Tuesday, 22 March 2011

How the Garcia Girls lost their accent.

The two stories I am going to use are Antojos and Daughter of invention. 

garcia girls presentation

The two stories i'm choosing for my presentation are the rudy elmenhurst story and a regular revolution

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Stories for Presentation

The two stories I will look at for the presentation are 'The Four Girls' and 'Trespass.'

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Pro and Anti South West Border Control.

Pro Immigration

This first website is for an article that outlines the beliefs of many Mexican people today. The main body of the article consists of statistics regarding the view of Mexican people on the rights Mexican people have to enter America. These statistics show that a higher proportion of Mexican people believe Mexican people have the right to enter the United States without permission from the US. A further statistic shows a high proportion of Mexican people believe the South West region of the United States rightfully belong to Mexico which would suggest why they believe they have the right to enter the country without US permission. This belief can be traced back to the Mexican-American war of the mid-19th Century. During this time American expansion was moving westwards to expand the countries borders 'from sea to shining sea.' Following a revolt in Texas, which at the time was part of Mexico, a treaty was signed to give Texas it's freedom.


This link is to the website of the AIC, the Americans for Immigration Control, an organisation that are against illegal immigration from Mexico. They also believe illegal Mexican immigrants should be deported back to Mexico and increasing measures to prevent illegal immigrants from Mexico getting in to America. 

The two websites have obvious differences when approaching the issue of South west American immigration. An obvious difference is the language used when describing them. The AIC uses language like 'aliens' and 'sneak'. The language used by the AIC appears to dehumanize illegal immigrants from Mexico because using words like 'sneak' suggest animalistic type of behavior like a snake for example, they seem to be taking away the characteristics of the illegal immigrants that would make them appear inferior to an American. The same sort of language was used during the slave trade to justify the capturing of African people, who were described as savage, another animalistic term. The first website does not use any language like that used by the AIC. It also begins to justify Mexican immigration into America by explaining their beliefs. 

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Pro/Anti Latino immigration

Pro immigration


Above is an article on Latino immigration and in particular the struggles the legal Latino population have as a result of the clampdown in illegal immigrants.
The main point the article attempts to convey is that legal immigrants are being discriminated against, and are being asked regularly to prove their US civilian status just because they are Latino as opposed to because people having actual evidence to suspect them . There are also reports of people being afraid to leave the country because they may not be allowed back in, legal citizens are being deported just because of their heritage and many illegal home raids were being performed.

The information does paint a vivid picture of the problems that legal Latino-American citizens are having as a result of the illegal immigrant population of the U.S. In my opinion this is very wrong and racist, as valid Latino-Americans are being discriminated against and treated differently from other citizens just because of the actions of other Latino people. The information on the illegal house raids I found especially interesting as it says that agents owning the wrong type of warrant, illegally break into the houses of targets and interrogate them, even though most of the raids end without arrest. Although this article is pro Latino immigration and there is no real evidence to back up the information on the house raids. If it is true, it seems to me that the frustrations that many Americans are feeling as a result of the large illegal immigrant population, is being taken out on people with Latino heritage and that they are all treated as guilty despite most having done nothing wrong.

Anti immigration


Above is an article on the topic of whether an amnesty should be given to illegal immigrants or not. This article is a stark contrast to my previous article, as instead of looking at the struggles of Latinos’ living in America with sympathy, this article is totally against an amnesty and wants to send every illegal immigrant back to where they came from. The main point raised is that illegal immigrants should not be rewarded for successfully getting into the United States ,a nd that if an amnesty was given it would encourage many more people to try and make it over the border. The other point the writer makes is that instead of offering an amnesty, a huge effort should be made to rid the country of every illegal immigrant, which is easier said than done. He also argues that if the amnesty was for illegal’s who had lived in the country a certain amount of time, then many could easily fake documents etc to be able to receive an amnesty, as they had already broken the law to get into the country in the first place.

