Archive for March, 2012

blog 22

Which is more effective as a means of getting a political message across? Who has more freedom of speech? Whose manners of speaking are legitimate, or carry the most symbolic power? What are the balances of cultural capital?

I really enjoyed both videos. They had humor to them but at the same time still conveyed a strong message. In one video, a group of women are taking a Spanish class because they want to communicate with their nanny’s. In the process however, they start asking questions such as “how can I say stop stealing from me” and other negative connotations. The woman who is teaching, starts telling them sentences like “I am a whore”. I think this woman was very clever to do that and in my opinion they deserved that. They were assuming they steal and treat them badly for no reason. They act like they are not humans and this is why I believe this video is more effective of getting a political message across. Latinos and Latinas are always getting mistreated, when in reality, they don’t deserve it. They are just trying to make a living just like all of us. I believe the lady who is teaching the other women has manners of speaking legitimate because she spoke the language and had power over them. In this case, the ladies needed her, she didn’t need them.
There is no balance of capital, not everybody is really equally treated the same.

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blog 21

After looking at certain articles, the one that was most intriguing is the one I found on EBSCOhost titled “The Kind of Immigration Reform Americans Want”. Steele points out a vital point that featured the same theme I have come across in our readings. This is the American Dream that immigrants usually strive for and in the process experience many things. He states:

Like so many immigrants, Hispanic-Americans and Latinos have endured danger and hardship and sacrifice, many risking it all for a chance at the American dream. All of us are here today because we want to help unleash that dream. The first step, of course, to living the American dream is to be an American. That requires an immigration process that is rational and user-friendly.

He states that trying to accomplish this dream has included tolerating danger and sacrificing many things. We see this many times, from Gonzales’s text titled “The Day we became People again” to Williams’ poems. These Latinos are constantly risking all they have, working long shifts to get this “American Dream”. He adds that “all of us are here today because we want to unleash this dream”, which just exemplifies his point. Because most of us are after the same things whether we are Latino immigrants or Americans, we all want to live this American Dream. Since, Americans are after this Dream it makes it hard for people like the Latino immigrants to accomplish it. Since the language varies and so forth, the Latinos have to try even harder to be on top and we clearly have been seeing this throughout the texts.

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blog 20

Today in class we spoke about ESL classes and the negative and positive aspects that go along with it. We then watched a clip on YouTube titled “Immersion” which really saddened me. In this clip a young boy who is new to this country has trouble in his math class. However he is having trouble not with content but with the language. Of course as most of us know math does sometimes have word problems and so in this clip he encounters them and has trouble understanding what they are asking for. When the teacher goes over it and he gets the numbers down, he solves it quicker than other student, but again, has trouble saying the number in English. After he finally knows how to say it English, the teacher asks him to explain. I felt sympathy towards the young boy because although he knows the answer and he knows how he got the answer, he can’t speak the language to explain it. When the real exam is given out it cannot be translated for him nor can he use his dictionary. This may result in the boy failing because he doesn’t have the resources he needs and it is just sad. This is what immigrant student’s face and new rules and instructional modifications need to be implemented.

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blog 19

” In Puerto Rico it was different[…] People knew him. He could go out because people knew him. But in New York people don’t care and you don’t even know yer neighbors.” (801)

I thought the above quote is a vital part in the story. It is a common thing that Latino immigrants may experience: when they move to another country they leave everything behind for a better future. In the process however, these immigrants have to come across change. Both countries may differ vastly, and as the story mentions people do not know him as the person he is in Puerto Rico. In the story, the narrator tells the readers that he was known in Puerto Rico. This all changed when he came here. He is not as popular and/or his social status is different. He could be an honored man back in Puerto Rico but when he came here to New York this all changes. One has to earn peoples respect and whatever accomplishments one has accomplished in their home country isn’t relevant. In addition, he adds that “people don’t care and you don’t even know yer neighbors”; this shows how he feels distant. Unlike New York, Puerto Ricans are close and united with everybody. This is just another adjustment Latino immigrants have to make when they move to another country for a better future.

