Charlottesville Riot

This article discusses the 2017 Charlottesville controversies surrounding the Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee monuments. These figures were confederate generals during the Civil war. This article goes into both sides of the argument on what to do with the monument. One point made to keep the statue was to represent southern pride, which I personally think is ridiculous because there are so many other ways to represent southern heritage. The other point made was how these statues feel threatening to the black community. It’s interesting to read more about these statues and this event because I remember this having large news coverage and being a heated debate between people I knew. Zyhana Bryant petitioned to the city council to remove these statues due to racist tensions and this petition was met by many white supremecists. The KKK and other supporters of these statues argued for freedom of speech which broke out into a riot resulting in the death of Heather Heyer and many injuries. This tragedy was a statement as to how ignorant and careless people can be. A life was lost for a statue that disempowers black people and still these people do not see the error in their ways.

VA Immigration

The Latinization of the Central Shenandoah Valley discusses the recent spike in Latin immigrants throughout Virginia. Most of these immigrants are moving into rural areas instead of cities. It’s interesting because we typically see immigrants move into larger cities since these areas offer more jobs and are easier to adjust to with many different cultures within. Rural towns— especially in Virginia, run at a completely different speed than cities, these towns have a lot less diversity and fewer people. It was shown that the population in Harrisonburg Virginia increased by nearly 400% with a public school having students from 64 different countries. Harrisonburg Virginia drew in these immigrants through churches and poultry plants, through these, new ministries were created and poultry plants offered intro jobs to Latinos who wanted to settle in the area. These networks created intense social networks between the Latinos to assist friends and family members to also move into the area, thus adding to latinization. 

Defining Immigrant Newcomers in New Destinations: Symbolic Boundaries in Williamsburg, Virginia discusses how the media shows how Williamsburg VA is an immigrant destination. This article also discusses backlash towards these immigrants coming here. Americans are afraid these immigrants are stealing jobs which is rather ignorant. The American system has shown trouble with accepting education standards from other countries, like we saw in Deepaks dilemma. These immigrants can have higher education however, are usually hired into entry level positions. You don’t always see Americans holding entry level positions such as these unless they’re younger so it’s hard for me to fathom whose jobs these immigrants are “stealing”. I feel like Americans, especially those who live in more rural areas, are afraid of these new cultures and ideas because it threatens their way of living and changes things. The majority of people in Williamsburg were anti-immigration and had many racist things to say towards these immigrants. 

Identity and Assimilation Among Young Ethiopian Immigrants in Metropolitan Washington studies Ethiopian immigrants assimilation into American culture. Children of Ethiopian immigrants were assimilated on their heritage and how they felt in America. It was shown that they were prideful in their heritage as their parents instilled these values in them growing up. They also would associate more with their nationality and had a mixture of American and Ethiopian culture. This is interesting because when I worked in DC my friend was from Ethiopia and he shared a lot of his culture with me and was one of the sweetest persons I’ve met. He was also a largely community based individual, which was also looked at in the study

Public in Name Only Summary

The book “Public in Name Only” discusses the various problems with racism, segregation, and discrimination towards blacks in Alexandria virginia. The book starts with the issue of public libraries and how poorly accessible they were. The only libraries that were free to the general public were all the way in D.C., this is completely unfair since transportation can be expensive and inconvenient. The ability to read and learn should be a basic human right, but the twisted politics at the time could view blacks with little regard to rights since it was a recently desegregated country.  The next chapter delves into the life of Samuel WIlbert Tucker, a black attorney from Alexandria. Samuel helped the effort to really go forward with complete desegregation by leading protests such as the sit-in event at the library and generally inspiring the masses for future movement towards equal rights. Chapter three goes into the history of Alexandria and how its past was involved in the Civil War and the rise of Jim Crow laws. Chapter four goes deeper into Jim Crow laws in Virginia. These laws prevented many basic rights such as voting to blacks. The next section discusses Alexandria’s public libraries during the time they were still segregated. Libraries used to be private until schools started to open some of theirs to the public. It wasn’t until 1962 when we would start to see desegregated libraries, and even then they still had many issues. With these issues, Tucker decided to take action as the NAACP wasnt working towards allowing public libraries to be more accessible to blacks. This drove Tucker to protest peacefully with his sit-in, however this event led to their arrest. Years after desegregation, Alexandria still struggled to implement equal rights to everyone, these would have long lasting effects on black communities as they were not even able to easily access a public library. This makes me question what could’ve been done differently to integrate their communities in a smoother way. I wonder what problems Alexandria’s hesitation has caused today.

