Monday, December 31, 2012

The Rogue Scholars Society Top 20 of 2012!

By the Rogue Scholars Society

Courtesy of Ludie Cochrane
As 2012 comes to an end, we look back fondly at the work that we did this year. As the year winds to a close and we prepare to begin 2013 running, we wanted to look at our 20 most popular posts. We want to thank our readers for continuing to return and engage with us, and encourage our new readers to stick around.

Throughout our inaugural year, we have focused on covering issues that were far-reaching in a way that not only those impacted by them could relate to, but how we as members of humanity can grasp the importance of learning from these issues. 2012 brought glorious triumphs and breakthroughs that will change the world forever. Our nation and our planet took immense steps forward in becoming a better society and meeting our expectations and potential. 2012 brought setbacks and tragedies that were just as important in our evolution and growth across the globe. Yet, as much as some of these setbacks scar our current state, they will usher the door for a brighter and better 2013. The collective experiences of this year have been exceptional for learning and critical analysis and the Rogue Scholars continue to strive for an understanding of the world around us. As we say goodbye to 2012, we anxiously await the beauty that is the unknown that arrives once December 31st comes to a close. 2013 will bring with it hope, opportunities to improve, potential to grow and, lucky for us, more questions than answers.

Let the champagne flow knowing that tomorrow we all start with a clean slate! Goodbye 2012...2013, we've been expecting you.

That said, the TOP 20 from the Rogue Scholars are:

20. The White Man's Burden and the #Kony2012 Campaign

On the surface, the #Kony2012 movement seemed, for all intents and purposes, a legitimate (albeit misguided in parts) campaign to stop a deplorable warlord running havoc in Central Africa. Beneath the surface, however, it speaks to the irrevocable case of 'White Man's Burden' that continues to influence the West's philanthropy in developing nations. Who, then, was #Kony2012" really for?

19. #StopKony: 24 Cyber Hours of Inspiration, Dissillusionment
That said about the campaign, one cannot deny its cultural impact among the online social networking generation. Did we just witness the birth of a new frontier in activism?

18. Living the DREAM: What Does President Obama's Announcement On Immigration Mean for DREAMers?
On June 15, 2012, President Barack Obama made headlines by announcing that the Department of Homeland Security will no longer initiate deportations of young undocumented people who were brought to the United States before the age of 16 and under the age of 30, have graduated high school, are in college or have joined the military, and have clean criminal records. "DREAM Activists have their fair share of concerns, as this policy only grants temporary relief... What this policy has done is to continue to encourage and motivate those in favor of the DREAM Act to voice their opinion and force the government to listen." As we look back, we still wonder what this announcement means for many DREAMers and the future of immigration reform in the United States.

17. Of Shattered Identities, My Grandfather, and Africa's Future...
In one of our more personal pieces this year, a Rogue Scholar discusses the importance of eclecticism in advancing African culture. The success of societies is found at the intersection of tradition and imported facets that help remedy tradition's shortcomings. A Zimbabwean granddad shows you just where that intersection is.

16. Who Runs the World?
Conventional wisdom on global cultural dynamics would suggest that Western countries (MEDCs) do better than the rest in the promotion and protection of minority groups. How, then, do we explain the growing trend of elected women leaders in Latin, African, and Asian countries while the West has almost none?

15. What Is Africa Really Mad About?
Wouldn't you like to know? We break it down in this insightful Africa Unity Day piece.

14. La Cinta Costera and the Danger of Convenience
"It has become common nature to follow the path in which the least amount of effort is required, and it is this frame of reference that is how we got to where we are now." What history are we going to lose at the price of convenience and making things easier for ourselves? Perhaps the options we must choose as we move forward are not those easiest but those that will work better for our heritage and our history.

13. 4 Reasons Latinos Won't Vote Republican this Election
They (generally) did not. We called it.  Here is 'porque'.
Relive the editorial wisdom that discerned the ethnic influences of American presidential voting.

12. Kill 'em With the Swag
What does President Obama have that other presidential candidates did not in the 2012 elections? Swag. The ability to show a human, personal side helped President Obama become a very likable candidate and win voters over with his natural charisma. "Swag can only go so far. Much like Obama pointed to triumphs as a form of eliminating Republican excuses for obstructionism, if he succeeds in a second term, the Nobel laureate will have to come through with promises of "hope" and "change" to truly cement his place in history."

11. Demystifying Shi'a Islam
To those who have little knowledge about Islam, it probably comes as a surprise that it has different sects, including Shiism, the second largest denomination of Islam. Negative and uninformed attitudes towards and about Shi'a Islam have caused conflicts in the Middle East. "Thus, deeper understanding of Shiism around the world is necessary not only to increase cultural sensitivity, but to help solve conflicts around the Middle East."

