- In what sense is the US a nation of immigrants? Why has intolerance toward immigrants been a recurring problem in our country? Who should be entitled to the privilege of US citizenship and who should be entitled to exercise political power?
The TheUnited States is referred to as the nation of immigrants because of the fact that the majority of the nation’s population is not part of the original, native population of the northern part of America. In other words, the US is a nation of immigrants because it remains, and it was a colonized land. America is a land mostly made up of a large number of immigrants. Immigrants started arriving in America since the 1490s, and in what is currently known as the US as early as the 1500s. Immigrants continue to arrive all these centuries later. After a process of displacement, genocide, relative assimilation, and pacification of the indigenous people, Dutch, Spanish and French immigrants started instituting and formulating government and public policies that would sanction the exploitation and importation of other minority groups whose labor was essential in the development of the vast American resources(Simon, 1990).
The first laws against immigration where developed and implemented in 1924 which set limits to the number of people from certain countries admitted in the United States. This set the stone rolling for the constant intolerance to immigrants that is still witnessed today. This problem has been recurring because of a number of reasons which range from racial components, intertwined practice or belief deeming that certain populations are outsiders, and thus, undeserving and with no rights in integrating into the US and those who belong. Other arguments against immigrants include impacts on educational systems, social services and labor force in the US. Though many would oppose, any immigrant with legal documents is entitled to the privilege of attaining American citizenship, and, just as well, those with legal migrant documents should be allowed political power(Simon, 1990).
2. Discuss the following quotation from Martin Luther King, Jr. “Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. Violence is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all… Violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in survivors and brutality in the destroyers.” How does this relate to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender?
According to Martin Luther King, Jr., there are many evils affecting the world, and one of them is violence. To him, violence was more of an expression of hatred than of love, and to him, violence was immoral. When violence starts, it spirals around to result in unending destruction for all, and it only defeats itself, creates brutality in its perpetrators and bitterness, in those who survive it. This quote has a lot of meaning in regards to race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and gender. For instance, he argued that racism is a philosophy or concept based on violence and contempt of life. To him, racism is an arrogant assertion that a certain race is a key to value and of devotion, before which other races must worship and submit to. During his time, there was extreme racism towards the African American people in America and other minority groups, who the larger, white population harassed, acted violently towards and contempt(Martin Luther King, Jr., 1958).
The claim that violence only creates bitterness in those affected and brutality in those who perpetuate it applies perfectly in this case. The black people got tired of being harassed and took to the streets to fight for their freedom(Martin Luther King, Jr., 1958). The bitterness had accumulated in them for so long that led them to result in these actions. On the other hand, this only served to increase the brutality the opposing population met them with. Many were killed, injured, and deported to other areas, in addition to being treated inhumanly. The arguments of Luther that violence only leads to more violence are also true in this case. This violence against the blacks and other minorities took a long time to end as violence from one group led to more violence from the other group. The same applies to gender and sexual orientation, as these are immoral acts that result in bitterness, and hatred among the opposing groups.
3. The movie “CRASH” is a composite of almost everything discussed during the course. Identify four issues in the movie that still face individuals and groups today? Provide examples from the movie and apply them to society today.
The movie Crash is an excellent analogy of how the human race deals with people, life and our own experiences. The racial differences and physical characteristics may be seen as two different traits that separate the human race. This is mostly what has kept us separated and wary of each other. That leaves a number of abstract issues that the movie illustrates quite extensively. The first issue is the origins of personal prejudice, the other has to do with how individual experiences drive standing stereotypes and the other has to do with whether it is simpler to perpetuate existing stereotypes because it is possible that the situation will never change. Other issues have to with whether people can battle with the struggles that occur internally in their races and what really prohibits us from eliminating prejudices. These issues are obviously with us today, and the writer of the movie managed to extend the viewing experiences of the audience beyond the film, therefore, forcing individuals to analyze their personal experiences, racial stereotypes, and prejudices towards others.
It is possible that many of us believe that racism results from one growing up in a racist home, or growing up surrounded by racist individuals. At first glance, Matt Dillon, a character in the movie, shows characteristics typical of this assumption. He exhibited a close relationship with his father, and it is only later that we come to know why he is so racist. By watching the movie, one can assume that Dillon learned to be racist from his father regarding his negative attitudes towards black people. However, one later discovers that it was Matt, who in combination, with the negative experiences of his father, and his own as a police officer, formed his own illusions and perceptions towards the black population.
Another example of this happened at the start of the film when the Persian family attempted to buy a gun. The clerk in the shop made blatantly racist comments about customer perceptions. He even made a few comments about the September 11 attacks. To him, it did not seem to matter that these individuals were Persians, not Arabs. A recurring theme was that after the attacks, all individuals from the Middle East became possible terrorists, and this is even evident today. It is amazing how individuals have the capability to interpret and understand unpleasant experiences and cast their own racial stereotypes and prejudices on different ethnic populations to mask their frustration and anger.
From the movie, it is possible to understand that certain stereotypes have withstood the test of time, regardless of the level of racial equality America has achieved. The Sandra Bullock character makes a statement about the relations between black and white people arguing that if a white woman turns the other way after seeing two black men walking towards her then she is a racist. Maybe these stereotypes presented in the movie have stayed prevalent among us because there are more than enough individuals perpetuating them. It is a common belief that all young, black men are thugs, drug dealers or criminals. In addition to this, it is the common belief that most of the incarcerated males are black. As a young, black person, it must be extremely challenging to break free of such stereotypes.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1958).Stride towards Freedom. New York: Harper & Brothers.
Simon, J. L. (1990). Policy issues at the 1984 World Population Conferences, in Population Matters: People, Resources, Environment, and Immigration. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.
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