François 1 & Wilmington Charter : A New Look

06 janvier 2019

The Water Rush

The unequal access to water in the world

Water is a vital resource. It answers to human beings’ fundamental needs. But it is also a key element of agriculture development, energy, industries and tourism. Every single human, every single country needs water to live. 

Nowadays, water is not associated to a problem of quantity, but more to issues of access inequalities. In 2015, almost 748 million people could not have running water. It was more than 10% of the world’s population. Every day, 3,5 billion people (47% of the population) are unable to have a water of quality, so they drink an unhealthy water. The problem is that, emergent countries such as South Africa, India, China and others face probably the hugest demographic growth ever seen. So it creates incredible numbers of consumption of primary resources and especially water… 

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There are huge disparities in water access between rich and poor countries. Scientists estimate that rich states’ consumption widely exceeds vital needs. Indeed, in average, a European inhabitant uses 200 L of water per day (drinking, swimming pool, shower etc.) whereas  dwellers of developing countries only avail 10 L per day…

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What are the consequences of this uneven access ? 

Every minute, 15 people are dying of disease contamination because of dirty water (diarrhea, cholera, typhoid fever etc…) and the lack of sanitary aids. It represents 8 million people per year, and mainly young children. 

Furthermore, water stress makes this resource extremely precious. After the “black gold” with the petrol, we currently talk about a “blue gold”. Geopolitical conflicts arise between states about the use of water in some rivers (Mekong, Congo, Nile, Niger etc.) located in areas with significant water deficits. Since July 28th 2010, the access to running water has been considered as a human right.   

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To conclude, water is a vital resource, but rare and fragile. We have to aware people on the fact that poor countries suffer from a lack of running water whereas rich ones like us, consume deeply too much water.

  Rich states must learn to manage water together, in close cooperation. We must fight against waste, and agriculture must develop new irrigation systems which are more water-efficient (like drip irrigation). 

 

Clarisse DUPONT 1ES3

 

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05 janvier 2019

Talking about politics...

            Meeting Our Member of Parliament

 

On November 30th, Mrs Chantoiseau’s students, were given the opportunity to meet their MP : Mrs Lacroûte. She is the Representative of the second district of « Seine-et-Marne ».

Mrs Lacroûte graduated in economics and has a master from the Sorbonne in Paris. She worked for ‘Transdev’, a bus company that was in charge of transporting students to their high schools. After that job in the private sector, she was hired by the local authorities to organize the means of transportation in the area. She was also involved in local associations. In 2008, we was elected Mayor of Nemours. And she was the only woman running for that office. In 2010, she became the chairman of the a group of cities called ‘pays de Nemours’. And in 2012, she became MP of the district. She was reelected for a second term in 2017. At the Parliament she in charge of the commission dealing with the Treasury. She belongs to the Conservative Party : ‘Les Républicains’.

 

After that presentation, Mrs Lacroûte was asked :

 

What is your opinion on the gender balance in your political party?

I consider that 20% of women in the party is not that bad. Even if it could be improved. Most women are reluctant to go in politics. The party does not reject them. On the contrary, I would say. Talking about discriminations, I must say that the allowance we have is strictly the same either you’re a man or a woman.

 

According to you why are so few women at the Parliament?

Women consider that being a politician cannot match with their family duties. But when they choose a political career, they are completely dedicated to the job. We need more female politicians. It’s time for the new generations to get involved in public life.

 

Would you say that sexism still exists in politics?

Women are discriminated not only in politics but also in companies. Each time they need to prove that they can do the job. Nothing is granted to them. Moreover, they need to speak aloud to be understood and respected. Nowadays, men know that if they drift, they will be exposed on the social media. And a scandal is always disastrous. 

 

What is your opinion about our constitution (5th Republic)?

The institutions work well. The branches are separated. And the legislative branch plays a key role. There are 2 chambers. The National Assembly (MPs) and the Senate. The bill has to be adopted by the 2 chambers. Thus, it goes from one to the other and is amended. I would say that nowadays the Treasury department intervenes more in the legislative debate than before.

