Charlottesville 2017 is a series of letters written by faculty at the University of Virginia about their experience and thoughts on the riots on that infamous day in Charlottesville. Before that however, the author wrote about the historical context of both the Robert E. Lee statue and Stonewall Jackson monument, especially since both structures on whether or not they should be public landmarks (side note: this is not to undermine the fact that this was more importantly for white supremacist using the opportunity to flaunt political power and to oppress minorities through numbers and violence). In the first letter, written by John Edwin Mason (who was also apart of the blue ribbon commission and helped with the decision making earlier that year), He mainly talked about his guilt what transpired during the dreadful day. Especially when the white supremacist came, as he would literally call them evil. The second letter was written by Asher D. Biemann. In his piece, he talks about the various forms of hate that the “unite the right” demonstration expressed. Biemann expressed that these groups expressed antisemitism and antiblackness (also homophobia I might add) while at the same time, victimizing themselves and platforming themselves as “saviors” These fascist use that mindset to oppress other people that don’t look like them. The third section, written by Bonnie Gordon, wrote about the music that was played during the riots. her main focus was about the song ‘Dixie’ and other songs in the UVA songbook that historically uphold white supremacy. Her conclusion was that music isn’t enough to help to heal people after tragedies. The last piece was written by Guian Mckee. In this piece, they talk about the history and role that UVA plays in Charlottesville, as they have also played a role in white supremacy as it was built on a historically black neighborhood and then doesn’t even pay taxes to the community.
In “Identity and Assimilation Among Young Ethiopian Immigrants in Metropolitan Washington” by Elizabeth Chacko focuses on the immigration of Ethiopian people as well as their cultural identity while living in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The main aspect that Chacko how younger Ethiopian immigrants express their self-determination as that’s a key aspect of their cultural identity through the socioeconomic status, communities that they live in, and religion that they subscribe to. However, many younger Ethiopian migrants struggle with holding onto their ethnic identity while at the same time, wanting to fit into American society. A huge reason because of that is because of anti blackness in Western society, so much so that it treats black identity as a monolith. And so, when white people especially see Ethiopian people, they don’t see them as Ethiopian, or even as people. But rather, more “negros”, stripping away their cultural identity from the Ethiopian migrants through societal branding.
“Hybrid sensibilities: highly skilled Asian Indians
negotiating identity in private and public spaces of
Washington, DC” by Elizabeth Chacko analyzes the expression of identities of first-generation immigrants from India in private and public spaces. While many first-generation immigrants are of a higher socioeconomic status, they’re still subjected to racism and being treated as lesser than by western American society, making them feel casted out in being able to participate culturally in public spaces.
In Feminised Financial Flows: How Gender Affects Remittances in Honduran-US Transnational Families by Allison Petrozziello, she analyzes the Honduran immigrants that live in Alexandria, Virginia as well as their family members in Nacaome, Valle, Honduras. Petrozziello also focuses the remittances that transferred to the families back in Honduras, as well as how remittances impacts other aspects of Immigration. The author also focuses on the aspect of gender and reasoning of migrating, as Honduran men often migrate in search of economic opportunity and to help be a “bread winner” for the Family. On the other hand, while women are looking for the same opportunity, there’s also the factor of gender inequality that they may face in their native country.
The first article, “The Latinization of the Central Shenandoah Valley” by Laura Zarrugh, this article is about how Virginia is becoming part of the southern states in the United States which have experienced a rapid growth of immigration from Latino people in the past decade. In this article, Zarrugh uses the term “Latinization” to reference the dramatic growth in Latino immigrants in Harrisonburg, Virginia exclusively. This term covers the diverse range of Latino immigrants that come from many different countries such as Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Cuba, and Uruguay. This influx of people has brought not only more diverse communities , but also unique forms of cultural diffusion.
The Second article, “Perfectly American: Constructing the Refugee experience” by David W. Haines and Karen E. Rosenblum. the article is about the treatment and experiences of refugees in Richmond, Virginia. While they’re people that want to help refugees, they’re also people that fear them. The authors make it a point to explain the fear of refugees comes from the media and news platforms that go out of their way to use fear mongering to demonize people seeking refuge.
