A) Loory, Stuart H. "Reporter Trails 'Freedom' Bus, Caught in Riot" Reporting Civil Rights, Part 1. New York: Library of America, 2003. Pp 573-579. January 7, week one.
B) This passage is describing the "Freedom Rides". He explains how the student riders, both whites and blacks, were harassed along their journey and badly beaten in Montgomery Alabama. "Using metal pipes, baseball bats, sticks and fists, the mob surged on the small roup of Freedom Riders, clubbing, punching, chasing and beating both whites and Negroes. When some of the bus riders began to run, the mob went after them, caught them and threw them to the ground. The attackers stomped on at least two of them." (573). Although 9 people were arrested, they were held on charges like "disorderly conduct and refusing to obey a police officer," and 2 of the 9 were held on drunk charges. No one was punished for the brutal beatings that the riders, and reports who were chronicling the event, received. The article discusses how the governor of Alabama, Governor Patterson, said that he had "no sympathy for law violators, whether they be agitators from outside Alabama or inside the state trouble makers" and that he would not help "rabble rousers" who were disobeying laws and flaunting their customs and traditions. He argued that any treatment they received was brought upon themselves. Police officers were very slow to arrive to the scene and did not help the injured people, saying it was up to them to arrange their own transportation to the hospital.
C) This passage shows how discrimination was legal in the South for a very long time. Racism was publically endorsed by policy makers and police officers. People were very set in their traditions of segregation and discrimination and were outraged by groups trying to change them. It shows how police officers faced no consequences to purposefully not protecting an endangered group of people, because they had the state government's support. Shows how the racism is structural and therefore is harder to break down, when it exists in both public attitude and public policy.
a) Kempton, Murray. "Tear Gas and Hymns". Reporting Civil Rights, Part 1. New York: Library of America, 2003. Pp 580-584. January 7, week one. Winter Quarter.
b) "The bus riders, looking like children, were lined up in the second row of steel chairs. None of them sang and half of them held their hands over their eyes in the prayer gesture. The Attorney General of Alabama had haggled over them all afternoon; they are subject to arrest for contempt of a state injunction" (581).
During the activist movement of the 1960s, a group of college students began the Freedom Rides. These students, of various ethnic and racial backgrounds, fought against segregation riding Greyhound buses together into the Deep South. Twelve of these freedom riders sat in a church in Montgomery, Alabama awaiting the state's legal decision, surrounded by an angry mob. In "Tear Gas and Hymns", Murray Kempton writes of the tense, anxiety ridden situation these young adults faced. They sat, surrounded by angry citizens and the threat of physical harm due to their fight for equality. Police held back the mob outside the church, having to resort to tear gas. The major concepts of "Tear Gas and Hymns" are the youthfulness of the riders and the wrongful reaction of the government. It plays on the themes of strength in the face of opposition and determination. Kempt addresses the youth of the riders stating that they looked "like children". He states that they held their hands in the "prayer gesture". Both these actions call to mind the image of a fragile child. Traditionally children are thought of as helpless and in need of protection. Instead, these "children" are "subject to arrest" and the focal point of a mob. Rather than protect these children, the public becomes a mob and tries to hurt them. Rather than consider their innocence and question the validity of segregation, the government wants to arrest them. They are under the threat of arrest and physical pain, despite their child reminiscent behavior. By portraying the riders as children, Kempt argues against the government and for desegregation. In addition, the themes of strength in the face of opposition and determination are addressed through the placement of the students' hands. This gesture implies they were praying in recognition of their plight. Praying is a way to ask God for strength and help oneself through difficult situations. By describing the students as praying, Kempt shows that the students are worried. However, despite acting on this worry and trying to run away, they hold strong in the face of opposition and remain seated. Rather than run away, they sit determined and simply pray. This portrays the riders in a positive light and lends to their, then controversial, movement. They may be desperate enough to ask for God's help but they are still strong enough to face man's judgment.
c) This passage was the reading for week 1. During week 1, we discussed the civil rights movement and the fight to end segregation. This article discussed a major point of our study, the people behind the civil rights movement. "Tear Gas and Hymns" was read in preparation for January 7th's class. It had implications on the material we went into that day and had the same topic of the video watched in class. Also, it tied into week one's discussion, in which we discussed student participation in political movements. It helped to consider our role in the government and public policy. Our class, Interracial Dynamics in American Society and Culture, was able to use this article to discuss perceptions and how perceptions can affect one's judgment.
a) Duke, Bob. "2 Mob Victims Ready To Die for Integration." Reporting Civil Rights, Part 1. New York: Library of America, 2003. 585-588.
b) "Two adamant Freedom Riders--battered and bruised from beatings administered by a white mob--vowed Saturday afternoon to sacrifice their lives if necessary to break down racial barriers in the South." The reading was more like a report from a newspaper article than an analytical piece. It recounts the experiences of James W. Zwerg, a white exchange student at Fisk University in Nashville and William F. H. Barbee, a student at American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville. Both were part of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, led by Martin Luther King. Zwerg, according to the report, was the second man attacked by the mob, after the cameraman. The assaulters called him a dirty ****** lover and beat him to unconsciousness. Zwerg expressed hope that whites will have a change of heart on the racial issue. Furthermore, both the men expressed hate towards the segregation institutions, rather than the people.
c) The reading relates to the video shown during lecture of the brutal assault Freedom Riders faced. Even James Zwerg, a white exchange student advocating for racial equality, faced severe beating--perhaps, even worse than what his black co-riders faced. Since Zwerg was white, many of the assaulters called him was white trash, a traitor for siding with the blacks over whites. The reading, at one point, discredits the idea of interracial marriage, but ultimately demonstrates the heart of those who fought against the racist institutions within America.
a) a) "Burn, Baby, Burn" Understanding the Riots: Los Angeles Before and After the Rodney King Case Los Angeles: Los Angeles Times, 1992. Pp. 9-11, 15-16. Week 2, Jan 14.
b) b) "Test scores in Watts were as low as one-sixth of those in the city's best schools-schools that in the '50's and '60s were graduating many of the whites who would take their places atop the city's Establishment leadership in the '80s and '90s. In the inner city, many children simply give up- on school, on family, on life. The McCone Commission ultimately would lament: 'What has depressed and stunned us most is the dull, devastating spiral of failure that awaits the average disadvantaged child in the urban core.'
And so exploded in gunfire and flames, setting the national tone for a turbulent decade of defiance, militancy, impatience, disillusionment, and reevaluation."(17)
This passage illustrates the inequality facing the black community before the Watts Rebellion. It also relates that riot to that in 1992, by means of implying white hegemony due to structural discrimination against blacks earlier on. The social stratification mentioned was the result of social and economic forces that in turn influenced the decade. This is in the context of the 1990's riots.
c) The passage addresses themes of institutional discrimination and inequality, the self-perpetuation of white hegemony, and the response of the black inner city both in 1965 and 1992. It discusses the cyclical nature of poverty and hopelessness among disadvantaged minorities and the role of the white establishment of institution to that end.
a) Carol Anderson, Eyes Off the Prize: The United Nations and the African American Struggle for Human Rights, 1944-1955. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003. Pp. 65-75.
b) This article discusses two methods of nonviolent direct action—the bus boycotts of the 1950s and the sit-ins of the 1960s. According to Anderson, the period between the 1950s bus boycotts and the 1960 sit-ins provided pivotal resources for the emerging civil rights movement. During this period, the foundation of the civil rights movement was built and active local movement centers were formed in Southern black communities. Using quotations from civil rights activists such as Martin Luther King Jr. and examples of nonviolent protests such as restaurant sit-ins, Anderson explains how blacks implemented a new plan to end segregation—through civil disobedience. In 1959, members of the SCLC, CORE, and FOR entered a segregated restaurant in Atlanta after holding a nonviolent workshop at a nearby college campus. "This interracial group shocked everyone by sitting down and eating . . . Besides providing an example for the other workshop participants, these acts of defiance showed everyone how to protest. Marvin Rich of CORE explained: 'They were being demonstrated in a public form, so people would just walk by and see it. And people who didn't think things were possible saw that they were possible, and six months later, in their own home town, they may try it out'" (73). This passage demonstrates how protesters set examples for other people of nonviolent direct action. While there was widespread frustration and hostility toward the white community, many people were hesitant to stand up for their rights. It took certain people and organizations to take action first before others started to follow. This passage gives an example of a few people who sparked a movement for action. Because early sit-ins did not give rise to a massive sit-in movement before 1960, these individual protests were very important in proving to people that nonviolence can lead to success.
c) Anderson's analysis of the sit-in movement is strongly associated with Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech on bus boycotts. In his speech, he emphasizes the need for civil disobedience because with this nonviolence, comes dignity. He states that avoiding violence will distinguish themselves from their opponents in the Klan and the White Citizens Council because they will have accomplished their goal while maintaining their moral standards. In Sawyer's lecture on "Non-violent Social Change and its Critics," he explains that some people such as Malcolm X had an opposing viewpoint on civil change. This passage brings up questions that we have talked about in discussion section that relate to Sawyer's lecture: MLK and Malcolm X disagreed on the method for obtaining racial freedom. Is there evidence for a better tactic (nonviolence vs. violence)? Whose responsibility is it to ignite change? Is it the government's responsibility or the responsibility of the oppressed?
a) King, Jr., Martin Luther. "Letter from the Birmingham Jail." Why We Can't Wait. New York: New American Library, 1964. Pp. 76-95. (Thursday January 9 Week One)
b) "First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride towards freedom is not the White Citizen's Couciler or the Klu Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to 'order' than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the presence of injustice; who constantly says: 'I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action'; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a 'more convenient season.' Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering that outright rejection" (85).
