Charlottesville Riot – Rebecca

The Charlottesville Riot all began in 2016 when the mounting of the Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee monuments took place. These monuments symbolized white supremacy and slavery so this wasn’t a light matter to the community. There were two sides behind this riot, one side wanting to keep the monuments (the KKK) to represent and maintain southern pride. The other side wanted them completely removed because they were seen as a threat to the black community, which in my opinion I would want them removed too.
This further leads into a ninth-grade student named Zyhana Bryant who started the petition to have these monuments removed because she wanted change. This was an amazing thing to read because advocating not only for yourself but an entire community at that age is a huge thing. Not only did the petition come about, but the whole city of Charlottesville (with others joining in) came together to protest. There was a lot of racist tensions considering the KKK wanted freedom of speech. The entire time members of the KKK were waving their Nazi flags and destroying everything (including the monuments) with the swastika symbols. They even took is as far as taking an innocent life (Heather Heyer) which should of never happened.
It was clear that white supremacy was still on the rise and something needed to change immediately. The University of Virginia (UVA) stepped in and tried to do what they could to educate people and students on the matter and minimize harm.

Immigration Blog Post (Rebecca)

This weeks reading’s included three articles of which are, “The Latinization of the Central Shenandoah Valley”, “Identity and Assimilation among Young Ethiopian Immigrants in Metropolitan Washington”, and “Defining Immigrant Newcomers in New Destinations”. Below is a summation of what each one discusses.

The Latinization of the Central Shenandoah Valley was an interesting article that discussed the Latinization of a small town in Virginia called Harrisonburg. Harrisonburg, Virginia was always known for its majority white population until it because the place that had the most diverse public school enrollment rate. That enrollment rate included students coming from 64 countries and speaking 44 different languages. The big Latino populations that made up for Harrisonburg’s social networks were Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Cuba, and Uruguay. The article went on to later discuss how immigrants were headed for rural destinations that have no experience with latinos or immigrants. I think this is because since there was no experience, those latinos were able able to have the chance to let themselves shine in every aspect. They brought huge social and cultural changes to said rural areas within Harrisonburg and Virginia alone. One of the main things that drove immigrants away from their countries and here to the US was the “push” and “pull” factors. Essentially, immigrants were “pushed” out of their home communities and “pulled” to certain rural places due to economic restructuring. Meaning that immigrants were able to be pulled into entry-level jobs here in the U.S. at a low-wage labor amount. Immigrants were filling jobs in the agricultural industries like apple and poultry companies and things like refugee resettlement programs, churches, etc. all made it possible for immigrants to keep going.

Next is “Defining Immigrant Newcomers in New Destinations”.
This article discusses how the newspapers portray immigrants and immigration in Williamsburg, Virginia. It starts off by talking about the political tensions that rose and the laws that were put in place because of these tensions. It later discusses that Williamsburg’s incorporation of new migration streams allowed for “a period of rapid growth and development” which is all positive things. But this caused debates about the “availability of affordable housing, the loss of small town life, and the construction of new schools and school zones.” There was also talk about how immigrants are stealing American’s jobs in entry-level positions. Personally, I think this kind of talk is uncalled for as they all had to work equally as hard to get a job just as an American does. Majority of the time it is the immigrants that are performing way better in said positions as well.

Lastly, “”Identity and Assimilation among Young Ethiopian Immigrants in Metropolitan Washington”. This article talks about the issue of assimilation of second generation non-white immigrants since the 1990’s. The article explains that Ethiopians are a new key immigrant group and how they gained their identity here in America. Elizabeth Chacko does face to face interviews with 12 Ethiopian immigrants about their life in Washington D.C. She includes details of their traditional rituals and festivals as well as the style of music they listen to, which is reggae. Chacko illustrates how the new generation of Ethiopians try to keep their culture going by renting out night clubs/lounges to have Ethiopian festivals and music. Living in the diverse rural neighborhoods of Washington D.C. will allow for the infiltration of Ethiopian culture to continue to rise.