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blog 18

“If you have no money and little education, who will help you? Welfare? Yes, and they will kill you in the process”

In this story titled Nilda, a mother is having a heart to heart conversation with her daughter. This mother is dying and before she dies she wants to make sure she tells Nilda to get an education and to be independent. The quote above is a vital piece to this story because the mother is telling her if she doesn’t have money which may be the result of little education, than who will help her. In this world a lot of people wont help you with your own problems because they are too busy dealing with their own problems. She adds that the government may help but it is nothing you shouldn’t depend on it because when you’re dependent on it then it takes away your pursuit. She wants her daughter not to be reliant on anything, instead be self reliant because than Nilda may feel like she did achieve some accomplishments unlike her mother.

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blog 17

The Night We Became People Again is indeed one of my favorite stories we have read in class so far. I though the humor that came along with the plot story was quite funny. Although this story differs thematically, there was one point where I thought connected to the Latinos.

He thinks I don’t know, but any day now I’m going to tell him that I’m not as dumb as he might think. These people think that you come from the sticks and don’t know the difference between sandpaper and toilet paper, especially if you’re a bit darker skinned and your hair is kind of kinky” (740).

Usually people have this conception that when one migrates from another country they aren’t as smart, and here the speaker points that out. The idea of race appears again because his appearance fools everyone. His co-workers usually joke around with him and because he’s an outsider they think he is not as smart and doesn’t understand the joke; however he does. It is intriguing how he says “especially if you’re a bit darker” which implies that because he is darker this happens to him a lot. Again, one can see how skin color plays a major role in society. The speaker feels like he gets treated a certain way because he has darker-skin and race takes a role in he is unequal.

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blog 16

This clip is from the Tyra Show and it relates a lot to the video we saw in class titled “A Girl like Me”. In this clip it shows how the mother of 3 children bleaches her skin as well as her children’s skin. Both videos show this desire of being light and how it is better to be light than dark. I thought this was bizarre but at the same time it exemplifies what kind of things people will do to get beauty, which in her eyes is being light skin.

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blog 15

Participation in democracy—exercising the power to control our own future—is the best hope for a nonviolent solution to the injustices we face as farm workers, minorities, or poor people. (776)

Cesar Chavez speaks about expanding democracy with participation. With help he believed it can be better democratically because they can make their own rules and laws that “controls” their own future. Cesar felt the laws were not fair and equal to people that are not rich, and so his idea of building his own democracy is to give the minorities a voice. Usually people that are farm workers don’t get acknowledged for what they do and have a tendency of getting ignored. So here Cesar’s idea of expanding democracy is for the better. With the help of all the people he wants people to control their own future instead it being biased over the rich people.

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blog 14

The terms we went over in class today were really helpful because it provided me with a better understanding of the text. For instance, the word ‘chicano’ was always being brought up and it actually is used for Mexican people that are trying to get their civil rights. So far from the texts that we have read so far, there is a common theme and that is social inequality. Through various texts we see the struggles that these Latinos people go through, from slavery and being held captive to teaching a new language to them and so forth. These texts are significant because we the readers can see the struggles these Latinos have overcome, because they have been put through a lot. So far I have encountered a lot of great writers and I think they are underrated and not recognized for their works.

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blog 13

Today in class we watched a short video titled “A Girl like Me”, and wow did this clip really shocked me. it featured how these little children preferred a white doll over a black doll, and how they thought this white doll was the “good” one and the “bad” one was the darker skin doll. This showed how these children are easily influenced by society and without knowing it there are being racist. I think this could definitely relate to the short story we read that was titled “The Mother, the Young Daughter, Myself, and All of Us” because here the child at the end called the gentleman the N-word and this shows how children can easily be influenced and just being racist without no pun attended.

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