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Ethnic Studies 001 Notes

In: Other Topics

Submitted By irenenaw
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Feb. 11, 2016 Ethnic Studies Week 6
*Paper due in 3 weeks

Immigration, Eugenics, White Ethnics, Mexican Americans

U.S. Immigration Legislation (Tyner, 60)
-1907: U.S. Japan Gentlemen’s Agreement -Denied entry to Japanese laborers
-1917: Immigration Act -Denied entry to illiterates (meant to exclude Southern and Eastern Europeans) -Designated an “Asiatic Barred Zone” denying entry to people from the lands between India, Australia, and Japan

1924: Johnson-Reed Act (National Origins Act)
-Promoted by the American eugenics movement
-Designated to maintain national purity and security
-America should remain a white, Protestant nation
-All others must either assimilate or be relegated to a permanently inferior status.

*Eugenics want to keep white/Anglo-Saxon
-Product of scientific racism
- Applied to Charles Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” theory to modern, industrial civilization (Social Darwinism)
-1890s: popular with educated Americans concerned about an imminent “race suicide” due to low Anglo-Saxon birth rates

-1903: American Breeders Association founded
-1906: its Committee on Eugenics formed “to emphasize the value of superior blood and the menace to society of inferior blood.”
-1908: first Eugenics Society (England)
-1909: first professorial Chair in Eugenics established (University College, London)
-By 1910: emergent international eugenics movement proclaimed itself “the science of human improvement through programs of controlled breeding.”
-Eugenicists advocated selective eugenic mating, immigration restriction, and the segregation, institutionalization, and sterilization of those judged socially “unfit”

-1909: American Academy of Political and Social Science published Race Improvement in the United States (addressed obstacles to race progress including immigration)
-1920s: Prominent intellectuals from elite universities praised books like The Rising Tide of Color Against White Supremacy

Madison Grant, The Passing of the Great Race
-Outlined policies for eliminating the defective and worthless races in order to preserve the “master race” of Anglo-Saxons
-This best-seller became required reading in college classroom

-1920s: Eugenics message of selective breeding and racial betterment became and integral part of high school and college biology textbooks as well as teach education programs
-These ideas were taught to young people in American schools, and to their parents in popular magazines and at state fair exhibits

Documentary: Nazi Medicine: in the Shadow of the Reich (1997)

-Between 1925 and 1942, CA accounted for nearly ¼ of all non-consensual sterilizations performed in the U.S. during the entire 20th century, and for 60% of all sterilizations performed nation-wide in the 1940s
-California’s sterilization law remained in place from 1909-1979

-Throughout the 20th century, over 30 states forcibly sterilized tens of thousands of people who were deemed unfit for society
-North Carolina alone sterilized more than 7,600 people from 1929-1974, including poor black women, rape victims, and children.
-In Jan. 2012, the Governor of North Carolina apologized to the 1,500-2,000 surviving victims but 12 states that had eugenics programs never apologized.

Eugenics led to racialized medical experiments:
1906: Harvard doctor infected Filipino convicts with cholera to study its effects
-1932-1972: Tuskegee Institute study: African American men with syphilis prevented from receiving health care so white doctors could research the disease
-1946-1948: U.S. doctors infected 700 Guatemalans with syphilis to test penicillin
-Native American, African American, and Mexican American women were sterilized without their informed consent for decades

-In Puerto Rico, poor women were: -Involuntarily bombarded with radiation as they stood at a counter filling out a medical questionnaire -Given “La Operacion” to tie their Fallopian tubes -Given un-FDA approved prototypes of birth control contraceptive pills

White Ethics
-In “The History of White Ethnics in the United States” David Roediger argues: -White racial identity and European ethnic identity are distinct forms of consciousness -White ethnicity is a “pan-ethnic” ideology that emphasizes “the shared values of a white immigrant heritage”

David argues:
-Not Yet and Not Quite white ethnics became less specifically ethnic by assimilating into American culture, and by seeking “to be accepted as white rather than as Irish or Polish” –(188)
-Whiteness = Americanism
- Immigrants turned the question of who was foreign to who was white --- (189)
The Irish, who, at home, readily sympathize with the oppressed everywhere, are instantly taught when they step upon our soil to hate and despise the Negro…Sir, the Irish-American will one day find out his mistake. -Fredrick Douglass, May 10, 1853

Melting pot ideal:
Immigrants abandon foreign Old World traits, assimilate into dominant culture, adopt middle-class values. Irene Na is gay. :P

-White ethnics joined the economic and political system by appealing to traditional concepts of democracy and fair play, by making the case that they were fellow whites
-Their second-generation children helped embody the idea of ethnicity and secure its acceptance by Anglo Americans

-Ethnicity= incorporation and assimilation of European immigrants, whose children and grandchildren experience socio-economic upward mobility.

An ethnic group:
-Possesses some degree of coherence and solidarity
-Is composed of people who are aware of having common origins and interests.
-Is a self-conscious collection of people united, are closely related, by shared histories and experiences

-An ethnic group=cultural phenomenon.
-Ethnicity is not a natural occurrence or a biological factory
-Unlike race, which is allegedly in our blood, ethnicity is in our mind, our consciousness, and our sense of self.
-We are socialized of nurtured into an ethnic identity, but we are not born with it.

