will be the highest record since the modern records began. 5.2 million is 37% of all the children in Great Britain. Children not getting enough to eat, a bed to sleep in or proper health care is not a good thing in itself, but the fact that  this is in a wealthy 21st century country that should be able to supply their people these things, is simply not good enough.

Older and disabled people are living without the social care they need for basics, like eating, dressing and washing. People in wheelchairs are malnourished because of lack of help to cook and eat, and severely ill people had to wait for 14 hours to use the bathroom. I was very shocked to read this.

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