Students must submit a short research paper that compares and contrasts two events: one from the past, and one from the present. (Note: the term events broadly refers to notable developments or issues, recognized political and social leaders, organizations, and/or social movements.) This assignment focuses on the Core Objective of Social Responsibility. However Critical Thinking Skills and Communication Skills will also be assessed.
Students are free select which events that they would like to examinealthough all topics MUST be approved by the professor. As with Signature Assignment 1, this paper must be double-spaced, in 12-point font, range between 300 and 600 words, and will be considered late under previously mentioned circumstances.
In this research paper, students are required to address each of the following:
How did individuals and groups involved with the events under analysis take a proactive role in changing society and/or participating in the democratic process?
(Concept from the rubric: citizenship)
What issues of fairness and/or inequality were addressed by individuals and groups involved with the events? Be sure to include a discussion of racial prejudice, discrimination, and ethical behaviors.
(Concept from the rubric: social justice)
How can our nation overcome problems of race relations in establishing a fair and equal society? How have conditions for African Americans changed? How have they remained the same?
(Concept from the rubric: ecology)
The paper must be double-spaced, in 12-point font, and range between 300 and 600 words (or 1-2 pages).
When examining the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests and the LA Riots, there are several key aspects that can be considered for comparison: the underlying causes, the nature of the protests, and their broader impact. Here are some specific elements to consider in each aspect:
Underlying Causes (The Why):
LA Riots: Rooted in longstanding racial tensions, economic disparities, and a history of aggressive policing, particularly against African-American communities. The immediate trigger was the acquittal of the police officers involved in the beating of Rodney King.
BLM Protests: Sparked by systemic racism and police brutality, with George Floyd’s death serving as a catalyst. The movement focuses on a broader range of issues related to racial injustice.
Nature of the Protests (The How):
Violence and Looting: Both events saw instances of violence and looting, but the LA Riots were more characterized by widespread civil unrest and significant property damage.
Police Suppression: In both cases, there were reports of aggressive police tactics. However, the scale and intensity varied, with the LA Riots seeing a large-scale deployment of the National Guard.
Media Coverage: Media coverage in both events played a crucial role in shaping public perception. The LA Riots were one of the first major events to be covered extensively by round-the-clock news, while social media played a significant role in the BLM protests.
Broader Impact and Responses:
Policy Changes and Public Discourse: Both events led to discussions about race relations, policing, and social justice. However, the BLM movement has been more successful in sustaining a longer-term discussion and influencing policy changes.