Archive for the ‘Apr 12/Cultural Globalization & Latino Immigration and American National Identity’ Category

Blog #3 – Border Wars / ABCs

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

In the video, “Border Wars-Libya,” people are shown leaving Libya to seek refuge in Tunisia. The UN was criticized for not responding fast enough in this crisis, so thousands of tents have been set up to accommodate the refugees. The refugees bring anything they can carry and are welcomed with gifts for their travels. When approached about leaving Libya, many are afraid to speak truthfully about Qaddafi as their leader. One man explained that he fears that his words will be used against his family that he has left behind in Libya.
The Red Cross has created places for the refugees to receive care in order to prevent diseases from spreading; including sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS, scabies, and conjunctivitis. There is also a tent where many refugees get in line to gather food and water; but not everyone is able to be fed from the 10,000 meals being handed out daily. The Bangladeshi refugees are desperate and many would like to return back home; but the Somalian refugees have nowhere to go. A Somalian “Ambassador” came to the camp to try and get his people to come back to Somalia, but the refugees disagreed and demanded him to leave. Due to the ongoing war in their country, their futures remain uncertain.
In the audio, “The ABCs of Chinese Americans,” Helen Peng discusses the large Asian community residing in Flushing, Queens. The two main groups she discussed are known as FOBs (Fresh Off the Boat) and the ABCs (American Born Chinese). Helen is American born with Taiwanese roots. She discusses how her family members, who are old wave Taiwanese immigrants, have their own clicks and beliefs towards the “un-mannered” new wave of Chinese immigrants. There is tension between the two groups that resulting in aggressive encounters such as FOBs cursing at ABCs in Chinese.
Helen goes on to discuss a major issue many have with the new wave of Chinese immigrants; spitting. In China, it is normal for people to spit in public throughout the streets. Because many new wave immigrants are from the countryside, they are generally poor and are uneducated. These newer immigrants try to become a part of American culture, but it is difficult for them due to how they were raised back in China.

Blog #4- ABC’s and Libya Border Wars

Monday, April 25th, 2011

As I was listening to the audio on “The ABC’s of Chinese Americans” it really caught my attention. It’s always interesting to be able to relate to what the speaker is talking about. Flushing, Queens is one of the most well known places that almost every New Yorker has spent some time in. Of course attending Queens College for the last four years has brought me closer to Flushing. It is obvious that is one of the biggest Asian populations in the world and luckily for that, great food and culture is available right around the corner. I would have never known there were actually classifications of Asians. It was especially cool to learn that Helen Peng ( who was born and raised in America) was able to visit her roots and fell in love with Taiwan. I strongly believe that after being born and raised in America although your parents might be from another country, once visiting your homeland you’ll instantly fall in love. I could relate. If I was ever able to visit Tehran, Iran I would most definitely fall in love with everything about it. It was funny to hear how Helen Peng relates to the two classifications. It’s unfortunate that both are technically so different but oddly enough the FAB’s want to be like the ABC’s and vice versa. It’s also unfortunate that the two groups don’t get along that well. Who would have every thought this extremely distinct classification could cause problems throughout Flushing. She discusses the bigger issue between new and old immigrants. Due to political turmoil, and communism the older immigrants suffered more then the new immigrants. Throughout the entire audio it was easy to differentiate between the speakers that are FAB’s and ABC’s which isn’t necessarily a good thing, people from the same country should be able to get along. They should represent their country as a whole. Who cares if one group spits more then the other. It’s not the end of the world. Flushing will always remain the way it is and I’m not complaining certainly because of the delicious food they have been able to provide.

Libya- Border Wars

I had been following what was going on in Libya when the crisis first started. I would have never thought it was this extreme. After watching the Border Wars in Libya it really opened my eyes. I thought I was watching a clip from ancient history. There are so many refugees that are fleeing Libya was nowhere to go. No one can help them or at least that’s what it seems like. The reporter was extremely brave to film on such a dangerous border. People are constantly searched and the fate of their lives left questionable. I can’t imagine having to flee my home not knowing where I will end up. These Libyan refugees seem extremely brave. Although they are fleeing a major crisis they are attempting to save their families in a much more stable environment. Some people hope to flee to Morocco as soon as possible. I also was shocked to see the camps separated according to what country you came from. It seems like the Somalians are treated the worse. One family said they had to flee because Libya was killing foreigners living in their country. Unfortunately they can’t go back to Somali because it’s where they had originally fled because of crisis happening there as well. It was bizarre hearing Ghadafi’s voice over the loud speaker. Some citizens were fleeing Libya although they were happy with Ghadafi which was strange to me. Perhaps they are trying to avoid the dangers of living there. The UN doesn’t seem to be helping enough. Ten thousand out of twenty thousand refugees are given food rations. That clearly isn’t effective. People haven’t been able to eat for over 5 days. Watching this video was more shocking then anything. I want to just pick up and go help these people but it’s so dangerous. They could begin a violent protest at any minute. These refugees deserve to be safe and should be given the opportunity to relocate to a much safer place.

