What image comes to mind when we think about a US citizen or the US national identity? .
Watch the following and review the site after the film link, then follow the directions for extra credit.
write a 250 words paragraph about how that event speaks to a major concept or question discussed in this course
Any required citations should be in the latest version of the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) footnote citation style. Any information that could be cited, should be.
Central Questions can be distilled into three major areas which are discussion points for all course content. Think about these questions with all course content.
What are the politics of an (ethnic, racial, gendered, sexualized, religious, etc.) identity? What does it mean to be a part of a particular group in the US? This concerns how communities deal with stereotyping, prejudice, and pressures to assimilate. Consider what people do to advance their sense of self and belonging to a particular “history” in light of external and internalized perceptions. You can also consider how the actions and/or inactions of peoples’ ancestors impact their current understanding of their own and other cultures. How does the understanding of others’ ancestors’ action or inaction operate for you? How is this tied to social justice, if at all?
Does the blending represented in the ways that we currently discuss “We, the people” operate for the best of everyone? When thinking about this consider how different people are expected to behave to belong. How do their various positions in the social, cultural and legal hierarchies of the US limit or enhance the possibility of “belonging?” Considering what makes up our individual and national identities also means that we need to question their compatibility. We need to consider who is expected to be silent, about what and why. Conversely, we also need to consider the ideologies that are upheld in that “belonging”–how all might suffer, not just a few.
What image comes to mind when we think about a US citizen or the US national identity? There are reasons why that image comes to mind and there are benefits to fitting this image. There are conflicts when what we see does not match the expectations (visually, audibly, artistically or ideologically) associated with this national identity. So, it is also important to consider who has the authority to define what that identity looks like and the consequences of not fitting it–whether you “look like you fit” or not. The same authorities can determine the role of violence and/or the threat of violence (an exercise of power) in this process, as well as when and why those benefits are revoked.
What is it to be an ally or a “social justice accomplice?” At the core, this concerns how one combines personal politics with experience. It means reconciling our insistence on “colorblind” relationships and belief in a “post-racial” US society with the everyday realities of people of various races and ethnicities. It also means figuring out where we participate (sometimes blindly) in others’ oppression, discount views rooted in a different reality or dishonor other experiences in our push to proclaim solidarity as one nation. In short, it means asking ourselves tough questions like, “Where does our privilege sit? How do we recognize our privilege(s) and how does it harm us as well as others?” then being willing to deal with the answers even if they are uncomfortable.
We will consider race and ethnicity within the social, historical, cultural and legal framework(s) of the US as well as the testimony and expertise of those who have shared their experiences. (You can think of this as “everyday expertise”). We will also examine colonization and cultural transformation(s).