This passage illustrates the main problem that Martin Luther King Jr. sees. King blames the 'white moderate' for the way blacks are being treated. The white moderates are those who neither hate nor support the blacks. They are those who are in the middle but at the same time are neither. King uses the word 'lukewarm' to describe them and says he would rather have those people reject blacks than to promise change but never do anything about it. The white moderate is also a person who wants to decide when the convenient time will be and the methods that should be used to obtain this freedom. I believe that King is saying that if it were not for these white moderates then freedom would be easier to attain. This is why King is calling people to take action, because he feels that their freedom has been put off for too long and that it is time people pick a side, against or for. He does not mind if people are against giving the blacks freedom but at least they have chosen a path to take. He is just not happy with the idea of being in the middle because that indecisiveness leads to nothing being done and he has had enough.
c) This idea of a "white moderate" is relatable to the idea behind a "model minority". When referring to a "model minority" we think of people of color who have outdone themselves and reached a level of success where they surpass other minorities. When these minorities begin to catch up to whites, they cease to be a model and whites refer to them using stereotypical slurs like "yellow peril" or "wetbacks" or "Negros". This shows how whites "accept" these minorities but whites get to decide when and by what means these minorities get to stand out. Using the phrase "model minority" is a juxtaposition because "model" is something to be followed and imitated yet the word "minority" establishes a sense of "foreignness" and of inequality. Both are regulated through the white majority who neither outright accept nor reject those under this status.
A.) Week 1: January 9th Thursday
Malcolm X. "The Ballot or the Bullet." Malcolm X Speaks. New York: Grove, 1965. Pp. 23-44
B.) "I'm questioning their sincerity, and some of the strategy that they've been using on our people by promising them promises that they don't intend to keep. When you keep the Democrats in power, you're keeping the Dixiecrats in power. I doubt that my good Brother Lomax will deny that. A vote for a Democrat is a vote for a Dixiecrat. That's why, in 1964, it's time now for you and me to become politically mature and realize what the ballot is for; and that if we don't cast a ballot, it's going to end up in a situation where we're going to have to cast a bullet. It's either a ballot or a bullet." (pg.30)
In addressing the African-American community, Malcolm believes that Blacks should live in accordance with his ideal of the ballot or the bullet. By not living up to this "ballot or the bullet" ideal African-Americans are, in a sense, allowing and perpetuating the racism directed towards themselves. The ballots are [were], contrary to popular belief, being used against the African-American community; the African-American communities were being used for their ballots and got nothing in return from elected officials. Malcolm argues that this presidential election year (1964), African-Americans should use ballots maturely. By maturely he means that blacks should recognize the power of a ballot and collectively use them in a manner that benefits the black communities across the nation. However, one should pocket his/her ballot if it's not in the best interest of the voters' rights.. In doing so, African Americans are left with no other choice but to take on the responsibility of protecting their own constitutional rights by any means necessary.This is where the bullet comes in.
C.) This passage, although directed towards African-American unity, also brings up the importance of unity among "brothers" or other minorities. A unity between Latino, Asian, and African-American brothers is an important theme throughout the course. Malcolm argued that when these brothers come together, their voting power has the ability to hold Sam in check. In other words, by erasing the lines that separate minorities from one another, minorities are more effectively able to manipulate government legislation in a manner that allows minorities to have a say in the government. Such a unity has been supported by such individuals as MLK Jr and John Horton who also claim that cross-racial alliances fight against nativism in the U.S..
A). January 16 (Thursday) pages 289-292
Weed, Perry. "Components of the White Ethnic Movement." White Ethnics: Life In Working-Class America. Edited by Joseph A. Ryan. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1973. Pp. 17-23
B). This essay is a statistical overview of the different components of white ethnics, specifically regarding the categories of residency, religion, and the blue-collar dimension. These statistics are summarized in the conclusion of the essay, "White ethnics easily number more than 40 million Americans. They live in the Northeast and Great Lakes regions, generally in the larger cities rather than rural areas, are predominantly Catholic, but with large numbers of Jews in New York City and other Northern urban areas, and lastly are heavily represented, except for Jews, in blue-collar occupations. Irish-Americans, German-Americans, and Jews are less likely to be a part of this broadly defined group than Americans of Eastern, Central, and Southern descent" (page 22). This passage shows that white ethnics are a disproportionately high percentage of the blue-collar labor force and the majority of the blue collar labor jobs are located in the Industrial Northeast and Midwest states (i.e. New York City, Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, Gary, Buffalo, and Pittsburgh).
C). This passage also discusses how white ethnics are becoming a distinct minority. They are have been described as alienated, forgotten, troubled, disillusioned, frustrated and angry. This aligns with Professor Decker's lecture on 1/16/14 when he discussed the three overlapping phases of the white ethnics. First they were assimilated into Anglo-American culture which gave them a toehold into the benefits of white privilege. Second, they experienced a backlash during the Civil Rights era to counter the threat black inclusion posed to toehold on white privilege. Finally multiculturalism challenged the distribution of white privilege and minority entitlements. Professor Decker's information on residency, class, and jobs also correlates with the statistics provided in the article.
a) Thursday January 16- Week 2. Talese, Gay. Honor Thy Father. New York: World Publishing, 1971. Pp.459-465.
b)"It was therefore astonishing to such theorists to read on June 29, 1970, that approximately 40,000 people gathered in New York's Columbus Circle on Italian- American Unity Day to proclaim their pride in their Italian heritage and express deep resentment at the press and law enforcement authorities that concentrated on the Mafia. The Mafia some protestors said, was only a small part of organized crime, while other protestors said there was no Mafia at all - it was merely a creation of the media and the FBI." (pg.460)
In this paragraph you can see that people of Italian heritage were being suspected of being part of the Mafia simply because they were Italian. The fact that in this passage it says "theorists" were shocked that Italian-Americans were gathered together to fight against what the media says about them, shows that there is no actual proof that there is such a thing as the Mafia. The article is talking about Joseph Colombo's son being arrested for being part of the Mafia. However, there is controversy because he is being unjustly accused and they have no proof, that is why people have come together to protest.
c) The article is talking about the misconception about Italian-Americans and the media portraying them as part of the Mafia. In one of the lectures the Professor talked about how certain minority groups have been associated with a stereotype based off of their skin color or race. For example this ties back to how black people are usually stereotyped as being gangsters. Although they are not gangsters people assume that they are because it is how the media has portrayed them. Another good example of this would be the screening that we watched last quarter about Middle Eastern people being viewed as terrorists just because of the way they look. This in effect causes this group to be viewed in a negative way even though they might actually be innocent.
a) Week 3- January 21- Asian American Movement
Umemoto, Karen. "'On Strike!' San Francisco State College Strike, 1968-69: The Role of Asian American Students." Ameraisa 15 (1989): 3-41
b) "African American, Asian American, Chicano, Latino and Native American students called for ethnic studies and open admissions under the slogan of self- determination. They fought for the right to determine their own futures, They believed that they could shape the course of history and define a "new consciousness." For Asian American students in particular, this also marked a "shedding of silence" and an affirmation of identity... The focus of the strike was a redefinition of American society." (pg 3-4)
This passage by Umemoto focuses on the idea of "self-determination" especially within the Asian American community of students. Umemoto says that the strike "marked a "shedding of silence"" which foreshadows the rest of the article which explains how the Asian American students rise up and fight for their educational opportunities. Also, how the Asian American students take pride in their Asian heritage and identity. This strike paved the way for other movements like the Native American Movement and educational opportunities especially within higher education. Umemoto makes it clear that the result of the strike produced an awareness of racial harmony.
c) This article explores not only the Asian American community but shows that ways that outside influences like Martin Luther King, Jr., the Civil Rights Movement, Anti-War Movement, and others helped start the Asian American Movement. In Professor Matsumoto's lecture about this particular passage, she brought up the idea of interracialism and nationalism that came from the strike and outside influences. Those involved in the strike formed a community to overcome racial discrimination though the "new consciousness" and "self-determination" that Umemoto explained in the passage and through the previous influences that Asian Americans used as models to gain educational opportunities.
a) Smith, Twilight, Los Angeles: 1992, pp. xvii-xxviii, 257-265. Week 3 - January 23rd.
b) "There is little in culture or education that encourages the development of a unifying voice. In order to have real unity, all voices would have to first be heard or at least represented" (xxv).
