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Racism and Immigration – Virginia

I’m so angry right now.


About David Park

Christian 2nd-generation Korean American; Atlanta Georgia; more details to come.

12 responses to “Racism and Immigration – Virginia

  1. MrPages


    Just….. wow.

    Brutally eye opening.

    One things that continues to boggle me is the twisting and co-mingling of legal and illegal immigration issues as if they were the same problem. “Immigrant” = “Illegal immigrant”.

    This movie gives me such pain in my heart.

  2. eugene

    No wow here.
    What are we surprised by?
    We all already know this…

  3. dengjosh ⋅

    I like that the lady said some good stuff at the end…”we’re all in this together”, but I guess we just have to all realize it.

  4. dengjosh ⋅

    update: my coworker (who is from Northern Virginia and is partly Japanese) says that this racism has always gone on, but has grown significantly over recent years. He also mentions that the younger generation are more open-minded than the older…a good point.

  5. Letitia

    The problem about immigration, illegal immigration, and racism is that it is more complex than either side is making it.

    One thing that troubles me is the retort by the hispanic family shown that ALL of us are illegal, which simply isn’t true.

    Any impassioned plea by citizens to push back on illegal immigration is shown in a racist light. Is that fair? No more fair than it is to assume that the hispanic you see is here illegally.

    Annabelle Park made a good point that those who have lived here for generations (who happen to be white) undergo an identity crisis when they see their community being transformed with values that conflict with their own, for better or worse. I don’t disagree with their sentiments, for I get dismayed at some of the negative things I see myself.

    Those of us close to the immigration issue are always demanding more tolerance and openness. Do we even realize that we give so little of it ourselves? Doesn’t the Asian community dispense regular doses of prejudice and racism to the ‘hak-gwai’ (blacks) and gwai-loh (white man)? Most of our parents’ generation regularly talk crap about people of other races frequently. Most of them don’t want their kids to marry a black person. (Listen, half of my cousins married outside the Chinese race, and I heard a lot of hushed pre-wedding crap about their fiancees, so I know what I’m talking about).

    And don’t let me forget about hispanics, who get about as much respect as rats in a sewer in many Asian eyes.

    And then I go in a grocery store, see a little hispanic boy staring at me, turn a corner and hear “chong chong” after my back is turned. And later, his mother practically runs me over with her shopping cart. It isn’t that she meant to, she just doesn’t acknowledge me.

    Everyone spreads the disrespect around. Isn’t it time to repent?

  6. good points letitia.
    i would say that these issues have been more multivalent as i go deeper into them. obviously, our churches don’t delve into them because of the racist strain that you mention. and for guys like eugene, this is something that their church (i would imagine, he hasn’t told me this) has developed some “space” to talk about issues like this and approach it with their eyes open. but that’s a luxury many of us don’t have. honestly, it’s easy for me to say i wrestle with this on a “blogosphere” plane, but i’ve had trouble trying to make this a real point of activism in my own everyday living.

    my hope is that i’ve become more sensitized in my language and my thoughts, which has made me very sensitive to the immigration issue. plus, my friend, john lamb, has made it quite clear that there is absolutely no biblical defense for refusing the foreigner. but all of that to say, my best intentions are sadly limited in their effect. you’re right, i don’t know how to come off other than as angry at times. i don’t want to simplify the issue, but i don’t think it’s just a matter of internalizing the issue and asking what prejudices i harbor. there is also a problem that i feel that we have few means to externalize and cause change to a situation that is so difficult to address at the various levels. i don’t want to demonize white americans. there is nothing redemptive in that. but i would like to stand next to my hispanic brothers and sisters, i just don’t feel like i know the best way to do that yet.

  7. daniel so

    David — Like Eugene, I don’t think I’m surprised by this kind of thing. I am angry, definitely, but more than anything else I feel worn out by things like this — like we’re stuck on the same old treadmill. I heard a story on NPR today about the hatred, harassment and terror the Little Rock Nine was forced to endure during school integration, and sometimes it feels like not much has changed in those fifty years.

    Letitia — I think I hear what you’re saying. We all need to come to terms with our own hatred and prejudice, and deal with them appropriately. But, at the same time, I think there is a significant difference between the hateful statements we might hear from family members (no matter how wrong they might be) and systemic oppression of others based on their racial ethnic background. I’m not attempting to justify personal racism at all — but I think it’s an important distinction to make.

  8. elderj

    You’re angry? Hahahaha. I am, like Daniel, tired of the treadmill. That Americans and America display this ongoing nativist ethnocentric racism is nothing new. It is the hypocrisy of it that rankles; the failure to understand that immigration law from the beginning has always been racist at the core (hence no one takes issue with illegal Irish immigrants though at one point they would have). It is most disturbing to live with this hypocritical racism and to still wave the flag as if the US is some wonderful utopia. I am certain that it appears thus to many immigrants, and in some ways there is truth there, but it ain’t the promised land and it ain’t heaven.

  9. elderj, daniel,
    you are right to be weary and jaded. it is a mark of the empire to believe that things will remain the way they were. but we must not give up our prophetic voice and imagination in the face of empire. we must find ways to absorb the hypocrisy and speak truth into this situation. the more i read the scripture, the more i am convinced that we should all be activists, or perhaps to redirect my pre-existent activism towards issues of this nature, of which i was vested in, but did not know it.

  10. Pingback: racism and immigration « beauty and depravity

  11. Phil ⋅

    The U.S immigration policy mainly allowed immigration
    from Europe until 1965. Now the immigration policy
    opened the U.S. to the rest of the world.
    Immigrants are comming from third world countries.
    Americans seem to be disturbed when they hear
    that undocumented immigrants are using hospitals
    and not paying causing them to go bankrupt.
    They have a problem with them overwhelming the
    school system.
    These racist americans should be happy to see the
    hospitals go broke and the school system ruined.
    They should welcome unlimited immigration until
    all states are going bankrupt like California.

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