Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Peace and Conflict Studies: The People Speak, Pt. 2

(For students to post proposals for term paper--place in comments)

Harlan County USA (USA: Barbara Koppel, 1976: 103 mins)

Criterion Collection: Harlan County USA

In The People Speak there was a presentation of the words of Daniel Ellsberg who exposed the Vietnam War-era Pentagon Papers. A recent documentary explores the significance of his courageous act Filmmaker Magazine: Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith -- The Most Dangerous Man in America

Official site for the DVD The People Speak: The Voices of a People's History: The People Speak where you can access more resources and watch some of the performances again.

Extra credit opportunities for HUM 220 students (All events in the main auditorium in the Oswald Building: 600+ word response to the event):

March 24, 3:30-4:45 p.m.
Erin Howard (BCTC), World Vision

April 5, 3:30-4:45 p.m.
Peggy Ray, UK student, Human Trafficking

April 5, 6:30-7:45 pm
Michael Marchmann (NKU) and
Michael Benton (BCTC),
The Role of Protest in Democracy

April 7, 9:30-10:45
Nancy Reinhart, researcher with Kentuckians for the Commonwealth
Coal Issues

April 13, 3:30-4:45
Captain Paul Chappell
Will War Ever End?

April 19, 6:30-7:45
Dave Cooper, Environmental Activist,
Mountain Justice Mountaintop Removal

April 22, 3:30-4:45
Sarah Lynn Cunningham, Environmental Educator and Engineer
Global Warming

Also the One World Film Festival is going to be starting in Lexington. All films are free and you can go to one and write a response for extra credit (600+ words):

One World Film Festival

One Page Printout of Films


Jane Garton said...

Topic Proposal:

Ferdinando Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two Italian-immigrant radicals, were convicted of first-degree murder in 1920. Despite the lack of evidence, huge class gap, and "racial" bias, Sacco and Vanzetti were executed on August 23, 1927 for crimes they may or may not have committed. For the past 70 years journalists, politicians, historians, lawyers, among many others, have researched this controversial case; and while there is much debate on whether or not they were indeed guilty, the debate on whether or not the trial was fair is far greater in magnitude. Considering the fact the First World War still had soldiers in Europe, and the feeling of xenophobia was rampant in the early 1900s, it is safe to assume that Sacco and Vanzetti were in fact not given a fair (and just) trial, and that the case was not as thoroughly investigated as it should have been. After numerous appeals, both Sacco and Vanzetti, martyrs of the radical/anarchist movement in America, were both executed by electrocution on August 23, 1927 - all the while riots, led by anarchists and socialists, protested vehemently against the injustice and uncertainty of the outcome. Zinn's Voices of a People's History of The United States offers a moving statement offered by Vanzetti on the injustice and cruelty of the system - inflicted on both Sacco and Vanzetti. Ultimately, Sacco and Vanzetti were victims of a racist, unjust system, that took their lives without focusing on the crimes supposedly committed. My research paper will focus mostly on the injustice of the flawed judicial system of the 1920s (for this particular case) and the lack of compassion for these two Italian immigrants.

cleslie0005 said...

Chelsea Leslie
People Speak
Howard Zinn believed that “If democracy were to be given any meaning, if it were to go beyond the limits of capitalism and nationalism, this would not come-if history were a guide-from the top.” I believe that Zinn not only cared about what the people had to say he stood back and looked at reality for what it was, unjust. In this documentary you will see that through the citizens working together to make a difference in a way that involved protesting, agitating, and organizing groups that went against those that were in power, proved that to be heard and to be treated with some type of equality we as citizens had to rebel and show them that this is not what we wanted and believed in.
I will be writing my paper on the African American Civil Rights Movements. During this time, this was a period in which those of a certain ethnic group were discriminated on because of the color of their skin. Through this movement you had different organized protesting, that gave power to certain prominent figures that had a say in the nonviolent protest and civil disobedience from this certain group. This has a very important role in relating to Howard Zinn because before he wrote this book he had been very active in the civil rights movement when teaching as a professor at Spellman College, a historically black college, he saw the inequalities of African Americans in America. This also relates to Howard Zinn because these protests were all nonviolent organized rebellions that made those in power have to react to the inequalities that they were forcing Blacks to not have any stability in the society. This stays within the themes of Peace and Conflict studies because it shows the nonviolent behavior of a group of people within a nation which leads to them being able to be human and live human lives. I hope that from my paper that those that thought a certain way about a certain group of people that were not like themselves see that we are all human and live and work the same land. I hope that the hatred and ignorance that goes with how they are feeling soon becomes obsolete, allowing me to make a difference in one persons life.

