Day 4…human dignity and race relations

14 05 2007

The day began with me oversleeping. I didn’t wake up until 8:50 and our lecture began at 9. So I had to quickly brush my teeth and run to the lecture room. Luckily, I slept in a t-shirt and adidas pants and had croissants from the market that I could eat for breakfast.

Our speaker was Mr. Troy Davis of Harvard University, and he considers himself a “democracy engineer”. Basically, he feels that there’s a market for engineers of democracy worldwide and he wants to be the supplier. He also feels that the European Union is in a place to be a worldwide ethical superpower because they are so young and do not have any “blood on their hands”. He mentioned a few basic principles that the EU needs to follow for their attempt at ethical superpower-ness to be a success: believe that all humans have equal dignity and believe in the sovereignty of the people. It was kinda weird to me. I didn’t agree with all he said. In my opinion, he felt that the EU was basically starting fresh today and that we should not dwell on their pass indiscretions. When Justin, an anthropology student, voiced his skepticism with his model due to the EU’s inaction in dealing with genocide in Rwanda and the individual country’s being the reason for much of the dissonance in Africa, Mr. Davis’ response was that we should not live in the past. Davis felt that we should continue to allocate more funds to democracy building, and not to the military.

Justin asked a follow-up question, still dealing with European colonialism in Africa, and was met with some rolled eyes from a few of my trip-mates. I knew it was coming. They felt that he was pushing a point that was irrelevant, and he felt that they didn’t understand his point. Either way, I knew this was gonna happen. The name of the trip is “Managing/Understanding Cultural Diversity in the European Union”. Why participate in the trip if you really have no intention of being open-minded to other cultures and opinions? I just don’t get it. I’m not on anyone’s side…I just wish everyone would be listeners more often, and less-often retaliators. Of course, we brought Western ideas and ideals here with us. We’re from the West! But, the West way clearly isn’t always the best way. To say the least, I’m very frustrated right now. I must make the best of this trip. I hope they can to.

But back to Troy Davis, I kinda feel that we may have all been punk’d! I can’t find anything on him within Harvard’s website. Uh oh!! I did find the World Citizen Foundation which seems to be his organization.

Pics later. We’re headed to the European Counsel in about an hour.
And my doggone fuse in my plug converter just blew so I may be out of blog commission for a minute. No way to charge my computer.

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2 responses

14 05 2007
Da President

WHAT UP COOP!! I’m glad to see that you are making the most out of your oppotunity.

I agree with your statement that you have to have an open mind coming into this. However, you and your trip mates shouldn’t look at him as an antagonist. If they invested this much into bringing you guys over, they should also be open minded about answering your inquiries into such controversial subjects as Rwanda and not be so dismissive, either.

Just playin’ devil’s advocate, that’s all. Later

14 05 2007
Kyle

…and you’re surprised because?

I once told a friend that I was going to put something behind me.

He said nah…that’s what “those” people do. (you know me well enough to know who “those” people are). You need to keep it beside you so everytime you look away it can slap you back in the face.

We were in 4th grade at the time.

Some people are intent on not being reminded of the past, even at the expense of possibly reliving it.

Uncomfortable questions are usually the best ones to ask.

Keep us updated

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