Sunday, 26 February 2012
Saturday, 25 February 2012
Sunday, 19 February 2012
The Muckleshoot tribe are located in California all the way up to the Canadian boarder between the Olympic and Cascade moutains of Puget Sound. They are believed to have been there for thousands of years , wth the decendents of the origional settlers still remaining living there within the community today. They are somtimes called 'People of the Salmon' as they regarded the Salmon as a sacred creature and still do today performing an anual ritual in it honor. The river that ran through their tribes residence was filled with Salmon from season to season and with the tribe having knowledge on how to smoke them it meant that they were always comfortable for food.
The first salmon of every year to return to salt water is captured, eaten and then returned as to tell its brother and sister salmon how well it was treated by the Muckleshoot tribe. This tradition still remains today within the tribe and is an im portant part of their heratige and identity. This identity being that the Muckleshoot tribe are known for their hunting abilities and their cooking skills such as smoking salmon.
However when the white man invaded their area of the tribe they riddled them with diseases which they couldnt fight off. This therefore killed off a number of the tribes people leading them to have to vastly re populate. This repopulation is what led to the remaining tribe members of today.
Today the Muckleshoot tribe have a 9 member council serving a roatry of 3 years thanks to the Indian Reorganization act. The tribe also has a 'General Council' made up of tribe members, the Muckleshoot Tribal Council provides a full range of governance services to the reservation. The tribe is one of the biggest in the far west with an estimated number of members of 3,300. The tribe have come together with certain north-Western tribes and have noth worked together to find opportunities to improve the social well being and economic state of the tribe.
The above link is for the Seminole tribe of Florida, a federally recognised Indian tribe who proudly state in their website's opening headline that they are 'the only tribe in America who never signed a peace treaty.' Their history is believed to be traceable as far back as 12,000 years ago and they fought several wars against the U.S Government that became known as the 'Seminole Wars', with one of their battles reportedly being 'the fiercest of all the wars ever waged by the U.S. Government against native peoples.'
In 1957 they drafted a tribal constitution and attained self-government through the formation of a tribal council. They also formed a company named the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc. to oversee the business matters for the tribe. They are considered 'one of the most successful native business peoples in the United States today,' and rely on their various businesses, such as gaming, cattle and citrus, to provide economic stability within their tribal community. ‘They employ more than 7,000 employees in their casinos, hotels and other enterprises and purchase more than $130.3 million in goods and services yearly.'
This all points to a thriving tribal community in contemporary America, and shows that although they take great pride in their history, as evidenced by the proud historical details on their website, they also understand the merit of embracing change and new technology in order to progress. They appear to be doing exceptionally well, even providing a link to an eBay marketplace where tourist memorabilia can be bought, despite or perhaps in spite of the huge struggles they have faced in the past.
Further examination of their website provided a wealth of knowledge on their culture, government and enterprises. They acknowledge paying taxes, even giving the figures to show that they do their part to support the country, and talk of employing non-Indians in what I conceived to be a rather politically clever move. They boast of having 'more non-contiguous reservations than any tribe in North America' and welcome people to take a walk through one of them, even providing a map for such situations.
All six of their reservations have links on the website, and each one has its own casino to provide an income to support the health and welfare, public services and education systems. The additional 'services' tab revealed some surprising information on the different variety of departments they own and run - including 'The Big Cypress' airstrip, broadcasting department and a newspaper named the Seminole Tribune which has been in circulation since 1996.
Notably, in a move that shows a certain level of respect for the U.S government, they also have a 'Veterans Building' - the star shaped building pictured above, in recognition of the five branches of the United States armed forces, dedicated to their veterans with honour.
Overall, the Seminole Tribe of Florida appears to be successfully working self-sufficiently, and although they have a contentious history with the U.S, they appear to have adopted a modern integration approach, whilst still retaining their unique cultural independence.
The website that I have chosen is for the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The first thing that you are advised of when going on the website is that they are a federally recognised Indian tribe and that they are the only tribe in America who never signed a peace treaty.
Through the site you get to learn about the tribes history and you get the option to view a brief summary or a time line. The brief summary is written by someone called Williard Steele and goes on to state that the Seminole people are descendants from Creek people and that the tribe is very diverse as the members speak 7 languages which are Muscogee, Hitchiti, Koasati, Alabama, Natchez, Yuchi and Shawnee. It then details where the Creeks settled and then describing events that followed them settling such as the Creek War (1813-1814), The Creek Civil War (1813) and the First, Second and Third Seminole Wars.