Keith Walters said...

My proposal for my paper in this class is on the U.S. Governments use of force both police and military in an effort to quiet dissent and protests against its policies.

The United States government has used its military and police forces to enforce any policy that it makes both at home and abroad as well as used it to crush any protest or movement against those policies. It has done so since it's very inception when the founding fathers wrote our Declaration of Independance. Shortly after our country gained its independance, farmers protested taxes levied by the federal government and troops were used against them. The Civil War was fought after southern states, feeling that they were being represented by the government, rebeled aginst the government. Once again, military forces were used.

During World War 1, Korea, and Vietnam, military and police forces were used to quiet crowds and organizations that were aginst the wars in which we were embroiled. In on such instance, National Guard troops fired into a crowd killing three unarmed college students.

Martin Luther King Jr. and supporters suffered numerous beatings and arrests that were meant to quiet them and thankfully failed

My reasoning behind wanting to do my paper on this subject is to show that not only has our governement used military and police power to supress the voices of the people who voiced unpopular subjects in the past, but it continues to do so today. The government has violated and continues to violate its citizens first ammendment rights on a regular basis. The shocking thing is that the most visible and profound violation of this right is seen in our own armed forces where military personnel are restricted from voicing opinions of elected officials and court martialed if they do.

Katherine Carter said...

Katherine Carter

For the topic of my research paper I want to discuss children’s rights, and the activism of Marian Wright Edelman concerning this very worthy issue. I first discovered Marian Edelman’s work well watching the film The People Speak. Marian was a student of Howard Zinn and considered him to be a mentor; they shared the belief that ordinary people have the power to change our world to make it a better place for all humans. Children’s rights are fundamentally one of the most important issues we need to fight for in today’s world.
When I learn about the devastating consequences of war I can’t help but feel a sense of fear as a mother for my daughter who is growing up in this culture of war. I also feel great sadness for all of the innocent children in this world who will come to know the face of war. I think about the actions that I need to take in order to make the world a better place for the children of today and future generations of children. When I think about peace I think about teaching children to care about the well being of others, and that wealth and power are not all that is to be had in this world.
I think that it is only logical that in order to get young children to care about their fellow human beings they must know what it feels like to be cared for. This is why I think that it is important that people to learn about the inequalities that children are faced with in early development because of inadequate health care, and the inequalities in education in this country. I want people to understand that a child’s future can be completely discarded because they are born into a life of poverty. I want all young mothers to have all the resources necessary for their children to grow into healthy, educated, and compassionate individuals. When we can accomplish this I think we have found the surest way to cultivate a culture of peace.

Nathan Cunningham said...

I was thinking about doing my research paper on the media coverage, or miscoverage of the Iraq war. Basically I feel that following the attacks of September 11, America was in a state of grievous shock, and blind patriotism. I personally feel that the Bush administration preyed on American fear to justifiy an unjust war, but that is not really surprising. What is truly shocking is the “free pass” that the Bush administration enjoyed for most of two consecutive terms. I plan to look into the media coverage of key policy decisions like the patriot act and Operation Iraqi Freedom. I plan to draw on several sources, consulting the reading list in our syllabus. I will also use citations form the film “Standard operating Procedure” witch details public coverage of the Iraq war.
It is very important, in any democracy, to have an objective and defiant news media. This is something that I feel was missing during the early stages of the Iraq war. Under heavy pressure from the Bush administration, most every news outlet made a conscious decision to forgo journalistic integrity, in light of blind patriotism. The American people were given misinformation and other times were flat out lied too. Fox News was the most famous of these transgressors but they were certainly not the only ones. Every major news outlet seemed to fall in line. No one could say anything bad about the president or what we were doing as a nation.
What was ( and is) truly frightening about this is how easily the news media folded under pressure from the white house. I understand that the news media were being patriotic like the rest of us, but isn’t dispelling ignorance the most patriotic act anyone can engage in?

Unknown said...

