Charlottesville 2017- Cameron McKeon

The mounting anger and tension that Confederate statues had on people made them demand orders to have these be taken down. It went so far that there was an attack planned in Charlottesville by white nationalists in 2017. This was planned due to the long-discussed decision by officials and members of the commission that the Lee and Jackson statues did represent white supremacy. They had to choose whether to remove the statues to a site that accurately portrayed the history or somehow transform the statue to better represent its historical background. The Lee statue was eventually voted to be removed, but the Jackson statue would remain where it was to honor and reflect its history. This did not sit well with the white supremacists as they planned to riot and mob the city in protest. That was followed by the deaths of people who were hit by a car going right into the group of protesters.

The library that Holsinger has is very different in its view of history when compared to the statues that go back to the same timeframe. The collection shows African American citizens in Charlottesville as just individuals and not a group. They were produced by African Americans and let them control how they wanted to be represented. These portraits show modern day Charlottesville and what it has to offer, but the problem is that the past is often not getting much attention. Today, there is still not a true understanding of what happened that fateful day in Charlottesville.

Now, the event that unfolded in August 2017 was by no means an accident or impromptu. Racism and antisemitism are what made the white supremacists organize this riot. The Confederate flag and Nazi swastikas were heavily seen and the idea of hatred towards others was seen in this event as well. Everyone wanted one race to rule all the other ones and that also fueled this white supremacists. No one in this group wanted multiple races ruling because they saw this as immoral. It is very important to talk about and realize the unfortunate history of this event and why there was so much hate that drove it to a breaking point literally and figuratively.

These riots that happened on August 11th and 12th caused the community of Charlottesville and the University of Virginia to reflect on the future that lay ahead of them. The community within the school and the school itself brought its own relationship into the debate room. They wanted to set a standard that any behavior that happened in Charlottesville were to happen within the UVA community, then UVA wanted to make sure they could properly take the correct steps to avoid violent situations from happening. What happened in Charlottesville can be used as a leading example to build an environment that is welcoming and includes everyone within the area rather than separate and leave everyone feel isolated. Building an inclusive environment is key for any area of a community to build a friendly bond and trust in one another. If you have what happened to Charlottesville in 2017 in your area, then you will have people that will intentionally target others either to prove a point or harm someone to get a message across. Violence as they say is never the answer.

Virginia Immigration Blog- Cameron McKeon

In the three articles surrounding Virginia immigration called “Identity and Assimilation Among Young Ethiopian Immigrants,” “Defining Immigrant Newcomers in New Destinations,” and “The Latinization of the Central Shenandoah Valley,” I thought it was very unusual that Virginia of all the US states has experienced a sudden uptick in immigration in the past 2 decades or so. To read about all the people from Honduras, Mexico, Uruguay, etc. coming to Virginia and settling in rural and urban areas was quite surprising to me. But, one thing that does not surprise me is the fact that rural Virginia is very dependent on work and looks for incoming immigrants to fill those jobs. I has half surprised and not half surprised.

In the Shenandoah Valley article, I thought of the term “Latinization” as a way to change the demographic and the way Latinos are housed and educated. I thought it was interesting how the social networks determine the exact location immigrants choose. Usually, people go to certain places with certain reasons like they have family living there or they have a house there or have a job there. I did not think they would just up and pick a destination. The article also mentions active recruitment by local companies/industries like the apple industry. What was interesting and weird is that even though these people were educated, these people had to start from the bottom with these low-paying jobs like the apple and chicken industries. This kind of thing would explain why Harrisonburg, VA is growing because of immigrants taking low-paying jobs.

In the “Defining Immigrant Newcomers in New Destinations” article, I thought it was very, very interesting how it talks about immigration in Colonial Williamsburg and Williamsburg itself because I never thought that that city would have a big immigrant population in it. I found it interesting how immigrants from Latin America and the immigrants in Europe and Asia are flocking towards the area because of the rise of the amount of entry-level jobs. I did not even think about how all the retail shops, tourist industries, and others would need these immigrants. Speaking of these jobs going to immigrants, I thought it was very odd that it mentions how these immigrants are taking away jobs from the average American citizen. I don’t think the immigrants are stealing jobs away from Americans, I think they are getting the jobs the same way Americans want jobs and that is so they can work and earn money. The fact that these immigrants are viewed as a threat is a little over the top in my opinion.