 

How could we control fake news without reducing the freedom of speech?

It is a real issue. Some MPs have already made proposals. But they are not really convincing. Of course there are moderators, for instance on Facebook. But, some could disagree with the news that have been censored. I think that students should be educated at school and taught how to recognize fake news. You need to be careful with the information you post and look for the blue tick that proves that this page or profile is official and the information given objective.

 

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Maxime Mercier

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Happy New Year.... and Friends

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29 novembre 2018

ILE DE FRANCE : ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DISPARITIES

Disparities in Ile-de-France

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You certainly know that the region of Ile-De-France is not a land of complete equality. Disparities remained and have increased in different departments over the years. It’s the richest region of France but also the most unequal. In 2014, nearly one inhabitant out of six was poor, it was more than in all other metropolitan areas.  

Composed of 8 departments, highly urbanizes and welcoming 12 million inhabitants, it’s the first economic region of France with a GDP representing 31% of the national wealth. There are the wealthiest persons but also the poorest of the country in specifis zones :  10% of its population live under the poverty line. Nowadays the concentration of people in poverty situation is increasing. In consequence, the unemployment, the income, the health are getting worst. 

Poverty in Ile-De-France isn’t evenly distributed. The Level of poverty is particularly intense but this is the department of Seine-Saint-Denis (93) which ranks firts, nearly three out of ten inhabitants are poor. Most of them live in Project Houses  and are, most of the time, in situation of high precarity. In Ile-De-France, in the last 8 years, the population of poor household increased twice more than in metropolitan France. The problem of poverty is also related to health because it causes obesity for instance.

Population living in the west of the region are less exposed to the poverty because the social and economic context is more favourable. Unemployment rates are the lowest of the region and the population is rather wealthy. 

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In Ile-De-France school failure is higher than before. The region is equal or less performant than the other regions of France whereas it is socially more favoured. In some areas only one out of five students go to middle school. Those inequalities are linked to the neighbourhoods. A student from an inner city succeeds twice less than a student from a favoured district. This can also be explained by the fact that skilled teachers prefer to work in favoured areas. So, districts who are the most disadvantaged have a majority of novice teachers with limited-time contracts. 

 

But disparities are also in health. Ile-De-France is the region of France where the life expectancy is the highest but not in all departments. You live an average of 2 years more in the Hauts-Seine than in Seine-Saint-Denis. The region also has risks concerning pollution, insalubrity of housing and the pollution of sites and grounds.

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Raphaël Sylvain

 

 

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WW2 AND THE GENOCIDE

MAUS

Maus is a graphic novel written and drawn by Art Spiegelman, who is a cartoonist.

This cartoon is very different from the others. 

Spiegelman's work received a special Pulitzer prize in 1992 and was translated into eighteen different languages . This unprecedented work, of 295 pages, mixes closely two narrative wefts in two different periods. In this book Art Spiegelman tells how, in the 1970s, he decided to retie with his father Vladek, and to collect its testimony of Polish Jews having lived through the 1930-1940s'. It bases itself on the testimony of the author's father, a Polish Jew who lived through those events. There is a constant back and fourth between the present (moment when the father and the son speak to each other) and the past (memories of the father). The auther decided to make a comic strip out of his family story.

The work is a testimony of Vladek, the father of the author, a Polish Jew persecuted with all his family by the Nazis during the Second World War. He and his wife were deported to the extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau ( in Poland ) and thankfully they survived.
Art's mother committed suicide a few years before her son began to carry out a work on their lives and survival.
The text amplifies the violence of the images because it repeats the situation of humiliation and dehumanization of the transported convicts shown in the cartoon thumbnails.

The use of  black white gives a journalistic and / or documentary aspect to the story; it also participates in the creation of an oppressive atmosphere. The author chose the black and white to show how difficult the character’s lives were.

We can understand that cruel situation thanks to this artistic choice of expressing the prisoners' pain and suffering.

Why Did art Spiegelman want to tell the story of his father?