This passage describes Anna Deavere Smith's philosophy in developing Twilight. This is her response to a question she said was posed often to her: "Did you find any one voice that could speak for the entire city?" (xxiv). The idea behind Twilight was to capture the true "character of Los Angeles" (xvii) through many different voices. Smith stresses that many different groups of people were affected by the riots, thus by portraying members of several different racial and ethnic groups, as well as members of different economic/social classes, she aims to give her audience/the reader the whole picture. In her introduction, Smith encourages dialogue between the racial and ethnic groups affected by the riots, so that the city of Los Angeles and its residents can move forward from them. She hopes her acting will help get the conversation started.
c) This course has made us consider many voices in this country's history. Through slaves' narratives, poetry from Angel Island, letters to bigoted governers, a letter from jail, and now a dramatization of modern voices, we students have become educated on the history of race relations in the country. From its history, we learn how we can improve. The course encourages to "reach across ethnic boundaries" (xxvi) through dialogue between students and faculty of different racial/ethnic groups in lecture and in sections. This is what Anna Deavere Smith hoped her work would bring about. Through critical analysis of our country's interracial dynamics, we learn that the only way to properly understand American interracial dynamics is to view them from all perspectives.po
a) Novick, Michael. "Police Killings and the Media: A Tale of Three Killings." Turning the Tide: Journal of Anti-Racist Action, Research & Education 12 (Summer 1999). January 23. Pages 335-339.
b) "'Don't trust everything you read in the papers.' This expression has become a proverb. Nowhere is it more true than in dealing with media reports of police killings. For several years, I've been browsing mainstream news media web sites for stories about police killings, beatings, racism, and corruption. What I've learned is that the media report the fact of police killings, but not the facts. Killings and shootings by the police are considered newsworthy on a par with traffic fatalities or yesterday's weather. Many reports are word-for-word transcripts of press statements by the police department involved.... Police brutality is not an aberration it's an epidemic, and it's systematic!" (335).
Novick exemplifies the proverb "Don't trust everything you read in the papers" in his discussion regarding three cases involving Tyisha Miller in Riverside, Ricardo Clos, and Margaret Laverne Mitchell. Novick examines each of these cases and uncovers the way in which the media distorted or misrepresented the "facts" of the case. Novick states, "the media reports the fact of police killings, but not the facts" meaning that newspapers will state that there were police killings without giving the details of the killings leaving the reader with insufficient information. This insufficient information then leads to incorrect assumptions like thinking the victim was to blame and that the policemen were just doing their duty. Novick also points out how "police are considered newsworthy on a par with traffic fatalities or yesterday's weather." "Traffic fatalities" and "yesterday's weather" should not equate the death of someone, but because the newspapers report police killings on the same level as less important news stories it devalues the police killings and writes them off as if they were unimportant.
c) The passage exemplifies how one needs to be critical of the media and to "not trust everything you read in the papers." Novick demonstrates how the media is misleading especially when reporting about police killings. If we think of mass media as an institution, then Novick uncovers the institutional racism embedded in the newspapers. Novick analyzes the different ways the media racializes the police killings. In the case of Tyisha Miller, for example, the media leads the reader to believe she was just a typical "gang-banger" who had a "criminal record" even though the article does not state whether she was convicted or not. It is evident that the media is simply another institution that furthers racial discrimination by reporting on facts that upholds white supremacy and by withholding details that would allow the reader to sympathize or form their own opinion about the victim.
A) Week 5: Zavella, Patricia. "Reflections on Diversity Among Chicanas." Frontiers 12 (1991): Pp. 73-83.
B) "Research shows that women who have dark skin, especially with indigenous features, faces the worst treatment from society at large. Individuals within Chicano communities may reflect this devaluation, or even internalize it, so that physical features are often noted and evaluated: Skin color in particular is commented on, with las gueras (light skinned ones) being appreciated and las prieta (dark-skinned ones) being admonished and devalued. In contrast, to white ethnic women, it is impossible for most Mexican women to "blend in," to opt out of their racial/ethnic status and pass for white. thus we see examples all the time of U.S. citizens being mistaken for undocumented immigrants and being deported because of the color of their skin." Pg. 79
Zavella argues that even though some women share similar issues and experiences, people usually associate women into one group or will separate them into racial groups. Using Chicanas as an example, Zavella explains that even though "Chicanas are racially distinct and have spanish language as a ethnic signifier" than white North americans, people should not assume that there is a "coherent Chicano cultural heritage", in which all values, norms, and customs form a tradition or culture that all Chicanos are socialized into (76). Therefore, a first generation Chicana and fourth Chicana may share the same skin type, but they don't necessarily share the same culture because they may have differences in citizenship, class, language, perspectives and experiences. Furthermore, Zavella stresses that one should notice individual identity amongst Chicanas rather than lumping them together into one category or racial group.
C) During discussion, we talked about broad implications of women of color being represented in entertainment. For example, music videos often have Chicano women that are light skinned. Therefore, the constant focus of "beautiful" light-skinned women in entertainment represents the bias treatment that dark-skinned women face. Categorizing women based by skin type is what Zavella is advocating against.
A) Week 5: Collins, Patricia Hill. "Toward a New Vision: Race, Class, and Gender as Categories of Analysis and Connection." The Meaning of Difference: American Constructions of Race, Sex and Gender, Social Class, and Sexual Orientation. Edited by Karen E. Rosenblum and Toni-Michelle C. Travis. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996. Pp. 213-223.
B) "Oppression is full of such contradictions. Errors in political judgment that we make concerning how we teach our courses, what we tell our children, and which organizations are worthy of our time, talents and financial support flow smoothly from errors in theoretical analysis about the nature of oppression and activism. Once we realize that there are few pure victims and oppressors, and that each one of us derives varying amounts of penalty and privilege from the multiple systems of oppression that frame our lives, then we will be in a position to see the need for new ways of thought and action." (538)
Collins is trying to rid of the "black and white" notion: the idea of "good and evil", "perpetrator and victim". There is a gray area where most of us lie. In many ways, we are oppressed and in many other ways, we are the oppressors. She does not want us to have dichotomous thinking because the simultaneous position becomes hard to see. If people can only see themselves as the victim, they cannot see themselves as the oppressor. To see oneself as partly an oppressor also means fixing the problem. Collins wants us to see that there is a problem that each of us contribute to. The only way to fix the problem is to know that it exists in the first place.
C) In Do the Right Thing, Sal says many times that he does not have a problem with the neighborhood and the people in it, and for a while, everyone seems to exist seemingly peacefully. However, racial tension definitely lurks. Many did not believe that there was indeed racial tension though. Because most did not realize there was a problem, the tension only continued to build until the problem became evident. By then, "solving the problem" had to resort to violence as a solution.
a) Winter Week 4: Feb 4th - Stevenson, Brenda E. "Latasha Harlins, Soon Ja Du, and Joyce Karlin: A Case Study of Multicultural Female Violence and Justice on the Urban Frontier." Journal of African American History (2004): 152-172
b) The goal of this author is to explore, "where women of various class, racial/ethnic, and generational affiliations stand in relation to each other and in relation to the larger society—underscoring the conflicting and complementary nature incumbent in, and in spite of, female diversity in contemporary urban society." In other words, women have differing structures within the female gender that cause an unequal separation of power and privilege. The author plans to explore this using the Latasha Harlins Case because the case involves an underprivileged black female teenager, a working class Asian immigrant mother, and a privileged white female judge. Each women is a different ethnicity and socioeconomic status which allows the author to make direct comparisons to the relation of these three women to the larger society.
"Clearly, the lives and experiences of Karlin, Du, and Harlins depict a hierarchy of women derived from, and largely responsive to, the larger social order that has traditionally or historically privileged some at the expense of others. Indeed in an urban arena such as Los Angeles, purportedly the most culturally diverse city in the United States, racial and class diversity more often than not means an unequal distribution of resources and power that deeply affects the quality of one's life. This case also suggests that it can immensely affect the quality of one's justice. The case of the People vs. Soon Ja DU, therefore, holds important symbolic and real implications for one's comprehension of female's social and status relations/relationships in contemporary urban society, particularly their relationships to power and their use of power in relation to one another." Pg. 165
- This passage outlines the reasoning behind the author's argument. That all three women are significantly unique in a way that people analyzing this case view each of them differently. Under the socioeconomic chain Latasha Harlin fell short by being the black (socially lower class) female (weaker gender), and was therefore looked down upon, and Soon Ja Du was given sympathy for being an Asian (model minority) mother (compassionate and caring). In this unequal distribution of power, in which Latasha Harlins is the least privileged, her quality of life is greatly affected and her justice is also affected. In contrast, Joyce Karlins, as the privileged white judge gives sympathy to Soon Ja Du because she is a mother and she does have a lot to live for. Karlins represents the relationship of power and how she uses her own power to help Soon Ja Du instead of hurt her, however, with the loss of justice for Latasha Harlins.
c) This passage aims to further explain the distribution of power and socioeconomic status among different races/ethnicities. At the same time it focuses on specifically the female gender as another factor that plays into the dynamics of status. In this case, woman are considered below men in social status, therefore, by being a black lower class women, Latasha Harlins is considered to have the lowest socioeconomic status and faces the most difficulty in life in regards to racialization, stereotyping, and success.
