Preparing for Client Launch

rocket launch over a businessman hand

This week was our last week of preparation for our client launch. We started by reviewing all of our work and revising it to make sure it is error-free for the final turn-in. The focus for client launch week is transmedia writing which can be utilized across multiple platforms. During this preparation period I also began to brainstorm what my objective will be and how I will achieve it. I also had to gain access to my client’s Facebook page so that I can measure traffic on their page. My goal for this last assignment is to create a measurable increase in traffic and likes on my client’s Facebook page which will hopefully lead to more customers for my client. This is probably the most important one we’ve done in this class because we are going to actually implement a strategy and measure the results. The client launch assignment will be the most applicable to real-life work.

Here is a link to my client’s Facebook page to view what I do during launch week

My Personal Experiences

My grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease when I was a senior in high school. Throughout my college career my grandfather battled these two diseases until he recently passed away this September. It was hard on my family and I to endure this lose. When I decided to do some of my service hours at a nursing home I was a bit nervous about being around people who also had Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s because of the effects it might have on me and the emotions that might arise. However, it was actually very meaningful and helpful to be around these people. Being able to visit with these elders who are going through the same diseases as my grandfather really helped me realize that this is a very common and hard process to go through. I loved being able to relate to the families and sympathize with them. I felt so full of joy and warmth because I felt like I was giving a small amount of joy and happiness to these struggling patients.

Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue

When Toby Keith dropped his single, Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue (Angry American), it caused a lot of backlash. There was a lot of controversy over this song even from within his own genre of music. Written after the attacks of September 11, 2001, this song consisted of emotions and feelings of a southern American man that was frankly a bit pissed off and hurting for the state of his homeland.

The song consisted of strongly worded threats and colorful analogies. We’ll put a boot in your ass, it’s the American way was probably among the most popular. With phrases that highlighted the United States being a victim that COULD and WOULD stand up for itself, Keith gave a war cry to those at home supporting the battle, and those running to the front lines.

This big dog will fight when you rattle it’s cage was another lyric that gave strong images favoring the United States coming through the wreckage of an attack. Word choice such as a mighty sucker punch came flying in from somewhere in the back gave light to what Keith saw as a random pain caused by a source that gave no warning or reason.

Overall, Toby Keith releasing this song was instrumental to some. He was encouraged by military men, and became a personal favorite for openings to President George W. Bush. The song created strife with other singers in the country music genre that thought his work was too outspoken and painted the country music genre in a bad light. However, with the point of his rallying cry being just that, it would seem that the message of courage in the fight was successfully communicated.

Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue (Angry American) Music Video

Speed Dating… for Your Cousin?

Yes, that is exactly what we did.  Except the ratio was a bit off…three to five American girls would swarm around an international student.

I had already met my cousin, though.  She sat by me in mass earlier that week, and I listened to her say the Our Father in Spanish.  She just didn’t know it yet.

Once the match-making event rolled around, I saw her standing with one of the guys I met at the salsa making class I had attended earlier in the semester.  I remembered her by her hair.

This is starting to sound more and more like a creepy love story, but I don’t know what else you could call it.  I had a cousin crush on her.  And after I introduced myself and we started talking, I wanted to be with nobody else.

But they split us up.  We had to separate into groups based on a little quiz we took.  In other words, I was systematically prohibited from being in the same group as the one girl I wanted to be my OU Cousin.

“Oh, I forgot to mention, if you have found your cousin, you may go ahead upstairs to be paired up within the system!”

This was it, my chance to join Sara in the holy unity that is OU Cousins.  I rushed around the room until I found her, I ripped her from her partner for whatever activity they were doing, and while holding her shoulder, I popped the question: “Will you be my cousin?”

My heart was racing, she could say anything!  There was no obligation to say yes to the first person who asked you.  But she did.  Sara said yes to being my cousin.

And the months since have been incredible.  We both come from warmer climates, so I got to take her shopping for winter clothes.  We carved pumpkins together, ate hamburgers together, danced together…

But Sara really deserves some recognition.  In all these activities, I have proven to be very American – especially in the way I dance. But we have had conversations that have softened the line of cultural differences.  We talk about (and laugh at) boys the same way and reminisce on the memories of fruit from back home (because Oklahoma is VERY unhealthy) the same way.

That’s not to say she hasn’t taught me a lot about her life back home, for instance, debunking “Narcos” myths about her hometown of Medillín, or sharing how close her family and community life.

Sara goes home this December.  I don’t know how we’re gonna make this whole long distance thing.

Terrorism by the Blessed: How ISIS justifies violence with radical Islamic Ideology and how that is translated through Modern Media

%e0%b8%81%e0%b8%ad%e0%b8%87%e0%b8%81%e0%b8%b3%e0%b8%a5%e0%b8%b1%e0%b8%87%e0%b8%95%e0%b8%b4%e0%b8%94%e0%b8%ad%e0%b8%b2%e0%b8%a7%e0%b8%b8%e0%b8%98%e0%b8%a3%e0%b8%b1%e0%b8%90%e0%b8%ad%e0%b8%b4%e0%b8%aaImagine receiving a letter in the mail one day. It says you have three choices:
1. Convert to Islam;
2. Pay the religious tax; or
3. Be decapitated. You are taken by surprise, wondering who could have sent this and how they could have the power to dictate your life in such a way. You think to yourself, actions such as these are usually associated with the Middle Ages (Wood). These letters are signed by “ISIS”, and they are one of the many ways that ISIS, or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, does their business. ISIS is unique, without a doubt. But ISIS is special not only for their extreme uses of violence, but for their extreme use of media in the 21st century. They have access to and utilize livestreams and employ video recordings to send their messages of hate to the rest of the world – making their threatening mission even clearer to the people that would otherwise not face that violence every day. ISIS also claims to be a religious group, proclaiming to the rest of the world through media that they are doing what is good and righteous for Allah (Wood). Violent acts and sacred people do not inherently go together. This makes ISIS so difficult to grapple with, because by nature they cancel each other out: good versus evil. ISIS sparks global attention because of the radical and hypocritical Muslim claims of committing holy and sacrificial acts and their mass executions of the non-believers. Their systematic international broadcasting of their acts grab the world’s attention as to what will happen next.

To answer a common question, “Why is ISIS doing this?”, it could be because “One of the factors binding globalist radical Muslims together is the shared belief that the entire world is united in a concerted effort to destroy Islam” (Cook 136). ISIS follows a specific sort of Islam, leaning heavily to the importance of the Day of Judgement and having an enemy target of nonbelievers. Their anger and goals become more clear as we make an effort to understand. It is ironic that they believed that they were being attacked before they even found themselves under the most intense fire. They only became a subject of international attention and a household name once they became more extreme. A cycle of sorts, as they became larger and more present terrorists, the rest of the world actually created more motive to destroy them and their faith.