Spiegelman told the story of his father deported to keep a track of the suffering of the victims. He felt he had to tell what his relatives went through so as not to forget and so that such things would not be repeated. It is what we call the duty of remembrance : moral obligation to remember victims and their suffering. So as to pass this memory to the future generations.


Why did he choose to use the comic strip to tell this story? 

 

The author uses the cartoon format because it is popular in the USA and in the World and easy for all. People can quickly understand  the message which is given. It is a medium particularly appreciated by young people who did not experience the events but who nevertheless have to remember mistakes committed in the past so as not to repeat them.

 

 The author used as a stylistic called zoomorphism which is the trend to attribute animal characteristics to someone  (whether it is from the point of view of the behavior, of the morphology, motivations, representation). 

 

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« Maus » in German means «Mouse » and in his cartoon nazis were represented as cats, to create a metaphor of the game of «  the cat and the mouse ». The representation of the Poles as porks (inspired by the character Jack, Lonney Tunes) aroused several negative reactions among their descendants who claimed to be victims of Nazis in the same way as the Jews; Art Spiegelman answered that he was leaning on the testimonies repeated by his father who saw Poles persecuting Jews.

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Other nationalities, are symbolized by cultural stereotypes: the French, the eaters of « frog » legs, are frogs and the British, the amateurs of fish and chips are fishes, and the Swedes, with whom the Spiegelman family found refuge post-war years, are mooses because the animal, rather nice, is native of the country.

 

Author's explained how Germans were organized to kill as many Jews as possible per day.

These methods were inhuman but unfortunately they were used in some extermination camps killing approximately 1.4 millions of Jews.

 Alexandra Galea

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VALUE-ADDED : THE GROUNDS FOR SOCIO-ECONOMIC DISPARITIES?

Inequalities in value-added sharing

 

 

Production generates income (money that is regularly collected) because it is necessary to pay all those who participated directly or indirectly in the production. Productive organizations must pay those who brought the factors of production as workers, but also the capital contributors (the bank for example, if a company borrowed to invest), as well as the state (in the form of taxes on production) which provides the necessary infrastructure for production and non-market services (transport network, communications)

 

Added value is the true wealth created by a company. It is the value that the company adds to the intermediate goods and services that it originally had (goods and services that are used to produce other goods and services and that are destroyed or processed during production). (First material, energy). 

 

 

 

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Apart from taxes on production and social security contributions, the added value is distributed in particular between labor remuneration: wages, and remuneration of capital: profit. To simplify the presentation, we approximate the profits using the gross operating surplus.

 

 The added value will therefore be divided between:

 

-work-related expenses: the compensation of employees contains wages and social security contributions.

Gross wages reward employees for their work. They include net wages, employee and employer contributions, bonuses and benefits in kind.

Social security contributions are compulsory deductions calculated on the basis of wages paid to the social security system (maternal, child, unemployment, old-age and housing benefits)

 

-The production-related taxes paid to the state that helped the firm to produce by providing services and infrastructure (police protection roads)

 

- what does not go to the employees or to the State remains momentarily in the accounts of the producers and constitutes the gross surplus of exploitation.  

 

In class we did an exercise that consisted of putting ourselves in the shoes of a business leader to see what would be the sharing of the most beneficial value added for him

 

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The sharing of added value that is most favorable to our interests can, in micro-economic cases, has positive consequences. In fact, at the micro-economic level, that is to say at company level, an increase in gross operating surplus would be the consequence of the increase in the margin rate, which at the same time leads to an increase in gross savings that would give the company the opportunity to save and invest more to produce more and therefore buy more intermediate consumption . All those increases allow the company a larger production capacity and therefore to be more competitive.

At the macroeconomic level, that is to say, at the national level, the State can consequently increase productivity, collect more taxes on production and profits. The company can also hire  more employees and thus lower the unemployment rate in France.

In conclusion a sharing of value added that we suggest, is more conducive to economic growth.