How May I Help You? – Rebecca Calderone

The book “How May I Help You?” is an autobiography of the life and an Indian immigrant, Depak Singh. The beginning of the book explained how and why he came to the US and it also showed his biggest struggle. That is the fact that he had worked so hard in India to obtain his MBA, but once he came to the US it didn’t transfer over so he couldn’t find a job that paid good, he was basically forced into one, there was no other option. He was being discriminated basically and each employer was prejudice as they didn’t think he had what it takes because of his Indian accent which made it seem like he wasn’t speaking English, and also because of his brown skin color. Deepak Singh wanted to fulfill what they call the “American Dream” so bad and of course have/make a better life for his family but his experience in the US thus far had been terrible for him. One thing led to another, and after much looking he got a low-paying job working as a salesman in electronics for minimum wage. Just like anyone else he was completely disappointed and unsatisfied with where he was at in life as this was all just one big culture shock for him. During this time, he faced a lot of racism from his employer, co workers and also the customers especially since he had trouble communicating with them. This job not only caused a lot of emotional damage but he also experience poverty, something that no-one should have to go through. But he realized this is where it was his time to shine, he knew he had to show off his work ethic and have a good attitude so he can prove that he had the tenacity, dedication, and drive, so that he could eventually excel in life. At the end of the book, all of Singh’s hard work and dedication paid off and he eventually got promoted to a manager position and was able to make enough money where he could comfortably support his family. He even got to go on a paid vacation to India with his wife!

This autobiography showed the hardships that Singh had to face here in the US, and it is humbling because most of here didn’t have to go through what he did and no one should have to. He went from having nothing to everything he wanted and I truly commend him for that.

Southern Stalemate excerpt (Rebecca Calderone)

The reading Southern Stalemate had to do with segregation in public schools and the racial tensions that came with it. In 1951, 14,000 students in Prince Edward County went on strike to protest unequal school facilities. The protests then led to a lawsuit with the NAACP, the case was Brown v. Board of Education, and in result they closed all schools because they didn’t want to deal with it. This was a critical moment for everyone because school is something that everyone needs to go through and they serve as a political and economic purpose. This was especially hard for people of color because “black students constituted a little more than half of the schools population,” (page 2). But with that being said, in 1964 schools had reopened but the racial tension was still there because only a few whites attended where the black students had gone.
This is something that no one should have had to go through and the sad thing is, it is still kind of out there today. Recently a student got sent home from school in Newport News, Virginia due to the hairstyle he had (dreads). This is something that I want to see be changed for ever, so everyone can have equality!

Virginia Way – September 18 Reading (Rebecca Calderone)

This weeks reading “Virginia Way” is an incredible article that stuck out to me. The article was about a 61 year old grandmother that goes by the name of Theresa “Red” Terry. “Red” cofunded governors, CEO’s and the federal government when she was charged for trespassing on her own property. That sounds crazy!! But essentially what happened is that she had a family owned cabin in Bent Mountain, Virginia which was along the Blue Mountain Pipeline. This land was said to have contained natural gas from a gas pipeline and it needed to be used to export to other countries. Furthermore, a 2004 law was put in place by Virginia legislatures stating that property can be entered without permission. So Red decided that she was going to climb a tree and sit in a post her husband had built and said she was not coming down until they get off of her land. They didn’t like that very much and arrest warrants were sent out for trespassing and obstruction of justice. While all of this was going on, Red was being denied access to food and clean water or in other words… her human rights. They would only offer her the food and drink if she were to come down from the tree to get it, where they planned to apprehend her. With that being said, 35 days later she finally came down from the tree and technically “won” the bigger race. This is because the people that were doing this to her, their company received 300 pollution violations and were eventually sued.

The company mentioned in the article is Dominion Energy, which is a government electrical company. Dominion Energy was a powerful asset to the entire state of Virginia as it covered 2/3 of the states power before moving to a different state. While reading the article I discovered that Dominion Energy ran in the form of a monopoly and the things they did to “Red” and other people’s land was unreasonable and uncalled-for.