The Islamic State using Modern Media
Despite social media’s creation in the West, ISIS has outwitted us. By using hashtags as tracking devices for their specialized terms and ideas, they close the gap between them and their recruits. Now only a click away, women specifically are getting heavily targeted. ISIS is recruiting them to be brides of the soldiers to keep up morale, reproduce, and to keep their fighters encouraged to do their work. Life overseas has been described much like a resort. For example, a blogger once living with ISIS reassured women that they would have the access to shampoo, soap, and feminine products that they needed. For young people searching in a way of life that is not their typical western culture, promises of safety and helping the general public is just enough to get on a plane. The simplicity is attractive.
Due to this social media, we are also given a better idea of the sheer amount of violence that happens overseas. Following “takfiri doctrine”, a phrase used by Graeme Wood in “What ISIS Really Wants”, “the Islamic State is committed to purifying the world by killing vast numbers of people”, but without reporting from the specific territories due to safety risks we cannot know the amount of murders. Due to of social-media posts we “suggest that individual executions happen more or less continually, and mass executions every few weeks” (Wood).
Americans obviously cannot send reporters overseas to capture the violence due to the fears that they will get hurt as well. Because of social media posts, we can tell how often executions occur.
ISIS’ famous videos of beach decapitation sessions are systematic yet also surprisingly cinematic. As if the murder scene was a video game where human lives are meaningless because it is simply a frivolous game, the killing of another human being is not important. In video games, it is encouraged to kill and it is rewarded without negative repercussions. Combined with subtitles and background music, ISIS is numb, or maybe they choose to ignore, a human’s basic right to life.
ISIS’s crew of media personnel are obviously educated and efficient. With a slew of good cameras and angles, sound operators, and editors, they have mastered this medium in order to achieve the greatest amount of emotional reaction. The videos fade from black in the beginning and fade back to black at the end, much like a movie shown in a theatre. Complete with a media center logo and a title slide with the words, “A Message Signed with Blood to the Nation of the Cross” resonates in the viewer’s mind. Having taken obvious care to wardrobe, active members dressed in full and intimidating black lead the Christians, dressed head to toe in traditional American orange prison garb. One by one the Christians are led down the shore before being pushed onto their knees, and eventually onto their stomachs. There, ISIS begins to saw their necks until they are decapitated, and they place the severed head upon the lifeless body, a sign of completion, a sign, a show (Anonymous).
In a book about using violence as a spectacle, Brad Evans asserts that such videos are sophisticated for the post-production editing, “…a video effects filter to make his [President Obama] visage in a news conference about ISIS appear distorted and sinister. An electronic buzz effect signals an interruption-a kidnapping, if you will – of the broadcast” (Evans). If anything, their attention to detail is a perfect example of their dedication to their enemies’ demise. In this instance, they acted with revenge of the Coptic Christians killing their “sisters” (“Coptic” [meaning] “Egyptian,” and Christians living in Egypt identify themselves as Coptic Christians” (, ISIS released the video of the decapitations (EST). They also declared in their magazine that Muslims must kill every Coptic Christian that they come into contact with. The way that ISIS deprives their victims of life is a perfect example of their use of dehumanization through media. The only reason people, in this case the Coptic Christians, are being targeted is for their religious beliefs. These people have not wronged ISIS personally, yet ISIS acts in the most upfront and personal way possible: murder. There has been no other example of such a use of media for violence in the world today.
ISIS destroys monuments, shrines, and archaeological sites to evoke emotional outrage, destroy citizens sense of belonging, and grab large media attention. An example of this is Temple of Baalshamin, one of the best-preserved ruins at the Syrian site of Palmyra. More examples were when Iraq’s Mosul Museum was rampaged with pickaxes and sledgehammers, and when centuries-old Christian and Muslim shrines were destroyed using dynamite (Curry). Although this could just be viewed as centralized place-based violence, the bigger picture proves that destroying monuments that are such large parts of day to day life actually destroys the citizen’s sense of belonging and their connections to a collective harmony and history. Such a huge change provokes a knee jerk, and extremely emotional reaction. As ISIS can use media to let the world know what they are doing, their goal is accomplished two-fold. Large media outlets on the television and the internet, and in the newspapers and magazines, practically grapple to get the story and information to the most number of people in the shortest amount of time. It seems as if ISIS does not even have to promote themselves when they destroy monuments because they commit crimes so heinous that large media such as CNN pick up and broadcast the story for them.

ISIS’ Medieval Roots
Much of the allure to ISIS lies in their hypocrisy. As Americans, we largely believe in “retributive justice”. “Retributive justice” is bureaucratic, it is impersonal, and is effective for the most number of people most of the time (Moore). It seems as though ISIS has taken a stance opposing the Western world’s status quo keeping to “restitutive justice”. “Restitutive justice” is the opposite of the straight-laced retributive justice, and in this sense relates to a sort of tribal vengeance where the decisions are more rash and emotional. This type of governing law was mostly used in biblical and medieval times when official and organizational laws were difficult to come by often (Moore). But when thinking of medieval times, images of men jousting in chainmail on horses always seems to come to mind. A clash of civilizations. No one expected to have this clash of citizens who so strongly do not support modern law in the 21st century. Therefore, in this way, ISIS holds a medieval past very strongly. Whether or not they are referencing their past is still up for debate among historians.
I will venture to say that ISIS has chosen to focus on reaching out to the outside world via social media primarily because of ease. It is incredible what possibilities can be provided through an internet provider. Unfortunate for us, this means they can access weak minded individuals unsure of their moral or intellectual compass, or strong minded individuals who are against the so-called corrupt democracy of the United States. We have created easy targets out of ourselves. While ironic that a group that can be linked back to such a medieval background uses such modern media outlets, this is not a contradiction because ISIS is truly just being as efficient as creative with the tools they have.