The Time line option is another way to view their history and this is very useful and one of the key pieces of information that i got was the information for the 2nd Seminole war and it says that '5,000 Seminoles fight off the US Army, Navy and Marines and approx 3,000 natives removed to Oklahoma reservations with the US spending $40million and finally quits fighting' - This was between 1835 and 1842 and in 1845 Florida becomes the 27th state in the USA.
You are also able to get a full introduction which goes in to more detail about the tribe and describes how the Europeans brought with them new diseases that killed thousands of these indigenous peoples. There is also a lot of reference to the Spanish as until 1821 - Florida was still under their government. There is also a chapter on Indian resistance and removal of the Seminole people, starting before and lasting 20 years longer that the 'Trail of Tears' which is when several thousand Cherokee people were sent on a death march.
The website also has a chapter on their culture and describes their art, basketry, bead work, Chickee (architecture), clans, hairstyles, dolls, food, recipes, language, clothing, medicine and legends. They also have a government section which is how they operate and today their council administrates the Tribal Gaming enterprises. Along with this they talk about tourism that they provide as the tribe employs more than 2,000 non-Indians and purchases more than $24million in goods and services from more that 850 Florida vendors plus the tribe pays $3.5million in federal payroll taxes. They also have more contiguous reservations than any other tribe in North America being Tampa, Brighton, Fort Pierce, Big Cypress, Immokalee and Hollywood. They also provide services with their Aviation Department, Building Inspections Dept, Broadcasting Dept, Education Services, Environmental Resource Management, Health Dept, Housing Dept, Tribal Library System Services and Veterans Building.
The website provides a lot of information on the Seminoles history, culture, business and services and they also have their own newsletter which goes out and all the archives are available on their site.
I wanted to do a blog post on the Sioux or one of the other plain indians the ones we see in films with clint eastwood or dancing with wolves or whatever it is called. The I saw the film "3:10 to Yuma" With Apache in that, so I thought about them. But then I saw http://www.cherokee.org/. The Cherokee today I quite well off and have their own government inside Oklahoma. They seem to be well established and well off... But what really struck me was the front page. I love cycling, and so when I saw this: "Remember the Removal
If you are a Cherokee Nation citizen, enrolled in high school or college, in good academic standings, and willing to commit to a 950 mile journey, applications are being accepted for the 2012 Remember the Removal Bike Ride."
It is amazing to think in our lives, in their lives, nothing like that happens in a western country, but a little over 150 years ago in a democratic nation people were force march 950 mile ( a longer journey than the flight from where I live in France to London then down to here... yet... Before the Lecture on wednesday I hadn't even though about it. The trail of tears and all that was a passing comment in my knowledge of American history... Not much has changed in the political situation of the United States since then yet the knock on doors promoting Democracy... Sounds as democratic as the Argentinians call for the liberation of the Falklands... Quite shocking and upseting. The website offers much more than this but i thought the "Remember the removal" was the most shocking!
I have chosen a review of the film Precious by Ann Hornaday for the Washington Post and they have given the film 4 stars and describe the film as a 'rare gift' that will 'awaken the senses and send viewers into a world made radically new by invigorated alertness and empathy'. The reason why I chose this review is because of this statement as I believe that this was Sapphire's goal in making the novel into the film Precious.
The critique describes the character Precious as the film's beleaguered protagonist who introduces the viewers to unspeakable despair and 'manages to imbue them with exhilarating sense of hope'.
The critic then goes on to describe the film briefly with its plot and then actually refers to a question that Miss Rain asks Precious and relates it to the viewer/reader of the story with Precious, the question asked is "What does it mean when the author describes the pprotagonists circumstances as unrelenting?" - The critic thinks that this question is asked of Precious/Push as Precious is plagued by a stream of 'social ills'.
The critic finishes off her review by saying that at the end of the film the journey has been excruciatingly exhausting and deeply rewarding as this is how I felt having read the book and seen the film and although there are certain stereotypes such as Precious' mum being the 'welfare queen' but it is an eye opener. I also believe that Precious is not only a survivor of incest and abuse but also a survivor of the state education system.
