The Pocahontas Exception

The racial integrity Act made it illegal for white people to marry people of color. The loop hole of this act was the fact that American Indians were considered white, which allowed them to marry other white people and allowed them privileges of a white person. the 1924 Integrity Act specifies those as “‘White’ as ‘one-sixteenth or less of the blood of the American Indian and having no other non-Caucasic blood'” (p. 354). This led to the “Pocahontas Exception” , which allowed interracial couples children to be seen legally as White. This was named after the Pocahontas and John Rolfe relationship. The article focuses on the history and the results of Virginias “Pocahontas Exception” as well as analyzing Loving v. Virginia court case.

Charlottesville 2017

This article focuses on the petition submitted by a student of Charlottesville High School in regards to removing the statue of Robert E. Lee from their local park. This petition sparked public discussion about past and current racism as well as protest by the white nationalist and KKK. This movement also led to the community wanting the Stonewall Jackson monument removed as well, which caused a larger uproar of protest by white nationalist in the city that were violent. The article continues to talk about the violent attacks white supremacist carried out in the city to protest the petition about the removal of the statues. The decision to remove the statues was difficult because there were a lot of different beliefs or opinions about if the statue should be removed or not. There were opinions that defended the tribute of the statues, some opinions thought the statues should be preserved civic objects, and those who saw the statues as symbols that influenced racial oppression. It was decided that the Lee and Jackson statue did symbolize white supremacy by symbolizing the confederacy as honorable, which praises and honors the confederacy beliefs. Due to this, it continues to support racial oppression. Another way that the statue symbolizes white supremacy due to it celebrating the reinvention of white supremacy through Jim crow segregation. In conclusion the Lee statue was removed and the park was renamed. The Jackson statute was transform and the park was renamed.

Immigrant and Refugee Experience Readings

Defining immigrant newcomers in new destinations: symbolic boundaries in Williamsburg, Virginia:
The reading introduces the main the idea of immigration issues by discussing immigration patterns and how they coincide with smaller communities. The study works to fill the literature gap by investigating the public reactions of new immigrant residents in a community as well as community changes due to the arrival of immigrants. The study uses a content analysis of over 500 texts to investigate public analysis of immigration issues. The reading identifies two patterns including constructing community and nation boundaries that shows how media recognizes local problems and events. The second pattern represents how the local boundaries establishes a “us” and “them” separation that views the differences of economic condition, demographics, and cultural understandings. The localized symbolic boundaries also produces a definition of “good” and “bad” immigrants. The “bad” immigrants are seen as illegal, dangerous and a threat to communities. The reading concludes by discussing the importance of understanding how symbolic and social boundaries are established and applied in community sites for immigrants. It is important to understand such boundaries to be able to fix such representations of immigrants small communities to create a more accepting societies.

Perfectly American: Constructing the Refugee Experience:
The reading introduces the topic of constructing the refugee experiences by explaining the responses of the receiving countries towards refugees. One response is the humanitarian response, which includes providing public and governmental support for refugees by seeing their individual experiences and understanding the dangers they are fleeing from. Humanitarian relief represents American decency towards refugees. The other response is the negative response from society towards refugees. The fear of refugees taking jobs that enforces economic competition and the fear of using limited resources like housing as well as the refugees increasing tax payers rates that supports public assistance usage. Refugees goes through the trauma of their dangerous home countries then they suffer from the negative views and experiences when resettled in America. The reading continues to talk about the refugee experience by focusing on Richmond, Virginia and discusses resettlement areas in relation to large metropolitan gateway cities in the U.S.. and the issues of resettlement of refugees and economic patterns. Refugee stories present Richmond as an economic and moral community due to these refugees having meaningful stories that shows strength and durability in the media. Although this paints an overall stereotyped view of all refugees in America instead of individual experiences of refugees.