ISIS Claiming Islam
Popular verses that are cited include rhetoric of nonbelievers specifically. There is a certain fear struck into follower’s hearts so that they have the confidence to follow and obey a higher deity, and also the courage to kill those who do not – based on that deity. ISIS is an acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, so a common misconception is that all people who follow Islam, or Muslims, are radical. Although there is the problematic few, by no means can the two always be used interchangeably. Islamic extremism does claim to origination from the Qur’an, or their holy book of scripture said to be the word of God, and Muslims have also originated from the book. Both hold claims to the scripture but only, the non-radical one practices it in its traditional and intended form. Much of the Muslim faith is based on giving to those less fortunate than yourself, obviously a view not held by ISIS.
Arguably, the most important aspect of Muslim faith is that followers are to only worship their one god, Allah. Verse 3:32, “Say: Obey Allah and His Messenger; But if they turn back, then surely Allah does not love the unbelievers” (Al-Qur’an Al-Kareem), is a commanding reminder to the faithful to remain loyal, and a commanding threat to the wavering of their demise. Another verse, 5:33, solidifies and exemplifies the threat,
The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement.
The irony falls in that if followers of this Islamic religion are required to love and obey Allah above all else, and a principle of Allah’s is peace, where does the violence have room to fester and grow? Jihad is the religious war with nonbelievers, not simply a Holy War. It is important to remember that Islam itself has never had its roots in violence, “Rather, it began as the peaceful proclamation of the absolute unity of God by the Prophet Muhammad (ca. 610 C.E.) in the pagan-dominated town of Mecca (Cook). ISIS asserts that their violence is strictly aligned with religion although their roots are not in Islam (Wood). In ISIS’ beheading plot, letters were sent to the Swedish people saying,
In the name of Allah, the merciful, full of grace. You who are not believers will be decapitated in three days in your own house. We will bomb your rotten corpses afterwards. You must choose between these three choices: 1. Convert to Islam. 2. Pay the jizya [religious tax] for protection. 3. Or else, you will be decapitated. The police will not prevent or save you from you being murdered. (Death comes to all of you)” (ISIS Beheading Plot).
ISIS is revolving its missions around its religious and intellectual appeal. Millions of men, women, and children are fighting for the Islamic State and the belief that they have a strong role in the imminent end of the world. With each new thing we learn about ISIS, more we discover we do not know. We cannot have inside sources with the high probability of them getting killed, and ISIS is not up to giving much of its motives. Although nonsensical to the Western world, we must understand their ties to a medieval lifestyle, bringing the 7th century civilization and environment to the 21st century.

Broader Implications – Home Grown Terrorism
A completely oversimplified yet common backlash to ISIS is “Let’s bomb them”! Although easy in theory, it must be understood that ISIS has grown ties worldwide, and destroying one pack will not prevent others from revolting. Every deadly terror attack in the last decade and a half has been by American citizens or legal permanent residents (Bergen). But since the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, public opinion is that the only people that can hurt the United States are overseas. Similar to a spider web that makes connections that always lead back to the epicenter, or a trail of dominoes where one affects another until they are all knocked over, ISIS simply is not contained in one place. If it was, then a maneuver to destroy them in one place could be discussed, but so far there is no way to simply eradicate ISIS. Therefore, they are here. They are on American soil holding their radical beliefs and hate.
This is where social media does the most amount of damage for Americans. Without it, Americans would have extremely limited resources on how the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria operates, and an even smaller opportunity to join the cause. Most Americans join Facebook groups for Tupperware parties or to have the latest information on their favorite bands, but recruits can literally pledge their allegiance to ISIS over Facebook. Without people wanting to admit it, the terrorist superpower, ISIS, could be in their very homes.

Preventative Measures
Recently a project called “The Redirect Method” launched to “redirect” people on the internet who might be searching for ISIS propaganda in hopes to pledge to media convincing them otherwise. Realizing the United States has weak spots online, “The Redirect Method” is an attempt to be one step ahead of ISIS and prevent our men and from being recruited. It uses “Google products, YouTube and AdWords”, that are searched daily to bring up anti-ISIS propaganda (The Redirect Method). What is different about this campaign is that all of the material has previously been on the internet, and anyone can submit their own pleas to prevent someone from becoming radicalized. In total, The Redirect Method showed “500,070 total minutes of watched video, and reached 320,906 total individuals during the 8-week pilot” (The Redirect Method). This campaign in important because it is not a government program, which allows more common citizens to donate and get involved. It is also important because it uses such a high-traffic platform and can get to the people that need the “redirection” the help that they need in the most efficient way possible.
ISIS sparks global attention because of the radical and hypocritical Muslim claims of committing holy and sacrificial acts and their mass executions of the non-believers that are broadcasted internationally that grab the world’s attention as to what will happen next. Despite their claims and Muslim beliefs, there is a difference between radical Islam and a Muslim family you might encounter on the street. Despite this, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is encroaching our shores and it is crucial for our eyes and minds to be open.

“Al-Qur’an Al-Kareem – القرآن الكريم.” Al-Qur’an Al-Kareem – القرآن الكريم. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2016. <>.
Anonymous. “WATCH: ISIS Execution Of 21 Coptic Christians – Video.” Zero Censorship. N.p., 13 Feb. 2015. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.
Bergen, Peter. “The Real Terror Threat in America Is Homegrown.” CNN. Cable News Network, 13 June 2016. Web. 18 Nov. 2016. < homegrown-terror-bergen/>.
Cook, David. Understanding Jihad. Berkeley: U of California, 2005. Print.
Curry, Andrew. “Here Are the Ancient Sites ISIS Has Damaged and Destroyed.” National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 1 Sept. 2015. Web. 17 Nov. 2016. < sites-iraq-syria-archaeology/>.
EST, Posted: 02/13/2015 09:29 AM. “ISIS Execution Of 21 Coptic Christians – Video.” Uncensored. N.p., 13 Feb. 2015. Web. 18 Nov. 2016.
Evans, Brad, and Henry A. Giroux. “Dystopian Realism.” Disposable Futures: The Seduction of Violence in the Age of Spectacle. San Francisco: City Lights, 2015. 221-48. Print.
“” N.p., 18 Mar. 2016. Web. 18 Nov. 2016. <>.
Moore, R.I. The Formation of a Persecuting Society: Power and Deviance in Western Europe, 950 – 1250. Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell, 1990.
“The Redirect Method.” The Redirect Method. N.p., 2016. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.
Wood, Graeme. “What ISIS Really Wants.” The Atlantic March (2015): n. pag. Web. 4 Nov. 2016. < wants/384980/>.

