Extra Credit- Xenophobia in NYC


As I was riding the MTA, I noticed a rare occurrence that took place. I’m on the Q train in the middle of Manhattan, during rush hour, and no one’s sitting near me. Do you know how rare it is to have seats on the train during rush hour? This reminded me of the idea of Xenophobia that we learned in class. Xenophobia is the fear of others, people who are unfamiliar and potentially dangerous. When you’re commuting alone on the subway, you really don’t know who you’re standing or sitting next to. The person next to you could be a criminal and you wouldn’t even know. No one thinks about this, but when the thought is presented, it makes people realize the dangers of strangers. I noticed that everyone’s on their phones while on the train to avoid human connection. Everyone’s in their own little world, trying to mind their own business because they don’t want interact with other people. The only time they’re conscious about their safety is when a panhandler comes into the cart. #StayWoke #LastMinuteExtraCredit

Mary Huang, Team Vulcan

Is Laws Needed For Perfect Society?

In the article “THE NATION; Forget About Lotus Land. Thank You for Not Smoking”, the author uses Mr. Diamond’s experiences to show the conflict between Smoking Regulation and No Smoking Regulation in California, Mr. Diamond himself was a Smoking Regulation member. Through the article, it seems like the Smoking Regulation party had won, and successfully passed the restaurant smoking ban law. Even though the law had passed but the people in California seems not so happy with it, because many people think that smoking is a very personal thing, it should not be regulated by laws. Toward the challenges from his opponents, Mr. Diamond said: “In California we do our own thing; I believe in that very strongly”. “But you have to have regulation. You have to tell people what to do because we don’t have a perfect society.” In other words, Mr. Diamond believe that perfect society is people have conscious of what they should do and not, such as smoking. But in his mind California people don’t have that conscious, so that’s why they need laws to restrict people who smoke. I think Mr. Diamond’s view of perfect society is very different to Xenophon’s view of society. Xenophon once wrote “Lycurgus, who gave them the laws that they obey, and to which they owe their prosperity, I do regard with wonder; and I think that he reached the utmost limit of wisdom.” This clearly tells us that Xenophon is in favor of people under laws control, and that formed the perfect society. I think their thoughts of perfect society does not really fit into the modern world since Mr. Diamond’s thought is not realistic and Xenophon’s thought is only telling the good side of the rules if you read further in the passages. For me, I’m in favor of Xenophon thought that perfect society should be the world that under laws control, but I don’t think the laws should be made in one person’s hand. Mr. Diamond’s thought of perfect society is too fantastic for me, so the modern world is totally fine for me now.


Seth Mydans. “THE NATION; Forget About Lotus Land. Thank You for Not Smoking. ” 8 Aug.1993.http://go.galegroup.com.ezproxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu:2048/ps/retrieve.dotabID=T004&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&searchResultsType=SingleTab&searchType=BasicSearchForm&currentPosition=17&docId=GALE%7CA174663068&docType=Article&sort=Relevance&contentSegment=&prodId=SPN.SP01&contentSet=GALE%7CA174663068&searchId=R4&userGroupName=nysl_me_brookcol&inPS=true 17 Sep. 2017

Being Perfectionist Sometimes Isn’t Positive

When we think about “perfect society”, we all think as having everything perfect and there is nothing wrong. We all thing think “perfect society” is best and nothing need to be changed.

An article from the New York Times “SCHOOL DISASTERS” states, “While “educators” are quick to seize upon the defects of students, parents and society, as if that automatically vindicates the schools, the fact is that if our public schools had perfect students, perfect parents, and a perfect society, these schools would still be failing because of the three R’s that they do not teach – and the politically correct propaganda that they teach instead.” This example basically explains about how sometimes having perfect everything isn’t perfect. Also, having everything perfect isn’t perfect because, in the reading, it explains how even if the school had perfect parents, students, and society but the school would still fall behind because they don’t the students the three R’s but instead teach the propaganda. Furthermore, the speaker believes a perfect society to have is that the speaker wants the blacks to spend more time on school than sports or other activity. The speaker also spoke about how getting rid of racial hype will also help to protect the blacks students from keeping them from destroying their future. The speaker seems to be lacking in the present society which they live in because of the speaker worries about the future of black students. I feel like I don’t live in the society as this speaker. I feel like the society I live has more people that are trying to be highly educated. And also I don’t agree because since the article is already 14 years old which means so much have changed overtime. Moreover, Xenophon would have disagreed. In the reading “Xenophon and Aristotle” it states, “In the other Greek states parents who profess to give their sons the best education place their boys under the care and control of a moral tutor as soon as they can understand what it said to them, and send them to a school to learn letters, music and the exercises of the wrestling-ground.”( Xenophon’s Constitution of the Lacedaemonians). This example shows how boys get the better/best education which makes society not perfect.