Keith Klemes
Professor Benton
HUM 220
Three Things That Could Save the World
What three things you might ask could save the world? Simply put legalization, regulation, and taxation. We have been fighting a war for almost three decades, a war that began with President Nixon. Nixon believed that if you could arrest the protestors for smoking marijuana then they would not have a demonstation against the war in Vietnam or against anything else for that matter. Things got really heated up in the 80’s when our famous “actor” President Ronald Reagan began an all out campaign against drugs. When we talk about a war on drugs what the U.S. government is really talking about is a war on marijuana.
An estimated 7.7 billion is spent annually by the U.S. government to enforce marijuana prohibition. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Report 786,546 marijuana arrests were made (88% of which were for simple posession) in 2005. That is more than murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault combined, yes COMBINED. We are fighting a war we will never win against our own people, a civil war. Prohibition has not reduced the the demand or the supply. All that prohibition has done is to imprison the American people and take their “rights” away.
Currently there are nearly 45,000 prisoners in State and Federal prisons for marijuana violatons in the United States. That number does not include prisoners in local or county jails for marijuana related offences. The first George Bush was right when he said “Some people think there won’t be room for them (drug offenders) in jail. We will make room.” In Texas alone (Bush’s home state) they have built 77 new prisons in the last 20 years. Aparrently prisons are big business, private businesses. That is right I said private business. In the late 80’s there where only five privately owned prisons now there are over 250. Talk about thing that make you go hmmmmm.

Kristin Gibson said...

For my paper I am going to be researching about the marriage protest of Lucy Stone and Henry B. Blackwell. This topic relates directly to Howard Zinn and what he talked about, it was actually one of the topics in his book. It talks about a woman in the 1800’s and her fight to stand up for what she tough was right and just. She didn’t think it was fair that when a man and woman got married that the husband was held to such a higher superiority than the wife, she felt a marriage should be of equal rights. This kind of topic is exactly what people in this time wanted to avoid, they didn’t want women having so much power and such radical ideas. So this ties perfect into the class theme of women and peace/war. She was a woman and had a very strong impact on making a step towards men and women having equal rights. I hope that someone who will read my paper will just gather more information on Lucy and what exactly she did. When looking for a topic I was kind out in the blue on what I would research on. When flipping through the book trying to get ideas I found this topic and it caught my eye. And I feel that if it was something that was good enough to get me interested it should be good enough to tell other people about. Plus in today’s society some women, not trying to speak on behalf of all but some, probably do take advantage of how good we have it compared to how women used to be treated. So by writing this paper I hope to show what one woman had to do so that in our time we can enjoy the fact that when two people join in a marriage it is of equal rights.

Michael said...

Jane--excellent proposal... this is a fascinating case, with a wide range of histories (starting from when it happened to now) covering the events/trials/movements.

Consider your proposal approved!

Michael said...


Your proposal is approved, but I would like to encourage you to center the paper-project around a specific person/group/event/theme in order to focus your analysis. The civil rights movement is very broad and your paper cannot effectively cover this vast history.

Talk to me about it or make more comments.

Michael said...


Before I can approve this I need you to do two things:

1) This is a small research paper and so we need to consider the scope of your intended project. Your subject is acceptable, but the historical range is so vast that it would take a massive book or multiple volumes to effectively even begin to cover it? You must narrow it down to cover a person/event/movement/era/theme in order for you to effectively focus your project and fit it into the size of your paper.

2) You need to directly explain why/how this is developed from Zinn's documentary/book.

Revise and repost for credit

Michael said...


Your topic is approved.

I would encourage you to discuss it with Eileen Abel who will be teaching the Women and Peace/War section--either when she visits the class or you can go by her office which is in A-T 101 (she is very nice and will be thrilled to help you with your subject)

Michael said...

The first response to Keith was to Keith Walters (sorry for any confusion)

Michael said...

Keith Klemes,

Your proposal is approved on condition that you state how it relates to the themes of Zinn's Documentary and/or book.

Unique project in light of it wasn't discussed in the documentary, is there anything in the book that relates to it?

If not perhaps you could read through the intro and think about the concept of "people's histories" (what i am assuming you are attempting to write/research)

Michael said...