The White Shroud of Cowardice

A White Shroud of Cowardice
White hoods. Fires blazing. Hatred. Lynching. A faceless army has been quietly growing in the heart of the United States of America. The KKK, or Ku Klux Klan, is often known for its violent, racist attacks on racial minorities. However, what is often unknown about the Ku Klux Klan is that it has been reincarnated three times, each with a slightly different goal in mind. The first Klan was primarily focused on race, targeting black political movements, and undermining black civil rights. Something different occurred during the conception of the second Klan. The second Klan, while also racially motivated, gained a newfound hatred as well. It developed the need to spread a corrupted Protestant belief system to others, and persecute any conflicting religions, especially Roman Catholics. They were an army bred with a hatred and prejudice for all things that did not meet its twisted Protestant beliefs or share its skin color. The Ku Klux Klan is notorious for its persecution of African Americans in the south, but their corrupted Protestant belief system infused with American nationalism allowed them to persecute who they wished, by infecting the political world with their own agenda.
History of the Klan
To analyze the second incarnation of the Klan, it is crucial to understand the roots of the entire group which originated in 1865. The Klan started off innocently enough, as Kuklos, a group of six college kids who enjoyed the night life and entertainment found in putting on disguises and parading around town (Chalmers 8). However, with their disguises they realized how ghostly and intimidating, they seemed to be, and they chose to start terrorizing African Americans (Chalmers 9). This anonymity gave the group the courage to begin targeting whoever they wished. The masks allowed them to manifest their internalized prejudices. There were no repercussions for their actions unless they were caught. They were a faceless entity. From this moment on the Klan began to grow and spread, accumulating members by the thousands. As they expanded, they grew increasingly violent toward racial minorities, stabbing, shooting, flogging, and lynching them (Chalmers 10). Through this anonymity, more people could manifest their internalized racism against African Americans in a form of catharsis. A white shroud of hate had begun to cover the southern states.
As the Klan grew in power, they began to get involved in the political world. With their reign of terror increasing in severity, some of the states began to establish militias to combat the Klan’s actions, as they had begun to impact political affairs (Chalmers 12). The Klan was increasing its influence as their numbers were rising, to the point, even the government found them to be a potential threat. While in most scenarios the militias were effective against them, there were times when black militias were defeated, whipped, and even murdered (Chalmers 13). Through their intimidation, the Klan could influence elections, as they would scare voters into voting for their candidates or policies. The Klansmen could drop Republican votes by an exponential amount, “before, the Republicans had received more than 1100 votes; in November, they got 116” (Chalmers 15). This caused African Americans in the area to grow fearful of the ballots and they were forced to fold to the Klan’s demands of them voting conservatively (Chalmers 13). With the political world at their disposal, their acts of terror no longer just affected African Americans, but everyone else who lived in Klan infested areas. But what could have allowed a group like this to grow so quickly? How could they grow so powerful, so quickly? Fear. Fear allowed these people to justify their violence; they feared that African Americans would displace them, even though all they wanted was to be treated equally as all free Americans. They were a frightened group of individuals and they had a knee jerk reaction to changing times and grew violent in a fight or flight instinct.
This cowardice catalyzed the second incarnation of the Klan in the 1920s. When William Simmons, the Imperial Wizard of his order established the new Klan, he proclaimed it would follow “a new path of militant Protestantism and sacred patriotism” (Baker 37). This new Klan had a new purpose, which was to protect its religious views from those trying to rob them of it. Or did it? The Klan’s Protestant views were nothing more than another excuse to persecute anyone who did not follow their beliefs to the tee.
The Mask of Protestantism used by the Klan
The second Klan’s brand of Protestantism was used as their rhetoric until the very end. The Klansmen perverted Protestantism as they “bound Christianity with Americanism and members professed allegiance to both despite their relentless critics” (Baker 37). Americanism is an undying devotion to the United States and the Klan was intensely patriotic. This meant that the Klan combined elements of Christianity and overzealous American patriotism together to form an unrecognizable and abominable belief system. A Frankenstein’s monster of a religion. The members considered themselves as “defenders of Protestant Christianity” (Baker 37). Their description as “defenders” stirs the image of knights defending a castle from incoming threats through combat, and violence was not a concept foreign to the Klansmen. The Klan had a desire to spread and to conquer the nation with their beliefs and “envisioned their battle as a crusade for the nation and its way of life” (Baker 76). Describing it as a crusade is already a red flag. A crusade is a militarized religious take over, meaning that they were taking it back by force. It also implies that there were people actively persecuting them for their religious beliefs, so why else would they need to defend themselves? In reality, it was the KKK themselves who were persecuting other religious groups for not following in their footsteps. As previously stated, the Imperial Wizard described their new system to involve “militant Protestantism” (Baker 37). Militant behavior is often when people aggressively support an extreme idea and are often willing to become hostile or confrontational when faced with a conflicting belief. They bent their religion so that they could always be in the right. By confronting those against them with violence, the Klan can force whoever they wanted into submission.
Robert Moats Miller wrote in 1956 that the Klan’s religion is nothing more than a farce and should not be taken seriously. He agrees that “the order created their own definition, history and vision of the faith of its members” (Baker 38). By doing this, they could never be questioned. For instance, if someone claimed that what they were doing was not Protestant, then they could twist their version of Protestantism so that it was the Protestant thing to do. They had the religion by the throat and could change it to however they saw fit. They felt that God was using them to execute his will, but ironically, they were using God.
Catholicism and the Klan
This incarnation of the Klan showed extreme prejudice against Catholicism. But why? What made this group such an easy target for them? The answer is rooted in American history with the Protestant Reformation, in which Protestants essentially forbid Catholic Charters, and then the Catholics did the same against the Protestants in protest (Kendall 52). This sowed the seed for hatred. However, how could they continue to justify it for years to come? These anticatholic groups claimed that the Church was “a heretical religious empire of despotism, idolatry and excess” (Kendall 52). The Catholic church is one of the wealthiest institutions in the world, but it does not justify the actions of the modern Klan and their violent persecution of the group. In the Klan’s eyes, their militant brand of Protestantism protected America from being invaded by this hierarchical, rich and oppressive organization parading itself as a religion. To keep their country pure from these sinners, they had to punish them for their acts against the sanctity of God.
The Klan and Womanhood