a.)Kelley, Robin. "Kickin' Reality, Kickin' Ballistics: 'Gangsta Rap' and Postindustrial Los Angeles." Race Rebels: Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class. New York: Free Press, 1994. Pp. 183-227. January 30. Week 4
b.)This article analyzes that "...a good deal of gangsta rap is...a window into, and critique of, the criminalization of black youth" (Kelley 185). The base of gangsta rap describes the social structure of where the black individual categorizes at. African-Americans have always been the targets of institutional racism, be it by the police or mainstream U.S. Gangsta rap serves as a window of opportunity for blacks to express their criminalization. Yet, as Kelley further argues, "...the rappers' own stereotypes of the ghetto as 'war zone' and the black youth as 'criminal'...in turn structure and constrain their efforts to create a counter narrative of life..."(Kelley 185). Kelley describes how instead of helping their efforts in portraying the discrimination of black youths and their hardships in life, gangsta rap instead is countering their measures and is even reinforcing the notion that blacks are indeed the so called criminals the rappers are trying to prove wrong in being.
c.) This article can associate with Bell Hooks' "Gangsta Culture" in that Hooks also argues that black gangsta rap is a product of the way white society dominates the black community. Gangsta rap is a way of displaying to the outside world that in the black community, one must do what they can in order to survive in a world full of prejudice that dominates black culture. Even though the intent of gangsta rap contradicts with what mainstream perceives of gangster rappers, in that gangsta rappers are actually harming themselves in depicting themselves as doing anything they can for survival (i.e., selling drugs, pimping, etc.)
A) Hooks, Bell. "Gangsta Culture - Sexism and Misogyny." Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations. New York: Routledge, 1994. Pp. 115-123. (Winter, Week 4, Jan. 30)
B) Gangsta rap "is not a product created in isolation within a segregated black world but is rather expressive of the cultural crossing, mixings, and engagement of black youth culture with the values, attitudes and concerns of the white majority [...] The sexist, misogynist, patriarchal ways of thinking and behaving that are glorified in gangsta rap are a reflection of the prevailing values in our society, values created and sustained by white supremacist capitalist patriarchy" (116).
Bell Hooks offers a "critique of white supremacist capitalist patriarchy" to shift the heat and hatred from the black youth and show that it is actually a perpetuating system upheld by the white capitalist patriarchy that encourages the misogynistic gangsta rap. She argues that black youth do not just grow up in isolation. They learn these values and ideas from somewhere - and that somewhere is the white majority. Not only that, the main audience to which gangsta rap appeals is white male youngsters. And if these black rappers can earn money in this capitalist system by producing gangsta rap with such values embodied in it, then they will continue to make such music because that is what is wanted. Violence is approved and therefore encouraged by the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. There exists a notion that manhood develops through the willingness to participate in this violence. And so young black males get sucked in to their own destruction because they are lead to believe that destruction is the only way to make it.
C) Though it is true that young black males are the ones creating such gangsta rap, they are not the ones that created the ideals and values embedded in the lyrics. We, as Americans, need to understand that there is a huge misconception and lack of understanding about the black male teen and we should not be simply looking at the stereotype but rather the origins of it. Bell Hooks recognizes that there is no accountability placed on dominating white structures to continue oppressive systems, yet there is much accountability placed on young black males when it comes to their gangsta rap. There is something inherently wrong with such a systematic way of thinking that perpetuates a negative stereotype of black males when we should really be exploring the origins of why that is the way of thinking.
A) Zhou, Min. "Are Asian Americans Becoming 'White?'" Contexts 3 (2003): 29-36. Week 6
B) "Similarly, 'white' is an arbitrary label having more to do with privelege than biology. In the United States, groups initially considered nonwhite, such as the Irish and Jews, have attained 'white' membership by acquiring status and wealth. It is hardly surprising, then, that nonwhites would aspire becoming 'white' as a mark of and a tool for material success. However, becoming white can mean distancing oneself from 'people of color' or disowning one's ethnicity" (30). This brings up the issue of white privilege: Author argues that Jewish and Irish were both traditionally non-white but gained white status as they gained wealth and power in the community. The label Asian American was coined in the late 1960s, but most Asian descendents would never classify themselves as such, but rather as their specific ethnic group, such as Korean, Chinese, Japanese, etc. When the Hart Celler Act of 1965 ended the quota system, it caused a skyrocket in Asian immigration to the Unites States. Although some ethnic groups are excelling in the US job market, does not apply to all groups (Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, and Hmong Americans take up low-skilled work). Argues that Pan Asianism is a political ideology of American-born and educated, middle class Asians and that most Asian immigrants do not agree with it. She argues that the model minority stereotype reinforces the myth that the US does not have racism and that those who do not gain economic success are lazy or made poor choices.
C) Having model minorities pits minority groups against one another and can pit Asian Americans against whites, because being a model minority strongly separates Asians from being "white". People disregard the fact that the majority of Asian immigrants come from a middle class background, so it is easier to gain that status in the US. Because successful Asian immigrants move to white suburban communities, children grow up surrounded by white people and by 2nd generation often forget their parents' native languages. Thinks that the second generation is more conscious of disadvantages of being non-white than their parents were. Being a model minority goes hand in hand with being a forever foreigner. Asian americans have to constantly prove that they are loyal Americans.
b) "As a citizen, I wish to present these understandings in order to alter our misconceptions and reposition the direction of how we think, talk, and act about affirmative action. Rather than limit attention to successful programs that have made our elite institutions more racially integrated,
I propose that affirmative action focus on antidotes to specific harms that date back to national policies in the 1930s and 1940s as remedies for the deep, even chronic dispossession that continues to afflict a large percentage of black America" (xi).
In "Preface: Du Bois's Paradox", Ira Katznelson writes about the basis of her book When Affirmative Action Was White. She writes about the misconceptions behind affirmative actions and how affirmative action should be changed. Often affirmative action is placed in a negative light arguing solely about higher level jobs and higher education, particularly colleges. However, affirmative action should be more than that, Katznelson argues that affirmative action should be a "remedy". The word remedy means a fix or solution to a problem. Thus it can be assumed that affirmative action is supposed to be a solution or a fix to racism. It should be an attempt to help the black community as a whole, rather those trying to enter into "elite institutions". The word elite is used to describe privileged institutions, implying that it can only help the few. Elite calls to mind a small number of individuals. By using this word, Katznelson shows the narrow scope of current affirmative action. However, she argues that affirmative action is meant to benefit the disadvantaged and help the "large percentage". Her main concepts are current affirmative action's narrow scope, how affirmative action should be and the goals behind the notion of affirmative action. She uses "elite" to show how few are currently helped by affirmative action and uses the word "dispossession" to describe the current black population. Dispossession is depriving people of their possessions, in this case, their rights. By using this word, Katznelson argues for affirmative action and its reconstruction to fight against the deprivation of blacks. She addresses the themes of race and inequality through her word use. She contrasts "elite" and "dispossession" to enable the reader's judgment on the racial inequality of American society. Blacks are deprived and only a few are allowed help.
c) Katznelson's article is directly related with our class. Her writing talks about the mechanisms of race and how this has disenfranchised the black community. Our class pulls on this idea discussing how race can alter one's perception and action towards members of another racial background. In week 6's discussion, we used this article to discuss how race plays a role in one's ability to achieve "success" and how the ideas of race are socially constructed. Katznelson's article ties into this by discussing the deprivation of blacks due to their historically "inferior" race.
b) "Keeping It Real addresses four main issues that deal with how students handle everything from the institutional, the cultural, and the personal when it comes to their school attachment...My examination of the nexus between gender socialization, family relations and culture in these students' lives sheds further light on the relationships among students' multiple identities and social experiences and their engagement in learning and achievement," (6-7). Carter introduces her thesis by comparing the academic performances of African American and Latino students to Asian and White students. She states the social scientists provide abstract explanations such as "poverty, limited parental education, underfinanced schools, low teacher expectations, bad curricula, low parental involvement and limited access to information, and vestiges of racisms in schools" and also "culture. She quotes the claim of Signithia Fordham and John Ogbu in that some kids purposely fail school to avoid the "'burden of acting white.'" Cultural identity is then tied to personal academic performance, and collectively minority students perceive high achievement as "being incongruent with their racial and ethnic identities." Returning to the four issues she mentions in her topic sentence, the first concerns the definition of knowledge. She suggests that only the top few, very privileged and powerful authority figures have the ability to define the nature of knowledge. Thus, those that conform to the dominant cultural rules are considered "smart," while those apart from the status quo are marginalized. Secondly, Carter argues that some students, while embracing their own culture, exemplify practices apart from those of mainstream culture. Thus, relating back to the first points, students may grow up critiquing the culture taught in schools rather than abiding by it. Thirdly, she mentions that the students' response to school reflect how "in-group members should react" to their social location. Fourth, the intersections between race and gender also plays a significant role in how students experience school.
