Charlottesville 2017

Back in 2016, a 9th grader by the name of Zyhana had an assignment about potential change in the world. She wanted to remove the Lee Statue as it had no other reason but to spread hate. She proposed this by making a petition. This petition made its way up the ranks to being considered. Not only was the Robert E. Lee statue in the works of being removed, but the Stonewall Jackson statue was also being considered too. All seemed well and simple until the resistance of racial groups such as the KKK. These groups were trying their best in keeping these statues up by using terms such as free speech. The statues had nothing good in any way tied to it. In fact, they were built for the sole purpose of mocking colored people. Eventually, the statues were voted to be changed in different ways. The Lee statue was voted to be torn down while the Jackson statue was changed in a way to show a better side of its history. When this happened, protesters emerged specifically on August 11th and August 12th. When protesters like the KKK showed up, the counter protesters showed as well to try and fight back. This ultimately turned from a protest to an all-out riot. Unfortunately, the riots were so violent that it resulted in the death of a 32-year-old woman. What seemed like a small request turned into something more than it should’ve and somebody lost their life because of something so small. Ever since that day, the community as well as the University of Virginia decided that they wanted to do better in a way to unite the public more than ever for a brighter future. It is very unfortunate that it takes a very bad tragedy like this in order to make changes in the world. There is too much hatred towards one another which results in unnecessary conflicts. It is understandable that people have different views, but there is no excuse to hurt an innocent person.

Virginia Immigration Blog

This week’s readings consisted of three articles, “The Latinization of the Central Shenandoah Valley”, “Identity and Assimilation among Young Ethiopian Immigrants in Metropolitan Washington”, and “Defining Immigrant Newcomers in New Destinations”.

To start off with, The Latinization of the Central Shenandoah Valley was an interesting article to read. It discusses the Latinization of Harrisonburg, VA a small town with around 40,000 people. Initially, I was confused as to why Immigrants would pick a small town in rural Virginia out of all potential places to live. However, after the article mentions the social networks, it helped me to better understand why. Social networks help Immigrants choose places to live. Social networks can be job opportunities, family, or any other social network or tie they have with a specific area which is a helpful way in choosing where immigrants move too. Harrisonburg specifically, had job opportunities/recruitment in the area which were enough motivation for immigrants to move there and take those jobs in order to start new lives in that area. Despite these jobs being low paying, Immigrants were taking them and moving there causing a significant uptick in the Latin American Population within the area. It seemed they had no other choice in job simply because no matter how educated they were, the immigrants were seen as unfit or unable to do those higher jobs. Overall, this article helped me to better understand the Latinization of Harrisonburg.

Next up is the Identity and Assimilation among Ethiopian Immigrants in Metropolitan Washington. This article discusses Ethiopians and issues with their cultural identity. Ethiopian immigrants, or Ethiopians in general are identified as African American here. However, the article goes into a study of first- and second-generation children from Ethiopia living in Washington DC. It was interesting to read that they didn’t identify as African Americans. This was news to me personally. It seems that the west identifies anybody with dark skin as Black rather than what they identify as. There was a part in the reading that discussed the “one-drop rule” which says anybody with an ounce of African Blood is Black. It must be frustrating to not be seen as who you really are and simply generalized to one specific group. Ethiopians are big with their culture and their traditional ways. They prefer the term African over the term Black. They feel that they are not seen as who they are which makes perfect sense. The article shows that 70% of Ethiopians immigrants are aware of the race and phenotype. A quote that came after this explains it perfectly. “During the first couple of years, I considered myself only Ethiopian. Then I started thinking of myself as African. As time passed, I interacted with more blacks and other Americans. This country made me aware of my race. I was blacker than I thought I was.” Younger Ethiopians now are doing their best to be seen as a true Ethiopian and nobody else despite the challenges that come with it.

The last article was Defining Immigrant Newcomers in New Destinations. This article specifically discusses Immigration in the Colonial Williamsburg area. What I learned his was similar to what I learned in the article about the Latinization of Harrisonburg. It seemed that the social network was the number of jobs in the area in which immigrants are taking advantage of in order to start a new life in that area. Issues were brought up, however. Americans believe that these immigrants are stealing jobs from them. Locals in the area complained about the rise of immigrants from many different countries in the area. Even the newspaper in the area would tackle the topics of immigration which locals would read, which would cause issues because they think that the jobs are all being taken. Despite these issues, Immigrants move to this area and start new lives. It was overall interesting to read about how Williamsburg went from a rural town to a small city and immigration had played a large role in its uprising.

