Reflection Paper #3 SOWK 228A

Looking at the video with Dr. Joy DeGruy over “Cognitive Dissonance”, you can definitely connect this to our class discussions and readings throughout the entire interview. Depicting three main points she discussed, the war on crime and drugs, national parks, and the fears of unmasking the truth were valid to discuss from class discussions and readings.

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To develop further on the war within crime and drugs, our government is continuously battling with multibillion-dollar drug rings. However, the government continues to attack those selling on the street. Drug abuse and addiction has been a social problem in America for nearly a century. As a society, we need to look at who is gaining financially from the issue and to not target those who are forced or even oppressed to do this type of “work.” For example, some people actually get into selling and dealing drugs, along with crime to get a source of income to not only support themselves, but their families and loved ones as well. Dr. DeGruy includes in her interview discussing African Americans, and how jobs are decreasing causing them stress and anxiety and produces a desperation to deal and sell drugs while getting into crime. She quotes, “Crime is not okay, but why are African Americans/People of Color demonized for that behavior, and those at the top of the problem get off free?” As we look at today’s corporate controlled mainstream media, — reality shows, modern rap music, entertainment websites and urban films — it is evident that blacks are still suffering from what Dr. Joy DeGruy Leary calls “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome.”

It’s as if we’re on autopilot, perpetuating dysfunctional behaviors within our communities, and carrying out our own destruction. Until the many issues that are deeply imbedded within our collective consciousness are brought to the surface and addressed, we will never progress and function as other racial groups in this country do. As a society, it is presumed we have romanticized the view of the American Dream. Working hard will just make your issues and worries go away, and this isn’t always the case. It’s imperative that we dispel the myths that blacks are inferior, incompetent, unworthy, and doomed to failure. We must work diligently to reverse the effects that slavery has had on African Americans, and setup a platform for the coming generations to excel, and lead honest, productive lives without the  hindrances of racism and discrimination. The discussion in class among the city of Detroit in Michigan exhibits the effects of what happens when job opportunities move away leaving cities to crumble leaving zero for career opportunities left leaving individuals nowhere to turn. Diving further into Ferguson, Chapter 10 is a great example. “Is Capitalism Gendered and Racialized?” in Ferguson describes the American Dream, and completely debunks it. Within the chapter, it is

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