1. Discuss the movie, Eyes on the Prize. What does segregation say about a community’s values? How does living in a segregated society shape the way people think about themselves and about members of other ethnic or racial groups?
Eyes on the Prize is a film that provides a reflection of the issues, tactics, and sacrifices of the people during the Civil War years. The movie reveals the ferocity of racism and the underlying power of popular democracy. Segregation is the ugly face of a community that promotes violence. Living in a segregated society makes people develop fear and hatred that ultimately cause different communities to unleash mayhem against each other. For instance, there was recurrence of mayhem and murders against civil right workers. However, the public opinion continued to rally behind the Voting Rights Act passed by President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration. The movie also reveals the tools of Jim Crow segregation, which were local and state laws that supported segregation against the Blacks and non-Americans. Aspects of De jure and de facto discrimination are apparent from the movie. De jure discrimination is a separation of races through the law while de facto segregation is a form of discrimination that exists because people from different races do not get the same opportunities. However, the efforts of the civil rights movement culminated in the enactment of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 that outlawed discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, national origin, or color.
2. Discuss the movie, Primary Colors. What are the 5 types of campaigns and give examples from the movie. Also, discuss the lecture info on media/politics and media/campaigns.
The film “Primary Colors” is a comedy-comedy movie that is inspired by the novel “Primary Colors: A Novel of Politics”, which reflects on the first presidential campaign of Bill Clinton in 1992. The film presents different types of campaigns including negative, criticism, wholesale, retail, and empathy campaigns. The aspect of empathy campaigning is characterized by the ability of Stanton to pay attention and identify with the common man, thus making him a likeable person. To demonstrate his empathy, Stanton attends adult literacy classes to make it appear as if it was at the top of his priorities. Accordingly, there is personal criticism campaigning which is apparent when the candidates engage in personal criticism. Negative campaigning refers to when the candidate spend most of the time providing information about how dangerous or bad their competitors are. Retail campaigns entail candidates establishing contact through telephone, distribution of literature, and/or in person.
3. Describe the rights of the accused that are found in the court cases discussed in lecture. What is the exclusionary rule? What are Miranda rights?
The exclusionary rule is a rule of evidence that stipulates that any evidence that the prosecution acquires illegally against the accused cannot be used in court against the latter. As such, if it emerges during trial that the government acquired evidence against a defendant through illegal means such as when the police violate the defendant’s fourth amendment rights, the evidence will not be admissible. In most instances, the exclusionary rule applies to the suppression of physical evidence that law enforcement agencies seize through unreasonable search and seizure.
Miranda rights is the right of the accused to be notified of their right to consult their attorney, right to have an attorney present during interrogation, right to remain silent, and right to have an attorney appointed for the accused if he/she is indigent. These rights largely derive from the Fifth Amendment right against the self-incrimination. In the absence of the Miranda warning, any evidence that derives from the statements made by an accused during the interrogation is inadmissible during the trial, and falls under the exclusionary rule.
5. What are the goals of affirmative action? Why has it been so controversial? Where has affirmative action been practiced? Describe the Supreme Court decision in Univ. of California v. Bakke.
Affirmative action was developed from the need to promote equality and the need to create true democracy. The main purpose of affirmative action is to ensure that a country reaches its full potential by creating diversity of workforce with regard to the social and economic sectors expanding the economic base thus stimulating economic development. Affirmative action has been used in the United States, China, Asia and in many other countries.
Affirmative action has been controversial because it affects the hiring as well as the skill level in the workforce, an aspect that eventually affects the free market. It also attracts debate because it has been used in the past to create marginalization for some races and to promote elite and middles classes thus leaving the lower class to lag behind in the social and economic spheres. In University of California v. Bakke, the Supreme Court abolished the use of racial quotas but declared that affirmative action was constitutional. This decision legitimized the use of affirmative action.
7. Discuss the 6 general responsibilities of members of Congress. Also, describe and contrast the types of representation-delegate and trustee.
The responsibilities of the members of Congress include legislation, representation, agency, oversight and investigation, advice and consent. The congressmen and women run for political offices in order to become agents of their constituents. As agents of their constituents, members of the congress present advance the interests of the constituents through legislation. They also engage in investigation of scandals with the aim of ensuring that they protect the public from criminals who out to misuse their powers and steal from the public coffers.
9. Describe the process by which a bill becomes a law. What are some of the major steps and hurdles over which a bill must pass?
There are thousands of bills that are introduced during every term of the congress. A member of the Congress, the executive, interest groups, or private citizens can draft bills. The bill is then introduced in congress by a representative, usually a member of the congress. Once a bill is introduced, the speaker sends it to a committee. The committee can amend, table or vote on the bill and if it passes it is then referred to the rules committee. The rules committee then determines the rules for the debate and the bill is presented to the floor of the House for debate. During the debate, the House may amend the bill and if majority of the members vote in its favor it is referred to the senate, then the committee action. The Majority leader then decides when the whole senate will debate on the bill. if the senate does not pass the bill, it is sent to the conference committee to enable the members from both houses to find a compromise. Once the senate passes the bill, it is sent to the President for assent after which it becomes law but if the president vetoes the bill, it can become law if two-third of the members in the two houses votes to override the presidential veto.