- Compare and contrast the experiences of living in America as well as internment for Japanese American women and men and white men and women. How does it define belonging in the nation? How is belonging constructed in racial, gendered, and sexual terms?
Living in America, whether Japanese or not, had (still has) it’s restrictions. Jack’s brother was limited because he was scared to fight for more money. He was happy with whatever was given to him. The phrase I have always grown up with is, “something’s better than nothing”. I think that quote fits with Jack’s brother’s mentality. Be happy with what you have and that’s it. Don’t make waves or you’ll mess it all up. Seeing as they were Irish immigrants and the Irish were treated very badly in the early 1900’s being called shiftless and lazy, he was probably very happy to finally be treated like more of a human being than Irish people had been treated in the past.
Lily’s parents are about the same as Jack’s brother. They don’t want to make waves. They stick to their own community and do not try to change anything and they fear change the same way he does.
Jack is one who fights for what he thinks is right and to get more liberties for himself and others around him.
Lily is one who stands up for what she thinks is right and defends her liberties as a woman but it’s kind of ironic how she does not want Jack to stand up for the liberties of others. She’s only interested in her liberties and not the liberties of others.
- Why do you think this is?
In the internment camp, it made the Japanese feel like they didn’t belong to the nation that they had been calling home. I think the belonging was purely in a racialized term. The gender and sexuality didn’t seem to be anything that changed within the internment camp. Only the racial divide that was made to be seen by separating the Japanese people based purely on their country of origin or their familial country of origin.
Daniel refers to the integration of the cities not existing in the 1900’s but if you look at New York City today, as an example, the city is still not integrated. People mostly want to live around people who share the same cultural background as they do. You have Chinatown, Korea-town, black neighborhoods, Hispanic neighborhoods, Polish/Russian/Jewish neighborhoods, and many others. One of the boys in my class at my last school was a black guy from Georgia and he said that he feels more racism up here in New York because of the way the city is divided whereas in Atlanta, where he’s from, the city is much more integrated. I don’t think the racial divisions have anything to do with being “tolerant,” even though that’s a ridiculous word to describe racial aspects of society in general. Racial divisions keep people from being able to work together and accept cultural differences. If people worked together and learned and grew to understand and accept one another that would be something great.
- (Classmates Question): “Do you guys think that dating or marrying someone outside of your race is being progressive? I sometimes get the vibe that many Asian American Women think this way. Am I wrong?”
I do not think dating or marrying someone outside of your race is being progressive. Why does it take mixing with another race to progress? Understanding cultural differences is a way to progress and maybe through dating outside of their race people feel they are progressing because of this opportunity to get to know and understand a person of another race sometimes broadens the mindset of people but the same could be done by making friends with a person of another race. I know a lot of Asian American women and although I do not know their feelings completely I do know that about half of them (my friends) have dated or married outside of their race. Some go outside their race because they feel people from their culture are backwards, some just because they found someone they liked and he or she happened to be of another race. I have one male friend who is Chinese American and he refuses to date Asian girls or black girls. He will only date a white woman. I’m not sure why but he says it’s just what he likes. Maybe there is an internal reason, but if so I don’t know it.
- Do you think that the reason people date or marry outside of their race is a self-hatred towards their own race?
I know a lot of people do marry outside of their race for certain reasons like to get lighter skinned children. For instance, in India — lighter skin is prized in a female and lighter skinned women will tend to get married easier than darker skinned females. Another example is black people who want lighter skinned children who marry lighter skinned people just to achieve this goal. Though this is not all people, it does happen — do you think the self hatred is the reason? If not, what do you think the reason is?
Come See The Paradise (1990) — http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099291/