Racial segregation in the United States

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Week 6
1. James A. Tyner, “The Geopolitics of Eugenics and the Exclusion of Philippine Immigrants from the United States,” The Geographical Review, 89, no. 1 (1999), 54-73. In this article, Tyner explains the pseudoscience and logic behind the discrimination against Filipino immigrants during the early 1900’s. Using eugenics as justification, the government made it clear that America was to remain a white-dominated country with little tolerance for immigrants. A prime example of this anti-immigration sentiment was expressed by U.S. Senator Samuel Shortridge when he said “… we belong to the Caucasian branch of the human family. They of the Orient to another and different branch… these two branches of the human family are not assimilable … it is not wise that there should be mongrel or hybrid races” (pg. 66). I find this point of view very similar to logic of Adolf Hitler, who also sought to preserve the master Aryan race.

2. David Roediger, “Whiteness and Ethnicity in the History of ‘White Ethnics’ in the United States,” in Towards the Abolition of Whiteness: Essays on Race, Politics, and Working Class History (1994), 181-194.

In this article, Roediger tries to explain the fine line between being white and non-white. He argues that immigrants will never become fully white, but are happy being classified as Americans because at least they won’t be treated like blacks. I feel like Roediger is trying to say that being white is like being a part of a royal family bloodline. It is impossible for immigrants to really become white, but they can still hope to attain some sort of life. It’s almost like he’s comparing the nouveau riche to the gentry.

3. George Martinez, “Mexican Americans and Whiteness,” in Critical White Studies, 210-212. In this article, Martinez argues that Mexican-Americans were only considered “white” when it came to politics and benefiting the dominant Anglo-American group. Even though classified as “white” Mexican-Americans still faced the...
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