In conclusion, i agree with both articles, although the second article has an extreme view that every illegal should be ejected from USA regardless of circumstances, the point he makes about it being unfair for an amnesty to be offered is well made an plausible, however I also agree with the first article, as Latinos living legally in the United States should not be punished or discriminated against just because there are Latinos living in the country illegally.


South-West Border Immigration

Anti-Latino Immigration

This website is anti-illegal immigration. The Arizona Police Department deal with front line issues concerning Mexican illegals in Arizona, they are a good source to consider when looking at crime rates concerned with immigration. Especially when it comes to issues like drug dealing and smuggling. According to the APA, in 2008, 81,860 people were smuggled across the border, only 685 were then caught and deported. SB1070 allows police to ask for proof of identity when someone is stopped by police in order to try to catch illegal immigrants without correct paper work.

Court Rulings mean that only some of SB1070 can come into affect, this includes sections such as agencies are not permitted to prevent federal immigration law from coming into effect. Knowingly hiring illegal aliens is also against SB1070. The sections pending include the law for all persons to carry correct identification paperwork such as green cards or visas.

Illegal Immigration is a crime, and does lead to other crime. With illegal border crossing from Mexico comes smuggling of people and drugs and becomes a drain on society when those illegals attempt to filter into American society.

Pro-Latino Immigration

This website is anti-SB1070 as it "opens the door to racial profiling." The website claims SB1070 to not be the answer to Arizona's illegal immigration problem, stating the law to be an abuse of power. According to the website, the law undermines the freedom that is seen as so sacred to Americans. However, it is un-American for the Federal Government to step in and undermine the State laws. SB1070 is the State Government's answer to illegal immigration in order to attempt to prevent it or at least reduce illegal immigration. They have been heavily judged by the media and Federal Government for their decisions. Federal Government are out of touch with what is going on in South-Western States, so how is it someone in Washington can decide on issues for Arizona?

Pro and Anti Latino Immigration to the United States

Pro-Latino Immigration: http://www.naleo.org/ National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO)

According to the introductory page of the website above, 'the NALEO Educational Fund is the nation's leading non-profit, non-partisan organization that facilitates the full participation of Latinos in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.'

The website has a number of opinions / plans of action that the organisation wants to be put in place, so the examples I have briefly summarised below:
- Election reform: The NALEO feel that it is vital that the Latino electorate have easy access to the electoral process, with focus being made on the accessibility of the process - the idea that bilingual pollworkers should be employed to lessen the negative effect of the language barrier.
- Health: The site recognises that the majority of Latinos have no or little healthcare provisions. They insist that ' state legislators, as stewards of state government, [should] oversee a vast range of health care systems and serve in key decision making roles to address policy issues related to healthcare...'
- Education: The point is made that any Latino child should have access to the same level of education as anyone else in America. The site wants educational leaders to expand and develop their skills to meet the requirements of Latino children, be this acknowledging potential cultural clashes in the classroom or accepting changes in the dynamic to personally keep teachers 'informed and focused on [their] objectives [as education suppliers].'

The website acknowledges that immigration has always been a key factor in the country, indeed that America is built upon a mergence of cultures, and that the practice of immigration will not go away. The organisation feels that any legal citizen, specifically the Latino minority, should have the same rights as anyone else. One of the key quotes seems to be 'Our nation continues to be enriched by the wealth of talent and skills Latinos bring to public service.'

The progress made by the Latino community is highlighted by the accomplishments made by some in high-power positions:
- In 1996, there were six Latinos serving as state officials. As of 2005, there are nine serving as state officials.
-In 1996, there were no Latinos serving in the U.S. Senate. In 2006, there are three Latinos serving in Congress’ upper chamber. ....for example.

Before the most recent Census, the organisation was keen to ensure that the Latino population was accurately calculated, as a way of, I'm sure, recognising the vast numbers and making provisions accordingly, and acknowleding the positive role they play in society.