Valeria Lopez et Marie Galea


 

 

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28 novembre 2018

WW1 : A TREASURE HUNT

THE TRENCHES : CRAFTS AND ARCHEOLOGY

 

On November 24th, Mrs Nivelle, a History teacher and archeologist amateur made a lecture on WW1. She has been collecting trench warfare items since 1991 and displayed part of her collection for that event. She wanted the audience to handle the objects which is impossible when you are in a museum.

 

Our speaker started by explaining that the privates were supported in those crafts by the military authorities. And that every war (WWI, Indochina…) has its specific things. First of all we saw shells that had been engraved with flowers (pansy symbolises : the journey home, poppies or cornflowers), the names of the battlefields and the date. Those shells had different sizes and were turned most of the time in vases or cups. To sculpt those objects the ‘poilus’ (‘tommies’ in English) used the tools they had, some that they could find in abandoned houses and the others were sent by their families. They also used bullets which they would turned into paper knives. Their imagination and skills were really amazing. They also made ashtrays, tobacco pouches or even toys. Those items were in brass most of the time or in aluminum. Right after an offensive, there were tons of empty shells on the battlefield. Thus, raw materials were very easy to get. We also saw many propaganda postcards and understood the the leaving conditions of the soldiers and the feelings of the ‘home front’ as well. 

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Moreover, Mrs Nivelle said that the historians and archeologists were now exploring a new domain: the dustbins. Indeed, when the soldiers were stationed in a specific area, like a quarry, they would pile up their trash at the same place. Making an inventory of those bins, scientists discovered what the privates used to eat and what were their habits. It seems that they were mailed food from their relatives. Sometimes basic cans like sardines or even more precious ones, for instance caviar. The Germans soldiers used a great deal of mustard on their tasteless food and ointment for their feet. 

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To finish with, our lecturer talked about archeology. She said that she had been collecting items in a quarry using a metal detector. She found flasks, helmets, rifles (Lebel, the French one and Mauser, the German one), caltrops… It looks like a treasure hunt and we can imagine our grateful you can be when you find such items.

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To conclude with, we would like to thanks our speaker for her involvement. Even if the time for celebration seems over, she shared with us her passion for that war of attrition and the living conditions of the soldiers. 

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26 novembre 2018

The Cherokee Tribes in American History

The Cherokees

                                              

The Cherokees are a North American people who lived in the eastern and southeastern United States before being forced to move to the Ozark Plateau.

They were part of the so-called organization of the Five Civilized Tribes. Ethnologists estimate that there are now between 5 and 7 million people of Cherokee descent.

                

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       Discovered by the Spanish explorer Herando de Soto in 1540, on the outskirts of the Appalachians (now northern, southern and tense states), the Cherokees migrated in prehistoric times and are therefore native to Texas and northern Mexico, as archaeological and linguistic studies show. Following a smallpox epidemic, it is estimated that the number of members of the tribe in 1715 was eleven thousand.

From 1736 to 1743, the German Christian utopian Priber travelled to Cherokee territory and organized as "prime minister" the Indian resistance to the English. During the War of Independence, repeated violations of the treaty by white settlers led some Cherokees to leave the Cherokee Nation. These dissidents were called the Chickamauga. Led by Chief Dragging Canoe, the Chickamauga allied themselves with the Shawnees and attacked the settlements, assisted by the British.

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The Cherokees were forcibly displaced from their ancestral lands in northern Georgia and the Carolinas to the Indian territory of Oklahoma, mainly due to the gold rush around Dahlonega in the 1830s. The deportation of the Cherokee people is called the path of tears. The Tears Trail, an important event in Cherokee history, refers to a tragic episode in American history in the first half of the 19th century. In 1831 and 1838, the American government decided to authoritatively displace several Amerindian peoples, including the Cherokeees, west of the Mississippi, to give the land to the white settlers.