Saturday, 18 February 2012
Sunday, 12 February 2012
Thsis article primarily based on the movie 'Precious' rather than the book 'Push' shows a negative critique on the movie and is then counter argued by another critique who critisises his views. Armond White, the chief film critic of the New York press critisises the film for being 'Full of brazenly racist cliches' and that is demans the idea of black American life. I personally dont agree with this as the movie/book is not so much speaking as a representitive of the entire African American population and communities across the States, rather a portion of it. Minority or not it has happens and in some cases continues to happen but i think that being black himself the issue of this happening within your own culture hits nerves and some dont like to see it being displayed and talked about, rather more comfortable leaving it as a taboo.
White goes on deeper to aim his critique not just at the story itself but what it represents and to who. He claims that it is a 'Political fantasy' because it demeans blacks, women and poor people. This i think is an incredibly strong accusation to make about the American government and kind of takes away from the whole message and the point of the film/book. He goes on to suggest that this is a pattern within films focussed on African American identity suggesting that the films 'Cadillac Records' and 'Akeelah and the Bee' because they wernt negative enough. This again i believe shows his ignorance to the situation and his dismissle of what hapens within the society.
However Latoya Peterson editor in of Racialicious.com critisises Whites view saying: “His review buys into the narrative that there can only be one acceptable presentation of black life,” Ms. Peterson said. “He’s flattening the black experience, and in that way, he denies our humanity.” This backs up my point about denial. Black heritage has many layers and many factors all that are real and all that have to be accepted. White is chosing not to accept this eliment of his heritage and culture which is disapointing as i feel it shows he is ashamed.
The above link contains a uniquely positive critique of Push by Sapphire, but unlike other critiques, this one states fifteen ways in which Push positively affected the critic as a reader. After reading the book, they claim, ' I felt like I wanted to go out and do something positive and uplifting because the novel was so intense.' The critic acknowledges that there were many hurdles and problems Precious had to overcome within the novel; but was curious about what could be learned from it and applied to our daily lives.
Each lesson point is numbered and given a quotation from the novel to back up the reasoning behind it, such as:
"They (the girls) and Ms. Rain is my friends and family.
At least when I look at the girls I see them and when they look they see ME, not what I look like."
Saturday, 11 February 2012
Sunday, 5 February 2012
The above website is an anti-Latino immigration website run by a public organisation named Numbers USA, dedicated to reducing immigrant numbers in the United States. Interestingly enough, they name themselves 'pro-immigration,' along with 'pro liberty' and 'pro worker;' and loudly encourage fair treatment of illegal immigrants. Yet their executive director states:
'The chief difficulties that America faces because of current immigration are not triggered by who the immigrants are, but by how many they are. The task before the nation in setting a fair level of immigration is not about race or some vision of a homogeneous white America; it is about protecting and enhancing the United States' unique experiment in democracy for all Americans, including recent immigrants, regardless of their particular ethnicity.'
They deny hostile feelings or actions towards immigrants, but advocate any laws being considered that will reduce the influx of immigrants and therefore increase the amount of work available to American nationals. They do not appear to consider what contributions immigrants may currently be making towards American society, and feel the surest way to deal with the problem is to place larger restrictions on countries, making immigration much harder than it currently is in order to discourage it. They refute what they call 'immigrant bashing' and, in what appears to be a disagreement or lack of faith in their government, claim that:
'Perhaps the greatest "immigrant bashers" are those Members of Congress who refuse to look at the abysmal conditions of so many immigrant Americans, and who every year insist on adding more than a million more immigrants into their occupations, schools and communities.'
From this you could conclude that although they clearly disagree with allowing people to migrate to America on account of the growing population and consequential poor conditions, they are not hateful with their agenda and have honest, well-thought out intentions of appealing to Congress with reason.
The above website is a pro-Latino immigration website run by the Maryland Hispanic Bar Association or MHBA, an organisation comprised of Hispanic lawyers dedicated to promoting reform and protecting rights on behalf of Hispanics/Latinos. They 'facilitate the administration of justice' and 'foster respect of the law among Hispanics/Latinos'; for all intents and purposes, seemingly encouraging assimilation into American society.