The Latinization of the Central Shenandoah Valley:

The reading introduces Latinization as a way to document movement of Latinos. More specifically is refers to the demographic changes due to the settlement of Latinos. This also includes changes of services, housing, education, new cultural interests, and the incorporation of Spanish language in such communities. The reading uses the term Latinization to discuss the growth of Latinos in Harrisonburg, Virginia and focuses the conversation about the diversity of Latino immigrants in Harrisonburg . The reading discusses the ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors of immigrant destinations in the U.S., which involves immigrants getting pushed out of their communities and pulled towards new specific locations. The ‘pull’ factors include immigrant labor for low wages and non-unionized industries. Social networks also draw people to certain areas. The reading concludes with discussing the policy implications that is designated from the historical process of Latinization.

Three Articles about Housing

The African American Housing Crisis in Alexandria, Virginia:

Several factors made it difficult for African Americans to find housing in Alexandria, Virginia. Residential segregation, clearing of low economic housing or slums, and population increase are all factors that made it difficult for African Americans to find housing. The urban renewal in Alexandria causes poor people of color to be forced to move out of their homes, which is the goal of white elites. One consequence due to the city development in Alexandria is placing African Americans into segregated communities or forcing them out of the city. This caused many protests towards the local government due to their housing needs not being addressed. The article concludes with there still being a few housing issues in Alexandria, Virginia even after the changes to the racist land development and practices.

Eminent Domains Destroys a Community:

This article is about clearing the black communities in East Arlington to build the Pentagon. Perry (2015) defined eminent domain as “a power granted to the government to take privately owned property for the good of the public” (p. 1). The article describes taking as taking individual properties, taking several properties in a community, and taking the whole community. There are 5 ways that the government compensates people of the taken communities. The first is the compensation of new property purchases to replace the taken property. The second is relocation costs which would include moving costs, utility costs, and other services. The third and fourth is the compensation for lost business income and lost of business value caused by moving to new area due to the taking. The last is compensation for demoralization costs.This compensates for emotional conflict, distress, humiliation, and lost of the sense of community. The community of East Arlington was not justly compensated for the property that was taken from them. The Federal Government compensated the people who owned property in East Arlington at the same price that the takers earned, which mean’t that they only paid for taken land and buildings and not for the second, third, or fourth compensation categories.

Land Development and Racism in Fairfax County:

This article discusses the issues suburban land development and institutional racism in Fairfax county. Institutional racism and land development in Fairfax County has resulted in rejecting the African American population in the suburbs. The African American residence are rejected by providing them inadequate services and refusing to give them entry to suburban employment centers. The African American residence who live in the suburbs are also rejected due to other residence fearing and shunning them from the community. The history of land development practices in Fairfax county has mistakenly supported patterns of discrimination. The article states that racial and economic integration discussion is not an important consideration when it comes to planning and land development patterns in Fairfax County. The ability for African Americans to acquire financing for undeveloped land is difficult due to Northern Virginia lending institutions not willing to give loans to those of “high risk” or those who are of low economic status. Therefore African Americans will continue to rejected from the money market, which enforces practices of discrimination. Racism in land acquisition is supported by the fact that there are no African American on the Northern Virginia Board of Realtors and no African American lawyers who focus on land development, and no African Americans on the Fairfax County Bar Association. The article wraps up the conclusion with the fact that the planning and land development in Fairfax does reflect institutional racism.

Southern Stalemate

The reading focuses on the race relations in Prince Edward County. The county is a rural area with the majority of the population being black. Southern Stalemate is a title to a historical research project to find out why Prince Edward County decided to not have public schools. The closing of public schools in Prince Edward County was used as a strategy to stop the notion or action of desegregating schools. The public schools were closed for five years, which caused black students to have no where to get their education whereas white students were enrolled in private schools that only allowed white students. I found it interesting that the funds of schools were withdrawn in order to cause closing of a school that the state was trying to integrate people of color into as a strategy of the massive resistance of the desegregation of schools. Almond and other segregationist would pull funding from schools that were trying to be integrated, which could cause closing of public schools. In response to neglecting black children of their public education, the Griffin v. County School Board case brought attention to the violated rights of black students when schools are purposefully close in regards to avoiding integration. Although this case failed due to the County denying all responsibility and to repay black students for lost of education they offered grants and buildings for private schools only for black students. When the schools finally reopened segregation inside of the schools were still present and many black students still had the same and new obstacles as they did before school integration.

