My name is Victoria Valdez and I am currently a Literature and Cultural Studies Student in the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley English Masters Program.
With the rising popularity of shows such as in Breaking Bag, Narcos, and Pablo Escobar, it is apparent that America is hooked on depictions and representations of the War on Drugs. From fictional drug bosses such as Heisenberg to shows and documentaries dedicated to the real Pablo Escobar, in the twentieth-century pop culture is obsessed with the War on Drugs. However, this war coined by R. Reagan has a more oppressive history than audiences and America realizes. In her book, The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander explores the harmful effects of this once policy term and how it resulted in a system that further incarcerates people of color and encourages further discrimination.
As in chapter one and three of Yellow, Frank H. Wu emphasizes the idea of discrimination of Asian descendants as the west loves the idea and culture of the east but does not accept the reality of the East. From class discussion and from the reading, I aim to explore and expand on the appropriation of Eastern cultures and peoples and discuss how the West fails to see their hypocrisy of loving the ideas and not in the individuals.
The 2016 Golden Globe Ceremony marked a celebratory day for actor Leonardo Dicaprio. The internet buzzed, ranted, and raved as the actor was awarded and claimed his award for Best Actor in a Drama, namely The Revenant. He took a moment to not only speak about the First Nation’s but to thank those that voted for him. Although this was a seemingly positive move for the actor and his activism, when he was awarded his momentous Oscar a few months later, his speech focused on environmentalism and his activism. Suddenly, his mention of First Nation’s Peoples were ignored and silent. On a larger scale, the Academy Awards are more important and more buzz-worthy but Dicaprio was silent. Allyship in terms of non-natives is a compelling issue and for an actor that took an opportunity to speak out against it at the Golden Globes but not at the Oscars raises some important questions. Although Dicaprio’s comments were well-intended, it doesn’t seem enough and seems lost on the larger audience.
Often, in the loud booing internet behind every Black Lives Matter Post or protest, is someone commenting: “it’s not a race thing, stop making it out to include race”. Unironically for 2017, these are the same people that will turn around and accuse BLM protestors or those that kneel for the National Anthem as being “thugs” or attention seekers. Baldwin’s “My Dungeon Shook” details the phenomenon that occurs every time a someone, other than a white person, demonstrates their displeasure in American Society.
Although towards the end of his novel Frantz Fanon establishes he has broken away from the prejudices of the white man’s world, he discusses (especially in chapters 2, 3, and 7) how the white wo/man acts as a gateway for black men/women to be accepted into this polite and civilized world. In his novel Black Skin, White Masks, Fanon discusses the importance of the black man’s self-doubt and ideology in a Eurocentric world. His work is important, especially in recent political events as people of color, especially black men and women, are criticized for being uncivilized or seen unfavorably for not conforming to ‘civilized’, ‘Eurocentric’ mannerisms of the twenty-first century. His last lines, in his chapter “By Way of Conclusion”, make a powerful stance as he states “In the world through which I travel, I am endlessly creating myself” (179).
Academic Weaknesses: Richard Delgado’s Development of Weakness in Academic Discourse
Richard Delgado’s article “The Imperial Scholar: Reflections: On a Review of Civil Rights Literature” develops his argument that diverse scholar inclusion in papers has not been focused nor has it increased in numbers. He not only elaborates on his own experiences in his field of study but the scholarship of academic researchers who fail to see the harm in only publishing white male research. Delgado argues that this exclusion of diversity and minorities in academic research does more harm than intended, and awareness is not enough to develop an in-depth and nonexploitative commentary on minority issues.
In his piece “Discourse on Colonialism”, Aime Cesaire blatantly and repeatedly states how colonialism has turned colonizers into the thing they aimed to conquer: filthy, bloody savages. Throughout his piece, Cesaire establishes that ironically these colonizing entities have established and turned into what they criticize others for the most. His arguments ring true not only throughout the history of race in America in his publication in late 1900’s but in the contemporary US where neo-nazi’s are praised for their politeness while they condemn and argue for the “cleansing” of society. Cesaire’s views of those “cultures” and “civilizations” that withdraw into themselves reveal important commentary that can be applied to and see in America’s contemporary events.