Nov 16 Latino Immigration

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Samuel Huntington’s The Hispanic Challenges speaks on how the Hispanic immigration has yet to successfully assimilate with the culture that is now American.  The Hispanic immigration is very unique.  It hold no similarities to previous immigrations from the past such as Irish German and Scandinavians.  The lack of assimilation leads to the realization that the American culture will become dual.  For example, the norm would be to speak both English and Spanish.  The reason that the Hispanic migration is taking over is because of its huge stream of immigrants coming over.  And their increasing rate of  producing large families.  This factor makes the Hispanic people more visible and seen.  Mexican immigration differs from past immigration and most other contemporary immigration due to a combination of six factors: contiguity, scale, illegality, regional concentration, persistence, and historical presence.  Another reason for why Mexico immigration is pressing thru is because it simply has to cross a boarder line/ small river. When one is so close to a country that is your escape from poverty, you will see flocks of people charging to this safe haven.  I believe it only makes sense to why Mexicans are focused on coming to America.  Previous Immigrations were known to have traveled thousands and thousands of miles  to come to America, Therefore making it more difficult to bring huge masses of people during the migration.  These people that were very far away had  to really think hard about leaving their country.  It was a decision that could be easily made, therefore making the immigration flow less and less. The Mexican persistence of coming into America has made them break out of being the minority.  Being that there are so many of them, they don’t feel like the minority nor do they feel the need to assimilate to the American way.  I believe that these theories hold a lot of truth to them.  If your on alone and considered an outcast, you would do anything possible to fit in.  But if your not the only outcast  and there is a strong enough group that you can fit in with then you will flock to them and not change.
The Hispanic Immigration is going at full force but Its not a negative thing.  it’s a new exposure of culture.  America has gone thru immigration before. It may not have been as rapid as this one but it was survive and make the best out of it.  It is sure to lead to new creolization

Hispanic Challenge

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

In the Hispanic Challenge written by Samuel Huntington; we are given an essay about Hispanic immigration to the United States and examples on how the us are a whole. “Most Americans see the creed as the crucial element of their national identity. The creed, however, was the product of the distinct Anglo-Protestant culture of the founding settlers. Key elements of that culture include the English language; Christianity; religious commitment; English concepts of the rule of law, including the

responsibility of rulers and the rights of individuals; and dissenting Protestant values of individualism, the work ethic, and the belief that humans have the ability and the duty to try to create a heaven on earth, a “city on a hill.” The US was formed and I guess you can say established a way of living. There were norms and most people knew to follow them. When the Hispanics started immigrating to the US, society started to change. With the immigration, do you think the Hispanics were willing to change their own set values to meet those of our society? I think that with any group of people coming together there could be a clash.This creed soon came under attack; it seemed as if the US had a bias or racist set of ways that excluded certain groups. “The impact of Mexican immigration on the United States becomes evident when one imagines what would happen if Mexican immigration abruptly stopped. The annual flow of legal immigrants would drop by about 175,000, closer to the level recommended by the 1990s Commission on Immigration Reform chaired by former U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. Illegal entries would diminish dramatically. The wages of low income U.S. citizens would improve” this quote, to me, pretty much proves that the US needs immigration to regulate the nation and keep things flowing. It would lessen the illegal entries and improve the lives of the U.S citizens, which sounds like a positive. There were divisions of territory “drawn” in the sand or divisions through water to stop other from crossing over, I think that everyone just wants a chance at freedom or a society where you can work and have rights.

With immigration, the U.S is able to see a culture that we hadn’t seen before the immigration, whether it be with African Americans or Hispanics. We are given and shown new and different ways of life like music, food, language and much more!

Samuel Huntington’s “The Hispanic Challenge”

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

“The Hispanic Challenge,” by Samuel Huntington argues, with substantial credible supporting material, that the heavy and persistent inflow of Hispanic immigrants is creating a United States of two peoples, two cultures and two languages. Huntington attributes the conspicuousness of the Hispanic immigrant community in the United States to various factors that all the other immigrant groups do not compile altogether. According to Huntington, some of the contributing factors to the gradual hispanization of the United States include: a 2000 mile border historically separated by a line in the ground and a shallow river between a developing and a developed country [Mexico and the United States], large income inequalities between the contiguous countries, increased availability of transportation, withdrawal of investments from dictatorial Latin American regimes to American Cities (for instance, from Cuba to Miami), pride in Spanish language and ethnic culture, sentiment by many Mexicans that they are entitled to living in the bordering states due to Mexico’s former ownership of the territories, high fertility rates among hispanic communities and many others. Huntington explains that, as a result of these factors, there has been a growing involvement and influence of Hispanics in America’s political, social, economic, linguistic and cultural life.