"My intent here is to challenge, refine, and offer a different articulation of the ways in which culture is used to explain low-income African American and Latino students' school engagement and their academic and socioeconomic attainment." Throughout the passage, she explores the relation between race and a student's academic performance, analyzing the social implications and differences between "acting black," "acting Spanish," or acting white.
c) The reading relates to the theme discussed throughout lectures all quarter: stereotypes breed stereotypes. The relation between race and academic performance as commonly assumed (whites and Asians as model students; blacks and Latinos as failures) are reevaluated in the context of institutions and cultures. The reading undermines the stereotypes that minority students are inherently lazy or dumb by introducing several confounding variables that potentially forced specific race groups to fall under the negative, self-perpetuating stereotypes. She explains that social inequality is not the result of individual faults but the shortcomings of social institutions and the response of the students to discrimination.
b) "Chronic Black Joblessness is most often explained in terms of pervasive employer discrimination, the changing structure of urban economies, cultural deficiencies, poor access to social capital, or some combination of the above. Each of these theoretical frames of persistent joblessness is compelling and each has wide appeal, but whether considered singly or taken together, they provide an incomplete understanding of the causes of joblessness to varying degrees, they do not examine systematically the process of finding work that poor blacks undertake. By failing to do so, they overlook- or, as in the case of the cultural deficiency perspective, critically misstate-the meanings that the black poor attribute to their labor market experiences. They fail as well to see that the meanings that inform behaviors are produced within the context of interpersonal relations. These relations matter because it is through social interactions and engagements that the poor diagnose problems of joblessness, theorizing about its primary causes and possible solutions. It is through social interactions as well that the joblessness discourses they produce have their ultimate consequences, shaping how poor blacks engage with each other as actors, specifically as job seekers and job holders, in ways that affect their labor market outcomes above and beyond the initiating factors " (3)
This passage decries the focus on common explanations for more frequent and persistent rates of unemployment among blacks and accounts for their own deficiencies in argument. The author asserts instead of initial institutional factors most significantly influencing unemployment, the experience of poor blacks in the search for labor has the largest impact on discourse, which in the end is more critical to the condition of joblessness. The author argues that social impact of primary factors determines the views and attitudes of poor blacks facing the problem of poverty and unemployment, therefore perpetuating, and persisting, the issue of black unemployment.
c) The impact on a racially defined community by primary institutional inequalities is a pattern consistent with many non-dominant groups. Similarly, incomplete or erroneous misconception regarding problems facing marginalized racial groups is common. This includes defining model minority status as a racial "success" and the designation of foreign language as a property of subterfuge.
b) "To conservatives, the system was a zero-sum game that opened the door for jobs, promotions, or education to minorities while it shut the door on whites. In a country that prized the values of self-reliance and pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps, conservatives resented the idea that some unqualified minorities were getting a free ride on the American system" (2). This passage demonstrates that, although affirmative action has been praised, it has also been criticized throughout history. Many conservative whites believed that affirmative action resulted in reverse discrimination where minority groups were given a free ride when it came to jobs and college acceptances. The Bakke case is used as an example. A medical school that had accepted less qualified minority applicants, reserving a certain amount of spots for minority students, rejected Allan Bakke, a white male. While conservatives felt this way, liberals believed that minorities had been facing discrimination for hundreds of years and whites still dominated society. Therefore the playing field would still not be completely level with affirmative action.
c) The passage also discusses the transformation of the purpose of affirmative action. The policy was once about redressing past oppression and injustice, but, as far as education goes, affirmative action became a way to obtain educational benefits from a diverse student body. This relates to topics we have discussed in class about how to educate people on diversity. Susila had the class write qualities of students we would want to accept to UCLA if we were admissions officers. My class agreed on diversity being a necessary quality. Does having a diverse student body mean schools must use affirmative action? When I was choosing applicants, I found it difficult to ignore the ethnicity of students when looking at their pictures. It was hard not to consider race when choosing which students to accept. <http://print.inf
B.) "While I applaud the judgment of the Court that a university may consider race in it's admissions process, it is more than a little ironic that, after several hundred years of class-based discrimination against Negroes, the Court is unwilling to hold that a class-based remedy for that discrimination is permissible. In declining to so hold, today's judgement ignores the fact that for several hundred years Negroes have been discriminated against, not as individuals, but rather solely because the color of their skins." (pg.649)
From this passage it is clear what Justice Marshall's position was concerning affirmative action.He argued that the hundreds of years of discrimination against Negroes was more than enough justification for the help provided by affirmative action. Justice Marshall also believed that the Civil War Amendments and Civil Rights Acts sought to accomplish what had already been done for the White race and that affirmative action would finally help achieve that goal. It is important to remember that in UC Vs. Allan Bakke, affirmative action was in part affirmed and in part reversed. The Supreme Court upheld the ability to consider race in college admission processes; Justice Marshall agreed with this decision. However the Supreme Court also ruled that affirmative action could not be used to help victims of social discrimination because it imposed disadvantages upon persons who bear no responsibility for the harms these victims are thought to have suffered.
C.) These ideas of an unjust side to affirmative action relate back what Professor Sawyer mentioned was the Silent-Majority Backlash. It was discussed that the silent-majority saw affirmative action as some sort of free ride for minorities, but mostly for the African-American minorities. They (the silent majority) also believed that affirmative action was a form of reverse discrimination in which doors were shut on whites. This reverse discrimination can also be closely associated with the concept of affirmative action as a zero-sum game, which is what "angry white men" believed it to be. Professor Sawyer also mentioned that affirmative action, along with other forms of government assistance, have typically been associated with minorities who "play the role of professional victims." and more often than not, African Americans are believed to play this role.
B). The main theme of this article is affirmative action. A black woman is discussing how people react to her with respect to affirmative action and her experience with it in her career. In the article she says, "That's what I've been hearing from whites and blacks. White people tell me I must be on easy street because I'm black and female. (I do not believe I've ever heard that from a black person, although some blacks believe that black women have an easier time in the white world than black men. I don't think so.) White people tell me, 'You're a twofer.' On the other side of the color line, every black student knows that he or she is fully qualified - I once thought that way myself. It is just the other black people who need affirmative action to get in. No one, not blacks, or whites, benefits from affirmative action, or so it would seem" (p. 653). She discusses the assumptions that are associated with blacks and affirmative action. White people usually assume that blacks only get into universities because of this institution of affirmative action and, therefore, are not qualified. They then believe that they are losing jobs and spots in universities to less qualified black people. White people even question the qualifications of the professors. She addresses how being a black female adds another layer to these assumptions because now they have two things going for them for affirmative action - their sex and their race. At the end of the article, she states that affirmative action has, in fact, been beneficial because it has opened doors for qualified people that were previously closed. It used to be that white females taught at white female colleges. Black males taught at black male colleges, and so on. However, affirmative action opened the door for males and females and whites and blacks to diversify in education and the workplace.
C). This passage discusses the hierarchy of race and sex that we often talk about during discussion sections and lecture. The opposition to affirmative action highlights the underlying beliefs that whites are better than blacks and men are better than women. It was thought that black students wouldn't attend graduate school because their grades would not be good enough and women would either not finish or waste their degrees to raise families. These reasons for opposition to affirmative action perpetuate stereotypes that we have been discussing in class of unintelligent blacks and solely family oriented women. Professor Sawyer discussed in his lecture that it is believed that affirmative action and blacks in general violate basic norms and American values of hard work and individualism.
b)"The boundaries we might take for granted disappear in live-in jobs. They have, as Evelyn Nakano Glenn has noted, 'no clear line between work and non-work time,' and the line between job space and private space are similarly blurred. Live-in nanny/housekeepers are at once socially isolated and surrounded by other people's territory; during the hours they remain on the employers' premises, their space, like their time, belongs to another" (32).
The article has several in-depth looks at the different jobs and living situations of many Latina women who immigrate to Los Angeles. This quote is a depressing description of one of the jobs described -- live-in nanny/housekeeper. The job is very hard and takes a toll on the women who dedicate almost all of their week to it. These women barely see their families, if they even have one, are poorly fed, and are often woken up in the middle of the night to attend to a screaming child. Despite all they do for their employer families, they are underpaid (the average salary being $3.80 an hour), and they quickly notice how they are not part of the family with which they are staying. They feel unwelcome, even though they live in the families' homes -- they are never invited to eat with the families, a clear sign that they are not part of them. This is one of three types of jobs that Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo analyzes, the other two being housecleaners and live-out nannies/housekeepers, that she has observed Salvadoran, Guatemalan, and Mexican women holding. These women, both well educated and not educated, come into this country with little or no contacts (although she does argue that many Mexican women have an advantage over their Central American counterparts) and are forced to take these jobs. Only with years of experience, a better understanding of English, and strong community contacts are these women able to pursue higher-status occupations.
c)This passage ties in with our ongoing discussion about the difficulty of many immigrants in assimilating into United States culture, and illustrates the different opportunities available to different immigrant groups. Not only did the article compare the experiences of Mexican women with Guatemalan and Salvadoran women in assimilating, it mentioned the facility of many Asian immigrant women in assimilating because of their higher education and better English-speaking ability. Many Asian women come to the United States with professional degrees and fluent in English. Many Filipina women, for example, take "managerial, professional, technical/sales, and administrative support jobs" (55) that are high-paying and that treat them well, while, as the article described, most Latina women take "domestic service" (55) jobs. The opportunity gap between the two immigrant groups is just one example of how hard life can be for an immigrant in this country that is supposedly a "melting pot." Many foreigners face discrimination and poor treatment upon arrival, which makes us wonder how welcoming this "land of opportunity" really is.
b) "For most Salvadorans and Guatemalans coming to the Los Angeles area in the 1970s and 1980s, finding work in the expanding low wage manufacturing and service sectors was not that difficult. Immigrant networks consisting of family members, friends, and former neighbors from their Guatemalan or Salvadoran village or community often facilitated this process...but the struggle for survival goes beyond the search of a job. Most jobs not only paid little but were often insecure..." (104).