Anti-Latino Immigration: Sharron Angle.
Waves of illegal aliens streaming across our border, joining violent gangs, forcing families to live in fear. And what's Harry Reid doing about it? Voting to give illegal aliens social security benefits, tax breaks and college tuition, voting against declaring English as our national language twice and even siding with Obama and the President of Mexico to block Arizona's tough new immigration law. Harry Reid: it's clear whose side he's on...and it's not yours.

Sharron Angle ran unsuccessfully as the 2010 Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate seat in Nevada, garnering 45% of the vote and this is one of her political adverts that has caused much controversy.

The main arguments surrounding the advert seem to be centred around the incitement of fear, an "us versus them" situation (with the "us" clearly being depicted by white people only.) There are many videos reacting to this ad., but the one that I feel summarises the negative opinion the best, potentially echoing sentiments of the "everyday voter" came on the U.S daytime debate/discussion show 'The View' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5QcQimu9Mw

...it has to do with the immigration law and the fear of illegal immigrants...you're not showing a bunch of Asian people being scared of the Russians coming over...it's all white people in the ad. ... [even] from a Republican perspective I think it's pushing the limits of what's right...it's using little kids to create fear...a knee jerk reaction with people seeing that and voting for her in fear of the incumbent...I'd like to see her do this ad. in the South Bronx...come to New York and do it

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

African-American Separatism.


This link is to the list of requests by the Nation of Islam, an organisation set up to assist African American people  in becoming independent and to improve the social, economic and mental condition of African American people.  

On their website they have a list of 10 request some of which are asking for equality and freedom, for example their first request is that they want complete freedom. This can be seen as perfectly understandable, however, it doesn’t say to what extend they want freedom, they say complete freedom, but does that mean freedom from punishment, freedom from the laws of America? They do not specify to what extent they demand freedom too.

Another request they make is for equal education, that on it’s own is understandable, however, their idea of equal education is for African American children to have their own schools and colleges, for the schools to have their own teachers and for the schools to be able to teach what they choose to teach the children. And they request that all equipment needed for the school for example books, is to be paid for by the government. This is an example of an ideal of African American separation, they don’t want their children to mix with children of other races. Also, it goes against their second request which is to become equal, this does not seem to want black children to be equal to white children, but for black children to be an exception.

Their final request is for no interracial marriages, this is another example of a want to be separate from other races and the message it gives out is for African American Separation. 

From an interview by Minister Louis Farrakhan who is the current leader of the Nation of Islam, he states that their main aims is that unless their requests are met, for example; all African American people to become completely free, have equal justice and equal opportunities, then the Nation of Islam will demand a state or piece of land for them to build their own society. This suggests that they only want African American Separatism only as a last resort, that if they are not able to become free and equal under what seems to be their standards then they should be separate. However, their demands and their idea of equality have strong ideas of Separation already, for example separation of races in education

Tuesday, 8 March 2011


The New Black Panther Party are a very militant, black supremacist group led by Dr. Malik Zulu Shabazz. They claim to be a continuation of the original organisation, yet the surviving members of the original black party stress that their policies have become a lot less radical and they have no affiliation with them. The "10 Point Platform" of the NBPP states that they believe that the African-American community should be completely separated from white American Society. Among other things they demand that black men and women in America be exempt from paying taxes or doing any kind service in the army. They also believe that all African-Americans currently in any of the countries should be released to be tried fairly by a court organised by the black community.

Under point 7 they state that they will defend the black community by using their right to bear arms. Points such as this do echo the beliefs of the original black panther party during the civil rights movement, however the original black panther party have said of them that they "denigrate the Party's name by promoting concepts absolutely counter to the revolutionary principles on which the Party was founded". They have also been hit with scandal when they were widely accused in the media of attempting to prevent voters from entering a polling station in Phillidelphia, although they have strongly denied this. The incident was captured on video by several people http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4MTQVMatW0 and to be honest seems to have been blown very much out of proportion by the media. Dr Shabazz has been called both a freedom fighter, and a racist anti-Semite. He is clearly a man of very strong beliefs, whether the militant tactics that were used in the 1960s are relevant to his cause today is questionable.

