My father once told me, “The only thing you have to do in this world is die and pay taxes”. Thoreau didn’t pay his for 6 years and was placed in jail for a period of one night and even then he believed that he was freer than the townsmen.
My professor and I spoke about Thoreau’s essay, Resistance to Civil Government, that he wrote in his over night stay in jail and came to the conclusion that we have a disagreement on a few items. My professor disagrees with Thoreau for based on what we have talked about and read he believes that the goal of a good government are the most basic and fundamental principles that help the country. If a country does not have these there is no control or laws on which one may need to follow in order to have a successful government. Our legal system was made so that we could enforce change. If we choose to to ignore this there is no progress in government. I have only a few agreements in Thoreau’s essay and that is on his refusal on paying the church and his opinion on voting. I agreed with Thoreau in the matter of not paying taxes and that is only because he refused to pay the church that he did not even attend, but they demanded a payment.
I wouldn’t want to be paying for something, or in this case someplace, that I do not use or go to. In both cases of paying the church and the six years of poll taxes in which he refused to pay someone else did for him. I disagree with this person(s) who did this for him for I believe that one should pay for their “bills” and when they do not they go to collections or in this case jail and stay there until it is paid. For Thoreau’s opinion on voting he states, “Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it.”(Thoreau 12) Thoreau saw voting as a gamble. He also saw it as whether the majority will be right or wrong. When I use to vote, I assumed that I was voting for the right person based on what was told to me and presented to me given the circumstances and available options, but I also accept that who I saw as wrong might be in office only because the majority voted that way.
I believed that when voting I could choose the best from the worst. As Thoreau has stated, “They take too much time, and a man’s life will be gone” (Thoreau 20), meaning voting is slow and often ineffective to bring about change for there may be little left to be changed. In the film, Do Not Resist by Director Craig Atkinson, a city council meeting on August 12, 2013 was filmed in Concord, New Hampshire on the voting and purchasing of a “Bearcat”. The citizens of Concord made statements to the City Council that purchasing a “Bearcat” was not necessary or even needed there. One citizen even said, “So the idea that we should have that just because its free money. Its not free money. Its all of our money and its more then just all of our money.
It’s debt. And debt is a form of slavery. The more this country goes into debt. The heavier the chains on all of us.” (16:14-54) Heavy huh? Makes you think about when someone in politics says its free why not get it. I go into question mode. Where did the money come from then? Is it a fund put in by others? Did you put on a fundraiser to get these items that you are stating are “free” but then find out its federal government money and then a light bulb goes on and its not longer free money cause its tax money that we as hard working citizens put into and so WE are buying this so-called free “Bearcat”.
Both of us agree that there is a need to reform the government and the means of accomplishing it is??? Both of us want a better government and to do so one must talk instead of just letting it happen. If a law is broken, a person must accept the consequences, which may be the penalty of jail time.
the two movies and the essays, write a paper on Race Relations in America. 1500 words, make sure to incorporate things from the two movies and all the readings.
Watch these first. How the US Works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bf3CwYCxXw and Stop Pretending ‘This Is Not Who We Are’ https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/08/opinion/capitol-riot-america.html?fbclid=IwAR3JZ5bkfFH32yE89V8xrbNrn6O2baLVxeygMNbscOQc07FfuNXMLKofF-k Take notes, then WATCH: 1. 13th (13TH | Netflix Official Site) 2. Central Park Five https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2380247/ (Find it on Netflix / Amazon / FIT Library via Kanopy) or When They See Us, Netflix Read: Denial Is the Heartbeat of America Denial Is the Heartbeat of America – Alternative Formats Ibram X. Kendi Who Gets to Be Afraid in America? Ibram X. Kendi, Director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University Who Gets to Be Afraid in America? Ibram X. Kendi, Director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University – Alternative Formats The Injustice of This Moment Is Not an ‘Aberration’From mass incarceration to mass deportation, our nation remains in deep denial. By Michelle Alexander The Injustice of This Moment Is Not an ‘Aberration’From mass incarceration to mass deportation, our nation remains in deep denial. By Michelle Alexander – Alternative Formats The Double Standard of the American Riot The Double Standard of the American Riot – Alternative Formats https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/10/the-first-white-president-ta-nehisi-coates/537909/ http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2018/02/22/when-government-drew-the-color-line/ http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2018/02/22/when-government-drew-the-color-line/ – Alternative Formats NYT: White Identity Politics Aren’t Going Anywhere NYT: White Identity Politics Aren’t Going Anywhere – Alternative Formats The Real Threat Paul Krugman
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