Gunshots, Childhood Friends, And Tupac: A Night At Big D’s Block Party

The story starts Friday night at Big D’s block party who is a resident of the Garden Heights neighborhood. Starr is at the party with Kenya, who is Seven’s half-sister and the daughter of King, a well-known gang banger and drug dealer in the community. Starr didn’t plan on going to the party that night, but being that Kenya dragged her there she had no choice. She felt out of place mainly because she lost touch with all of her old friends from Garden Heights six years ago when she transferred to Williamson Prep.

Kenya wanted her to be at the party because she said that people had been saying that Starr thinks she’s all that ever since she went over to that school with all those white folk. She also makes fun of Starr about what she has on, which is her brother Seven’s hoodie, some blue jeans, and a pair of Jordans. Starr describes Kenya as beautiful and also very fashionable, so that is why she makes that comment. While they are at the party, Kenya is giving a side eye to her enemy Denasia and urges Starr to help her handle her. Starr says no and later realizes that that is the whole reason why Kenya brought her to the party in the first place. Kenya walks away to get a drink leaving Starr by herself and feeling even more uncomfortable than she was before.

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She then sees Khalil, her childhood best friend whom she also lost touch with when she transferred to Williamson. He comes over to her, and they begin to talk and start to make up for a lost time. He tells her that his grandmother, Ms.Rosalie, has been diagnosed with cancer and is going through chemotherapy. Because of this, she was fired from her job at the hospital. He also tells Starr that his mother, Brenda, is still struggling to get clean. In the middle of the conversation, two gunshots go off, and Starr and Khalil duck. Khalil pulls Starr’s arm and takes her out of the party and into his car. They drive off, and while they are in the car, Starr texts Kenya and asks her if she is okay. She replies that she’s fine and that she is about to go handle Denasia.

During the drive, Khalil starts brushing his hair and says that the gunshots probably started from the fight between the gang rivals, the Garden Disciples, and the King Lords. Then he turns on the radio and starts listening to Tupac. He starts to explain to Starr the meaning behind what Tupac thought Thug Life meant. The Hate U Give Little Infants F***s Everybody. To Khalil, that meant whatever you put into young children’s minds at a young age is what they’ll grow up to believe, and each one of those beliefs will later make a negative or positive change in society.

Starr suspected that Khalil sold drugs, so she said something to him about selling drugs. He says it’s because he needs to support his family and because his grandmother lost her job, times were getting hard, and he was tired of choosing between food and light. Seven texts Starr and asks her where she is and that she better not be at Big D’s party. Khalil sees the message, and he and Starr laugh about how overprotective Seven is. Then they start to bring up old memories about their best friend Natasha and how they used to call themselves tighter than Voldemort’s nose. After that, the police come behind them to pull them over.

Arguments For And Against Vaccination Against Diseases Such As Polio

Getting vaccinated is a very controversial topic right now; some people are against it, and some people are for it. This is a very important topic because it can either harm a child or save them from a disease that is going around or is super contagious. According to omicsonline.org, A vaccine is a biological preparation that provides active acquired immunity to a particular disease. When disease germs enter your body, they start to reproduce. Your immune system recognizes these germs as foreign invaders and responds by making proteins called antibodies. These antibodies’ first job is to help destroy the germs that are making you sick.

Vaccines are developed by doctors and tested many times before they are put on humans. Some parents fear vaccinations because they’re scared that they might harm their children instead of protecting them. On the other hand, some parents demand their children get vaccinated because they want them to be immune to any possible diseases that they can get. Schools have required vaccines that students are supposed to have, but since some parents are really against it, the schools are now allowed to give the students or their parents a paper to fill out to exempt them. Parents who have the option to vaccinate their children should do so because immunization protects future generations, and vaccines are safe and effective since they have been studied and perfected by doctors before they are used on people.

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The first vaccine was used to try and stop smallpox, which was becoming a huge problem in 1796. Edward Jenner was a country Doctor living in Berkley. Jenner started to notice that a lot of people were getting this disease, and it was spreading fast. “We begin our history of vaccines and immunization with the story of Edward Jenner, a country doctor living in Berkeley (Gloucestershire), England, who in 1796 performed the world’s first vaccination. “(Healthaffairs.org). The first vaccine was used on a small boy, James Phipps, and he was injected with pus from a cowpox lesion. Edward Jenner noticed that James did not end up getting smallpox but was rather immune to it.