The KKK’s stance of women was contradictory. The Klan believed in keeping tradition in every aspect of their lives, whether it be in religion, politics, or in this case, women. They believed that women should be required to stay at home, care for their family, clean the house, cook, and to find comfort in their brave Klansman of a husband (Baker 125). Already, their system was placing gender restrictions onto women, preventing them from being anything more than a house servant to the superior Klansmen. It was an act of dominance on the part of the Klansmen as they bent their beliefs once again to their own benefit. The Klanswomen, who believed in the perverted Protestantism, fell into submission. They genuinely believed that it was their purpose, to be compliant and to be nothing more than a housemaid. However, it begins to grow more complicated. The Klan wanted women to have political equality (Baker 126). Yes, the Ku Klux Klan, the racist, xenophobic, hate group wanted women to be seen as equals in the political realm. Albeit, they just considered white women. The Klansmen wanted their Klanswomen to possess the right to vote and to be involved in politics. This appeal to equality caused a surge of women to join the Klan (Blee 71). They may not have agreed with all the Klan’s beliefs, but the appeal of equality was enough to get their allegiance. It is quite confusing what exactly the Klan desired when it came to women. Did they want them to be equals or just maids? Going back to the original Klan, they used their political influence to lean policies in their favor. The second Klan could have used that kind of leverage as well, and what better way to accumulate more members than to recruit women to join your movement by giving them the ability to vote? Thus, the Klansmen saw the women as an important asset that they needed to preserve.
In order to preserve that asset, they needed to keep them pure. The Klan valued the home environment because here they were, “protecting the interests of white womanhood.” (Blee 47). Klansmen thought that women wished to be stuck in the house all the time, with little to no contact with the outside world. The Klansmen knew that they had to keep them safe from the savages that lurked in the streets. Animals waiting to force themselves upon their women and contaminate their race. These animals, of course, were the Jews, Catholics, Hispanics, African Americans, homosexuals, Muslims, essentially anybody who was not a white Protestant. While the second incarnation was more religiously motivated, it still carried the same hostility the previous Klan had for minorities. The Klan instilled fear into women by demonizing minorities and painting them as inhuman (Blee 71). The women were already conditioned to be submissive to their husbands, so they would believe anything that they were told. If a woman was told that minorities would rape her, she would grow terrified of them and even resent them. This was not something that only the second Klan did. The first Klan, according to Klan minister W.C Wright, “protected the chastity of Southern womanhood from black brutes in human form” (Blee 47). For their chastity to remain intact, they could not have sex with black men. From this, we can see the panic of corruption was ever-present since the conception of the Klan. Nonwhite races were impure and could pollute the cleanliness of white women. To prevent that, the Klansmen had to protect them, of course. This rationalization reinforced their belief that women are helpless and had to be protected. If they made their women feel secure and as an integral part of the movement, then the group would have more support since their efforts would seem nobler. These white knights were protecting their women from the savages, how could they do wrong? Consequently, with more support, their militant actions would seem more acceptable. While women were important to the Klan, the vital object that they had to protect was their Protestantism from the rest of the world.
Persecution of the Klan
With the Klan’s reign at its peak in the south in the 1920s, there had to be some justification for their action, right? If other religions were infringing on their right to religion, then some of this hostility must have been warranted. The obvious answer is no; nobody was actively going after the Klan’s Protestant views. In an initiation oath for new members, it states that, “I will defend this doctrine…and custom against all usurpers of the heretical or Protestant authority whatever, especially the Lutheran Church…and Churches of England” (Fry 111). By signing up for the group, they pledge to defend it from a long list of other religious groups. Due to their militant nature, they would actively persecute these groups in the name of religion. From this, the religious groups will have a reason to react and defend themselves. This is where the Klansmen got clever. The Klan could cry wolf and claim that these evil, impure religions were trying to force their beliefs onto them. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy; they continue to generate the hate and prejudice needed to fuel their entire enterprise. It is an endless cycle of hatred; the more they fight back, the more the Klan can justify their actions.
Religious Nationalism and Politics
The Klan’s actions of demonizing these groups are an instance of religious nationalism. Religious nationalism occurs when politics meets religion. A group becomes a singular identity with its religion, using its religious affiliations to drive their political beliefs. The Klansmen were certainly in the eye of politicians too as they were, “ever mindful of the fact that each fellow Klansman would equal one vote they could count on” (Rice 16). Even politicians knew that the Klan could be an asset in their campaigns. They simply had to appeal to their religious ideals to win their votes. The Klan found this blind appeal to them to be pitiful, believing that, “politicians who prostituted themselves, in any matter, in order to attain or maintain office must be denied positions of public trust” (Rice 31). They wanted to win by their own rules.
Their corrupted belief system required them to keep their enemies checked so that they were unable to overcome them. Their goals in politics were to make sure that the political power of the Roman Catholic church was destroyed and replaced with their own and that whatever political influence that their minority enemies had was to be dismantled (Rice 30). If they had political influence, then they would have rights. If that happened, then not only would opposing religious groups be after them, but so would the government for the Klan’s atrocities. The power of the government is not something a group like this can escape from or defeat, and they knew it. Imperial Wizard Kleagle Clark described the Klan’s political actions as follows, “Klansmen will follow the dictates of their individual conscience in casting their votes. As an organization, we have no candidates – no favored party” (Rice 35). This is not necessarily true, going back to the idea of religious nationalism. In fact, the Klan did have a political identity, and their political stances leaned toward any political entity that showed favoritism or matched the ideals of their perverted brand of Protestantism. Through religious nationalism, they became a white mass of hate. If one Klansman favored one policy, by the transitive property, the rest of them did as well, similar to how if a bacterium reproduces it is an identical copy of itself. In fact, to be a Klan member, you had to “follow the principles of ‘Klannishness’, which included patriotic, domestic, racial, and imperial Klanishness” (Baker 77). Klannishness is a play on the word clannishness, meaning that the group would be exclusive and be hostile to outsiders. It is like a group of boys with a sign that says “no girls allowed”. This entails that they did in fact vote as an organization. Which is incredibly dangerous for anyone who was not a Klan member. Policies that could restrict their rights could be passed with ease as the Klan numbered at around four million in its second incarnation (Rice 13).
In the late 1920s, the Klan’s influence began to fall, and the paranoia they had about minorities and religion had begun to fade away, time and time again (Chalmers 292). Many members they had begun to splinter off into their own factions that did not match the overall beliefs held by the second KKK, contributing to its downfall as well (Chalmers 294). They had simply spread themselves too thin to the point that they could no longer be well-organized to efficiently function as a unit. The final and destructive flaw of this Goliath was that it grew too much and it collapsed under its own weight.
The Klan was kept alive by its own bastardized Protestant system which allowed them to persecute whoever they wished in the name of God. And why? Because they were afraid of change. They were terrified of the idea that their comfortable and familiar world was changing, evolving into a world where blacks and white could live together in harmony. A world where you could find a Muslim and a Christian becoming friends. It is crucial to understand that the prejudice beliefs and fears that dwell inside one’s mind are capable of manifesting themselves if given the opportunity. In the form of a ghostly white figure, standing near a fiery cross, burning the sky in a dim orange light. 2534294657_5b472da954

