Brent Peluso


Social Justice, Per. 2


San Diego Union Tribune Article

SD City Schools Struggle to Maintain Baseball Legacies

In decades before, San Diego’s influence on the baseball world was tremendous. “...​the

five most inner-city schools – Crawford, San Diego, Hoover, Morse and Lincoln – contributed a

tremendous total to the major league ranks – 43 players in all.” The crawford Colts, however,

won their first game of the season on monday when King Chavez Community High School

forfeited. Additio​nally, Morse is 5-23, Hoover is 6-18-1, and San Diego is 7-19. The article states

that “Well-funded, abundantly coached and highly specialized suburban kids are dominating

those who may have played only Little League before high school.” A pay-to-play environment is

creating a large issue among baseball communities, especially in inner cities. Baseball’s

inherently high cost relative to other sports, such as basketball where you can pick up a ball and

get on the court, is largely due to the cost of equipment and cost to maintain baseball facilities.

“Kids become ineligible because of grades. Others can only show up sporadically because they

have jobs. Two boys, Pasternack said, were nearly homeless, and saved only by living with

friends. One student’s brother was deported, the coach said, and other players worried that they

would be picked up by immigration officers during practice.”
This is a social justice issue because it concerns access to sports for kids. Because of

the sport’s cost, inner city kids are unable to participate in club ball, which is flooded by

suburban kids who can afford the newest, best equipment and can pay to participate in these

programs. As a result, the development of privileged children’s skills are unmatched by those of

inner city kids.

In my opinion, this pay-to-play environment for baseball is detrimental to the

development of inner city schools’ baseball programs. Yet, a solution to the issue is beyond

many. Non-profit organizations that work to solve this issue have had limited success. Crawford

High School head coach Dan Pasternak expressed, “Some of my best players have come from

the RBI(Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities) program. But we haven’t gotten enough kids

because it’s hard to make inroads in the neighborhoods. Baseball has a barrier to entry – it’s a

skill sport. Kids struggle, and if they miss the ball or strike out, sometimes they don’t come

back.” Hopefully, players’ socioeconomic standing will not dictate the extent of an individual’s

participation in baseball and flourishing baseball communities may develop in inner city schools

in the future.


Brent Peluso


Social Justice; P. 2

EPA Removes Climate Change Information From Website

CNN Article

The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, removed most of its climate change

information from their website on Friday. They stated in a press release that they are updating

the website to “reflect the approach of new leadership.” EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt,
expressed that he was doubtful of the reasons for climate change, including skepticism in the

role carbon dioxide plays. The EPA's associate administrator for public affairs, J.P. Freire,

explained that the agency wants ​"to eliminate confusion by removing outdated language.” Many

environmental groups and activists are unsettled, and took to the streets in Washington D.C. to

participate in a protest on climate change issues. A Sierra Club spokesperson told CNN on

saturday that “If they haven't gotten the message yet, they're about to get it today. The

American people want a government to fight for the health of this planet and for climate action to

help protect all families in America."

This is a Social Justice issue because it is concerns the topic of environmental

protection. Many Americans find that protecting public health and the environment is a very

important task of the government, but new U.S. administration is undermining environmental

efforts. The Sierra Club spokesperson also stated that the move is "a sad reflection on the

priorities of Donald Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

In my opinion, Climate change is an important issue that needs to be addressed with a

sense of urgency. It’s also important that the government recognizes climate change and

provides the public with complete, accurate, and unbiased information about the topic. This

would encourage individuals to participate in the battle to reduce humans’ carbon footprint.


Brent Peluso


Social Justice; Per. 2


News Article

U.S. one of the worst countries when it comes to parental leave
The US is one of three countries that doesn’t guarantee paid parental leave. The

Family and Medical Leave Act offers 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected leave for

specific family and medical leave. Trump’s family leave act offers new mothers who are

not given maternity leave by an employer to be paid six weeks of unemployment

benefits by the government. Under Trump's proposal, the US would give women who

have had a baby less paid time off than the UK and Australia, which also offer women a

relatively poor deal compared to countries such as Estonia and Hungary, where new

mothers can get more than a year off work.

This is a social Justice issue because it focuses on the rights of mothers to a

substantial amount of time for a full recovery from childbearing as well as time to care

for and spend time with their newborn child.

In my opinion, parents should be entitled to a reasonable number of weeks of

paid leave to fulfill their parental responsibility. Trump’s parental leave act is insufficient

because it offers only a small amount of time and unemployment benefits, not the actual

salary of the mother. I also believe that fathers should get a number of weeks of

paternal leave to spend time with their newborn.