Nathan is referring to Standard Operating Procedure a documentary by Errol Morris (one of my all time favorite docs, for the way it explores how truth is represented--the film through its form and content explores this theme)

to watch the trailer for the film

to watch the entire film online Standard Operating Procedure

Nathan--your proposal is accepted with the understanding that you still need to write a comment here on how this project relates to the Zinn documentary and/or book.

I have a very good book that I would loan to you, if you are interested:

When the Press Fails: Political Power and the News Media from Iraq to Katrina

Especially the introduction, the first three chapters and appendix a/b.

If you want to borrow it, leave a comment.

Michael said...


A great topic... I would encourage you to focus your analysis on one area of the world--simply because of the difficulty cross-cultural comparative analysis (the devastation to children may be the same--but the causes/reasons can be vary significantly as well as possible solutions)

How does that sound to you?

Eileen Abel would probably be a good resource for you (A-T 101 suite is where her office is located--tell her this is for the Peace and Conflict Studies course)

Michael said...

The deadline for the posting of your proposals was Friday at midnight (those before this comment are accepted and/or accepted with the understanding you will post your revision).

Everyone who hasn't posted their proposal--you are still required to post it here asap, you will not be able to turn in your final paper for a grade without an accepted initial proposal and we will be revising/extending these proposals this week for another grade (which you can't do without an initial proposal here).

Keith Walters said...

To revise my previous post, I intend to write my paper on the U.S. govenments use of military and police forces since Desert Storm in an attempt to quiet protests of its policies both at home and abroad. I will focus primarily on the wars/conflicts we have had in Iraq (Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom), Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Somalia

Michael said...

Keith Walters,

That is not a revision, a revision is where you rewrite the whole proposal.

300 + words... give a clue of how you conceive approaching this and how it relates to zinn's documentary and/or book.

Revise it and re-post for credit.

Unknown said...

Keith Klemes
Professor Benton
HUM 220
I am not sure why Howard Zinn's book does not cover a war that has gone on for decades and not only imprisoned thousands of people but took away their rights (sorry their privileges)also. I can tie into the hundreds of arrests that were made to people for possessing drugs when really what they were trying to do was get rid of the demonstrators so they would not be able to organize and protest the Vietnam war. I am very passionate about this war because this war was raged against me and my peers, and took away almost three years of my life for growing a weed. This is an ongoing war, a civil war,and is still being fought today and right now there is no end in sight.
According to Zinn's book he states "The result of having our history dominated by presidents and generals and other "important" people is to create a passive citizenry, not knowing its own powers, always waiting for some savior on high-God or the next president-to bring peace or justice." I believe it is time for the millions of people who are against this war to stand up together and end this atrocity against the American people and stop impersonating them for their own selfish needs and of cause the bottom line MONEY.
I will be glad to switch this paper to the AIM but that wasn't covered as much in the book as the first genocide of the American Indian people. Either way please let me know. Thanks, Keith Klemes

Michael said...


There is no need to change your project (although AIM is also very important). You have made a powerful statement and connection to the course texts and that is all I required. I'm glad you found the documentary useful.

Kristy Karnes said...

Music, Peace, and War

Music and art has been a large part of everyday life for many people, for what seems like forever. Lately I learned of the first documented piece of art that dated back to around 32,000 B.C. This piece of art was several cave drawings found in what is now called the Chauvet Cave, named for its discoverer. I only mention this to prove a point that people have always needed art and will continue to need art, we turn to it when we feel we have no other way of expressing ourselves, art is a our voice. The art that I believe has the most dramatic affect on society is music.
I have recently started reading Howard Zinn’s Voices of a People’s history of the United States, as well as watched a performance of some of the people’s speeches, they were beautiful and heartbreaking. It made me wonder. How has war affected times of peace and war? Music is weaved into almost every facet of American culture. Not only does music entertain, amuse, enlighten, captivate and relax its audiences, it empowers them. This can be a wonderful and terrible thing in that it can reinforce bonds of peace or boost support for war. Music is an art and as such is ultimately left up to the interpretation of its listener. Most songs have a theme, they tell a story. We should be telling more of the right stories.
Art in any form is very important; many times it gives us something to live for. One time period where it seems to me music and art made a huge impact was during the Vietnam War. I wasn’t alive during this time period; I would have loved to protest the war in what seemed like the most passionate of times. I think of myself often as an old soul trapped in a new body, I sympathize with the great men that fought that war, I just wish that they didn’t have to fight it.
I hope others will learn to think about the truth behind the music. My mother many years ago introduced me to a song called Ohio that is about the Kent State shootings and told me its story, ever since I listen to that song almost daily, to remind myself that; armies are a tool of war, and music is a tool of expression. If you had to chose which tool to be would you choose a paintbrush or a bomb?