Weather versus Climate

Weather versus climate.  What’s the difference?  Aren’t they both concerned with the temperature and whether or not your weekend plans are going to be rained out??   It turns out there actually IS a difference: TIME According to NASA, “Weather … Continued

The Story of Us

Political campaigns use the media to shape their narrative, but none moreso than the political ad. In Hillary Clinton’s last major campaign ad (Story of Us) her campaign used different aspects of the media to shape her opponent, enforce a narrative and speak to the historical nature of her candidacy. Different from other campaign ads, The Story of Us is a pointed example of how voters and organizations can influence the democratic process through a campaign video while framing key players and events to uplift and inspire while at the same time painting her opponent as looney or unfit for the office of the Presidency. The ad frames Trump as unrealistic, unfit and deeply egomaniacal. If that wasn’t enough, it rattles off video clips of Trump seeming childish, out of control and quite frankly, unintelligent. Another stand out is the use of humility and humor. Clinton has always been seen as aloof and staged, it is apparent that her campaign wants to use this ad to change that image. In a very predictable fashion, the ad immediately begins by showcasing a “blooper reel” of sorts from her very first announcement video.  

The Failure of Fascism: Subconscious Italian Resistance in Everyday Italian Life

“Fascism is both practice and thought,” wrote Benito Mussolini in 1932, “There is no concept of the State which is not fundamentally a concept of life” (qtd. in Oakeshott).  Mussolini, dictator of Italy under Fascist rule, laid forth his vision for a fascist state as one in which the people were bound by a specific, correspondingly “fascist” way of life.  He attempted to make a fundamental change in Italian life in adjusting it to fascism.  At first glance he appears to have been successful, as the state gained visible support thDer italienische Diktator Mussolini spricht vor dem alten Collosseum in Rom zur faszistischen Jugend seines Landes. Mussolini auf der Tribüne (links im Bilde) vor dem Collosseum in Rom beim Vorbeimarsch der faszistischen Jugendverbände.rough mass participation in public events and people flocked to Mussolini as a remarkably charismatic leader.  Photographs and newsreels from the era show that Mussolini and his rule had at least a semblance of popular support.  He was vocally cheered in the streets by massive groups of people.


But was this support indicative of a deeper agreement with the goals and practice of fascism?  Historian Yong Woo Kim suggests that there can sometimes be a difficulty in distinguishing between a “passive conformity” with the regime and outright “resistance” (328).  And evidence suggests that many people joined in only half-heartedly, with minimal enthusiasm, usually only in order to protect their own interests and not because they sincerely believed in the ideals and practices of Fascism.  This lackluster feeling among the common people is one of the reasons Mussolini’s regime ultimately failed.  Due to the natural aversion of Italians to state authority, caused by regional and cultural diversity as evidenced by the fact that local governments had always had more success and power in Italy than national ones, as well as the presence of various anti-authoritarian rituals of culture and tradition and thought about daily life, he was not able to permeate Italian society to a very great extent, nor was he able to bring about the selfless devotion to the State that he wished to instill in the inhabitants of Italy.  A strong sense of Italian localism, powered by everyday Catholicism and stubborn adherence to personal routines without regard for a larger state purpose, proved contrary to the totalitarian aims of Fascism.

Benito Mussolini was the classic example of a charismatic leader.  As such, the force of his personality could draw forth loyalty and obedience from many.  He could elicit emotions from the crowd, and he did just that.  It is easy to see how the rhetoric of his grand ideas initially drew many people to him, since he spoke of many feats which would have been popular to the Italian poor.  Mussolini explained to the public that he wanted to make Italy a “New Rome,” to make it a strong nation, in both military and economy.  In addition, he promised a limited working day to gain the support of the working class, as well as compulsory religious education to gain the good graces of the Catholic Church.  These promises bought him the support of many Italians.

Although he increased his power early on by these methods of leadership, the fascist regime could very well be considered a ‘popular dictatorship,’ in that Mussolini could not have kept his power without the support of the common people.  It was especially crucial to maintain support even after being revealed as a repressive dictator.  To maintain their support, Mussolini needed to insert fascism into the daily lives of all Italians.  There were three significant ways in which he attempted to condition the people of Italy into supporting him: use of violence, control of labor, and distribution of social benefits.  Everyone had to live and work within this framework of limits, and any open forms of opposition would be met by one of these three tools.

Physical violence and repression was of course used against those who spoke out.  But more important for “conditioning people’s attitudes and behavior” was “the regime’s control over access to resources and opportunities” (Corner 76).  The fascist authorities had control over work permits for any job, and could easily revoke them at the slightest provocation.  Similarly, welfare could be withdrawn from anyone who was accused of anti-fascist or often socialist sentiment.  In these ways, the fascist State attempted to create a dependence on itself; no one could have a peaceful existence without complacently bending over backwards before the will of the authorities.

And Fascism did enter daily life in many ways; fascist programs and initiative appeared to permeate many aspects of living.  Public experience with fascism was largely in dealing with the bureaucracy of the regime.  Arrogance was a common problem at the bottom of the chain of command, and negative attitudes toward the State were increased by contact with officials who treated ordinary people as beggars for concessions rather than people with rights (Corner 83).

Fascism was more positive for the youth and the women of Italy.  They were attracted by the futuristic rhetoric, by the utopian ideals of glory in the years to come.  The young enthusiastically participated in activities geared towards them, and sports played a large role in this.  The activity of the sport was usually accompanied by a political message, although there is not much evidence that the sport actually became a successful method of spreading that message (Corner 83).

Women, too, were often more excited by the regime.  They felt liberated and given new opportunities.  For the first time in Italy, large numbers of women began to work in factories and earn wages.  As such they gained recognition by the regime as providing a new position in the social community, and were catered to as their own sector of society.  In addition, women were targeted and flattered by the regime in propaganda campaigns which sought to increase the birth rate.  In order to gain favor, the authorities provided women with access to organized leisure activities (Corner 84).

But the most obvious way in which Fascism affected daily life was through military service.  Perhaps the most widespread form of mass participation, military service became a form of ritual sacrifice by which most people were brought into involvement with the regime.  Public opinion on this was split.  While there were of course many who did not wish to join in the dangerous military fervor which Mussolini whipped up, there were also many who were eager to make the highest form of sacrifice for the glory of the Patria, the Fatherland.  One woman wrote a letter to “[His] Excellency,” saying, “I have the high honor to communicate… that my husband, fighting on the Albanian front, has already contributed his payment of blood for our beloved Patria.  By glorious wounds suffered in combat…” (Pugliese 98-99).  Like Olga, the humble countrybundesarchiv_bild_101i-316-1181-11_italien_benito_mussolini_mit_italienischen_soldatenwomen who penned this letter, most households gave a son or a father, if not his life, to the military in service which was supposed to bring glory to the family and to the nation.