In the third article, “Defining Immigrant Newcomers in New Destinations: Symbolic Boundaries in Williamsburg, Virginia by Deenesh Sohoni and Jennifer Bickham Mendez, they also make it a case to focus on the media’s coverage, and the effects of what terminology is used and how it affects not only the immigrant people, but also the “native” born people as well. Most media sources tend to use negative terminology against Latino immigrants especially. when terms like “us” and “them” are used, it causes alienation in the community.
Southern Stalemate by Christopher Bonastia takes focus on Prince Edward the impact of the Supreme Court decision in 1954 for Brown v. Board of Education, in which ruled that separate but equal was unconstitutional. However, to fight back against the ruling, Prince Edward County closed their schools for five years instead of integrating the schools. This five year period is overlooked usually because this country’s focus on education for black people is non existent. The main goal has always been to see progression within the hegemony, and slowly weed out the rest that are inferior. To quote Bonastia “The politics of segregation in Prince Edward were not difficult to uncover: fore whites, segregation was the only acceptable position” (Bonastia 14) . That’s especially the case with Prince Edward county as dropout rates were high. Even when the schools were integrated, that often left not only black educators unemployed, but shut down a black schools as well.
Steve Nash’s Virginia Climate Fever is a focus on climate change in Virginia through an analytical lens, using graphs, charts, and maps to show ecological and climate change. For example, in chapter two, he displays three charts, each covering the rise in temperature since 1944, as well as a sharp increase from 1972. Nash also displays a chart for each season since 1944, with winter having the most dynamic changes out of all of them. In chapter 7, he covers the ecological aspect of in which plants and animals migrate throughout the Virginia ecosystem. With the heighten CO2 concentration, it could not only accelerate plant growth, but also extend the growing season for the plants as well. This also means that this could alter both land and water ecosystems, also hurting the balance of the food chain as well.
River paddling at the Rappahannock was my first experience ever having to paddle. And it was honestly such a great time! Being able to paddle and explore the area while trying not to fall in the water is an oddly therapeutic experience. One aspect that caught my eye however was the varying amounts of pollution that the river, especially when it comes to sediment pollution. Because not only were their a huge amount of dirt that gets into the water because of erosion, there were huge chunks of dead tree parts in the water as well. While I’m aware of the dangers of soil erosion, do dead trees like the ones in the Rappahannock have the same effect?
While reading Earl Swift’s Chesapeake Requiem, the aspect of the Tangier Island basically sinking into the water. Now, the Chesapeake bay’s three major contributors of pollution are nitrogen, phosphorus, and (like the Rappahannock) sediment that causes extremely high levels of algae, On top of that, Tangier Island has vastly shrunk since 1850. Tangier Island however, is a reflection of many countries, like the Caribbean countries, that will face the same fate as Tangier Island in the near future if nothing is done to fix the situation: disappearing into the water completely.
One aspect of the interview that immediately stuck out to me while watching the interview with Chief Anne Richardson is how Eurocentric their name is. For one, the name Anne has a Latin/French Origin and their last name, Richardson, has a Germanic origin. With the added fact that, as Chief Richardson mentioned, the name “Rappahannock tribe” was coined by the English, not the native born people that were settled there in the first place. These are the horrid results of colonization flourishing in the 21st century. It wasn’t just land that was taken, but also people, culture, and very being of the people themselves are forcibly assimilated into white culture through the decades of raping and pillaging of Native Americans. In short: Natives like Chief Anne Richardson are the product of being bred out of existence.
While I’m not the too familiar with machinery, I can’t help but at least appreciate that James Pitt is really into steam boats. While I’m no expert on the eco friendliness of them and they might be horrendous for the environment, they look really cool. It was pretty cool overall hearing about his story and how much he loved hanging out on the edge of the Rappahannock.
Listening to John Tippett reminded me of when I was in middle school. I had a science teacher in 6th grade that would talk to us about the growing pollution problem in the Rappahannock river from corporations constantly dumping waste and sewage in the river. One day, she took us down to the area to test the Ph balance of the the river. I say all that because I saw some similarities of that experience and Tippett’s conversation of undamming the Embrey river because of the adverse affects.