Michael said...


I saw that you sent this before the deadline so I will accept it for credit, with the understanding that you need to revise it...

I still am a bit unsure what you are writing on--can you narrow the focus and explain directly what your project will be...


1) You should seek out Jake Gibbs for advice on this subject--as he seems to know about it (from his lecture in class)

2) If you bring 1-5 blank cds I will burn you a collection of protest songs for your project (if you want)

holy land said...

My research paper is going to cover how important it is for each one of us to take a stand. The people speak that we watched is about just that. The people that made a change for our life and has given us the chance for a better life and sacrificed there life. There is no greater courage than when one can makes a stand for the better of others. one of those men is eugene debs and all the great things he did for the Union. also, the great Bartolome de las casas I believe that the story of these two will compel others to become stronger in there day to day life. It is such a beautiful statement made by Mr Zinn that democracy does not start at the top, it starts at the bottom. That quote says it all. This is why it is important to me and should be to you. Eugene made us change the way we think, he made us realize that you can't run on one system and expect fairness. Capitalism is about yourself only and socialism is about people as a whole. socialism is your fire dept, your police stations, and also you library's. So who does not like socialism. Socialism allows people to be classless. I hope everyone knows what that means. That means in simple terms that no one is better or above you like we have with Capitalism. It is very important that we keep the two and not get down to just one. We have seen Capitalism at it's best during the bush years. Now wall street has gotten very rich and the economy is in the toilet. I will be speaking on the importance of these factors while at the same time telling how they changed our lives.

Michael said...

Holy Land--you want to put your real name in here so I can give you credit for your work :)

You need to revise this: 1) either debs or casa because they were of different times and cultures--which it is good to make those connections, but this is a 6-8 page paper 2) i need you to give me a more focused description of what your intended research project is and how it relates to zinn's themes/topics

Jason Romesberg said...

For the topic of my research paper I would like to write on how war has changed from WWI to the present conflict in Iraq/Afghanistan. I would like to research and discuss all aspects of this subject from the lives of the families left behind to the lives of the soldiers in the front lines. I believe that alot of people are not aware of the major protests that occurred over the first world war, or, on that note, what the war was even about. A great number of men and women serving in all of these conflicts have lost their lives and for someone to say that it was for no reason would be dishonoring them and what they believed in. There were still civilians enlisting voluntarily into the military during every battle the United States has ever been in and I feel that is overlooked alot. The flag of The United States of America does not ONLY stand for the military, and should never be thought of in that way. It stands for everyday freedoms that are taken for granted, pride, individualism, love, personal courage and on and on. A huge majority of the time these soldiers are volunteering to go to war and help rebuild schools or empty classrooms of explosives so desks can be brought in, not run around with an M-60 on their hip like Rambo and mow down everything they see. Basically, alot of good is done in these countries by American Soldiers and because the stamp of the word "war" is put on it it is thought of to be negative.

Callaway M. said...

Callaway McCann
Topic Proposal:

Skimming through this massive book, "voices of the people" heard from 1492-2009, the subject that seems to be so common is violence that leads to conflict, that in turn ultimate goal is peace. Violence due to such a self-centered nation. I am so interested in every piece in this book it has made it terribly difficult to choose what to write about. What I see is that all these people want is peace. Why does peace seem to be like chasing after the wind? They want to stop the violence, resolve the conflict. I want to look into why our country has been so violent, and why it still continues to be. I read and listen to these peoples stories, and feel as if I can sense the unbearable pain they went through. How all they wanted to do was make the world a better place. There was a great deal of hatred, people just got to the point where they couldnt handle it anymore so they would attempt these outbreaks, speeches, whatever they could to make their voice known.
The section about Civil War and Class Conflict, I want to look more into. It mentions how over 3 million died, but what was overlooked was the conflict between rich and poor on both sides of the conflict. How the rich could escape the draft by paying $300. Why money gives such power, I believe this causes violence. That would certainly anger me if I lived in that period as a male, didnt want to go to war, but saw someone with more wealth get out of it in the blink of an eye. It shows in here that enraged people, which in turn led to VIOLENCE.
I have almost been kidnapped more than once, have had stalkers, I have been diagnosed with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). I cant turn on the tv without seeing a preview to a horror film, then having nightmares just from a preview. I can't turn on the news without thinking how violent people can be, in turn making me suspicous of every soul I come in counter with. I can't walk up to my apartment without my heart pounding so fast, feeling like someone is going to jump out and grab me. My past has put such a strain on me living a normal life. Why? VIOLENCE, selfish people. Answer to me our MEDIA.
I need help on how or what to really look into to narrow my proposal.