But not everyone was so well satisfied with the situation.  The letter from Olga shows an example of an instance in which this sacrifice was welcomed, but in many cases families did not see the point of losing their loved ones in what they saw as a meaningless conflict: they did not know what they were fighting for, or in many cases were even rooting for the Western Allies to win the war (Tannenbaum 306).

The more frequently people came into contact with the regime, disillusionment with the regime grew.  The propaganda itself, due to the fact that it was so constant, became counterproductive to the young.  A 16-year-old girl from Siena wrote about her education in her diary, saying, “In school they teach fascist culture as if it were a religion and we recognize the total falsity of this identification” (qtd. in Corner 83).  But still the Fascist machine rolled across Italy and its programs affected more and more aspects of life.


Although people became involved in the regime through military service or other forms of visible support, this semblance of involvement did not necessarily mean that people actually supported the regime.  Historian Paul Corner argues that “long-standing diffidence to the authority of the state” led to the growth of “private strategies of survival” (91).  Corner explains, “All would participate in fascist activities, but with a very different spirit” (78).  Non-collaboration with the regime was an option, and people were free to choose.  However, that choice often had very obvious consequences.  Usually the middle class was more likely to resist the Fascist Party, because they were the ones not as dependent on the resources the Party had to offer its supporters.  But in most cases, resistance meant merely an unexpressed dislike of the authorities.  People tended to accept their position of powerlessness and respect the limits of expression which fascism put in place.  Police accounts from the era show that usually people were arrested for offending the regime or verbally abusing Il Duce only when they were drunk (Corner 80).  That was when they revealed what they truly believed, whereas they kept the thoughts to themselves when sober.

People were often able to walk a fine line between resistance and respect for the regime.  Offenders would swear that the disrespect they had been heard shouting was actually while they were explaining to someone else how a disrespectful joke that they had heard disgusted them (Corner 80).  In this way they could ambiguously show their public “support” for the regime while maintaining private resentments.  And interestingly, although people often complained about conditions of life and their local fascist leaders, they did not blame Mussolini himself, and still held him in a sort of awe.  Thus, a sort of ambivalence toward the regime was very popular in daily life, and people were often heard to comment, “If only Mussolini knew [what is going on]…” he would make things right (qtd. in Corner 80).

In industry, however, workers had more bargaining power.  One worker recalled Mussolini’s visit to her Fiat factory in Turin: “They told us that when he spoke, when he arrived… we should clap, that when he spoke we should applaud… instead we all acted dead, nobody did any of those things” (qtd. in Corner 82).  The silence was defiant.  These workers understood more than the fact that Fascism had harmed them.  More importantly, they also knew that they could afford to be hostile to the State because they were essential.  The regime needed production in order to survive, and thus could not lay violent hands on that sector of the economy.  As such, industry became a center for defiance and for maintaining an independent identity from the State.

Nevertheless, for many Italians, defiance was not a viable option, out of fear of the power of the regime.  And as we have seen, there was at least an outward semblance of support among the masses.  But the large majority of Italians who did show signs of solidarity with the regime did not care much for the ideal of Fascism.  Instead, they only went along out of self-interest.  Michele Abbate, a Southern Italian man who lived his whole life in the “sleepy” town of Potenza near the heel of Italy, recalled,

Notwithstanding all the big talk about “faith” … in the imperial destiny of the nation, and in the “Duce,” what I saw every day was the wretched spectacle of a bunch of humble people who liked the quiet life adapting themselves to living from day to day without “making waves.”  They did this by donning the Fascist boots and uniform with no other preoccupation than keeping their position or acquiring some privilege that would allow them to live in a less sordid way and be able to “lord it over” people worse off than they were.  (qtd. in Tannenbaum 140)

This explanation is very indicative of an inhabitant’s perspective in the rural areas of the country.   many people would have been reluctant to join in with the fascist State.  They “liked the quiet life,” and had no interest in lofty ideals.  All they wanted was to be left alone by politics, but Fascism made that impossible.  They only supported the fascist rule in order to avoid “‘making waves,’” and getting in trouble for standing up for themselves and resisting.  Since Fascism intruded into the private sphere and the people could not avoid the political scene entirely, the best way to stay out of the way and be left alone was to keep all opposition quiet and to go along with what was asked, at least in appearances.  In addition, going along with fascism ensured that they would increase their own importance by pleasing the authority.

Thus, if people tended to be attracted to the regime, it was because of what it could provide them for “good behavior” in terms of material goods or career and social promotion.  Because of this, the ones who were most compliant were those who relied on the regime, while those who were not so dependent were not forced to be as vocal in support.  The system was a trade in which people gave their support in exchange for favorable treatment by the authorities.  This was a very practical approach.  In this way Fascism created dependency even among those hostile to its ideals.  According to a leather laborer from northern Italy, in retrospect, “The majority came to terms with the situation.  They went to the fascist rallies because they said, ‘At least I get to work and eat.’  They knew how to lie.”  (Corner 77-78).


But why were Italians averse to this enticement by fascist authority?  Part of the reason widespread support did not catch hold is that Italians already had everyday rituals and traditions that could not be easily replaced.  Religion in particular was a large part of existence throughout most of Italy.  The position of Pope Pius XI himself and of the Vatican was in flux for a large part of Mussolini’s reign.  Initially the Catholic Church expressed support of the regime and encouraged its adherents to do likewise, in exchange for favors Mussolini granted them.  This was especially due to his promise for religious education in public schools, and the fact that he ultimately granted Vatican City sovereign status for the first time.  However, the relation between Mussolini and the Pope quickly deteriorated during the 1930s, as Pope Pius XI could no longer remain silent at Fascism’s un-Christian attitudes, particularly its adoption of the German policies of racism and anti-Semitism (Coppa 166).


Interestingly, regardless of the ill will or lack thereof of the official Church towards the fascist regime, religious practice was important enough to many Italians that it made them reluctant to make fascism a part of their lives.  A contemporary description by an anonymous informer reports,

It remains to be seen if all our Catholics will be disposed to follow the present policy of benevolent anticipation, if not indeed of sincere cooperation, which prevails in the Vatican today with regard to the Regime… More numerous are those Catholics who… persist tenaciously in their open aversion toward Fascism, notwithstanding all the explicit and tacit urgings by the ecclesiastical authorities to cooperate or at least to coexist peacefully with the Regime. (qtd. in Tannenbaum 192)

Regardless of the urgings of the Vatican to “cooperate” with Fascism, ordinary Catholics could not bring themselves to adopt fascism, the rituals of which would in many ways replace their religion.  This stemmed from the very fact that many of the new Fascist practices, such as military parades and the use of symbols such as the cult of the flag, were based off of Catholic religious practices.  In fact, the flag was honored in ceremony every Saturday by students, and one Fascist official told them that “they should receive the flag as the ‘new eucharist’” (Gentile 34).   This “cult of the flag” bears striking resemblance to what historian Walter Adamson notes as the center of “popular religion” in Italy: “image cults…, relic cults…, and cults of the dead” (65).  Many concepts of the State, such as catechism of beliefs and liturgy, were borrowed from Catholic concepts (Pollard 148-149).  By taking up the imitation of religion, Italian Fascism did not attempt to fill a “void” in society, but instead attempted to build off of already present ideas of faith and conviction.  To many, this emulation suggested a sense of replacement which Fascism was never able to accomplish in the mass consciousness (Pollard 149).

