The thing I need to work on is posting my work on time. For whatever reason this semester I do the most work but when I finish it I don’t post it. I think a good plan for remembering to post it is writing myself a reminder on top of the document to give myself a cue to remember. When I do the work and post it I think I do a really good job. I just have trouble finding motivation finding quotes then writing them down in a file. For me doing that I don’t find it helpful it actually confuses me in the process. I find it much easier to underline a quote that is relevant in the reading and then finding it. When I write its almost is a manic episode of finding really good quotes then connecting them to other things.
- Pull together some material from the first four or five pages of the reading and describe Mike Rose’s parents’ immigration experience and adult working life. Then explain how Rose’s parents’ experience similar to and different from that of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s parents, aunts, and uncles?
Rose’s parents emigrated to the united states and were very poor, his mother had to drop out of school in the 7th grade to take care of her little brother and her father who lost his leg in a railway accident. His father was quite about his life but Rose knew that he was a salesman, a tailor, and a gambler and he also knew people in the mob. Rose’s uncles had done time in prison in Chicago.
- What should we make of Rose’s description on pp. 13-18 of his family house and the mixed-race, mixed-ethnicity South Los Angeles neighborhood he grew up in? Try to capture both Rose’s emotional feelings about the places he grew up and the objective dangers he very causally suggests he faced there. Compare Rose’s experiences of his home and neighborhood to Coates’s.
Rose talked a lot about the different people and saying that it wasn’t a violent place but a place with lots of drugs and older people with little motivation to pull themselves out of whatever situation they were in. He also had more diversity than Coates. Coates didn’t talk a lot about what the people looked like or who they were, he talked about what they meant to him and what they did.
- At the end of this long segment on his parents immigration and work experiences and his boyhood growing up in a mixed-race, mixed-ethnicity neighborhood in South Los Angeles, Rose writes that he “developed a picture of human existence that rendered it short and brutish or sad and aimless or long and quiet…. When, years later, I was introduced to humanistic psychologists…, with their visions of self actualization…., it all sounded like a glorious fairy tale, a magical account of a world full of possibility, full of hope and empowerment. Sinbad and Cinderella couldn’t have been more fanciful” (p. 18).
Rose saw lots of different kinds of people and he saw the good and the bad. And when he realized that he what he had the opportunity to get to the ultimate goal that is what he wanted to do. He didn’t want to be like the older people he saw that had no motivation and were bums on the street.
In life we have identities that you might want to hide and some you might want to display and some that aren’t your true identity. At times in history people were shamed, given less rights, beaten, and murdered for those identities that were not the societal norm. For example, Jews in the 30s and 40s in Nazi Germany were the main targets of genocide for just being Jewish. Having that Jewish identity would have gotten them killed and a lot of Jews hid from the Nazis where ever they could to survive. It was difficult for Jews to hid because leading up to the genocide they were identified with an arm band with the star of David and then with a number tattooed on the arm. This is only one example where someone would want to hide their identity others could be African Americans, woman and gays throughout history were subjected to public shaming were thought to be less than a human being. Even Asian Americans were subjected to these acts of racism and hate because of their identity. Kenji Yoshino is an Asian American that has experience racism and hate first hand. Yoshino is a law professor that has taught at Yale and New York University he also graduated from Oxford and Harvard. He has written multiple articles about civil rights and identities. He is also an openly gay man.
In his writing about “New Civil Rights” he uses the vocabulary of True Self and False Self. Yoshino references D. W. Winnicott who is a psychoanalyst they say that “True Self and false self that usefully tracks the distinctions between that uncovered and covered selves. The True Self is the self that gives and individual the feeling of being real, which is ‘more than existing; it is finding a way to exist as oneself, and to relate to objects as one oneself, and to have self into which retreat for relaxation.’ The true self is associated with human spontaneity and authenticity.” This True Self is basically who you really are and how you really feel about your identity for example if you are gay that is your True Self. On the other hand, you might not want to have that identity as gay and you making your identity as straight is your False Self. Yoshino explains that the false self “gives an individual a sense of unreal, a sense of futility. It mediates the relationship between the true self and the world.”
People use these False Selves to cover their identities because of things that are desirable like being killed. Now in the United States it is widely accepted for people to be black, gay, or transgender but just 40 years ago it was no OK to have any of those identities openly. W. D. Winnicott explains that when the true self does overcome the false self becomes a “polite and mannered social attitude”. I think of this as now false self I in the hiding and comes out to protect when there is a threat from society, governments, or communities. When society threatens identity of an individual or a group it takes the uniqueness from that society.
Having different people in communities is good for people to embrace different cultures and ways of thinking. I’m from Vermont and I joke that Vermont is the one place where you can where you can liberals and rednecks living in the same neighborhood at peace. Even though Vermont is not diverse racially we are very diverse in politics, sexual orientation and identity. This is why if you go to Burlington and walk around you will see “keep VT weird” shirts and bumper stickers all over the place. It’s weird for outsiders but its normal for the people that live there. As I have started to grow up I have noticed the differences in people’s race, gender, and sexual orientation.