A little about Mario Depeine, Sr.

As an educator I get the opportunity to get a small glimpse of how our society is shaping up. Children come into the classroom with all types of perspectives. A lot of the perspectives are a result of their environment. Some of those perspectives reflect the home life or lack of. Some reflect the street life and some just reflect the media that the children are exposed to.

Middle School children are just starting out in life. You see how their characters and personalities are shaping up. Many can be molded or adjusted easily others are a lot more resistant to change depending on their circumstance.

I work in an urban district. While there I see many interesting and at times disheartening things. Hopefully my experiences as an educator can shed some light on what we can do to better prepare our children for the future.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Racism in America

If you had a meter to measure the "racist" attitudes of the United States of America today, what do you think you would rate it as? If one (1) meant "very little or no racism among the majority of the people" and ten (10) being "a lot of racism among the majority of the people" what would you rate the current "mood" of our nation? A rating of five (5) would me in the middle, neither high nor low.

Are we in America working toward common goals or are there entirely different and opposing agendas at work? Are races of various kinds seeking to understand each other more or are they simply remaining in their respective "corners?" To me racism starts when a culture is primarily dependent and driven on the common appearance (skin color) of a group. The group has an affinity to each other and the members make it a point to engage in similar functions with each other. The more they remain with each other, the more they learn to develop similar language, likes, dislikes, etc. They start to develop a culture, initially based on the skin color and then later on their shared values and experiences. As they interact with each other, they may irrationally believe that the race that "binds" them together is actually superior to the other existing races. The thinking can become one where one may conclude that all that belongs to their race is superior and worthwhile, while the attributes of the other races are inferior, and useless.

Too many people make many assumptions simply on race. One may conclude that if the person is "white" he/she may not want to be with a black person and vice versa. Another may conclude that if a person is black, he/she may "love" hip hop. One may also conclude that if a person is white, he may "hate" hip hop. The list can go on and on. Racism can develop simply from culture that is maintained and driven by a person's identity with a group that has a common skin color or tone.

The reality, however, is no skin color no matter how light or dark intrinsically determines anything about a person's contribution to their society. The culture and what is done with it will determine how much or little a group or groups will contribute negatively or positively to society. A "better America" would result, I believe, if as people, we accept and admit that the race is not so much what defines us but more so the culture that we develop based on the groups that drive our identity.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Depeine MediaWorks: Health Care Reform Repeal? Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness?


It is sad to see that Republicans are pushing to repeal the health care reforms that have been signed into law by the Obama administration. This has been such a need in America for many decades. So many people are suffering because of nonexistent health coverage. Many are dying prematurely and unnecessarily because healthcare has simply become a "luxury" that they cannot afford to have.

Many are working at or below minimum wage and they will never be able to afford to pay for individual or group coverage. Are we saying as a nation that the "poor" are not worth the basics of citizenship (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - US Declaration of Independence). Are they not to have life? Should they have a reduced life expectancy because they happen to be on the "wrong" side of the economic divide that exist in our great country? Should our elected officials be well taken care of while the average citizen scrambles to find "home remedies" just to stave off symptoms that eventually will lead to more serious health issues? I do not agree when the lives of American citizens are left to deteriorate and expire when our elected officials can do something to prevent that situation.

As far as I know, all the members of Congress (Congressman/woman and Senators) are very well insured. They are our elected officials and they are well compensated. These members of Congress, as far as I know, have received yearly raises. They have no concern about health coverage or financial stability while in office.

Why is it that these elected officials enjoy such a privilege to serve the people and have generous health coverage for themselves and their families, yet they don't want to extend that same privilege to the Americans that they serve? At the very least, they should be willing to forfeit their health coverage just to understand what it is to live without insurance. Perhaps they would have a little more empathy as they enthusiastically run to repeal a provision that is designed to help so many Americans and reduce exorbitant health costs associated with the uninsured.

We must expect more from our elected officials. I don't believe that elected officials should be so comfortable in their compensations (insurance, raises, etc.) that they "forget" what it is like to serve those who are less fortunate then they are. If you are quick to prevent others the opportunity to get health coverage, then you (Congress member) should be willing to forfeit the coverage that you so happily accept and take advantage of.

New Jersey Rally of May 22, 2010

New Jersey Rally of May 22, 2010
Young ones making their voices heard.