Reflection Paper 1
Question 4: Race has always played a major role in the settlement of the Americas and the establishment of our differing cultures and institutions. What insights have you gotten from your readings and discussions in class about the differing Spanish and English attitudes toward non-European races and to slavery? How do you think North American attitudes today about Latino immigration have been shaped by our heritage of racism and slavery? For a very long time ago, the word “race” has always be a hot topic that was discussed in social. In this essay, I want to discuss about what I have learned about the race in Americans, how different between Spanish and English attitudes toward non-European races and to slavery. Furthermore, I also want to share my thinking about how Latino immigration affects the American attitudes through our heritage of racism and slavery. Firstly, I want to say a little bit about the word “race.” In my own definition, race is someone who is different from the other by his or her skin, look, culture, and traditions. When Arab, Muslims, and Indian became immigrate to the US, it affects the culture and mixing raced. “The long period of Arab domination left an indelible legacy of racial and cultural mixing that the Spanish immigrants carried to the New World.” (Juan Gonzalez, p.18) Although the race was mixed, it does not mean racial equality. Black and white people were separated into two parts. Black and white cannot marry each other. “The Crown’s administrative body for colonies banned all marriages between whites and free blacks or mulatos.” (Juan Gonzalez, p19) Moreover, African slaves were used in order to make more money for Europeans. “ African slaves harvested the new gold, sugar, as well as tobacco, cocoa, and indigo.” (Juan Gonzalez, p.23). In my opinion, white people think they have the power to control the people who are not like them. Some black people became slaves, no educated and no money. Because of no educated, they do not know there way how to fight back or stand up for them. “Color and status so deeply demarcated the English colonies, however, that the free colored class was considered and abnormality only barely tolerated.” (Juan Gonzalez, p.20) I remember a lesson I had learned from my high school about the racism. On the bus, black people always have to sit in the back or if the bus is full of people, black people should stand up or get out the bus and give their sit to the whites. From many things I have learned about racism and while I was reading the book “Harvest of Empire”, I figure out how people look at each other in another sight just because of their race. “Color and status so deeply demarcated the English colonies…” (Juan Gonzalez, p.20) In addition, the people who are in the upper class have to maintain their inheritance lines. Therefore, people in color skin were not allowed to join in. However, “though on occasion even some of the elite officially “recognized” their mixed-race children, ushering them partially into white society.” (Juan Gonzalez, p.20) Because of slavery hundreds of years ago, it still has impact on today and the way minorities are treated. Next, I also want to share a little bit about my thinking. I come from Vietnam to the US with different skin color, different culture and language. When the first time came to the US, I thought about race a lot: How I will be treated in there, will Americans look at me in different sight or they will talk behind my back because of my race, etc. Furthermore, I was very worried about my name in the US because it has another meaning, I do not want people to make fun of my name when they pronoun it. But then, nothing happens, people in there do not care who am I, how I look or treat me in different ways. I realized in there has so many races of people who come from other countries and they treat each other equally. To be honest, I not really like Black African Americans much because I think they always annoy, but not because of that reason I treat them not equally or have bad attitude toward them! This is the first time I had heard about Latino. It is really a new knowledge for me. Although I am very confused and did not understand all of thing about Latino, I still enjoy and interested in their history. According to the book “Harvest of Empire-Juan Gonzales,” it said: “…Latinos numbered a mere 9.1 million and represented just 4.5 percent of the population as recently as 1970.” (Juan Gonzalez, p.16) In my opinion, when Latino immigrates to the US with a huge amount, they all bring to the US a new culture, new race, new physical characteristic, etc. For example, the popular music in the US at that time was Latin music. “But now Latino migrant, the product of those old relationships, have invaded the North American garden, kitchen, and living room. We are overflowing its schools, its army, even its jails.” (Juan Gonalez, p.18) In another side, Latino also brings immigrant different skin color in the US and that made them were treated not equally. In my own experience, people of color is not essay to find jobs, can not go to school or always left behind white people, they do not have the right to speak or the right to stand up for themselves. In addition, some of Latino became slaves in the US. Because of the skin color and different social class between people, it made American attitude have been shaped by our heritage of racism and slavery. In my opinion, when a country has immigrant, of course their culture and attitude will be impacted and changed. I can see very clearly through my country-Vietnamese. In a very long time ago when China controlled my country, we spoke Chinese language and our culture was also the same of China. Unstill today, Vietnamese still used some culture of Chinese. Even though we have our own language right now, but it was created based on the Chinese language. To conclusion, I have learned more wonderful histories and new knowledge about Latino immigrant and American history. I understand more how different and culture affected in the US through immigrant and how racism act between people. I am happy for our equal class in social right now. For me, even though we are different from our skin, our culture and traditions, we are all human. Therefore, we should treat each other equally to make our world being a peaceful family!
Gonzalez, Juan. Harvest of Empire. New York, Viking, 2000. Print