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Immigration, Race, and Nativism in Late Twentieth Century America

Question 1: The intertwining of American racism and hostility towards new immigrants

Q1. Sanchez (1997) reveals that a racialized nativism (or racial nativism) has arisen, which intertwines a new American racism with traditional hostility towards new immigrants in a variety of ways. Based on this required reading in Pilot (“Race, Immigration, and the Rise of Nativism in Late Twentieth Century America”), answer one of the following questions:

1) Explain the ways in which a new American racism is intertwined with traditional hostility towards new immigrants with an example; or

2) Explain how immigrants themselves have responded to the nativist discourse, fear, and antagonism.

Required Reading: ?Sanchez, George J. 1997. “Face the Nation: Race, Immigration, and the Rise of Nativism in Late Twentieth Century America.” International Migration Review 31(4): 1009-1030.

Q2. Based on the required reading in Pilot (“Anti-Immigrant Attitudes and Action during Two Eras of Mass Immigration to the United States”), answer one of the following questions:

1) Jaret (1999: 35) concludes that “some cases anti-immigration positions grow from a defensive nationalistic ‘America and Americans first’ mentality associated with opposition to job displacement and other harsh consequences of economic restructuring and globalization rather than personal antipathy towards immigrants.” Based on the reading, explain how defensive nationalism has been the driving force of nativism.

2) Despite the differences, Jaret (1999: 34) concludes that “current fears and perceptions of immigrants as threats resemble those of the past.” Based on the reading, explain the rise of nativism in the historical context of social, political, cultural, and economic changes.

3) Jaret (1999: 9) argues that “looking at anti-immigrant phenomena without also considering pro-immigrant actions and attitudes is like listening to just one side of a conversation and can produce a distorted sense of what is going on.” Choose one pro-immigration movement (e.g., immigrant rights protests in spring 2006) and examine how it was a collective response to exclusionary policy (e.g., Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act) Required Reading: ?Jaret, Charles. 1999. “Troubled by Newcomers: Anti-Immigrant Attitudes and Action during Two Eras of Mass Immigration to the United States.” Journal of American Ethnic History 18(3): 9-39.

Q3. Portes and Rumbaut (2014: 163) point out that the response of immigrants and their communities to the nativist fears and hostility have been marked by passive endurance than active opposition. Based on the discussion in the textbook, explain why passive endurance has been a more common response than active opposition such as protest and other political engagement, and what is the consequence of such passivity.

Q4. Based on the supplementary reading, “The Hispanic Challenge” (Huntington 2004), answer one of the following questions:

1) Samuel P. Huntington argues that “The persistent inflow of Hispanic immigrants threatens to divide the United States into two peoples, two cultures, and two languages.” Do you think this argument is valid? Why or why not?

2) Samuel P. Huntington explanation that “white nativism” is different from “white racial supremacy.” What are the main concerns of white nativists and how they are different from those of white racial supremacists? ?Huntington, Samuel P. 2004. “The Hispanic Challenge.” Foreign Policy 141: 30-45.

Q5. The supplementary reading in Pilot (“Eternally Foreign: Asian Americans, History, and Race”) discuss the four episodes from the history of Asians in the United States to illustrate the ways that Asian Americans have been seen as “eternally foreign.” These episodes include

(1) the fear of the “yellow peril” in the late nineteenth century,

(2) the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II, (4) hate crime against Asian Americans, and (4) race and politics in the 1996 presidential campaign.

Choose one of them and explain how it was triggered by nativist fears and antagonism against Asian immigrants. ?Chang, Gordon H. 2010. “Eternally Foreign: Asian Americans, History, and Race.” Pp.216-233 in Doing Race: 21 Essays for the 21st Century, edited by Hazel Rose Markus and Paula M. L. Moya. New York: W.W. Norton.

Q6. Farmingville is a documentary that I have used in class to discuss the influx of immigrants in a community and its residents’ and activists’ responses. It is available on Apple TV ($3.99). Summarize the main themes of the documentary, focusing on the influx of Mexican workers in Farmingville, New York, and nativist fears and hostilities toward them.

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