How May I Help You

This was an interesting read about a South Asian Immigrants’ experience of coming to the United States by the name of Deepak Singh. Upon arrival to the states, it was a very big difference to the way of life Singh was used to back in India. He struggled to find a job even with his MBA degree. Most jobs deemed him unfit partially because of his background and partially because most employers didn’t think he had the necessary experience for the work. Despite Singh’s hard work in obtaining an MBA, it clearly didn’t transfer over to when he moved to the United States, at least to the employers. Eventually, Singh got a minimum wage job at an electronics store as a salesman. However, even at his job he struggled mainly because of his accent. People didn’t think he was speaking English because of his accent when he was clearly speaking it. There were other bad experiences at his job as well. Singh was mistakenly seen as a Middle Eastern man and even asked about it. Not only once, but consistently asking different things about Middle Eastern culture. These assumptions were just made by his boss with no thought. This was just a fraction of his experience in the United States. Because of his skin color, he was treated differently and stereotyped a lot. The thing is, he never initially planned on moving to America until he married a US woman. After marriage, he moved here for his wife and immediately experienced a culture shock. Despite everything, Singh kept going and eventually moved up in the ranks at his job and succeeded.

Southern Stalemate

The southern stalemate goes deep into segregation in schools within the state of Virginia. Specifically, Prince Edward County. During this time, segregation was so bad that instead of allowing fair integration into schools, the system came to a decision of closing down the school system instead of trying to have fair education for everyone. Prince Edward County was a county that heavily did this to try and prevent mixture of different raced students in schools. Many Virginia residents at the time supported this and didn’t want mixture of races in schools for some reason. I never understood this way of thinking, it isn’t fair to the students at all, especially the ones being discriminated against because of their background. I’m glad things are different now; however, it was interesting reading this excerpt and learning more in depth information about this time period in my home state.

Chesapeake Requiem

This week’s reading on the Chesapeake Requiem discusses the Island of Tangier. The excerpt, written by Earl Swift discusses the overall lifestyle on the island and the danger coming to it. The danger is that the island is slowly sinking. Due to the melting of the glaciers and global warming due to human activity, the water levels are rising causing Tangier Island to sink. However, the people on the island don’t believe it is the cause. Swift states the people on the island believe erosion is taking the island away. Either way, the island is sinking, and people are leaving. Sadly, the island will eventually be completely submerged and gone. The overall lifestyle of the people on Tangier has swayed from a unique lifestyle to leaving the island and finding elsewhere to live. Tangier was known for its blue crab market. Now that the island is sinking, the blue crab market has tanked as well. Not only for humans, but the crabs as well. The change in sea level has ruined the way the crabs used to live. It has disrupted the overall lifestyle of Tangier Island. Eventually, everyone will have to leave the island as it will no longer be live able for humans, and we already see that trend as people leave and the island continues to sink.

Virginia Climate Fever

The Virginia Climate Fever reading for this week was very interesting. This excerpt discusses climate change and the effect it may have on Virginia. In particular, the writer discusses about how he has visited many different places in Virginia where climate change would make impacts to global warming. The reading also showed different graphs. Most of the graphs showed a steady rise in temperature in Virginia. Another set of graphs also discuss about how the effects of Greenhouse gases in Virginia will warm up the winters here and one graph shows the percentage change in annual rainfall in Virginia. C02 was also discussed specifically in chapter 4, C02 in surplus is impacting the basic chemistry of the Chesapeake and the overall coast of Virginia which in the end impacts climate overall. Climate change in Virginia is also affecting the local wildlife. The excerpt discusses how global warming is destroying habitats in the wild which directly affects the animals living there. Most of the wildlife either migrate to different areas in which they can live or end up at a loss of life. A graph shown as Ecological flow in the article shows where animals migrate to as the climate continues to heat up because of humans. Unless we put in an effort to stop this, it will continue to get worse and worse. Luckily for Virginia, we have something called an exemplary tax incentive program discussed towards the end of the excerpt. This program promotes conservation easements which protects landscape. Hopefully, this program can be promoted to conservation of wildlife which would help it from the effects of climate change or global warming. If we continue efforts like this, we can combat this issue.

The Virginia Way Summary – Kareem Dhillon

The Virginia Way was very intriguing to read. It begins talking about a woman who goes by the name of Theresa “Red” Terry. Theresa, who was a sixty-one-year-old grandmother, did her best to defend and protest for her property which was being taken away from her in attempts for the Mountain Valley pipeline. The pipeline was also stripping land away from many other Virginia residents. Theresa protested this by climbing a tree and waiting for the crew to leave her land. They also violated her basic human rights by withholding food and water. The story became one of the top news headlines. The article also discussed Dominion. Dominion as a company consisted of a government electrical company which was also held within a natural gas corporation. Also, Dominion held two thirds of the energy power in Virginia. I thought that these two facts about Dominion were very interesting. Dominion holding two thirds of energy meant Dominion was very powerful in that industry and not to be messed with.