SBCC documentary screening spreads awareness of inequality

BROOKE SNOW, Channels Staff

City College clubs and professors assembled Wednesday to present the documentary titled “Requiem for the American Dream” to address and examine American democracy and the rise of inequality.

The event was hosted by City College clubs including the Associated Student Government, Our Revolution, the Honors Program, and Phi Theta Kappa. The professors who participated in the discussion were the Political Science Professors Joe Martorana and Kay Zare along with Philosophy Professor Marc Bobro.

“Our Revolution is a public organization that’s raising people’s consciousness about government,” David Panbehchi, commissioner of events for the student government, said. “We’re looking to educate, globalize, and organize.”

To make it possible for attendees to participate in the later discussion, they showed the documentary, “Requiem for the American Dream.” The film is made up of a series of interviews over the course of four years with Noam Chomsky, a well-known political activist, social critic, American linguist, and cognitive scientist.

Chomsky discussed how the concentration of wealth and power has been controlled by a small fraction of the nation’s population, and demonstrates this by reviewing 10 principles that have played a significant role throughout the nation’s inequality.

After watching the documentary, students engaged in a 45 minute discussion panel with the professors asking questions about the film, the professors professional opinions, and insight about the topics Chomsky conferred.

Professor Zare shared his views about how citizens have power being consumers, and that people need to start actively using that power.

“Your role in this democracy is statistically insignificant,” said Zare. “That’s not an ideal thing to hear, right?”

Professor Martorana then talked about how economy has been redesigned and shifted so that the middle class people are no longer significant. Big corporations strategically move money around so they can continue to make profit. Even when the middle class goes on strike, there will always be another country to move to.

After answering students questions and diving deeper into the previously discussed topics, they thanked everyone for attending the event.

Electrical Engineering Major Charles Bensfield, 27, said that he found the event informative, especially in regards to the history of protesting and how change in America has occurred.

Panbehchi expressed that he was elated with how successful the event was and that he can’t wait to host future events to help more students consciously participate in politics.