Brent Peluso


Social Justice; Per 2


Current Event 4th Quarter

Link to CNN Article
Taiwan passed an amendment to its animal protection laws making the consumption of

dog and cat meat illegal. Previously, the Animal Protection Act had banned the slaughter and

sale of dog and cat meat, but now strictly prohibits the consumption of the meat. The

amendment is part of an effort to end brutal dog meat trade in Asia. Those who eat dog or cat

meat can now be fined between $1,640 and $8,200. The amendment is also a strong signal to

china, where dog meat trade remains. China has received a lot of criticism for their dog meat

festival in Yulin, where 10,000 dogs are slaughtered and served. The public is acknowledging

the criminality behind the industry and the benefits that dogs bring to society.

This is a social justice issue because it addresses the topic of Animal rights and the

protection of animals. Animal rights is the idea that all animals are entitled to the possession of

their own lives and that their basic interests be given the same consideration as similar interests

of humans.

In my opinion, the amendment is beneficial to animal protection efforts. Cats and dogs

have the ability to make personal connections to humans due to the fact that humans have them

as pets. This personal connection makes the trade and consumption of dog and cat meat seem

especially inhumane in comparison with the consumption of beef, chicken, or pork. However,

laws and acts protecting the lives of cats and dogs from human consumption may begin to

create questions regarding what animals should be exempt from human consumption.


Brent Peluso Link to CNN Article


Social Justice; Period 2


Racism and Flint Water Crisis
The population of Flint, Michigan is 57% black, 37% white, 4% Latino and the rest mixed

race. Many allegations made by the Flint public are claiming that the city’s water crisis is a result

of systematic discrimination and racism. One Flint resident stated that, “If this was in a white

area, in a rich area, there would have been something done. I mean, let's get real here. We

know the truth." Attorney Michael. Pitt questioned why, “the predominantly African-American

population was exposed to contaminated river water while the surrounding predominantly white

population continued to receive clean Detroit water."

This is a social justice issue because it focuses on unfair, unequal treatment of different

peoples based on race. In particular, this social justice issue can be referred to as

environmental racism. The article also states that, “last year that the residents of Flint -- 40% of

whom live below the poverty line -- were the victims of ‘environmental racism’." Explicitly stated,

environmental racism refers to the disproportionate availability of clean air, clean water, etc

based on socially marginalized minority communities.

In my opinion, all members of the community should be treated the same regardless of

wealth or status. Many times, we fail to concern ourselves with serious issues, such as the Flint

water crisis, when it does not concern us or people like us. As a society, we are in a process of

repairing the damage that has been done by racism in the recent past, and in doing so we must

make a conscious effort to take interest and take initiative to solve problems that don't have a

direct impact on us.


Brent Peluso

Putting Iran "on notice" Current Event

Iran’s recent ballistic missile test launch was condemned by Donald Trump’s National

Security Advisor Michael Flynn, calling it a “provocative” breach of UN Security Council
resolution. Flynn stated in a White House briefing that "As of today, we are officially putting Iran

on notice.” The US has not yet decided if it will take action beyond a verbal warning. US officials

have stated that they are considering “a whole range of options”, including possible financial

measures and economic sanctions. In response, Iran's foreign ministry insisted Tuesday that

Sunday's missile test was "solely for defensive purposes," and not a violation of the UN Security

Council resolution.

"The Trump administration condemns such actions by Iran that undermine security,

prosperity and stability throughout and beyond the Middle East and place American lives at

risk," Flynn stated. The United Nations condemns actions such as those taken by Iran in its

ballistic missile test launch. Furthermore, UN policy on social justice states​ that coherent

cooperation between the nations of the UN is essential to maintaining social justice, and that

Iran’s actions may have contradicted such cooperation.

While the article states that Iran’s actions of late have compromised foreign policy, it

must be noted that President Trump has created an ethnic barrier as a result of recent executive

orders, such as the travel ban, in which he denied all travelers from 7 different nations

admission to the US. Many of these orders may alienate allies in counter-terrorism efforts and

may not achieve the goal of making the US safer. Placing Iran “On Notice”, along with

previously mentioned executive orders may consequently lead to anti-American sentiment, and

while security is of high importance, foreign relations with nations in the middle east is essential

in the war on terrorism, which poses more of a threat that Iran’s test launch on US security.

CNN Article