“SCHOOL DISASTERS.” New York Post [New York, NY], 1 Mar. 2003, p. 17. New York State Newspapers, http://go.galegroup.com.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu:2048/ps/retrieve.do?tabID=T004&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&searchResultsType=SingleTab&searchType=BasicSearchForm&currentPosition=4&docId=GALE%7CA98268168&docType=Article&sort=Relevance&contentSegment=&prodId=SPN.SP01&contentSet=GALE%7CA98268168&searchId=R1&userGroupName=nysl_me_brookcol&inPS=true


Mantaha Mannan, Team Vulcan

Supergirl and Xenophobia

Xenophobia is a problem that has been around for many years. It is the fear of outsiders, of something unknown and unlike yourself. It’s closely related to racism, because fear of difference can lead to treatment of said outsiders in a negative way. This issue has been tackled by many people from different angles.

The CW show “Supergirl” aired an episode (2×03, “Welcome to Earth”) in which Mon-el, an alien from Krypton’s twin planet Daxam, has arrived on Earth. Supergirl is suspicious of his motives, saying that if he is from Daxam then he cannot be good; she thinks he is colluding with her enemies. She tells the DEO (Department of Extra-Normal Operations) that Kryptonians have a saying about Daxamites: “May tex kolor Daxam,” which Supergirl refuses to translate, implying it is highly derogatory. The following exchange takes place between Supergirl and Mon-el; he is in a holding cell and she questions his recent actions.

Supergirl: …Your entire race thinks nothing but themselves.

Mon-El: And you would know all about my race, Kryptonian? Judging by that self-righteous glyph on your chest. Hey, so shouldn’t you already have all the answers?

Supergirl: What’s that supposed to mean?

Mon-El: Well, I know how your people feel about us. High-and-mighty, “enlightened” Krypton. Looking down on us lowly peasants ever since you attacked us with no provocation. […] You’ve already made up your mind about me. So, it seems kind of pointless to keep talking to you.

More of this scene can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Se35j9PKRE

Mon-el demonstrates his awareness of her attitude toward his people. He knows that Supergirl has condemned Mon-el simply because he is not from her planet. She stereotyped his race and jumped to conclusions about his actions. He resents her judgment but thinks he is powerless against it. This is a perfect example of how xenophobia/racism works, and the parallel to modern society is obvious. It’s clear the show intended the episode as commentary on today’s America.

Nowadays there is rampant xenophobia in the United States. Under the Trump administration, racists are proud of their misguided beliefs. All the fear of immigrants and/or terrorists is xenophobia at its extreme. A lot of right-wing Americans are afraid of the newcomers having a negative impact on their own lives, like taking their jobs or attacking them, even when there is little reason to expect such a situation. The modern political climate in America is very xenophobic.

But it’s not just nowadays that people have had this attitude. In Euripides’ “Medea,” Jason and Medea are both exiles from their respective lands, taking refuge in Corinth. The king of Corinth doesn’t trust Medea around his daughter, and although this is because she is the psychopathic ex-wife whom nobody in their right mind would trust, it’s possible it was also impacted by Creon’s subconscious mind telling him to beware this outsider. Also, in some translations, Medea asks Jason, “Whither can I fly, since all Greece hates the barbarian?” She, as an outsider, will not be welcomed anywhere, even if she leaves the place from which she has been banished.

At the time it was written, “Medea” was intended as a social commentary on Athens’ treatment of foreigners, and the Athenian belief of the superiority of native Athenians. Athenian imperial propaganda perpetuated the myth of autochthony, pretending Attica had always been populated by the same people, in much the same way Americans forget that no one has “always lived here” because life didn’t originate on this continent. “Newcomers” are simply newer than you are; at some point, your ancestors were newcomers too. Xenophobia is unfair to the victims of its warped perception because it hinges on the belief that you belong here and they do not. Really, no one “belongs” any more than anyone else.

It’s just a matter of who got there first, really. If Mon-el had landed on Earth before Supergirl, would she have been protective of Earth from him? Probably not. She would be the outsider stepping into an unfamiliar setup. Supergirl’s mistrust and suspicion stemmed from her prior integration into Earth culture. When American citizens are concerned about newcomers, they forget that their family was once in the same position, coming off the boat or plane into a country filled with people who already had their lives set in place. Would they dare say those other people don’t belong here?

Xenophobia is an issue, deeply rooted in flawed perception of yourself and others, that has unfortunately been around for thousands of years.

Chaya, team Venus