The authors conclude that there were many opportunities for work for Guatemalan and Salvadoran immigrants, but work was often low paying with bad conditions. This article gives a different perspective on immigrants' life. Instead of focusing on how hard immigrating was the authors examine the struggles many immigrants dealt with after they were already in America. When immigrants came to America there was already a stable "immigrant network" that could help new immigrants find a job and settle down; however, the real struggle came from facing racial discrimination in the institution of labor. Immigrants also struggled with the private sector and had to fight many battles regarding unionization, low wages, and safe working conditions.
c) Guatemalan and Salvadoran immigrants, like other immigrants throughout history, came to America because of the opportunity for a better life. Unfortunately these immigrants were met with a lot of discrimination from employers that hindered them from seeking higher paying jobs. This article describes another immigrant group and their struggle with legislation, the right to unionize, and institutional racism. Labor is a prominent institution where immigrant groups are discriminated against. The structure of some institutions does not allow immigrant minorities to climb the social and economic ladder, which further perpetuates whiteness because white people have an advantage in these institutions.
B) "The electoral data for 1988-1990 revealed important political outcomes. The ethnographic evidence described how they came about through a complex process of shifting positions and alliances on the issues of immigration, economic development, and ethnic power. Together the electoral and ethnographic evidence points to a transition from a period of tension between newcomers and established residents and between white minorities and nonwhite majorities toward greater accommodation and harmony." Pg. 147
The passage above summarizes the Harton's article about the start of ethnic politics in changes in the Monterey Park council. The empowerment of minorities and immigrants with the decline of Anglo dominance showed that diversity and multiculturalism were being institutionalized in the Monterey Park council. The failure of the symbolic Washington monument project and the election of a council with more women, Asian, and Latino councilman was based off two factors according to Horton. One factor was the development of minority politics. Specifically, the process of organizing and voting for ethnic representation allowed minorities and immigrants to combat nativist policies and candidates. The second factor was the growth of participating minority and immigrant residents, which overpowered the slow growth of the nativist group. These factors were significant in winning elections and gaining political power, however, Horton explains another important factor in the evolution of ethnic politics. Horton brings up that "interethnic alliance on candidates and issues in a multiethnic city" allowed the minorities and immigrants to finally have the power in politics to accommodate key issues and establish harmony among all citizens in Monterey Park.
C) Ethnic politics have huge implications on present elections. During a discussion, the class talked about Obama's ability to relate to the white racial groups and minority racial groups, resulting in him gaining a substantial amount of votes from all races. Political parties and their candidates target certain racial groups to gain votes, especially since nonwhite races keep growing in population, resulting in potential for more votes.
B) "Writing for the majority in Grutter , Justice O'Connor said the law school's admissions policies satisfied the constitutional requirement that any government use of race be 'narrowly tailored' to achieve a compelling interest-in thise case, a diverse student body... In contrast to the undergraduate admissions procedures, O'Conner said, the law school 'awards no mechanical, predetermined diversity 'bonuses' based on race and ethnicity.' Under the law school program, an applicant's race or ethnicity was not 'the defining feature' of his or her application, she wrote. And even thought the law school explicitly sought a 'critical mass' of minority admittees, O'Connor said that the admissions program does not operate as a quota. O'Conner ended her opinion, though, by suggesting that race-conscious admissions policies should not be permanent." (164).
"Writing for the majority in Gratz, Rehnquist said the program violated the Equal Protection Clause because its use of race was 'not narrowly tailored to achieve the interest in educational diversity that [university officials] claim justifies their program." (165)
Jost is writing about the affirmative action court cases in Michigan: Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter v. Bollinger. The Supreme Court's rulings were split in that affirmative action was acceptable when used in admission for graduate school. In this case, it was law school since the application process is more "individualized" and "holistic." The justification behind that was the applicant can be better measured in how he or she would contribute to a diverse environment. Undergraduate admissions, however according to the Supreme Court, is not as "narrowly tailored", as in the applicants are not as closely looked at and so their contributions to diversity cannot be measured. So there is affirmative action here, but not there. Pell and Bollick believe this ruling is a tragedy, however, since it did not address "racial gaps in elementary and secondary education." Bollick adds on, "racial preferences in postsecondary education makes us think that we are solving that problem when in fact it is growing." (165)
C) This article reflects on how split affirmative action decisions may be. Simply having it and simply demolishing it cannot be the solution. In Professor Sawyer's lecture, he talks about who affirmative action actually benefitted: white women. A lot of critics of affirmative action would say that affirmative action would play the zero-sum game. Minorities would get a boost while whites are left behind. Statistically, this is untrue if white women are the main beneficiary of affirmative action. With or without affirmative action, minorities still are not as accepted into upper division education as whites. Affirmative action was meant to encourage diversity; however, even with the program in action, minority admissions are still not significantly growing. If minorities are still not benefitting from the program, then the problem of having or not having affirmative action is out of question.
b.) In the article, "Immigrants and American Race Relations," Waters relates how the West Indians are seen as the model minority against African-Americans, and how one's race within the United States shapes the way society will perceive them. Waters states that "...the major division in American society will continue to be between people we historically thought of as white and those who are nonwhite" (Waters 339). Waters relates this with immigration and how color is a major factor when creating guidelines in race relations in the U.S. Waters goes on to argue that because West Indians have the status of immigrant, they have a better chance of succeeding in the U.S only because they are not identified as African-Americans. African-Americans have become sort of a lost cause in the eyes of white Americans, so seeing a black person who does not associate with the lower class, makes that person right away favorable. After a few generations though, West Indians will not have the convenience of declaring they are immigrants and will end up being associated with African-Americans, only because of their skin. African-Americans do not have the privilege of ever reforming their status in the U.S, since according to Waters, "...what is really needed...is for whites to no longer see blacks as the 'other' but rather as the 'self'" (Waters 338). Waters argues that whites need to understand the individuality of African-Americans instead of grouping the altogether, that way whites can come to comprehend the inner struggles of discrimination African-Americans suffer on a daily basis.
c.)This article can associate with Professor Matsumoto's lecture on Asian Americans: The Model Minority? In her lecture, Professor Matsumoto talks about how Asian Americans have become a model minority in the U.S after years of discrimination by white America. This group has overcome its oppression and found success, something that white America targets African-Americans with, since African-Americans are still regarded as being an unsuccessful group in not being able to let go of their victimization and find success, like Asian-Americans have.
B) "We generally use the term racism in a broad sense to refer not only to the prejudices and discriminatory actions of particular white bigots but also to institutionalized discrimination and to the recurring ways in which white people dominate black people in almost every major area of this society." (3) "Racism is racial prejudice backed by power and resources. White domination is often rationalized by the belief that the inferiority or superiority of a group's abilities, values, and culture are linked to physical characteristics such as skin color." (4).
As is mostly self-explanatory in these quotes, Feagin and Sikes explain the continuing racism against blacks. Of course this racism carries over from the past with the institution of slavery, and so they argue that the racism is perpetuated and institutionalized. Many whites deny any racism against blacks. This comes from a lack of understanding, a lack of empathetic thinking, and lack of experience dealing with discrimination. Whites have not been targeted because they have the "power and resources" that can keep blacks inferior to them. Books and research refuting the decline of significance of race and racism against blacks on all class levels is rarely published. And there are ingrained stereotypes of blacks that perpetuate the misperception of blacks by whites and continues a subtle discrimination. Yet, however subtle, the discrimination and racist acts add up. Limiting group mobility -social, economic, and political - for blacks keeps institutionalized racism alive. It is to protect white domination. Race continues to be significant, especially for black Americans who feel the blunt force of racism still alive today.
C) It is important to recognize that there continues to exist, however subtle, racial prejudice. Coupled with a somewhat faint but still present notion that being American means being white, blacks on all class levels are pushed to the down the racial, social, economic, and political hierarchy. The job call back rates for blacks, the real estate showings, avoidance, and verbal and physical attacks that Professor Ortiz discussed in her lecture are all examples of clear anti-black actions. We may like to think that we have moved past the brutal racism we saw in the days of slavery, but we must recognize that on some level, Americans still continue to find race significant. Whites continue to use their domination in every institution to perpetuate the white domination. This is because since historic times, whites have had resources and power, which they continue to hold on to. We must move past the negative stereotypes and start to deem race as less of an important quality in an American.