African American Separatism


Jill Scott is a successful African-American singer and above is a link to her column in an edition of essence, which is a magazine, aimed at African-American women.
Her article is about interracial dating and how she was appalled that one of her friends had married a white woman. I found this interesting, as views like this were common in the videos I looked at featuring Black Panther members etc, and although they had an obviously more extremist view on black separatism than Jill, her view can still be attributed to being a supporter of African American separatism as she doesn’t want black people to marry white people. The fact that she said this is even more surprising that she is a successful woman who seems to be constantly in the limelight of the American public and therefore isn’t the typical type of person who would make controversial views like this as they may be worried about it affecting their status and music sales.

In the article she states that she “winced” when she found out that one of her African-American friends married a black woman. She says that she felt this because of the history of slavery in America, and as in the past a black man could be killed for looking at a white woman, it is now a betrayal of his ancestors to marry someone who isn’t black. This shows a total refusal to acknowledge how times have changed since slavery in America, and although there obviously is still racism around in present day America, it should still be seen as a step forward for the attitude in the country that black people can freely marry white women and most people aren’t bothered at all. Instead, Jill seems to want to focus on the racism in America fifty years ago, rather than acknowledging that times have changed and embracing the fact that people can marry whoever they want regardless of skin colour. Despite her defence of her view, saying that it isn’t separatist, I feel that it obviously is, and that just because it isn’t a more drastic view, such as total separatism, then she is allowed to say these things, and that if a white woman was to say that white men shouldn’t marry black women, there may have been a lot more uproar than there was over Jill Scott’s article.

Also below is a video of Jill Scott defending her views in a news interview.

Black Separatism

This image depicts Black Separatism at its most disturbing form. Black and White people are not to be mixed in any form of society, which means separate toilets, water fountains, seats on a bus and even in school. A black person in this part of American History is a second citizen, there is no equality and minorities are treated with grotesque disrespect.

Within the image, the fountains themselves speak loudly. The fountain for the whites holds a status, it is a much more substantial fountain with a white china basin, the fountain for blacks is a steel basin. This difference in aesthetics depicts an aspect of black segregation in the United States. The idea that the black woman isn't good enough to drink from the fountain for white citizens is also barbaric, this concept of contamination from a different race is an ideology held in many parts up until the 1970s and even held today among some groups.
The second image depicts almost an even more disgusting concept. These children have been set up to protest by their parents and have inherited racist views and ideals. They feel they cannot go to school with a black person when their own literary sense is to be questioned. It is possible to believe that these boys may still hold the same values about people of other races. In the south today, there are many white supremacist groups such as the KKK, Nazis and Skin Heads. These often spill into youth gangs in America today rather than lawful organisations.

African-American Separatism: Black Nationalist Beliefs

The following website outlines the beliefs held by Black Nationalists - those people who favour separatism over assimilation with Caucasians. http://www.realitynews.com/archive/570.html Black Nationalism appears to be based on a sense of "racial unity" as opposed to specific cultural beliefs/practices or ethnicities. The ideology therefore relies on "Pan-Africanism." (N.B - "Journal of Pan-African Studies" : http://www.jpanafrican.com/index.htm - 'The Journal of Pan African Studies is a trans-disciplinary peer reviewed scholarly journal devoted to the intellectual synthesis of research, scholarship and critical thought on the [collective] African experience.')