I believe that Huntington along with the cited scholars who contributed to the text make a valid point about the exceptional influence of Hispanic immigration in the United States. The global cities of America present themselves as bilingual and appear to be increasingly influenced by Hispanic culture in various aspects. For instance in many neighborhoods and boroughs of New York City, Los Angeles and Miami, the “white” majority, African-Americans and other groups of immigrants are the minorities due to the   affirmed communities of people from central and south America. In addition, these communities promote the food (eg: empanadas, arroz con pollo y habichuelas), the music (salsa, merengue, bachata, reggaeton), religion (catholic), posters and other images of significant figures (liberators such as Ernesto “Che” Guevara and Simon Bolivar), the communal hospitality, and evidently the language. In fact, ads and services are increasingly adding the label “se habla español,” which means that Spanish is spoken in case the person does not speak English and certain jobs require people to speak both languages. The tendency of this trend is to expand over the years, and as a result, the United States of America, which was initially, a country of Anglo-Saxon Protestants is transitioning towards a United States of the two predominant peoples, cultures and languages.

The Hispanic Threat?

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

I always wondered where the Lou Dobbs’ and Joe Arpaio’s of the world get their nerve. Now I know.

This piece by Huntington, who’s a well known political writer, is the kind of writing that creates the intellectual legitimacy in fear mongering for the Republican party. The ‘brains’ behind the xenophobia and contempt by the right wing towards mexicans all ooze these same sentiments, I suppose. What is perhaps most disturbing is that this coherent and well researched piece is very compelling. Almost as compelling as the conspiracy theories you can get online that seem legitimate but ultimately end in an anti-semitic tirade that says jews (or freemasons) control the world.

Legitimacy aside, this piece is influential to me because it gives me the proper understanding of the basis for the anti-immigrant movement that has so explicitly reared its ugly head during this recession. The Nazi’s would be proud.

Two final point about Huntington’s crusade against mexicans are as follows:

1) Huntington, while admitting that the southwest territories where mexicans flourish were STOLEN from mexico, omits the fact that the english protestants who EMIGRATED to america violently wiped off the inigenous populations here. For all the warnings of a gradual and social rise in mexican influence he doesn’t seem to mind the cruel and militant demise of American Natives (which included the ancestors of the “illegals”).

2) No political commentator worth his pen should talk about the status of Cubans in Miami without mentioning the preferential and highly politicized US policies towards THOSE immigrants. This careful omission that Huntington thinks he can leave out with a flood of less pertinent facts should NOT be overlooked.

Chapter 42 and 43 response

Friday, October 29th, 2010

In the article, “Bin Laden and Other Thoroughly Modern Muslims,” by Charles Kurzman, discusses about Islamists. He explains about how today Islamists have gone to modern schools, follow modern laws, and also use modern technology. These technologies lead to the use of the newest high-tech skills, which also include the use of satellite phones. I think it is good that they are still holding their tradition values. Kurzman talks about how Bin Laden had training in civil engineering. He also talks about the difference between the Taliban and Islamists and how the Taliban forbid women from attending school, but the Islamists raised the girl’s education level in Iran. Kurzman finishes his article by explaining the Americans war on terrorism and how it could possibly help the Islamists by the idea of the United States being against Islam.
In the article “The Challenging of Fundamentalism”, Tibi makes many interesting point regarding Islam. He discusses how anti-Western civilizations have invented their own tradition of Islam, dressing in traditional symbols. For them there make goal is nothing less than a radical repair of the existing system of nation-states that goes back to the 1648’s. Tibi argues that Islamists cannot succeed to this dream. I believe that Tibi is right in his understanding of the identity problems being the key factors of the Muslim modernity.

Global Fundamentalism & Obedience versus Autonomy

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Fundamentalism is fashionable- as a problem for social analysis more than as a form of religious faith and activism. To be sure, the reemergence of a certain kind of religious traditionalism in the public arenas of some countries was sufficiently surprising justify a major scholarly effort to account for it. These are the words have written by Frank J. Lechner at his “Global Fundamentalism” article. The other article which I will also talk about is “Obedience versus Autonomy: Women and Fundamentalism in Iran and Pakistan” by Shahla Haeri.

First, lets talk about Global Fundamentalism, the changing global condition not only becomes a context and target of fundamentalism, but also serves as its primary precipitating factor. Yet apart from globally induced variations in the strength of fundamentalism, the very attempt to restore a effort among the others to preserve or achieve a certain cultural authenticity in the face of a greedy, universalizing global culture. I agree with author that fundamentalism has became a global category, it has also became the symbol in a global discourse about the shape of the world. The future of fundamentalism is closely linked to the future of modernity. At 21st century global fundamentalism is connecting with global culture and adopting the cultures from other region.

The second topic is obedience versus autonomy. Lets look at Iran and Pakistan how, the society has adopted Islamic fundamentalism and how it has affect the women of those countries. In those countries, the Islamic leaders referred to the sources, to the Qur’an and Sunna of the Prophet Muhammad, to find an “Islamic rationale” for such adoptions, and an “Islamic methodology” to implement them. But this has drawn many controversial views. Many believes that men in those countries have used and still using these methodology and has mixed with their ideology to obtain control the women and keep them obedient towards the men. It has also limit the rights of women in many ways.

So we see, how even religion is also has major impact in our cultural and globalization. Cultures are different from each other not only cause the geographical location but also the religious believes, and fundamentalism plays a part in it.