Week 3 Reflection Post

The theme this week appears to be related to ethnic representation, immigration, and distinguishing nationalities. Through the readings and lectures, the idea that everyone constantly wants to create divisions between people is reaffirmed. After looking through all the readings, it is easier to see how racism and divisions take hold. In the reading on Chinese immigration, the author explained how when the Chinese came over to America, they often settled in distinctive neighborhoods where everything was culturally homogenous. This was/is the same with other nationalities. I think this self-division helped FURTHER fuel the hatred that other Americans felt towards the Chinese and other groups. People do not like what is different from them, and when the differences are made obvious, like with culture, further division occurs.

Most wars have been fought over religion, an aspect of culture. It is my belief that cultural differences are the driving force that causes strife between groups. I think hatred of skin color is something that is related to culture. People who look different from one another are often in different cultures or religions. The article on European Immigration explained how northern Europeans were the first group to be allowed to be also categorized as white. This was mostly likely due to the fact that northern Europeans are the most like white Americans, culturally speaking. Next, southern Europeans were allowed to be categorized as white. This occurred, I think, because their culture is also somewhat similar to white Americans. Eastern Europeans however, tended to be quite culturally different from typical white Americans of the time. This could be the reason why the immigration of Eastern Europeans was so restricted, and why those that were allowed to immigrate were so hated. As far as appearance goes, white Americans at that time and Eastern Europeans did not look too different. It is the culture that separated the two groups. Just as white Americans tended to hate Asians, Indians, Negros and Mulattos (who looked different than white Americans,) they hated Eastern Europeans as well. The only thing that ALL the groups that white Americans hated have in common are the cultural differences from white Americans, not the difference in skin color.

2 thoughts on “Week 3 Reflection Post

  1. Hi Julia,

    I found it interesting how you commented that cultural differences were the reason why people from different parts of the world were not able to assimilate into the American society. I agree that people are often afraid of cultures and traditions they are not used to. First the southern Europeans were discriminated, and then the eastern Europeans, but that changed when immigrants from countries such as Mexico, China, India, and Japan, etc., started coming to the U.S. With the arrival of each successive group, both southern and eastern Europeans were eventually regarded as white, but later immigrants were not regarded as white. This is where I believe that skin color and physical differences came into play, because southern, and eastern Europeans looked like the traditional Americans, but the later immigrants did not. Ultimately, discrimination against any group of people is wrong, and it is important to keep an open mind about cultures and traditions different from what we are used to.

    Harshita

  2. HI Julia,
    So I can see where your coming from when you say that there is a big division in the culture but I don’t think that is the main difference. Because a lot of the culture between whites others was the same. When the immigrants began coming to the U.S, they were in the process of assimilating to the U.S customs. For examples, when Mexicans and Japanese came to America, there were many cases of them starting to adapt to the U.S culture. A lot of that was to stay out of conflict and adapt to their new environment, but whites did not want them there. So even when they tried to adapt to the culture, they still were not accepted. I do agree that the hatred of skin color became apart of the white culture as well. In the future though, please be aware of the terms that you may use, because Negros is not the best term to use for African Americans. That can be taken completely out of context if read wrong.

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