Such a mergence of multiple cultures and the origins of an all-Black-encompassing group seems rooted in the slave trade. The article states that '[s]laveholders deliberately mixed together slaves of diverse linguistic and tribal backgrounds in order to minimize their ability to communicate and make common cause.' As a response to this, the African slaves, with very diverse backgrounds, learnt to communicate in a unified way, 'bridging ethnic differences' and therefore uniting against one common enemy - white people. Nevertheless, there were differing views on how Black Nationalism should be practised in contemporary America. Some Separatists insisted on a designated territory - some sort of territorial base, whereas others "merely" wanted separate establishments in American society - churches, cemetaries, restaurants and so on.

The article continues, discussing a collective sense of "Black Pride" that should be held dear and strived to maintain. Many Black Nationalists have views, for instance, on "Black Beauty," whereby they are critical of 'black acceptance of white standards' - the examples of straightening one's hair, or craving a lighter skin tone are given. It is not mentioned here, but Whitney Houston was openly criticised when she first became successful in the mid-late 1980s for pandering to white ideals, specifically around her style of music, with many critics likening some of her early hits to being "typically white." 'Black disc jockeys have chided her for "not having soul" and being "too White."' ('Ebony' magazine - May 1991: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1077/is_n7_v46/ai_10640593/ ) As we know, there was also controversy concerning Michael Jackson's drastic change in appearance. "In the 1960s, the phrase "Black is Beautiful" was coined, in conjunction with the infamous "Black Power."

The most forthright and outspoken advocates of Separatism were advocates of emigration or colonisation. The only way in which African-Americans could succeed was through the establishment of all-black settlements, totally going against the idea of assimilation. 'In 1815, for example, Paul Cuffe led a group of 38 African Americans to found a settlement in Sierra Leone,' with the idea of potentially laying the foundations for an independent black state.

It is important to realise that Black Nationalists agree on the needs for separation from white people, but the extent to which they agree differs greatly.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Immigration in American schools.


This website features an article which outlines the reasons for large scale immigration during the 19th and early 20th century. The article is split up into industrialization and immigration but both make links between the two processes. The article appears to present America as a sort of safe haven for the immigrants who came from Europe who were fleeing religious and political persecution. The article also presents the positive effects the growth in industrialization had on the immigrants. The article then briefly mentions at the end the negative effects of the large growth in immigration which was the over stretched resources like housing and employment.

The article appears to present a positive view of immigration to students. It does also give a balanced view of America as a result of immigration as it gives the negative attitudes some Americans had for example the racial, religious and ethnic prejudice some immigrants experienced as well as the inability of some cities to cater for the amount of immigrants that came over which resulted in over crowding with some families of saw 5 or 6 living in a single room. It also meant there was not enough jobs to cater for the large amounts of immigrants that came over. It also shows the persecution some Asian immigrants experienced at the hands of some Anti-Asian people towards the West of America.

In conclusion, I think it is good that the author has presented both positive and negative aspects of immigration in relation to the image of America. The article presents America as both this safe haven and this country who is willing to help immigrants, as well as the inability of America to cater for the immigrants.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Teaching of Immigration in American schools


Waterford high school

By looking at the American studies curriculum on the Waterford high school website, I eventually found a section on immigration. Although immigration is mentioned, it seems to be a very small part of their history curriculum. Despite this, by looking at the essential questions listed that they expect their students to know after study, it seems to me that they just look at how immigrants were viewed by Americans at the start of the 19th century. An example of this is that it says in the school’s curriculum that they have to “compare the historical attitudes towards old and new immigrants.” Although this would involve looking into the discrimination the immigrants to America suffered, which would give the students an idea of how hard it was to be a successful American immigrant at that time, it leaves out other critical points such as how hard the lives of immigrants were in America just to survive day to day as a result of things such as poverty

In conclusion, it was hard to find a school which devoted a large part of their curriculum to immigration, as shown in the case of Waterford high school. The fact that they only seem to spend a small amount of time on immigration means that a lot of the main points concerning it are left uncovered, and although Waterford High school focus on how immigrants were viewed by Americans, it leaves out the worst details such as the poor day to day lives most immigrants had. This leads me to believe that the curriculum is heavily biased as topics which show America in a good light such as the world wars are covered deeply, yet topics which show America in a negative light, such as the treatment of American immigrants are either totally ignored or only looked at for a small period of time.