B) Lipitz discuss the hidden assumption "that racial polarization comes from the existence of blacks rather than from the behavior of whites, that black people are a 'problem' for whites rather than fellow citizens entitle to justice, and that unless otherwise specified, 'American' means white. But Wright's formulation also placed political mobilization by African Americans in context, attributing it to the systemic practices of aversion, exploitation, denigration, and discrimination practiced by people who think of themselves as 'white'... As the unmarked category against which difference is constructed, whiteness never has to speak its name, never has to acknowledge its role as an organizing principle in social and cultural relations" (223). Lipitz argues that whiteness originated through "slavery and segregation, by immigration restriction and Indian policy, by conquest and colonialism." Also argues that cultural practices like "wild-west shows, minstrel shows, racist images in advertising and Hollywood films institutionalized racism." Says that "race is a cultural construct, but one with sinister structural causes and consequences". By encouraging slavery and restricting naturalized citizenship to white immigrants when European settlers first arrived in America, they set up the foundation for a possessive investment in whiteness. Thinks racism still exists today, more subtle but just as systematic. Explains that racism occurs based on political and cultural struggles of the era, serving different social purposes. New Deal, Wagner Act and Social Security Act excluded farm workers and domestics from coverage, hurting minority groups. Federal Housing Act channeled loan money toward whites and away from families of color. Urban renewal destroyed ethnically specific European-American urban inner-city neighborhoods and constructed a new white identity. Surveys of American citizens prove that people have racist sentiment towards blacks and other non-white groups, considering them to be less patriotic, lazier, and less intelligent. Some young white Americans feel that they are being blamed for slavery that occurred way before their time, and think that "it is unreasonable for anyone to view them as people who owe 'anything' to blacks." Points out how affirmative action was nullified when efforts to help blacks were perceived as harmful to whites.
C) These themes are very central to our course. They discuss the idea of white privilege, and how having white skin often gives you better access to federal aid, or better treatment. Whiteness exists because we say it exists, it is a social construct that we have created through federal, state, and municipal laws and cultural traditions. The United States has a very long history of white dominance, and so each new racial group that immigrates here is immediately compared against the white population. Lipsitz makes a strong argument that structural racism occurs to accomplish some social goal, and therefore discrimination and public racism changes over time to fit the historical context. When we needed cheap labor, black slaves were imported, and to justify the enslavement of human beings, the idea of inherent differences based on skin color was created. When Asians were perceived to be taking jobs from white people, immigration quotas and restrictions were created.
b) "No person who is not a native or natural born citizen of the United States, or who may not have become a citizen under the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (all native California Indians excepted), shall be permitted to mine in any part of this State, without having first obtained a license so to do according to the provisions of this Act" (15).
"California Foreign Miners Tax, April 13, 1850" discusses a, then new, tax on people who are "not native". It writes that it if you are not a citizen, you must buy a license. This argues that non-natives are a danger to the economic prosperity of natives. It directly states that no one who is "not a native" can mine without a license. By using the term "not", the document argues against foreigners. It pits the non natives against the natives, using an "us versus them" language. It places a concession just upon them, forcing a financial burden not shared by natives. Nowhere is it written that natives have to buy a license, rather only non natives are mentioned. This gives an unfair privilege to the natives and would cause a deepening of the divide between nativist and nonnative groups. It implies that non natives are less welcomed than natives. By applying such a financial burden to the non natives, it implies the simple concept that natives are better than non natives. It furthers the theme of nativism by pulling binary logic.
If native is associated with the reader, then nonnative is associated with not us. People naturally associate with like groups of people. By applying the word "not", the document makes the reader feel less compassionate and less likely to sympathize with the immigrants, fueling nativism. The document argues that non natives now must pay a license fee.
c) "California Foreign Miners Tax, April 13, 1850" is an example of the institutional racism we talked about in class. This piece directly affected our discussion about Asian immigrants and the prejudice they faced. We brought up this piece to describe how the government played into public opinion and gave excuses for the mistreatment of immigrant groups
b) "No Indian or Negro shall be allowed to testify as a witness in any action in which a White person is a party..."(19).
"The evident intention of the Act was to throw around the citizen a protection for life and property, which could only be secured by removing him above the corrupting influences of degraded castes..." (20).
In 1854, The California Supreme Court ruled that no foreign person could testify against a white person in court. Chief Judge Hugh Murrary sided with George Hall, who had been "convicted of murder upon the testimony of a Chinese witness". He further added that Chinese were dangerous and clearly an inferior race. In the reading, the words "Black, Mulatto, Indian and White person" were called into question, "whether the Legislature adopted them as generic terms, or intended to limit their application to specific types of human species." The author determines the intent behind the act was to remove people of white America from the the corruptive influences of lower races and class. The article fervently claims that Murray's judgment stripped every non-white person the right to live the life of a citizen and participate in the American government.
c) The reading ties into Professor Decker's lecture ("Race Matters") on how biology relates to race. He undermined the relation between race and biology in stating that race is a social construct that is always changing according to the social context. However, historically, physical indicators of race was considered to be linked in a direct way to psychological or intellectual characteristics. Thus, the connection made between race and biology legitimized a "hierarchy of racially distinct group with inferiority or superiority." Following this statement, the argument made in support of George Hall (that nonwhite races are intellectually undeveloped contrary to civilized whites) falls short of the claims made against it (that biology is unrelated to race). Each "color" becomes a social construct relevant to one's standing in society and, consequently, their rights as outlined by those with higher authority. This characterization of non-white races as inferior species relates to the need for white America to feel as if they had to protect themselves from the influences of those below them. The ingrained mindset that one's race determines his intelligence, moral judgment, and ability to advance yields the discriminatory nature of political and social institutions.
b) "Your Excellency will discover, however, that we are as much allied to the African race and the red man as you are yourself, and that as far as the aristocracy of skin is concerned, ours might compare with many of the European races; nor do we consider that your Excellency, as a Democrat, will make us believe that the framers of your declaration of rights ever suggested the propriety of establishing an aristocracy of skin. I am a naturalized citizen, your Excellency, of Charleston, South Carolina, and a Christian, too; and so hope you will stand corrected in your assertion "that none of the Asiatic class" as you are pleased to term them, have applied for benefits under our naturalization act. I could point out to you numbers of citizens, all over the whole continent, who have taken advantage of your hospitality and citizenship, and I defy you to say that our race have ever abused that hospitality or forfeited their claim on this or any of the governments of South America, by an infringement on the laws of the countries into which they pass. You find us peculiarly peaceable and orderly. It does not cost your state much for our criminal prosecution. We apply less to your courts for redress, and so far as I know, there are none who are a charge upon the state, as paupers." (11)
Asing argues that the Governor's conceptions of Asian Americans, which is addressed to and in line with a white conservative citizenry, are flawed. He asserts the Americanization of the Asian immigrant population is progressed and the governor's conception that Asian immigrants are still foreign is therefore untrue. He also argues that racially those consanguineous with Asing hold a place similar in herarchy to that of Caucasians. He also claims that the founding document does not establish a racial hierarchy in the public sphere. Finally, Asing puts forth that those images of delinquency are false, and that Asian-Americans have an upstanding character history.
c)Asing's mention of the Constitution as color blind, at least with respect to Asian Americans, is a basis for much antiracist thought in the United States. Asing's focus on justifying the Asian race as one that has economic success, patriotic fervor, and civil tendency contributes to the Asian model minority status. He is faced with anti-immigrant sentiment and the stereotype as the "perpetual foreigner."
b) "During the 1920s, American racialism was challenged by several emerging ideologies, all of which depended on a modern split between biology and culture. Between the 1920s and 1960s, those competing ideologies were winnowed down to the single, powerfully persuasive belief that the eradication of racism depends on the deliberate non-recognition of race" (467). This article examines modern social science, miscegenation law, and modern American racial ideologies. It focuses on the emergence of new racial ideologies as the concept of race as biological is continually disputed. Citing numerous court cases. In her discussion of Kirby v. Kirby (1922), Pascoe explains that "although most Americans are sure they know 'race' when they see it, very few can offer a definition of the term" (465). The judge decided that Kirby was Caucasian by hearing where his family is from, but the judge assumed that Mayellen was Black just by looking at her appearance. This case illustrates the idea of race as biology/physical characteristics rather than as a cultural phenomenon. The two contrasting ideas (race as biology vs. race as a social construct) led to legal conflict. At the same time, new ideas of "color blindness" emerged as a way to eradicate racism.
c) This passage touches on many of the class' key questions such as: how is race defined? Pascoe also examines one of the class' main ideas of race as a social construct. Although it is becoming more widely known that race is not, in fact, biological, many people still base their classifications of race on physical characteristics. Racial ideology shapes and impacts the lives of many people. Although we think that racial stereotypes are based on a person's ethnicity, they are really created based on appearance, skin color, etc. This idea of race as socially constructed has been one of the main topics of the course.
b) "The willingness of Africa's commercial and political elite to supply slaves should be sought in their own internal dynamics and history. Institutional factors predisposed African societies to hold slaves, and the development of Africa's domestic economy encouraged large-scale-trading and possession of slaves long before Europeans visited African shores. The increase in warfare and political instability in some regions may well have contributed to the growth of the slave trade from those regions, but one cannot easily assign the demand for slaves as the cause of the instability,...Given the commercial interest of African states and the existing slave market in private hands in Africa, it is not surprising that Africans were able to respond to European demands for saves, as long as the prices attracted them" (125).
