In class we've spoken a lot about the power dynamics in the U.S and "Who rules America". We have also discussed how white supremacy was a tactic used by whites in the past to preserve their race, to keep them on the top of the power pyramid that Janine Carmona spoke about. On Thursday May 1, May Day was a day that people who believed and protested against HR4437 marched together to protest against the criminalization of Immigrants. While reading the Los Angeles Times blog entries about May Day I became infuriated by peoples comments on how they felt about the May first demonstration. Here are three examples on what people were writing;
It's so great to see people, who aren't American citizens, who have absolutely no rights guaranteed to them, come in here, demand we make changes to accommodate them, demand we change the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment, so their children are citizens and thus anchor babies, but refuse to allow us to enforce our immigration laws, and they refuse to learn English and demand we learn Spanish, so then we are terrorized by another 'No Gringo Day,' or what is it now, just May Day again?
If these people are able protest here, why can't they protest in their home country and demand change? But, there I go again thinking logically.
Posted by: Vaak | May 01, 2008 at 11:08 AM
I am sick to death over usa worriying so much over these illegals. We need to worry about our own. If we were in their country we would get no special treatment. What about our people. We are allowing these illegals to destroy America. I do not work to make these people a better life. I work to make mine a better life.Let them go back to their own countries and do the same.
God Bless America
While reading "With the Babies in their Arms ", by Paul Ortiz I began to think about to whose advantage does our democracy work for. Like Dagny asked in class, “Who do you think our founding fathers were thinking about when they wrote the Constitution”. Our democracy historically has had a problem with reinforcing equal treatment to their citizens of color. Like May Day, African Americans had always used Emancipation Day as a time when they reminded each other and their white neighbors that they had earned their citizenship, and now they used this day of remembrance to plan for the future (Ortiz). African Americans were not given the freedom they deserved but had to fight for it like many other people of color. In this reading we see women having a leading role in the fight for freedom, by fighting for their rights to vote and getting rid of Jim Crow Laws. When learning about African American movements you hardly read about black women’s contribution in organizing and also being leaders. I found this information rather refreshing to actually read about their roles as leaders in the Florida movements. At this time women, regardless of race were seeing inferior to men. Since black men and women began to fight for the right to vote white people saw it as a threat and looked for salvation in the white women’s vote. Giving white women equality in the voting sector with white men and also using their democratic vote as a ticket that would be used to make sure the white race remain the supreme race in the country.
Paul Ortiz also mentions how the sheriffs in Florida would let white on black crimes go unpunished and used their authority to block African Americans from organizing unions or voting. How do you think the African American communities felt when they couldn’t even depend on the people hired to protect and to serve them to actually do their job and not let their racism get in the way.
As result of the thousands of African Americans recruited in the Florida movement they were able to organize and make ties with other organizations resulting in change. My concern is why is it that when speaking about freedom other people have to work for them while others just have them. If we really had a working democracy and our laws were actually implemented than we wouldn’t have people still protesting and making demonstration for their equality.
Here are some Questions to think about and maybe respond to as a blog response:
What are the promises of Democracy?
How do you define them?
How, when and to whom would the promises of Democracy be extended?
How have others defined them?
What is the relationship between the individual and the social groups in the U.S.?
What does it mean to be an “American?”