The organisation was formed by Cuban-American attorney Mayda Colón Tsaknis residing in Maryland who, due to the 1990 census, realised the population of Hispanics was at 10%, and was likely to rise in the future - becoming the largest minority in 2005. She felt the issues for Hispanic Americans were continuing to grow and set about ensuring the protection of their rights by contacting all the Hispanic attorneys and leaders she could find and asking them to get involved.
Together they oppose issues of contention for the Hispanic community and even act as interpreters to ensure Hispanics have a fair trial. Judging by their acceptance of the Spanish language and encouragement of tradition, they do not appear to desire total integration with American society, yet hope to work side by side, the same and yet apart from. They appear to have been very successful in their endeavours to date as they state:
'The MHBA advocated for the appointment of highly qualified Hispanics to the bench in the State of Maryland. Through these efforts, Governor Parris Glendenning appointed two of MHBA’s shining stars as the first Hispanic judges in the state: the Honorable Audrey J.S. Carrion in Baltimore City, in 1996, and the Honorable Marielsa Bernard in Montgomery County, in 1998.'
There is little said regarding the problem of illegal immigration, and instead their aim is to, ' to remain ever vigilant regarding the legal rights of minorities, to advocate for the nomination of qualified Latino attorneys to the bench, and to advance the profession through service to the community.'
This website which is based around the group 'Legalize LA' is a pro latino immigration website. The site 'American Apparel' is a clothing based website however it has started a campaign to back up the 'Reform' for legal immigration. The site states that it wants to get companies and businesses involved in the reform as they are a main aspect of media and can get the voices of immigrants heard. The group focusess alot on the aspect of employement and how immigrants are a leading contributor to the work force and without them we would suffer. There is a section 'Meet our workers' where Latino American Apparel workers speak out about theyre views on immigration and there own personal experiences with being an immigrant in contemporary America.
Following on from this the site has links to pages where you can find out more about what Legalize LA does and how they pla to make a difference. Links to a series of interviews with the head people behind the company on how and why they are backing this campagne and chose to get involved. There is also a section where you can find out 'The top 10 facts about immigrants' where there is a list of positive facts about immigrants and how they are helpful contributors to the United States. This group shows that it heavily cares on this issue as alot of time and effort can cleary be seen to have been put in here. With a large nation company (American Apparel) backing the rights for immigrants it expresses even more the severity of the issue and how strong people feel towards it.
This website is the ani immigration website. It is a group called AIC and it is heavily against immigration. While the pro site celebrates the empoyement of immigrants this site opresses it blaming the immigrants for taking the work of Amecan citizens away from them and denying them their rights. The site rests heavily on and leads with the notion that all immigrants are 'Illegal alians.' The site to me came across almost racist and prejudice as calling them names such a alians is ultimatly dehumanising. The site has blogs, articles and an 'action alert' email so that members can be updated on issues. The site has a history page where it talks about the history of immigration and how that compares to it today.
The site accuses the system today of going against the values and morals of the founding fathers. That they didnt want 'Unlimited immigration' they only wanted a 'select few' to do jobs such as labour and engineering so that the previous settlers didnt have to. This is a very strong message to send out as Americans take their founding principles very seriously. So this compares to the pro site as the pro site seems to be wanting to look forward and make chage and positivity for these people, where as this anti site is relying on the past to almost try and guilt Americans into believeing in its principles by making them question their American values.
This group is a non profit organisation who aims to stop illegal immigration, improve border controls by tracking immigration trends and its effects on American society and using this information to educate the American public on its impacts. The group has been founded since 1979 and is often in the public eye with various media forms such as television networks and radio stations interviewing them on their view of the immigration debate. They have a large following of over 250,000 members worldwide and believe that illegal immigration has a severe impact on education, health care, government budgets, employment, the environment and crime. Their main goals are to end illegal immigration and to limit legal immigration by increasing public awareness, informing academic, media and governmental figures and to influence public policy.
The website that I have chosen for my pro immigration website is a group called The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) which is a group that was founded in 1913 -
This group was initially founded to stop the defamation of Jewish people and aims to fight all forms of bigotry in the U.S. through education, legislation and advocacy. It aims to scrutinise and expose extremest groups and more recently acted as an advocacy group for pro immigration by shining a light on right wing, extremist hate groups that support anti immigration. They speak out about discrimination and aims to defend civil liberties for all. They encourage relationships between local law enforcement and have opposed policies that encourage racial profiling and discriminotory.