John Thornton is someone who goes on to discredit beliefs that Europeans forced Africans to become slaves. In this passage, he examines the roles that Africa's elite played in developing the slave trade along with the Europeans. He mentions that Africa already had a social hierarchy in place. Certain groups had certain political or commercial power over others. Another important thing to consider is that among these pre-established groups there were already wars going on. This was due to the regions Africans belonged to. Despite them all living in Africa, they were still separate because specific regions had a particular language and customs that differed fr other regions. This in turn created tension and conflicts among themselves. Wars led to conquest, which led to enslavement. This is where enslavement began, so when the Europeans came looking for slaves, those in power did not see anything wrong with making profit what they saw as their property. Throughout the passage, Thornton makes it very clear that Europeans were only buyers of slaves but had no direct influence in how enslavement began.
c) This reading contrasts the notion that Europeans forced Africans to be slaves against their will. Many people always blame whites for the enslavement of Africans. It is hard to think that people from their own skin color would enslave each other. In a broader sense, this can depict how, despite belonging to one country, there are differences among regions that divide the country. For example, Chinese customs differ from Korean or Japanese customs. In the same way that Mexicans also differ from Cubans or Costa Ricans. Many times, people assume that because people come from a particular country, they must all be the same. This leads to stereotypes that all Asians are smart and will be engineers or doctors. It becomes easy to ignore that a country is divided and consist of many different groups and elements. In addition, that within each country, there can also be tension and wars and it may not be the white man's fault.
B.) "The British bourgeois were the great rivals of the French. All through the eighteenth century they fought in every part of the world. The French had jumped gleefully in to help drive them out of America. San Domingo was now incomparably the finest colony in the world and its possibilities seemed limitless. The British bourgeoisie investigated the new situation in the West Indies, and on the basis of what it saw, prepared a bombshell for its rivals. Without slaves San Domingo was doomed. The British colonies had enough slaves for all the trade they were ever likely to do. With the tears rolling down their cheeks for the poor suffering blacks, those British bourgeois who had no West Indian interests set up a great howl for the abolition of the slave-trade." (pg.50-51)
By 1789 San Domingo had become the market of the New Word. Consequently, it also became France's largest source of export trade. Their success was insurmountable, even by the British. Because of this French success and wealth, Britain took action in hopes of elimination San Domingo as the market of the New World. In this passage, James claims that since it's inception by the British, the concept of the abolition of the slave-trade has always had hidden intentions. From this passage it is clear that the British only howled abolition because in doing so, they could destroy San Domingo's economy and along with it, the French economy. The British did succeed. The idea of abolition sparked insurrections in the West Indies and brought about the San Domingo Revolution in which Toussaint Louverture, the leader of the Revolution, transformed their society of slaves into an independent society of Haitians.
C.) This passage closely relates to some of the implications made by Malcolm X. Essentially, the British used the idea of "abolition of slavery" for their own personal gains. In the same way, we've come to understand from such readings as "The Ballot or the Bullet" and "Kickin' Reality, Kickin' Ballistics", that African-Americans have been notoriously used by whites in order to make gains (either politically, economically, or both). It is also important to consider how the Haitian Revolution shook the institution of slavery not just in the West Indies, but also all of the U.S. From it's inception, abolition of slavery was not explicitly meant to abolish slavery; its supporters often had other intentions. One example of such a use of abolition of slavery is Abe Lincoln's abolishment of slavery during the American Civil War; he intended to spark insurrections in the South. Very few African-Americans actually gained their freedom.
B). This article discusses the effect of repression by whites and the way in which blacks have struggled to break from this repression. The author uses John Brown's legacy to discuss this subject. In the article he writes, "For such reasons it is that the memory of John Brown stands to-day as a mighty warning to his country. He saw, he felt in his soul the wrong and danger of that most daring and insolent system of human repression known as American slavery. He knew that in 1700 it would have cost something to overthrow slavery and establish liberty; and that by reason of cowardice and blindness the cost in 1800 was vastly larger but still not unpayable. He felt that by 1900 no human hand could pluck the vampire from the body of the land without doing the nation to death. He said, in 1859, 'Now is the accepted time.' Now is the day to strike for a free nation. It will cost something - even blood and suffering, but it will not cost as much as waiting. And he was right. Repression bred repression - serfdom bred slavery, until in 1861 the South was farther from freedom than in 1800" (75). He focuses specifically on the cost of repression. He says that the cost is not only in wealth, but in social progress and spiritual strength as well. Repression raises the cost of liberty, especially for black people in America because they have to push past vote deprivation, land ownership deprivation, denied right of trial, and many others. However, the black population has pushed on and "today stands as physically the most virile element in America, intellectually among the most promising..." (77).
C). This article relates to our course because it is a discussion of how slavery and the initial repression of African-Americans is causing many of the issues that African-Americans face today. Many stereotypes that exist today were originated because of slavery. For example, black people have had to try to reverse the stereotype that they are unintelligent. They were never viewed as intelligent during slavery, and that thought process has carried through to modern times. It is especially seen in the issue of affirmative action in education and the workplace. Some whites are against the idea because they think that blacks are not qualified or intelligent enough and they are just getting hand outs. African-Americans have been forced to fight an uphill battle because of the history of slavery.
Characteristics of an abolitionist perspective:
1) The characteristics of an abolitionist perspective include counter discourses in which the abolitionist attempts to help us understand the abolitionist cause by challenging the conventions of the dominant-discourse that supports domination and subordination. Also, the abolitionist discourse reverses the binary logic implemented in the planter discourse (dominant discourse) by not using oppositions for non-racial as well as racial classification.
Readings it is represented in:
1) Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, and American Slave
a. The abolitionist perspective is represented in Douglass' slave narrative through the use of narrative structure and figurative language. For example, Professor Decker specifically mentioned the passage in lecture and referred to specific lines from the reading, such as "The master is frequently compelled to sell this class of his slaves, out of deference to the feelings of his white wife; and , cruel as the deed may strike any one to be, for a man to sell his own children to human flesh-mongers, it is often the dictate of humanity for him to do so; for, unless he does this, he must not only whip them himself, but must stand by and see one white son tie up his brother, of but few shades darker complexion than himself, and ply the gory lash to his naked back" (1763). It is in these lines that the abolitionist perspective is characterized due to the fact that Douglass uses reverse binary logic, such as flesh-monger/martyr, cannibal/Christian, and white/black to help us understand the abolitionist discourse.
2) Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
a. The abolitionist perspective is represented in Jacobs' gendered slave narrative through the use of tone and figurative language. For example, Professor Decker discussed how Jacobs' use of agency, sentimental discourse, and sexual exploitation helped characterize the abolitionist perspective. Professor Decker referred to the passage: "I wanted to keep myself pure; and, under the most adverse circumstances, I tried hard to preserve my self-respect; but I was struggling alone in the powerful grasp of the demon slavery; and the monster proved too strong for me. I felt as if I was forsaken by God and man; as if all my efforts must be frustrated; and I became reckless in my despair" (1847). To elaborate, Professor Decker mentioned how Jacobs' use of the sentimental discourse helped her elaborate on the abolitionist perspective.
b) "Every little while, I could hear something about the abolitionists. It was sometime before I found what the word meant... If a slave ran away and succeeded in getting clear, or if a slave killed his master, set fire to a barn, or did anything very wrong in the mind of a slaveholder, it was spoken of as the fruit of abolition... From this time I understood the words abolition and abolitionist, and always drew near when that word was spoken, expecting to hear something of importance to myself and fellow-slaves... I consoled myself with that I should one day find a good chance [to run away]. Meanwhile, I would learn to write." (pg.1780)
This passage discusses Douglass' determination to run away and become an abolitionist. I in the earlier sections/chapters of the narrative, Douglass looks back and explains the turmoil he and other slaves faced while being enslaved. He details the brutal beatings he saw and the suffering of many slaves. In regards to the passage, Douglass wanted to run away because of his treatment as a slave in different masters' plantations. Within the passage, Douglass' determination is a large factor; he speaks about finding what the word "abolition" meant. He cared not only about himself, but about his "fellow-slaves". He makes note that he "would learn to write" foreshadowing his ultimate goal of running away, becoming an abolitionist, and being literate.
c) Douglass' narrative relates to the enslavement of Africans and African-Americans . It also gives insight on the abolitionist movement, highlighting the problems and horrible treatment within slavery. Broadly, the passage related to cultural hegemony; blacks were being forced to work by white plantation owners who exhibited dominance in the South through enslavement. This type of treatment produced a social and cultural hierarchy with white plantation owners on top and blacks on the bottom.