Southern Stalemate

Different from the previous excerpts about climate, Southern Stalemate focuses on the racial past of Prince Edward County. Prince Edward County decided to close schools instead of desegregating them due to the Brown vs Board of Education which ruled separating children based on skin color was unconstitutional. In 1959, racial tensions were still at an all time high, even going as far as changing the narrative to make it sound like black parents were to blame for the uneducation of their children. This furthered the divide and made it more difficult for people of color to gain more valuable knowledge, the county knew this and would even try to sell their public schools to maintain segregation. It’s hard to fathom that these issues happened in our parents and grandparents lifetime and it’s still affecting us today. Virginia was a state that tried to come off as black friendly, with movements attributed to supporting them through anti lynching bills, although these bills were mainly a front for Virginia to come off as less racist because they barely enacted much change. Prince Edward county schools kicked out all white students (since schools were segregated) and stayed shut down for 5 years before they would open back up, however, by this time private schools would receive more funding and support from white families leaving public schools with unequal funding. This was different from most other counties in Virginia as they were starting to become integrated but Prince Edward County would continue with school closures and trying to further a legal way to implement segregation. With this happening within the past 60 years, and drawn out during those years, it really makes you question the social and economic issues the old politicians have caused for its residents in Prince Edward County and those who moved away. How different would things be if they desegregated when they were supposed to be. Although Prince Edward County has come far from its old days, racism is still a huge issue and those factors of closing schools can contribute to systemic racism we still see today.

Chesapeake Requiem

As dealt with in the last blog post, this week’s excerpts also deal with climate change and the negative effects it has on Virginia communities. Specifically in this reading, “Chesapeake Requiem”, we read about Tangier Island and their isolated community. Many aspects of climate change have really impacted this community, mainly because of rising sea levels from melting ice caps. The skeptics of climate change put blame towards erosion although erosion is not entirely what’s wrong. The island is only two thirds of what it was in 1850, and it’s projected that the entire island will be submerged by 2060. The rising sea levels are causing people to move away because this small island will eventually be completely underwater. Although the island was hard to access, they were known for their blue crab market and native culture and this will sadly, soon be lost due to our impact on our climate. As stated in the excerpts, the people of Tangier Island may end up as being among the first climate change refugees into continental USA. This will only be the beginning of many more communities to join continental USA with the extreme rate at which the sea is rising from climate change.

VA Climate fever summary – Brit

The excerpt we read this week was very interesting. As someone who is studying to go into environmental conservation, this is a hot topic for my studies. It was interesting how this book focuses on Virginia in itself, this helps us look at climate change from a more relatable and familiar stance since we live here. The focus on Virginia also allows us to better understand the maps and directly see how climate change is affecting our waterways, agriculture, and so much more. VA Climate fever discusses the effects of human impact on Virginia’s climate. It discusses the decrease in Virginia’s biodiversity due to the increase in heat. This also has a large negative effect on elements such as agriculture and waterways. For example, the Chesapeake bay is being greatly affected from silt pollution and land development. This pollution is creating dead zones which lower oxygen and prevent sea grass, oysters, and other life to not sustain itself. The government doesn’t put much money towards fighting climate change, as noss calculated the money spent on the Iraq war alone, a million square miles of land could’ve been purchased and safeguarded for its environmental value to humans and to wildlife. Virginia has always involved a lot of politics so it’s also interesting focusing on this state because climate change and politics go hand in hand, and this is something the excerpts delved deep into. If politics are making it hard for us to truly take action against climate change what are we able to do then? Discussed in the book were possibilities to help mitigate even more damage to our climate, these ideas included moving trees or allowing them to shift towards cooler areas. Through compassion and education, we’ll be able to make an effect on tackling climate change, or else the effects will be detrimental to our world.