Anonymous said...

Topic Proposal.
by michael jacobs
For my paper I want to discuss the events that led up to the Tiananmen Square massacre. I’m going to discuss the active protest that where led by students as well as intellectual citizens of China. I want to break down the orders issued by the Chinese Communist party and the actions taken by the military leader who dwelt with demonstrators and protesters. I’m going to discuss the non-violent actions taken by the protesters as well as violence that occurred after the order was given by the Chinese government to clear Tiananmen Square by 6:00 o’clock A.M. and the actions that the soldiers took to disburse the protesters and demonstrators. The use of live ammunition and tank I’m going to discuss the reaction of Tiananmen Square sympathizers in other countries as well relations between the Chinese Government and other world Governments. I’m going to cover the ability of the Chinese Government to control the media as well as the Government’s ability to cover up the number of deaths both citizen and soldier alike.

Jeremiah said...

If you are not originally from southeast Kentucky, there is a good chance that you have never heard of a place called Harlan County. It’s a small rule town surrounded by mountains, and is an hour and a half away from the nearest interstate. And like many others you probably assume that there is nothing remotely interesting that has ever happened there, certainly nothing interesting enough to write about. Surprisingly enough, it is an area that has impacted this entire state and is steeped in controversy.
The main industry and almost only industry in Harlan County is coal mining both deep mining and strip mining. Yes the terrible business of mountain top removal. Coal mining has been the main source of income for the people of this area for generations, and to this day people still talk about the Union wars that took place in Harlan during the 1960’s and 70’s. These conflicts were how this area got the name of Bloody Harlan.
During this time the UMWA came into the area to unionize the mine workers, and abolish the inhumane working conditions that were common everyday practice. The entire era can relate in some way to the Howard Zinn novel, The People Speak. These people were fighting for a better way of life, much like other oppressed groups throughout history have done countless times. There was tremendous violence that took place over trying to unionize the miners. Gun battles broke out in the streets in broad daylight, not to mention the homes of union supporters that were bombed by the mining companies. The coal miners of Harlan fought back against the wealthy mine owners with guns, and by banning together and showing that they would not give in out of fear. These people fought for respect, decency, and quality of life.

Anonymous said...

From Teena:
The American mass media is recent years has become overly flooded with military propaganda. These advertisements allude to ideas of solidarity and selflessness when the military actually promotes violence and destruction of basic human rights. I was subjected to a television commercial recently that involved a young girl who looked no older than 16 having a discussion with her mother about entering the armed forces. The young girl confessed to her mother that she wished to become a part of something bigger and better than herself alone. She wanted to make a difference in the world by becoming a soldier. Her mother looked at her proudly and communicated that she was proud of her daughter for such a selfless statement. This commercial and others stating that the army makes you a stronger more independent person are horribly misguiding the youth of America toward violence and murder in the name of military honor. In Howard Zinn’s book The Voices of the People Speak there is an article about the Vietnam was in which the author talks about the horrendously gruesome murders of the women, children and older people of a village where the Viet Cong were thought to be hiding out. The author was trying to help these people by signaling medical attention for them but inadvertently helped in their destruction of life because the “help” they were supposed to receive actually slaughtered them. This information on military brutality directly correlates with the war on terror the American government continues to fuel in Iraq and Afghanistan. You cannot fight fire with fire, it is proven fact that the only outcome is a larger fire and severe burns with that said you CANNOT fight terror with terror and until the people of America learn to rise above the powers in Washington with great resistance our society will continue to feel the painful heat of catastrophic burns. Our government should be setting a clear example for our young people that violence is not the answer for conflict resolution. However with our own hard earned money the government through extensive military spending works hard to prey on our emotions and convince us that the military is an honorable occupation with benefits of selflessness. I do not think war is noble and when enlisting in the military you are no doubt signing up for war. War kills people and soldiers no matter what the government defines it as are murderers. Let us stomp out the ethnocentric propaganda teaching our youth that murder is acceptable by educating the public on non violent peace keeping tactics.