Feb. 25, 2016
Whiteness: Three Theories 1.) Wages of Whiteness
-W.E.B. Du Bois argued that even when white workers received a low wage, they were compensated b a public and psychological wage in the form of higher social status and greater social gains
-They were given public deference and open admission to social functions and public facilities, they received lenient treatment by police and judges, and they enjoyed the privileges of voting, and of sending their children to the best, most well funded schools. 2.) Whiteness as Property
-Cheryl Harris argues that the legacy of slavery, Indian land seizure established and protected an actual property interest in whiteness itself within U.S. jurisprudence.
Whiteness:
-Became a vested interest, a form of property that allocated public, private benefits, entitlements protected by law.
-Bestowed the legal right to exclude nonwhite others.
-Can be passively experience as an aspect of identity, or actively deployed as a resource to exercise power, maintain control at the social, political, and institutional level.

3.) Possessive Investment in Whiteness
-George Lipsitz argues that whiteness = literal, figurative “investment” because white racial identity provides resources, power, opportunity, and intergenerational inherited (net) wealth.
-Whiteness is also a means of appropriating or accumulating physical property, then keeping it from others.
-Whiteness can “possess” people, unless they develop antiracist identities by divesting from white supremacist social structure that protects unequal asset accumulation and upward mobility.
-Opposing whiteness is not the same as opposing white people because nonwhites can become active agents of white supremacy – becoming insiders by excluding other outsiders – as well as passive participants in its hierarchies and privileges.

Race: The Power of Illusion Ep. 3, “The House We Live In”

3-8-16

Facing up to Race
-Race and Education
-Ethnic Studies
-Multiethnic vs. Multicultural
-Opposing views on race, racism
-Differential Sentencing, Criminal Justice
-The War on Drugs, Mass incarceration
-Current Legacy of past “disaccumulation”
-Race and differing attitudes, test scores

Race and Education
-The American educator John Dewey argued that students did not fail; rather, schools failed students.
-In 1972, the National Education Association released a study, “The Invisible Minority,” which concluded:
There is “something inherent” in U.S. public schools “that impedes the education of the Mexican American child – that, indeed, drives him to drop out;” that ingrains in him a negative self-image. – Rodolfo Acuna

Ramon Gutierrez Article, “Ethnic Studies”:
-“Minority students demanded that the curriculum reflect their presence,” and that colleges and universities provide a “relevant education” by hiring minority faculty.
-In the debate over the meaning of America’s past, Ethnic Studies scholarship views social relation from the bottom up, from the point of view of the powerless or marginalized.

The Making of Asian America (Erika Lee)

Ethnic Studies
-On Strike! Ethnic Studies, 1969-1999
(Progressive Films, 1999 directed by Irum Shiekh)
--Ethnic Studies challenged traditional higher education

Lawrence Auster, “America is multiethnic, not multicultural”;
-“We need to subsume [racial and ethnic] differences within the framework of a common culture” (79)
-America as a “pluralist, liberal democracy rather than a san Anglo-American form of society” (81)
-“A society based on individual rights cannot also be based on group rights” (83)
-“The principles of our national commonality” vs. “the cultural disintegrationists” (83)

Omi & Winant, “Racial Formation”:
-Two opposing views on race:
1.) We may notice someone’s race, but we must act in a color-blind fashion; race cannot play a part in government action, unless to enforce the ideal.
2.) Past and present state actions have treated people differently according to their race, thus the government cannot suddenly declare itself colorblind without perpetuating differential, racist treatment. -P. 126

-American rule has moved from domination and racial dictatorship (1607-1865) to hegemony and racial democracy (1865-present). –p.133
-We should distinguish between racial awareness and racial essentialism –p.135

-There is nothing inherently white about racism –p.136
-Ideological beliefs have structural consequences, and social structures give rise to beliefs. P. 138

Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow:
-Although the U.S. criminal justice system formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness, it serves a racial control function due to racial disparities at every stage of the process.
-Although most Americans oppose race discrimination and endorse colorblindness, mass incarceration, which relegates millions to a stigmatized, permanent second-class status, requires only racial indifference, not hostility or overt bigotry, to thrive.
-A racial nation state harms people of all colors.

Whitewashing Race conclusion:
“the most important source of continuing racial disparities in modern America is still the legacy of past patterns of discrimination and racially coded patterns of disinvestment.”
-“disaccumulation” – p. 226
-“the choices that systematically disadvantaged black Americans were also ones that, by design or otherwise, benefited white Americans.” –p.227
-“Racial inequality stems from a system of power and exclusion in which whites accumulate economic opportunities and advantages while disaccumulation of economic opportunity disempowers black and Latino communities.”
-“to move beyond the debate over color-blind versus color-conscious policies … we can change the devastating dynamics of accumulation and disaccumulation.” –p. 228

Claude Steele, Social Psychologist, School of Education, Stanford University:
-When told that a nonverbal test was related to IQ, blacks performed a standard deviation worse than whites on the task; however, when told that the exam same test has nothing to do with one’s cognitive abilities- “just have fun” – blacks score the same as whites
-Similarly, when told that Asians generally do better than whites on a test, engineering graduate students at Stanford underperform.
-Racial achievement gap.

eth

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