Courtesy of Tom Magliery

10. In My (Not So) Ideal World: Choosing Between the Lesser of Two Evils
What does President Obama have that other presidential candidates did not in the 2012 elections? Swag. The ability to show a human, personal side helped President Obama become a very likable candidate and win voters over with his natural charisma. "Swag can only go so far. Much like Obama pointed to triumphs as a form of eliminating Republican excuses for obstructionism, if he succeeds in a second term, the Nobel laureate will have to come through with promises of "hope" and "change" to truly cement his place in history."

Courtesy of Forbes 

For decades on end, The US's international influence has seen Hollywood setting the tone for the global entertainment industry. With globalization and the rise of other nations, however, there is a definite shift away from that status quo. Korean Pop (K-pop) epitomizes this movement. What lessons from the American Dream have permeated in to K-Pop (and other genres), and how positive has the impact been?

8. 3 Reasonable Reasons Why Obama Doesn't Deserve Black People's Support
Earlier, a Rogue told you why Latinos wouldn't be voting Republican in 2012. Upping the controversial ante, yet another Rogue stepped in and challenged what many had had settled down and accepted. Should African American support for Barack be a guarantee? Has he let the community down? Let's discuss.

7. Eating Chick-Fil-A on Sundays
The same-sex marriage movement found another enemy in Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy who incorporates several of his religious ideals into his restaurant chain. What does it mean for a restaurant to have a stance on a social issue? Where should our anger or joy be shared, with the chicken filet or the CEO? "Changing Dan Cathy's political and religious views is as possible as....eating Chick-fil-A on a Sunday"

Courtesy of James Guppy
Rape is a problem that women have faced for thousands of years, though the discourse as of late, as part of what has been called the War on Women, has been changing. The discourse has become more of a blame game blaming women for their own situation even when such a claim is extremely idiotic. "18 men rape an 11 year old and the message is that we should not have the girl dressing as a prostitute? Because 18 men lack the self control to not rape? Or that her clothing made it okay to ignore her will and the laws?" Men are often the perpetrators of rape so men must be the ones to stop it.

5. America: Land of the Free, Home of the Scared? (Part 1)
In 2012, the War on Women seemed to have come to full fruition, as politicians from every direction aimed their attacks on women. From birth control to equal pay, women were on the battlegrounds fighting for equality in a nation that boasts freedom for all. "If we are truly a nation of liberty and justice for all, giving women equal rights should not be that difficult, except that the mere idea seems to scare those in control." What is the U.S. so afraid of when it comes to women? As politicians seemed to think, the nation will crumble if women are given too many rights.

4. Bad Bitch or Bitch Bad?: Mixing Up Messages for Younger Generations
As Lupe Fiasco's much anticipated album hit the airwaves, as usual, it brought with it a lot of controversy. The song and video for his single "Bitch Bad" had everyone giving an opinion about the message he was trying to portray, whether good or bad for our youth and the hip hop world. "Young men and women grow up in a society where women are mistreated, misrepresented, and stripped of their rights, all while being told what is appropriate female behavior and what isn’t, which can be very misleading and confusing." Did Lupe's song hit the mark or was it lacking? Whatever you decide, it is clear his song and video restarted a conversation that had been forgotten for too long.

Courtesy of Floppy Photos
What is the American dream? Is it something you need to be asleep to believe? Setting the ideology of the U.S. as a meritocracy and birthplace of the American dream against the activism for the DREAM Act, this discussion dissects some of the hypocrisy of the U.S. and what, if anything, can be done to change it. "Maybe this country is still too young to reinvent itself, or at least, too young to face the reality that other countries have already faced: that true meritocracy is hard to achieve. So how do we keep this dream alive today."

2. Your Uterus...Male Rules: Abortion, Sexism, Birth Control and Why Feminism Matters
Written before the climax of the War on Women the attack on women's rights specifically abortion and birth control are situated within a political attack on President Obama's healthcare plan. More than a denouncement of these attacks feminism is discussed as a tool able to be utilized to fight and eradicate these sexist attacks.

And the number 1 post of the year is...

Getting Married -  and the Nuances of Culture, Religion and Society
The ongoing metamorphosis of traditional African community at the hands of globalization has encouraged the challenging of even the closest held traditional beliefs. Chief among these is traditional African marriage. In this stellar personal commentary, a South African based rogue discusses the pressures and formalities of nuptials in contemporary Africa.

Courtesy of Niznoz

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