In the article, “Identity And Assimilation Among Young Ethiopian Immigrants in Metropolitan Washington,” I found out that Ethiopians are an important new immigrant group that faces issues of cultural identity in the US. I did not realize any of this until reading the article. The article looked at the ethnic and racial identities of the first and second generation Ethiopian immigrant children. It was surprising to read that these Ethiopian immigrants living in the D.C. area do not associate themselves with the African American community. I was quite shocked when I read that because I always thought they did associate themselves with that community.

How May I Help You?- Cameron McKeon

This book is a book about Deepak Singh’s personal experiences being an Indian immigrant in American in the decade of the 2000s. Singh discusses the cultural differences between his country of India and the United States and Singh details the hardships he encountered while living in a brand-new country. He only moved to America because he married a US women and finally decided to see America for himself. Singh was able to support himself by getting a high-paying job and he earned an MBA. Because of his move to the US, this degree did not follow him and then his struggles began. No job wanted to accept him and even though he had this great MBA degree, he was categorized as unworthy person for a job because he did not have enough experience. He was finally able to get a job at an electronic place and make another name for himself. Because of his job title as a salesman in this store, it is considered a low-quality role and therefore Singh was disappointed in that role and had to take less money because of his cultural background.

Singh talks about his experiences over the almost 2 years living in the US. He said that many American have preconceived notions and false information about him because of his skin color and where he comes from. One of his coworkers said that he did not speak English even when working. Singh himself was puzzled because he absolutely knew he was speaking English, but it was just the thick accent that made people think he wasn’t speaking the language because other Americans could not understand him. In India, Singh said he was able to speak really good English. Singh also mentions how his boss was always asking him questions about the Middle East, other languages, etc. Other people did not see that Singh came from a different culture and thought he was a representative of the Middle East. This fueled all the misconceptions about Indians and their culture.

Even with these types of stereotypes, Singh also faced cultural differences while in the US. Singh said before he came to America, he thought America was based on what he had seen from Hollywood tv shows and movies. When it actually came to America, his eyes were opened to the brutal reality that America is. Singh was able to learn this through his own experiences of struggling to get a job and talking about his personal life to other people. He learned about racism when one of his coworkers asked him those questions about the Middle East and Muslims. He also learned about minimum wage as his job did not pay a lot for him to move up in social rankings, which caused stages of poverty to start.

I found all of this very interesting and unsurprising because being a US citizen, I see all this racism and racial stereotypes on the news, tv shows, and sometimes just walking around a place I can see it. All of this is very sad, but racism is something many people like Singh have had to overcome and although Singh faced hardships, he was able to get through it and make a name for himself.

Public In Name Only- Cameron McKeon

This reading talks about how there is not much access to public history in Alexandria, VA for Black Americans living there. The library, of course is public, but these black residents were excluded from finding and accessing the resources that their taxes are funding. The courts wanted more race integration and interracial relationships/marriages. The residents living there kept getting pushed back and delayed to accessing these resources, but then a guy named Samuel Tucker changed it all after he started a non-violent sit-in. The court decided that it was finally time to set up Black residents living in Alexandria, VA to get full access to the library and its resources. These residents should have always had access to the library to learn about history, but sometimes it takes protesting to get what these people wanted.

I found this story quite interesting because I did not even realize the fact that Black Americans were denied access to their own library in Alexandria, VA. They weren’t able to learn about certain histories that are found within libraries. Something else I found interesting is how in the 18th century, enslaved African Americans were taught to read in order to read and promote the gospel. White people saw this skill as something useful to the enslaved African Americans. But, when abolitionist movements were starting and soon expanded, those views obviously changed. I never knew anything about this and it caught me off guard because typically I always hear stories from this time period about how enslaved Blacks were never able to read because of just their skin color alone. I’m glad to know some of them did learn to read, but I just wish they had all been trained to read.

Southern Stalemate Blog- Cameron McKeon

This reading dives into the issues of segregation and race inside schools in Virginia. The pages that I read talked about a point in time when Virginia just closed schools instead of just combining the school system as a whole. What is also discussed is how there is a big issue regarding access to education and how it then turned into a war about segregation, which then had residents in Virginia saying they rather have schools closed than allow everyone to have equal access to the school system at their pleasure. I don’t get why that happened because it does not seem reasonable to me, but it happened. By having everyone have equal access in their school system, it makes situations fair for other students than having some students not included because of segregation and race issues.