Climate Fever

The excerpts pf VA climate fever confronts climate change and mainly focuses on how Virginias climate is effected by the emissions of the greenhouse gases produced by Virginians. It also reviews how Virginias climate has been changing with historical records and how it will be changed in the future. I found it interesting that Virginias climate is predicted to have changed drastically by 2050. The book says that the heat in Virginia is expected to rise to the temperatures of South Carolina and eventually as hot as Florida. Although, Virginia won’t have to breeze from the sea to cool down such temperatures so the humidity and heat will be crazy high and miserable. The rise in temperature will also effect nature in Virginia causing eruptions to native species of animals and plants. Climate change in Virginia will also produce more precipitation and dry periods that can harm agriculture. These long periods of precipitation can also cause large amounts of flooding, which is harmful to humans, animals, and agriculture. Warming and cooling of our oceans can cause natural disasters or under water volcanoes and cause harm to communities as well as plant and ocean life. Climate change can also cause excessive dryness and long droughts in Virginia, which can cause many forest fires destroying our trees and animal habitats.

Oral Histories

I enjoyed listening to Chief Anne Richardson’s insight about the Rappahannock River and the fact that it played a huge part in providing for the indigenous people. I’ve learned that she is the fourth generation chief in her family and that women were designated as chiefs in her tribe. Although each chief also had a male assistant to balance gender authority in the tribe. She has lived her whole life in the Indian neck in Queen and King county, which is three miles from the Rappahannock river on the east side. The official name of the tribe is the Rappahannock Tribe. The name was changed due to Indian tribes being separated into different areas then reuniting in the Rappahannock area. I found it interesting that the word Rappahannock means “the people who live where the water rises and falls” (6:12) because of the hardships these natives had to overcome. It would make sense that the river would be used as a boundary between the different native tribes because many people married into other tribes therefore tribes had relatives in other tribes so this was not an issue. The river was used by the natives for travel, food, training warriors, and used to celebrate different seasons. The ancestors of the tribe also had a spiritual connection to the river by using it for bathing and prayers as well as blessings the river for the needs to survive. The Return to the River Project is supposed to immerse the children in their historic culture and teach them about their ancestral background.

John Tippett’s story was interesting because I had heard of the organization Friends of the Rappahannock but I did not know what they did. After watching this video I know what the organization does and how it got started, which is a pretty amazing story. I found it interesting that there are mainly three options for environmental careers which is work for the government, business, or non-profit. I’ve learned that Tippett worked at Research Triangle Institute where he was a water consultant for the state and federal government. After working there for four years, he decided to turn to non-profit work to really make a difference in the environment and this is when he became a part of the Friends of the Rappahannock organization. The first challenge for the organization was advocating for the dam on the river to be removed. The hardest part was to get money to remove the dam, which I didn’t know was so expensive. I found it heartwarming that there were community efforts to do fish lifts in order to get fish to the other side of the dam so that they could make it all the way up stream. This also proved the how destructive the dam was to wildlife in the river. In order to remove the dam FOR needed federal government authorization and appropriation. The federal government eventually agreed to pay 75% of the cost to remove the dam but the local government were not willing to pay their part in removing the dam. Then the senator made a bill that said the court of engineer had to pay for the dam removal at 100% of cost or else the no water resource act approval would not be approved. Therefore, the cost to remove the dam was paid for and the FOR was successful in getting the dam removed. I found it interesting that Tippett didn’t have a lot to say about how the river has changed since the removal of the dam other than the obvious changes like the dam being no longer visible and the change in the fish community.

James Pitts Sr. interview was super interesting to me because I live in King George, Virginia and I often go to the Colonial Beach and Dalgren area so the historic insights really stood out to me. The farm Pitts Sr. grew up on was along the edge of the Rappahannock River. He had told a story he had wrote when he was 11 years old about going to see the steam boats comes in at Colonial Beach coming down the Potomac River. I found this interesting because he told it like he was going into a big city, which at the time it probably was but presently it is not. He also told stories about salt fish, which is actually rabbit, that he ate as a child. The way he told stories about his life growing up on the farm and how the river played a big role in providing food and other things that his family used to live. It really shows how the river can provide and impact small family and landowners that lived along it.