Othered Citizens

Kincaid portrayed an Antigua with corrupted government, culturally lost natives and prioritized white people through the eyes of an imaginary white tourist. She expressed her anger towards the English colonizers, and more than that, she uncovered the weakness in this small country and its people.

The major idea of this article is to reveal how Antiguan struggle in finding out their national identity after hundreds of years of being an English colony. The history of English governing washed away their notion of nationality, and maybe the ability of finding one. Antiguan are deprived of their own culture since they are taught in English and that they should believe in English god and love the queen of England. The repair of the national library was postponed; the government seems indifferent on cultivating culture independent of the English one. General citizens are not involved in controlling major economic activities in Antigua, foreigners do instead. Corruptions spread widely among Ministers, in which they monopolize profitable or even illegal businesses. Politically, Antigua people see themselves inferior to white westerners, even if they seem bad-mannered. They don’t feel centered in their home country but seconded or marginalized.

The article reminds me of the notion of other, which we came across many times in the readings throughout this course. This concept might help explain why Antiguans are lost in establishing a healthy self-centered identity. In the old colony times, the English governors and inhabitants did an excellent job in defining who are us and who are other, in their favor, of course. Hierarchies are formed based on the notion that colonizers are more intellectual and organized so that they stand in the center. That is why in Antigua, dark-skinned Syrians and Lebanese are regarded as foreigners, white people are not. The injustice maintained through post-colony times. The unfair institutions and hierarchies are internalized by Antiguans. They see corrupted government and rude westerners. But they don’t feel the urge to change all these. Because they do feel responsible for transforming the country, being part of other.

The take-home question from this article is what impact the history of colony might have on shaping national identities as well as citizenships. The work absolutely stimulates thoughts around identity forming and transforming by providing a representative post-colonial case of Antigua. Institutions of injustice are established by colonists to their benefit. It is going to be a long and suffering progress in transforming self-awareness from other to us.

 

Refenrence:

Kincaid, Jamaica. 1988. A Small Place. Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Worries from A Profane Boy

A Profane Boy  Hi my name is Wu. I am calling to seek opinion for an issue that has been troubling me for months. Here is the thing. My girlfriend and I have been together for 2 years or so. We both have stable income and share a group of friends in this city that we now live in. So I think that we’ve come to the point to settle down and get married here.

My girlfriend is a Muslim. I knew that from our first date because she did not eat pork or drink alcohol. Other than that, there is nothing really special about her. And I am totally ok with that. I am not a big fan of pork anyway. And there are always some occasions where I can go out to the pub with some other friends.

So when I talked to her about my plan, to get married. My girlfriend told me that I need to convert to Islam and receive baptism, in order to marry her, according to the religious doctrine. Continue reading

Diary of Systemic Injustices Showcase

By Xuxin He

The biggest form of systemic injustice in modern day America is ranges from Police brutality in the streets to the sentencing in the criminal Justice System particularly against minorities especially those off African American decent. There are countless witnessing of unjust and egregious acts of both police brutality across multiple states in America. Apart from these situations, there are countless other cases where courts give higher sentences or bail to minorities and African American offenders. Fueling this are the attitudes associated with racial profiling. In most cases minorities are considered social ills, they are seen as predominantly disadvantaged in the school or moral system and are thereby categorized as prone to crime or illegal activities that would otherwise predispose them to experiencing such injustices.

The sad reality behind these injustices is that as much as some offenders duly deserve the punishments they receive, a majority including the poor are incarcerated for no viable crime, receiving punishments much higher than is justly deserved. Examples of such incidents are seen all over the media and on countless reports put out. On the rise especially are countless shootings of unarmed African American individuals ranging from children to adult. With the likes of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson Missouri to the choking of Eric Garner in New York City (Sekhon, 2017). According to a police violence report (2017), there were 1,147 killings in 2017 with 92% of them the result of police shootings, Tasers, physical force and police vehicles. Those charged for these cases were only 13, a whopping 1% of all killings.

The irony behind it is that witnesses were able to identify 569 of these officers, with at least 48 having shot or killed someone and 12 with multiple prior shootings. In these cases, the police had responded to suspected non-violent offenses (Violence, 2017). The evident air of such incidents as well as advocacy by activists has led to little to no change in many police departments across the country. Pictures such as the one displayed at the bottom are the result of countless activists, ordinary citizens and community leaders protesting the indiscriminate rise of police brutality across various states in America

Figure 1: protests after fatal shooting by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Protesters march after a fatal shooting by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 2016. Credit: William Widmer/New York Times/eyevine (Peeples, 2019, September 4).

Figure 2: Protestors march & demonstrate against the shooting of Michael Brown

Protestors march and hold their fists aloft as they march during ongoing demonstrations in reaction to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 16, 2014 (Reuters, 2016, February 26).

 

 

References

Peeples, L. (2019, September 4). What the data say about police shootings. Retrieved March 6, 2020, from https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02601-9

Reuters. (2016, February 26). Justice Department to Conduct Independent Autopsy of Michael Brown. Retrieved March 6, 2020, from https://www.newsweek.com/justice-department-conduct-independent-autopsy-michael-brown-265118

Sekhon, N. (2017). Blue on Black: An empirical assessment of police shootings. Am. Crim. L. Rev., 54, 189.

Violence, M. P. (2017). Police violence report.

 

 

The Effect of the Partition of Bengal

The partitioning of Bengal was brought about by Lord Curzon, who was the British viceroy as well as the Governor-General of British India in 1905 (Roy, 2014). Curzon argued that Bengal could not be governed effectively due to its large size and had to be divided into East Bengal and West Bengal. East Bengal was largely inhabited by Muslims whereas West Bengal was dominated by Hindus. The decision to divide India was an attempt to weaken the population by turning it against itself to minimize resistance. The Muslims in the western part supported the decision because it allowed them to do business without the interference of the Hindus who had dominated Bengal’s business environment. East Bengal was neglected and isolated due to the poor communication system in the area (Roy, 2014). However, the Hindus of West Bengal protested against the decision since it made them minorities in the East and regarded the division as an act of strangling Bengal’s nationalism. Protests escalated from mass meetings to boycotting of British goods.

The partition resulted in massive resettlement as Hindus moved to the East whereas Muslims moved to the West. The partition led to the death of many local people as the British officials took on protesters. The debate on the division of Bengal has never ended long after India got its independence. Refugees, infiltrators, and migrates continuously flow across the borders of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh which were formed from the partition (Sengupta, 2011). Both the Indian and Pakistan governments have tried to stop the influx of refugees across the borders of the two countries. Initially, the Hindus fled East Bengal for safety which had become part of Pakistan, which was dominated by Muslims. However, the poor populations in the two divides were unable to migrate and decided to stay in their original locations (Roy, 2014). Although the British colonists may not have managed to reap the benefits of the partition then, they managed to turn the local communities against one another leading to the formation of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

 

 

References

Roy, K. (2014). Partition of British India: Causes and Consequences Revisited. India Review13(1), 78-86. doi:10.1080/14736489.2014.873681

Sengupta, D. (2011). From Dandakaranya to Marichjhapi: rehabilitation, representation and the partition of Bengal (1947). Social Semiotics21(1), 101-123. doi:10.1080/10350330.2011.535673