Jenner then came to the realization that by injecting the boy with pus, his body started to build immunity to that disease. After Jenner noticed that the vaccine worked, he started perfecting more and coming out with many new studies to help different diseases. “His method underwent medical and technological changes over the next 200 years and eventually resulted in the eradication of smallpox.” (Historyofvaccines.org). Thanks to Edward Jenner, and the people who continued to follow his studies, many harmful diseases have been eradicated and can no longer be of any harm to us. Some parents are concerned that the vaccines their children might receive are not safe or it can harm them. The truth is that before a vaccine is actually put on a person, it is tested many times and has to undergo states and trials to make it safe for humans.

Some concerns that arise with vaccines are that people are afraid that vaccines contain harmful ingredients that can harm the person instead of helping them. The truth is that the ingredients in vaccines are safe in the amounts used. Ingredients such as thimerosal, formaldehyde, and aluminum, can be harmful in large doses, but they are not used in harmful quantities in vaccines. Children are exposed to a lot more aluminum in breast milk and infant formula than they are exposed to in vaccines. According to vaccines.org, children are exposed to way more bacteria in the air and with other people touching them than with the actual vaccine. There have not been many cases where vaccines are unsafe since they are severely tested and analyzed, so vaccines being harmful should not have to be a worry to any concerned parent.

A major concern that interferes with people getting vaccines is that mandatory vaccines infringe upon constitutionally protected religious freedoms and that some people might be allergic to the ingredients that are put in vaccines. I understand this concern, but adverse reactions to vaccines are extremely rare and do not happen often. The most common side effect of vaccines, anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction), occurs in one per several hundred thousand to one per million vaccinations. According to Sanjay Gupta, Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN and practicing neurosurgeon, ‘you are 100 times more likely to be struck by lightning than to have a serious allergic reaction to the vaccine that protects you against measles.’

Other arguments against vaccines include that Vaccines are unnatural and that natural immunity is more effective than vaccination. Some people are even afraid that vaccines are “evil.” But in reality, Vaccines save children and their parents a lot of time and also money. Vaccines cost less in time and money to obtain than infectious diseases cost in time off of work to care for a sick child and potential long-term disability care. For example, “children under five with the flu are contagious for about eight days, and, according to a 2012 CDC study, cost their parents an average of 11 to 73 hours of wages (about $222 to $1,456) and $300 to $4,000 in medical expenses.” (vaccines.org) Vaccines help children stay safe in the long run, and they benefit the parents as well.

An argument against vaccines is that diseases that vaccines target have essentially disappeared. They also argue that there is no reason to vaccinate against diseases that no longer occur in the United States. But what they don’t realize is that Vaccines eradicated smallpox and have nearly eradicated other diseases such as polio. Children are no longer vaccinated against smallpox because the disease no longer exists due to vaccination. The” last case of smallpox in the United States was in 1948; the last case in the world was in 1977 in Somalia. In the twentieth century, there were 16,316 deaths from polio and 29,004 deaths from smallpox yearly in the United States; in 2012, there were no reported cases of polio or smallpox” (Healthy children). All of these horrible diseases are no longer here today, and we have nobody to thank besides vaccines themselves and the people who helped develop and perfect them.

If parents have the option to vaccinate their children, then they should do so because not only will it help the child, but it will help the generations after that. Many deadly diseases have been eradicated thanks to vaccines, so that means that we no longer have them around. Vaccines help you develop immunity without getting sick first since they are made from the same bacteria and germs. “Your immune system reacts to the vaccine in a similar way that it would if it were being invaded by the disease since it makes antibodies” (Vaccines.org). Then, the antibodies destroy the vaccine germs just as they would the disease germs. Then they stay in your body, giving you immunity, and if you’re ever exposed to the real disease, the antibodies are there to protect you from it. Imagine if we didn’t have vaccines? If we still had smallpox and polio? People everywhere would be infected or dying. Vaccines have helped us tremendously throughout the years, and they continue to do so even today.

Works Cited

  1. “The History Of Vaccines And Immunization: Familiar Patterns, New Challenges.” The Physician Payments Sunshine Act, www.healthaffairs.org/doi/full/10.1377/hlthaff.24.3.611
  2. “How Vaccines Work.” Vaccine Information You Need from the Immunization Action Coalition, vaccines-work/.

    Hinman et al. “Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, Immunizations, and the Epidemic Intelligence Service.” OUP Academic, Oxford Academic, 1 Dec. 2011, academic.oup.com/aje/article/174/suppl_11/S16/106995.

  3. Bronfin, D. (2018). Childhood Immunization Controversies: What Are Parents Asking? [online] PubMed Central (PMC). Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3096324/ [Accessed 11 Nov. 2018].
  4. HealthyChildren.org. (2018). Vaccine Safety: Examine the Evidence. [online] Available at: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/immunizations/Pages/Vaccine-Studies-Examine-the-Evidence.aspx [Accessed 11 Nov. 2018].

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