The source itself being from Dallas the third largest city in the state of Texas you can see how a bank the place which deals with commerce in its various forms would be concerned about such goings on. Illegal immigration has a major effect upon the economy and the people concerned are also in serious danger of being exploited by those who hire illegal immigrants therefore benefiting the black market and illegal professions such as prostitution and drug dealing not to say all who enter the US illegally will enter into said professions. The point is without these happenings the money could be put towards various things say a work program for those who wish to enter the US for the latter. Though there are families who do wish to escape a dangerous environment who should go through the proper procedures but are tarred with the same brush as those who enter the country for means of illegal activity.
This website asks the question if illegal immigration is good for the United states of america. The illegal immigrant population account for 5% of the US working population. Walter Ewing argues that even though these immigrants don't get Medicare, social security and other services given to Americans and Legal immigrants, they still pay majority of the taxes they should and help the economies of the states they are concentrated in. For example in Texas the estimated 1.4 million immigrants contributed a staggering $18 Billion (WOW) to the states economic output. He goes on toe argue that if they gained legal status they would be able to contribute even more to the American economy. (Not sure about that) Then he goes on to state that undocumented immigration (such a nicer way of putting it... Illegal makes them sound so criminal) is an example of the broken immigration system.
However, the website thankfully gives another point of view...
Mark kirkorian argues that illegal immigration floods the labour market especially in lower sectors, meaning legal not so qualified Americans struggle to find work at a decent pay rate. making minimum wage to much to pay for some employers. The Majority of these illegal immigrants lack High school education, (though in America that isn't exactly A+ education). He says it puts an extra burden of the tax payer, (surely not as much as bailing out the bankers) and contrary to what Walter above stated Mark says they don't pay much taxes as they earn so little and thus don't contribute to the American economy. He then rambles on stating how they flood market and entry level. But then states that what worked 100 years ago is no longer viable. And by keeping labour cheap, there is no incentive in investing into labour saving devices thus damaging the economic competitiveness in the future!
Saturday, 4 February 2012
The websites I looked at for this weeks blog were Casa de Maryland (Pro Latino immigration) and American Immigration Control (Anti Latino immigration).
Casa de Maryland is an organisation founded in 1985 that supports immigrants from Central America in a variety of ways such as: advice on healthcare, has community education centre and advice on finances. It was a group created in response to the human needs of thousands of Central Americans arriving in the D.C area and is currently recognised as the largest Latino and immigrant organisation in the state of Maryland. Over 20 000 Latino immigrants benefit from CASA’s work every year.American Immigration Control (AIC) is an organisation that differs greatly from Casa de Maryland. It is an organisation which is trying to control immigration in the United States and at this particular moment are very much focused on trying to control Latino immigration.
Both websites have contrasting views on the issue of Latino immigration. Casa de Maryland have recently set up a sister organisation called “Casa in action” which allows the group to protest and have their voice heard in society. They have used means such as questionnaires and attended political debates as a way in which to get a stand in the political world and very much believe that Latinos should have a place in politics. Overall it is a positive website that believe Latinos should have more of a stand in U.S society than they do at present and do not see Latino immigrants as a burden on U.S society but a part of U.S society. AIC, takes a much more negative approach and does see Latino immigrants as a burden on the USA. For example, when describing what the organisation does on its website the AIC say “AIC, founded in 1983, is about stopping the millions of illegal aliens who sneak across our border from Mexico every year.” The use of the word “sneak” is significant here as it is being used a tool to entice people to join this group and suggest that Latinos who cross the border are bad people. They also use words such as “strictly” and “demanding” which again come across negatively and show that there is more of a dislike/almost hatred for Latino immigrants.
Casa de Maryland and AIC are both organisations set up to deal with the issue of Latino immigration to America but as evidences previously they set out do this very different ways. One group is willing to welcome the immigrants, the other wants them deported. They also address the issues in very different ways and this is shown mainly through the language used on the website, Casa de Maryland being more positive, AIC being more negative. It is also interesting the Casa de Maryland uses images to show their beliefs whereas AIC uses graphs and statistics. Although both are using very different techniques, they have one aim and that is to appeal to their own target audience in a way to get support for their groups to allow them to hopefully get a step up in American Society.