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The State of Georgia introduced repressive laws and put Indian lands up for sale in 1834. Indigenous people are not allowed to testify in court: they cannot defend themselves against land grabbing by Georgian settlers. The Cherokees were first deported to Arkansas, then to Oklahoma: this episode is known as the Tear Track in 1838-39, because the treatment of the Cherokees raised a real scandal in American opinion. It was General Winfield Scott who forcibly disrupted the Cherokees: according to historian Grant Foreman, 4000 of the 18,000 Cherokees who went into exile died. Several hundred people hid in the mountains: a white man bought them land on which they still live; today, Georgia is trying to redeem itself by rehabilitating the high places of Cherokee memory.

In 1838, federal troops began evacuating the Cherokees by force on the orders of President Martin Van Buren. Several hundred of them took refuge in the mountains of North Carolina, bought land and settled in this state; they are the ancestors of the current eastern strip. Separated from their families, gathered in camps where drought will kill a thousand and five hundred people, the Cherokees suffered forced migration at sea ("Water Routes", three convoys totalling 2800 people) and on land ("Land Routes"), by land and rail: the largest migration left on 16 October 1838.

By March 1839, all the surviving Cherokees had arrived at their new location to the west. Once in Indian territory, the Cherokees reformed their government under John Ross (August 1839). In September, the Cherokee Constitution was adopted, based on the model of the United States. "Tahlequah" is the capital of the Cherokee nation. As early as the 1840s, the Cherokees began to rebuild their nation: they built the first cities in Oklahoma. They started their newspaper written in English and Cherokee and their mixed schools. They built new farms and began to prosper. Some may have been shocked by this willingness and ability to (re)build because at the time, people were still talking about non-human, soulless indigenous people. During the Civil War, the Cherokees sided with the Confederates (with General Stand Watie) and a post-war treaty with the United States would even grant freedom to the black slaves of the Cherokee members. The rest of the territory was divided by the federal government and, in 1891, the territorial extension west of the tribe, the "Cherokee Band" was sold to the United States and then, in 1893. The Cherokee Nation government was dissolved and its people obtained American citizenship when Oklahoma became a federal state in 1907, but they lost the right to elect their own leader.

Wars with the Plains tribes were one of the determining factors that forced the United States to conclude treaties whose content it did not determine alone. However, these tribes could not resist the permanent expansionist pressure of the Whites, and the Indian resistance was quickly crushed by the army. Various leaders were appointed by the presidents until 1970, when the Cherokees regained the right to elect their government through a decree of Congress signed by President Richard Nixon. W. W. W. Keeler was the first elected chief of the Oklahoma Cherokees..... Ross Swimmer, Wilma Mankiller, Joe Byrd and currently Chad Smith have succeeded him. The Cherokee economy, like that of the other tribes in the southeast, is mainly based on agriculture (corn, beans, squash) and hunting (fallow deer, bears, moose), and in the early 19th century, the Cherokees showed surprising adaptation to Western institutions, both in their government organization and in the adoption of livestock and agricultural methods, including the planting system. In the 1820s, Sequoyah, a member of the Cherokee tribe, invented an 85-character alphabet to transcribe the Cherokee language. He never learned to speak, read or write in English. Literacy was developing rapidly and, in 1828, the first Amerindian daily newspaper, the "Cherokee Phoenix", appeared. A century ago, the number of Amerindians was limited to a few hundred thousand and their disappearance was feared. According to the 2000 census, more than 720,000 Cherokees and Amerindians represent the fastest growing American minority. The tribe is also represented in Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee. "Keetoowah Nighthawk Society" is the spiritual heart of the nation. In Oklahoma, traditional Cherokee culture has been significantly weakened: Cherokees live on or off reserves, scattered in urban centres or isolated rural areas. The eastern band has maintained its way of life, including crafts (basketry), while other tribes live on the Qualla reserve in North Carolina. Today, Cherokees work in many sectors of activity, including fishing, industry and business. Finally, it should be noted that some tribes have become considerably richer since the 1988 law allowing them to build casinos, each logically trying to take advantage of its genetic status: this may explain the sharp increase in the Indian population and the intensity of the debate on the possibility of claiming its Indian origins. The Cherokee Nation continues to seek each other, between popular conservatism and adaptation to the modern world.

