Valeria Vera's "Border Patrol's Not-So-Secret: the Normalized Abuse of Migrant Women on the U.S.-Mexico Border" is an in-depth paper on the horrendous
experiences of migrant women along the United States and Mexico border. Vera admirably
documents an issue that is yet to be recognized and addressed by both countries
involved. In addition to the fact that these immigrants are immediately negatively
stereotyped because they are immigrants, Vera argues that they are treated even
worse because they are female. They are belittled and attacked for that very
reason, and the gruesome details that Vera provides do well to alert readers to
this terrible reality. One of the most striking examples of this is seen early
on in the paper, as she states noted that the U.S.-Mexico Border is a "war zone where 'rape
has become so prevalent that… some women consider it 'the price you pay for
crossing the border." Vera also cites uncomfortable statistics on the
prevalence of abuse along the border, strengthening her argument. Vera posits three methods that lead to the
silencing of immigrant women and forcefully argues that militarization of the
region is the underlying root of many of its problems. While neither the American
nor Mexican governments have taken any action to prevent these crimes from
occurring, grassroots movements have come to the forefront in order to battle
the silencing of these women, and their efforts are paying off. Slowly but
surely more and more migrant women are breaking their silence and asking for
help. Vera concludes by stating that as long as there are soldiers in the
region, whether or not there is a need for military presence, the abuse and
rape of migrant women will continue, and that ending abuse along the border
will to do the same for women across the country.
Continuing with criticism of U.S. foreign policy, "The Eye in the Sky," by Tyler Cole, details one of the most controversial topics of the day —
whether the United States should use drones as military weapons. Cole begins by explaining the basic features
of drone technology, such as the fact that they are unmanned and dangerous
aerial vehicles. He then puts the situation into context, describing U.S. drone
usage in such as Pakistan and Afghanistan in recent years. While drones are
often considered an important factor in fighting terrorists before they can
attack the United States, Cole argues that many civilians have died as a result
of drone attacks, citing various sources to support his argument. He does a
great job of providing both perspectives regarding drone technology before voicing
highlighting the negative aspects of drone use.
Advocates of drones argue that their use not only instills fear
into High Value Terrorist (HVT) targets, but that this fear can itself prevent
terrorist attacks. The idea behind this, Cole argues, is that an airborne drone
hovering over strategic countries would allow the United States military to
take immediate action in response to a terrorist attack. On the other hand, it
can take anywhere from a few months to a year to transport military forces to a
combat zone, allowing terrorists to potentially escape. Advocates also argue
that having unmanned drones in the air prevents the risk of American military
being killed in the air and on the ground of the warzone through better
intelligence gathering and more targets military strikes.
However, those against the use of drone technology note that the
physical distance between the drone operator at an air force base in the U.S.
and the theater of combat can reduce the emotional attachment of the pilot,
making pilots less sensitive to the death they cause. Thus, Cole argues, more casualties
would be result due to this videogame-like reality. To conclude his article,
Cole adds strong testimony from Yemeni journalist and activist Farea al-Muslimi, who spoke
to the United States Congress about his unfortunate experiences of drone
attacks in his home country. Throughout the article, Cole successfully conveys
his argument against drone technology and reiterates his dislike for the use of
the aerial vehicle on grounds of social justice and human rights.
from foreign policy to immigration and from the mountains of Afghanistan to the
slums of Paris, Lucy Lyford's contribution, "Paris: A Global City and Its Immigrants," highlights the disparities between native Parisians and recent
immigrants. The article goes into depth about what it is that makes a global
city. Much of it has to do with its economic,
cultural, and infrastructural qualities, as it is these cities that are
statistically ranked as top cities in the world. While the city itself offers
something that is unseen anywhere else in the world, the author takes note of
the fact that not all of the residents of global cities such as Paris
experience the economic, cultural, and infrastructural qualities that make
these cities so popular. Immigrants and the children of immigrants, many from
Muslim-dominated lands, are forced to work low-paying service jobs that are
crucial to the ability of Paris to maintain its position as a world-class city.
Despite their significance, the immigrants are underpaid and overworked, frustrating
thousands who are searching for a better life for themselves and their family.
Immigrants to France face a very different experience than their native
counterparts, as many of them endure racism, classism, and general discrimination.
Even the safety of immigrant housing is under scrutiny, as many neighborhoods
and homes are unsafe to live in. The author concludes by arguing that Paris
could become an even greater city if the city would fully accept and fairly
treat the immigrants that arrive seeking a better life.
Rivenburg, in "Children and the Theater of the Oppressed," discusses the
theory behind using drama as a method of social change at the Step Up Primary
School in Uganda. The author, who developed and ran the study at the school, documented
her efforts to put this theory into practice. Throughout her time in Uganda, Rivenburg
was able to work with a non-profit organization called Theatre of the Oppressed, helping to organize and coordinate a drama
club at this Ugandan school as means of fostering the development of the students.
The author goes into depth about the positive effects that theater has
oppressed people, providing a safe space for expression without any censorship
or political pressure. As time went on during her stay, she saw positive developments
in the children and their ability to express themselves through this drama
club. Some of these activities ranged from having students write stories about
times they felt neglected to acting out handpicked articles from the United
Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. In conclusion, she hypothesizes
that the program helped to increase the awareness of the negative side effects
of corporal punishment in the school. Additionally, she felt that it empowered
the children by exposing them to the legal protections already in place. Her
hopes are the continued growth and success of the program, so that it can
further benefit Ugandan youth.