Then the book talks about how the actual educating of children was at an impasse when a Virginia county decided to close their schools to prevent integration of the school system. There was an obvious divide in the public school system and there was a difference in how public schools were funded as well as private schools. The private schools had white students attending, so they were funded well, but when there was a mixture of white and black students in public schools, then all the sudden those schools could not be supported. This caused the divide and was a huge issue at the time. Virginia residents could not grasp that students with different colored skin, backgrounds, and cultures could fit in.

I found this reading very interesting and I find this time period in history interesting as well because these issues changed not only Virginia, but the United States as well and now the public school system is properly and rightfully assimilated.

Chesapeake Requiem- Cameron McKeon

Our author, Earl Swift talks about the people of Tangier Island and he describes the life these island people have created and pictures it really well for the readers. The people there talk in their own language and they have created their own traditions and rituals on their island. What is very unique is that this island is remote from America at certain points in time. Their were other islands around Tangier Island that were home to other people upon their creations, but Tangier Island was abandoned sometime in the 1900s as the population wanted to migrate to a better place.

Tangier Island became an island through melting glaciers and now it continues to slowly sink as time passes. Eventually the island will be extinct and no one will be able to live on it anymore. One of the big reasons as to what is changing on this island is that erosion on the shores is taking the land away little by little. This was believed more than either climate change or global warming at the time. Even with the water levels rising at Tangier Island and the land sinking, the people still wanted to believe erosion than anything else. Had they acknowledged it was climate change/global warming a little bit earlier, the people could have been saving this island for far longer than they have now. Erosion is still the main factor to the changing of the island amongst the people today, even though we know climate change is widely accepted and talked about. Also, it comes as to no surprise to read and learn that the population on the island is shrinking and growing old and soon won’t exist anymore.

There is a sad future to this island and I wish it wasn’t facing the climate problems it is facing right now, but we can’t do anything about it because we can’t control Mother Nature and how she works planet Earth.

Virginia Climate Fever Blog- Cameron McKeon

This week’s readings focus on climate change in Virginia. The author of the readings has documented his visits to different places in Virginia and where climate change is happening. He mentions that if climate change is such a global craze, then why is the state of Virginia the central focus? Everyone needs to understand climate change especially here in this state, so we can better understand it in Virginia and help make this state and the world a better place to live in. It’s also obvious that we don’t know exactly what the future holds for Virginia’s climate and we won’t know the climate until we have an established balance within it. We also know that Virginia’s climate can be tricky. Virginia bounces all around from being hot to cold, freezing to humid, and everything in-between. We need to figure out the trends in our climate in Virginia to really figure it out. The world is definitely getting hotter and especially in Virginia with this summer being an indication.

So, with the hotter climate in mind, how hot will it get and how dangerous will it get? By, looking at maps and graphs of climate change we can try to figure out the future of our planet becoming hotter. This won’t be the end all be all future of the planet, but, it will help tremendously to map it out. We need to grasp the idea that climate change is affecting our lives everyday and the choices we make. We also need to think about rain, snow, and the temperatures Virginia will get because of climate change. The data shown shows these variables will keep going up and will most likely continue to do that until a change is made. We need to realize this is going on in Virginia because if we don’t mass extinctions of plants, animals, and humans could happen if we don’t acknowledge what is happening to Earth. We need to protect our environment from climate change and not just assume that it will be protected because anything can happen. We need to prepare for the unthinkable problems that climate change and global warming may cause.

Virginia Way Blog

Cameron McKeon

This week’s readings were very interesting, but something that I found that caught my eye was the section about “The Anti-Business Machine.” I thought it was crazy how Dominion overcharged Virginia 10% of their commercial customers along with 24,000 Virginia businesses for three years. The fact the company was not going to omit this and the overcharging bill ran up towards $10 million overall through the years was mind-blowing. I don’t understand why a company would do this to their customers and businesses. The idea is to help everyone out, not to try to have people fork their good money over and screw with them. There always seems to be an excuse from company’s in these situations as Dominion said that they didn’t keep records that went back more than three years. Every business and person had records somewhere, so that has to be a lie. They also wanted to raise electricity rates, so that it could be even harder for people to pay those bills. This company is doing nobody any favors and this all seems to be corrupt because the customers are not getting straight answers and they are getting bills and overcharges for no reason and Dominion is not doing a thing about it, which is startling to me. All of the money that people were paying did not go to the government, but rather into the pocket of Dominion and then the company was basically using their customers good money for their benefit, which I think is against the law. I also could not believe that politicians were supporting Dominion. That also shows that even politicians are dishonest sometimes and you can’t always trust them and what they are campaigning for.