There had always been reservations over the ethics of the practices employed by the fascist government.  But on top of that, feelings toward the regime tended to be lukewarm at best, based mostly on the fact that Italians would not turn their attention to a belief in or worship of a regime or leader at the expense of their religious observances and beliefs.  If a Fascist rally in a small town conflicted with Mass, the people would choose to attend Mass.  If people were asked to fervently express support of the regime, they tended to decline due merely to the fact that they already had something which occupied their strong beliefs.

Even the schoolgirl from Siena who compared the fascist teachings to a religion had enough insight to realize the fascist attempts to ingrain it as a religion.  She also had enough Italian spirit in her to reject this as false and stick to her original beliefs. But again, just because Catholics did not vehemently fall into the fervor of fascism does not mean they actively resisted either.  According to historian John Pollard, “most Catholics went their own sweet way, no more committing themselves to the regime than the bulk of the population” (qtd. in Adamson 63).


Attempts to dominate the private sphere if anything drove people back into privacy, where they had the freedom to hold onto their ideas and their actions.  There became a split between behavior in public and life at home in private.  When the regime tried to break into these private spaces, such as religious and family loyalties, Italians merely protected them more vehemently.  They did not let go of the will to control their daily lives and their free time, and to keep the State from getting ahold of them.  People were afraid of speaking freely in public, because they might be heard and reported.

In this way, the movement continued to slow down and lose support as people began to distance themselves from the regime.  The Italians had lost their belief and faith in fascist promises of prosperity and glory.  Support of Fascism became superficial, in name only, “the cultivation of outward appearances with little or no regard for the substance” (Corner 90).  People stubbornly were faithful to their families, religion, and country, while ignoring the regime.  By obligation, Italians went through the motions, but all fervor was gone after 1940.  Whether Italians collaborated with or sought to evade the fascist regime, the attitude towards the authority of the State tended to remain one of almost-flippant diffidence throughout.

Just because Italians may have disagreed with the Fascist regime internally does not excuse them from responsibility for standing by during the mistreatment of others.  Even passive conformity is still conformity and can be seen as collusion with an oppressive regime.  Nevertheless there is something to be said for the fact that the Italians did not welcome such a rule enthusiastically.

Fascism failed to penetrate the masses.  Dissatisfaction increased as Italians lost confidence in the government as World War II began.  The fact that Italians were fed up with fascist authorities trying to insert themselves into daily life led directly to the easy overthrow of Mussolini a mere fifteen days after the Allies landed in Sicily in 1943.  Clearly the masses did not need much of an excuse to rise.  Although a sense of familial sacrifice increased devotion to the regime, ordinary local trivialities and powerful traditions and rituals stopped the new political religion in its tracks.  Fascism could not supplant the Italian love for nation, for religion, for family and community, for small towns, for music, for food, and for religion.  Perhaps in the end, the Italian people were merely too relaxed for a Fascist society, too laidback to be willing to put forth the transformative effort required.  They were satisfied enough; they were not greatly thirsting for the mighty and glorious new system which Mussolini promised.  They simply would rather not be bothered.


Works Cited

Adamson, Walter. “Fascism and Political Religion in Italy: A Reassessment.” Contemporary European History. 23.1. (2014): 43-73. Web.

Coppa, Frank J. The papacy, the Jews, and the Holocaust, Catholic University of America Press, 2006. Print.

Corner, Paul. “Collaboration, Complicity, and Evasion Under Italian Fascism.” Everyday Life in Mass Dictatorship: Collusion and Evasion.  Ed. Alf Lüdtke. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. Print.

Gentile, Emilio. The Sacralization of Politics in Fascist Italy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996. Print.

Oakeshott, Michael.  The Social and Political Doctrines of Contemporary Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1939). Ed. Carl Cohen. Communism, Fascism and Democracy: The Theoretical Foundations 2nd. ed. (New York: Random House, 1972), pp.328-339.

Pollard, John. “Fascism and Religion.” Rethinking the Nature of Fascism: Comparative Perspectives.  Ed. Antonio Costa Pinto.  London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Print.

Pugliese, Stanislao, ed. Fascism, Anti-Fascism, and the Resistance in Italy: 1919 to the Present.
Washington D.C.: Rowman and Littlefield. 2004. Print.

Tannenbaum, Edward R. The Fascist Experience: Italian Society and Culture, 1922-1945. New York: London, 1972. Print.

Woo Kim, Yong. “From ‘Consensus Studies’ to History of Subjectivity: Some Considerations on Recent Historiography on Italian Fascism.”  Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions 10.3-4 (2009): 327-337. Web.

My Time At Calm Waters


I made connections with all of the children who were a part of the support group that I lead. I saw these children during happy times and sad times. Some nights they were so silly and had a difficult time focusing. Other nights I would hold a little girl while she cried and missed her loved one. No one night was better or worse than the other. Even on the nights that the children had a hard time focusing on the curriculum, I knew that they were gaining something so important from this experience. The children learned how to deal with their emotions, whether they be sad, happy, or angry. They remembered their loved ones during different discussions and by making crafts that reminded them of the person(s) that died. Most importantly, these children made connections with their peers who were going through a similar difficult time. Losing a loved one at such a young age can be confusing. They might get jealous of their friends whose dads can take them to a father daughter dance, or whose mothers can fix their hair in the morning and play dress up with them. The connections that these children make with one another can bring them comfort in knowing that they are not alone and that these feelings are normal and okay.

I could not be more thankful to have found this organization to spend 40+ hours of my time with this semester. I have personally grown so much from this experience. I have been challenged, inspired, and humbled through this process. The children and families that I have supported this semester have taught me so much about strength and healing, as well as the importance of community. The families who attended support groups this semester were all so different. Despite what the families did, or did not, have in common they came together to support one another through their common journeys.