Alex Talbert said...

Alex Talbert The topic that i chose to speak about is about African American women and the struggles that they went through for equal treatment. Because the whole womens movement wasn't designed for them and the civil right movement was taken over by the men. I wanted to analyize the struggles they went throught and how they got their voices to be heard. I will also bring out how black female authors help get the black womans voice out such as zora neale hurston and alice walker.I want people to know about the struggles of a black woman because it was so different than what a white woman would have to experience. I also want people to be aware of the great black women in our history that have help get the black womans voice out their so people would start paying attention to the problem that they were facing.

Robert Harrelson said...

Robert Harrelson
I am going to do my paper on conflict management. I believe that many people today do not know how properly deal with issues that may arise in their life. When conflict arise, violence is usually the first reaction, which never solves the real problem. In all reality, it only make things worse. As this class teaches us about both peace and conflict, it will, near the end, teach us how to properly deal with issues when they come up in life. If conflicts are handled with properly they will most likely end in peace, which most people would agree is a good way to end thing. In the movie we watched in class, there were all these examples of people fighting, riots breaking out, people being killed, and because of what? They were not able to properly deal with the issues that they had. Take the strikers for example. Times were difficult and the workers did not feel that they were being treated properly so they went to higher authorities with a list of demand. Of course, the companies were not too happy about their workers trying to push them into a corner so they did not respond well. I think that if they would have went to the companies and tried to negotiate with them and find some kind of common ground. Let the heads of the company understand that the way things were was not tolerable and that imporovements had to be made or they would have strikes/riots on their hands. The workers, instead of going in with a list of demands, could have went in and tried to negotiate with the business leaders to try and find some common ground.

Nathan Cunningham said...

Well what inspired me to pursue this topic was the quotations from Cindy Sheehan in the People speak video. I feel that people have always been ery passionate against this war and in the beginning, the anti- war movement was denied a voice. I think this goes along with the theme of the video. Which seems to me to e that history is made y the people, and distorted by those in authority. I think that the modern news media failed and let the powers that e distort the truth. I think that a fair amount of the country was extremely against the war, ut their opinions were not given fair exposure.

Patricia Barnes said...

Patricia Barnes
Proposal for Research Paper

The Vietnam War serves as one of the darkest times our country faced during the 20th century. As 25 years have passed since the end of the war, there is now an entire generation of Americans who don't fully understand the reasons why Americans were involved in the first place, the fact that there were seven presidents involved in decisions for the Vietnam War, and the true magnitude of lives lost during the war.

On March 16, 1968, a company of American soldiers entered a small village in Vietnam called My Lai. 600 women, children, and elderly died in a mere 4 hours. No weapons, supplies, or draft age men were recovered from this village. It was by and large a massacre.

The crew of a small scout helicopter who was responsible for attracting enemy fire and then signaling closeby soldiers identified several injured women and laid down "green smoke" to indicate to troops it was safe to proceed and with the assumption that medical attention would be given to these women. The realization quickly came that their fellow officers and soldiers below were executing these civilians and intervened...but it was too late for many of the villagers.

Lt. William Calley, commander of the company that attacked the villiage of My Lai, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison with hard labor. A short three days after his conviction, President Nixon ordered that he be released from prison pending appeal. Lt. Calley became one of the most "priviledged" prisoners in American history. He served 35 months of house arrest in his fully equipped bachelor apartment with his dog, a bird, and his collection of tropical fish. Lt. Calley also enjoyed regular visits from his girlfriend.

I feel that it is important to research and hopefully shed light on the fact that such horrific acts have been accepted as "par for the course" with little punishment for those responsible. In times of war is it acceptable for Americans to lose touch with their humanity? Is it socially acceptable that an unarmed, unthreatening villiage of civilian bystanders (and quite possibly refugees) be raped, beaten, murdered, and outright executed, simply because it's a war and things like that 'just happen'.