Ellis Island: 19th Century Immigration

This website, Ellis Island History is for students by students. It is an interactive way of learning the history of immigration to the USA. However, there are not many available academic sources, most are about US government, revolutuion or geography.

The website tracks the history of Europeans coming to the island, previously known as Gull Island until purchased by Samuel Ellis. The students outline many facts and dates about contruction, architecture and cost. However contains little about the reality of Ellis Island, it fails to mention, many travellers who failed the '29 Question' Test or Medical Tests were sent back to wherever they came from.

In 1882, it claims that surveyers were brought in to assess the condition of the great hall and there were many damages and the building needed many repairs. However, this was not seen as sufficient spending of public money so nothing was done. In 1954 Ellis Island was shut down by the US Government, it is now open as a Museum.


Teaching immigration in American schools.

Through researching how American schools typically teach the subject of 'immigration,' it seems that this topic is not implicit in the American education system - it was difficult to find a school where issues concerning immigration make up a large part of the History curriculum. When trying to find how a K-12 school taught this subject, the lack of information and depth of study was important to note. The following link does, however, show how a California school (the West Cottonwood Junior High School) teaches the subject. The fact that the entire module of work is designed to only take up between seven and ten hours of class time potentially demonstrates how much the issues surrounding immigration are taught in American schools. http://score.rims.k12.ca.us/activity/immigration/

The teacher notes featured on this page show that the pupils should have a modicum of awareness of the historical events, specifically in relation to the peaks of immigrant entry to America and the reasons why, with the 1840s and 1850s quoted. There are some figures given (the increase in population of New York City for instance), linked to specific events in given countries of origin - notably the Irish Potato Famine. The impact of World War I is mentioned, highlighting a decrease in the number of immigrants right up until the late 1940s.

Contemporary issues are then introduced, with more recent trends being highlighted - 'The current phase of immigration history began in 1965, when strict quotas based on nationality were eliminated. In 1978, the United States government set a single annual world quota of 290,000, and this ceiling was raised again in 1990 to 700,000. During the 1990s, immigrants have arrived at a pace that at times has exceeded one million new arrivals per year, and have settled in all parts of the country.'

Under the title of 'Issues to Consider,' the underlying sentiment seems to be that America cannot sustain a decent quality of living for the numbers of people entering for a better life. The hostilities caused by the many language barriers and differing social conventions and customs are mentioned, with one of the questions that pupils are required to discuss being 'How many immigrants should we continue to admit?'

It is worth noting some of the language that is used. The pupils can openly refer to immigrants as 'aliens' - admittedly, this term is used more openly in America when discussing this subject, but the negative connotations cannot really be ignored. One could argue that some of the language used is quite heavily loaded.

This particular scheme is intended for pupils in the 11th grade (aged 16-17) and they are further encouraged to research a little into the policy/legislation/legal debate surrounding this issue: 'For these reasons, it is essential that we examine current policies in order to assess whether they best serve the interests of both American citizens and of those immigrants who arrive with the belief that opportunities for a good life will be available here...'

The ways in which the pupils are assessed vary, with one of the key sections involving a debate whereby pupils take on a particular stance - they are actively encouraged to research extreme points of view (on both sides of the debate), which will develop their level of research. The primary assessment, however, seems to be concerned with identifying key historical trends in immigration levels, linking to key historic events and legislation (post-1875), with a comparison made to modern day, contemporary issues. The questions the pupils are asked to consider do seem to concern the modern day situation in the main, with the questions posed showing a slight bias, in my opinion, encouraging pupils to come to the conclusion that immigration, rightly or wrongly, needs to be curtailed.