 Tillian Teixeira

 

 

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25 novembre 2018

FRENCH DEMOCRACY

 

 

 

 The French Constitution (Vth Republic)

After the May 1958 crisis in Alger (a French Colony), the general Charles De Gaulle came to power and was appointed President of the Council (sort of Prime Minister) on June 1rst 1958. He was given the full powers during 6 months to restore order and to prepare a new constitution. Indeed, De Gaulle rejected the legislative regime (legislative branch more important than the excutive one) and he wanted the president to play a key role in the new republic. This crisis was triggered by the coup in Algeria. This project was approved by referendum (80% said yes) on September 28th and October 4th. It became the new consitution. The nation went from the IVth Republic to the Vth Republic.

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Now, the president names the Prime Minister. He is in command of the armies and he can dissolve the National Assembly. He is the leader of the French foreign policy. He does not belong to a political party anymore. He can organize a referundum if he wants. After the general elections, de Gaulle was elected the first president of the Vth Republique in december 1958. At first, De Gaulle had been chosen to solve the Algerian crisis but he demanded that a new constitution should be given to France. It put an end to the instability of the government that was characteristic of a legislative regime.

 

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Since 1962, the president has been elected by direct universal suffrage (citizens are French people over 18 year old). So, it gives him extra prestige because he is elected directly by the people. In this Republic, powers are separated. We elect the Members of Parliament (those who vote the laws) who sit at the National Assembly. MPs and Senators represent the French Parliament and hold the legislative power. Whereas, the president and government hold the executive power (they execute the laws voted by the Parliament). The constitution became a semi-presidential type of regime since the referundum of 1962. This Republic has been the most stable since the IIIrd Republique (1870-1940).

Octave Frenoy et Camille Chantoiseau

 

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NATIVE AMERICANS

We do not know enough about the history of the Native Americans which is nevertheless very important and a part of the History of America.

Thus we are going to discover these people's history throughout the centuries.

First of all they were named the “Indians” and this term remained during several years, because Christopher Colombus,  who discovered a continent in 1492, thought he had reached India while it was in fact America. 

 

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Natives were numerous and lived in various places in Northern America. Here there is a map where we can see different tribes which constitute the country.

Until today, they went trough many wars and discriminations. The Indian nation was decimated over almost four centuries by the European civilization: how has this extreme been reached? 

These people knew numerous battles, bloodier and bloodier… For example the massacre of Wounded Knee. It was a military operation which took place on December 29th, 1890 in South Dakota, in the United States. Between 150 and 300 Natives of the Lakora Miniconjous tribe were killed by the army of the United States.

This tragic episode shows the atrocities of white men against Natives. It also marks the end of the Indian War. 

 

Today this war is over, but Natives American still live in poverty, isolation, discrimination, etc. Natives know the highest rate of suicide, of drugs and of alcohol consumption… Employment is very complicated. They are set apart from the society by living in special reservations. 

Some personalities, nowadays, fight against these disparities and these injustices. In 1973, Marlon Brando received the Oscar for the best actor in the Leading Role for his Don Corleone's unforgettable service in the Godfather. Absentee of the ceremony, he sent on stage a young Apache actress, and asked her to refuse the reward for him. This was a strong act of the actor, who intended to denounce the negative image of the Natives Americans in Hollywood movies.

 

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There is also a Disney movie named “Pocahontas” about a young Native girl. This movie is an adaptation for children of the story of the invasions of Europeans in Northern America.

The main character is Pocahontas, she preaches peace between Natives and Europeans, but Europeans want to exploit the ground of Natives tribe's territories. I think that it is   a good adaptation for children because we can see how crual Europeans were, and how Natives suffered from it. It sends a good message and it teaches American children not to agree with what they learn in school. 

We must keep in mind that some groups of people, in the entire world,  are discriminated against, oppressed and suffer because of this unfair situation.  We should protest even by small acts, as write an article to tell the world.

Noor Benseba, Emmanuelle Quillien, Alma Mendoza 

 

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