These are some of the questions I hope to answer for this project.

Michael said...

Jason, your topic is too broad and you haven't given any indication of how this relates to Zinn's book and/or documentary.

Write a new proposal and submit it.

Michael said...

Callaway, some good questions, but the topic is too broad... I know you picked up some books and started narrowing it down ... you need to revise this and write another proposal and post it here...

Michael said...

Michael Jacobs,

Your proposal sounds interesting, but you give no statement of how it is derived from Howard Zinn's documentary and/or his book.

Revise this and resubmit for credit

Michael said...


I like your topic, but this will not do as a statement of why it relates to the Howard Zinn source materials: "The entire era can relate in some way to the Howard Zinn novel, The People Speak."

1) It is not a novel 2) you are not giving a specific statement of how it relates and/or is-derived from the Zinn book/documentary.

You need to do this in order to have your proposal accepted.

Michael said...

Teena, your statement is interesting (and I definitely would like to see the ad you mentioned), but I am still unsure of what "exactly" your topic is here... give me a clear, specific, focused statement on what you want to research and write about (so we can move on to the next step)

Michael said...

Alex Talbert, your topic is to vague for a small research paper--I need you to focus it on a specific group/movement/event/individual.

Revise your proposal and resubmit.

Kate Lee-Bütte said...

Kate Lee-Bütte
English 102

I really enjoyed watching the first half of “The People Speak”. What really stood out to me was the story of the young black girl refusing to sing the national anthem since America to her wasn’t really the “Land of the free and the home of the brave”. The line “The land of the free” has always seemed ironic to me because of America’s past with slavery and racial segregation. Her story of having to walk through a “White’s Only” park to get to school was a view of segregation from the honest eyes of a child really pulled at my heart. It also brought up many thoughts in me of how unfair the constitution must be to the gay community, since in the eyes of the current government system, all men (and women) are not equal. Only men and women who are straight are equal. So the thought that I was left with as the first half of the documentary closed is, “Will America really ever be the land of freedom and equality?” and I’m afraid that it won’t be. At least not in my lifetime.

Emily Trowbridge said...

I would like to write my next essay on poverty in America. While the United States spends billions of dollars a year "defending" America, millions of Americans go without food, shelter, employment, health insurance, and higher education. They have been denied the opportunity to succeed in life by our government. There are not enough resources or programs in America to support those who have fallen between the cracks in our capitalist system. How is it fair that so many have so little and so few have so much? Greed is a ravenous beast that feeds upon innocent victims who are simply trying to survive and care for their loved ones. We must all come together to protest the policies that make poverty unavoidable for so many Americans. We have a moral responsibilty to come to the aid of those who cannot help themselves. Not one of my American brothers or sisters should have to go to bed hungry or worry about how they will provide for their family. I say we throw the obscenely wealthy out of office, the White House, Wall Street, and their luxurious mansions. Let the people redistribute the wealth.

Jeremiah said...

The proposal for my term paper is based on the coal mining wars that took place in Harlan County Kentucky. The conflict was over the hourly mine workers attempt to unionize with the UMWA (United Mine Workers of America). The conflict originally began in the early 1930, when the miners began to ban together against the mines, and the slave labor tactics of the mine owners. This carried all the way over into the 1970, and as the push for better working conditions carried over so did the violent acts to stop the union. Many of the workers walked off the job and began protesting against the mines with the help of the union organizers. Many of these protests were met with violence from people loyal to the mines and the owners.
The violence that transpired throughout the strikes and picketing was similar to the events of the GM union strike that is covered in Howard Zinn’s “The People Speak”. Much like the factory workers of GM, the miners picketing and assemblies were met with violence not only from the mine owners but also from local law enforcement. The miners were fighting for better treatment and working conditions, which up to this point was much like modern day slavery.
Throughout Zinn’s book there are various subject covered from different time periods that deal with slavery, revolution, defiance, rebellion, and class conflict. All of these same issues were the cause for the Union Wars in Harlan County. It was a long and bloody rebelling, with violence resounding from both sides of the conflict. Much of this time period translates to the message proposed in “The People Speak”, and that message is to rise up against injustice. Take a stand for what you believe to be right and fair, which is what the miners of Harlan County attempted to do during the Union Wars.