I do agree with the article in the way of people have disrespected the different cultures, especially indigenous people by vandalizing their statues of important leaders which comes across as trying to erase their history. The article speaks of the massacres happening to the Indigenous people of Australia due to not complying with the British. With not complying to the British, the indigenous people encountered more than 40 killings due to resisting the British and their reliability of the oral vs written history. The history was almost erased due to people vandalizing the statues of the fighters of the resistance. However today, the memorial ceremonies are still held at the site to bring together the descendants of the perpetrators, victims, and survivors
I chose to use the movie, Under the Same Moon as comparison for Tell Me How it Ends by Luiselli. The movie centers round a 9 year old boy planning on crossing the border to be reunited with his mother. He lives with his grandmother in Mexico until she dies in her sleep and with the fear of his “uncle” taking him away to work, money, a picture of his mother, and the address of her P.O box he takes off. Along the way he has to run from the police in fears of deportation and staying away from potential dangers of gang life. Meanwhile back in the U.S, his mother, Rosario faces challenges of finding a new job after being fired, she also faces injustice when her “boss” doesn’t pay her then taunts her current legal status of being “illegal”.
However when she discovers that Carlitos is missing she begins to embark on her own journey to find him knowing of the dangers that could happen to him. Rosario bgins to think of fast ways to be granted citizenship and almost marries a friend that worked in the same neighborhood she used to work at. But 5 minutes before he walks the aisle, she can’t bring herself to do it due to marriage being too valuable to be used for citizenship. With the help of Carlitos’ new friend Enrique, he is able to reunite with his mother however the movie never tells the audience if Rosario ever went through the process of becoming a legal citizen.
I think that race does affect one’s disposition in a city because if you are seen as a threat depending on your skin, you will never feel comfortable. The narrator of this story talks about growing up in Jamaica and how walking was a favorite pass time because he could avoid his harsh living conditions. He did know of the dangers of walking in his hometown was of just gang related activity nothing more nothing less but when moving to New Orleans and New York, for him to be walking at night opened the door to being harassed by multiple people including police based on his skin. While in New Orleans he had to become accustomed to walking with a purpose and to change how others viewed him; changing the way he dressed, and being more aware of his actions such as turning around too fast. By doing this he felt that he was putting other people at ease when in reality it was just raising the suspicion from cops. While in New York, the purpose of walking to escape and enjoy walking became strictly walking with a purpose or having friends walk with you, which destroyed his purpose of it since he didn’t have any actual time to himself. He also starts to say that he becomes distant from the city he actually lives in due to having to alter himself so others can feel calm and by doing this, no place is actually home for him other than Jamaica.
After reading the article by Katie Nodjimbadem, I do agree with the argument that she makes. I learned about de facto and de jure discrimination in my POLI103 class recently, and my instructor has stated that this is how most states get away with discriminating against minority groups because De Facto is based on traditions and habits and are not invested into laws like De Jure discrimination is. De facto discrimination is hard to eliminate if it’s rooted in a community. Not only that but this happened in the North due to blacks and whites not living in the same neighborhoods or working at the same jobs. So all in all, black people didn’t escape racial discrimination from the South if they faced it in the North. This is not accidental either especially with the stereotypes of the people who live in different cities in the US, because how is it that a city that is predominately black also a low income community? This is because the value of the neighborhoods would decrease if Black Americans lived there. Black Americans living in these low income neighborhoods, were being paid less than their white counterparts, with this it opened the doors to banks taking advantage of Black Americans by increasing their interest rates to the point that their homes became foreclosed. While this is how the system got away with segregating neighborhoods this also shows how the government did little to nothing to help Black Americans then and now.
Valeria Luiselli, Mexican journalist and author of the book Tell Me How It Ends argues that the U.S names the children crossing the border from Mexico are not “illegal” but are “refugees of a war” (p.90). In the last two chapters Luiselli points out how the only true way to be granted asylum as a child is to have a story where a gang has inflicted harm, you have been abused, or have performed excruciating hours of labor. Not only that but the child must also show evidence of harm or persecution as it relates to their race, religion, nationality, or political opinion. She also goes on to say that almost all of the stories slowly blend together with different outcomes and if the kids can’t prove they are fleeing persecution then their case isn’t strong enough and will most likely be deported.
The story of Manu is then brought up and how his story is an example what most young boys face and the reason why they cross the border, to flee from the gangs in Mexico. His case was one of the strongest because he had evidence of the complaint he filed to the police, his friend being killed in front of him and the bruises. The only issue left with Manu was what was the purpose of fleeing from the gangs in Mexico if those same gangs were at the schools? Luiselli states that there isn’t a solution to the problem if the same thing he was running from him was waiting for him in the U.S. In her concluding pages, Luiselli says the reason people go through the bad factors of living in the U.S is because they wanted to “arrive” and I think that this means that the people who cross would rather have a situation go from worse to bad than for it to just be nothing.
From pages 33-53, Luiselli’s main argument is the unfair treatment of the kids being detained in the icebox. The main reason why the children flee from their country’ is to escape the danger of the gangs and try to seek refuge. However, as they are in the process of building a case, the usual time to find a lawyer from 6 months was then changed to 21 days which doesn’t give the children anytime to find a trusted lawyer with the credentials. Not only that but if the children are from countries that share borders with the U. S, they can be automatically removed if deemed by the border police. She later states almost all children coming from Mexico are deported without formal immigration proceedings.
Luiselli also goes on to say that most of the first 20 questions are about the child and whether or not their living situation was a reason on why they left or if they have family in the U.S. By the children saying yes to having family living in the U.S they then are to give up the member’s address while still being screened. Kids who are seeking “refuge” aren’t even being called that, they have been referred to as “illegal immigrant” instead of “undocumented” which further dehumanizes the children. Not only that but the children can only be guaranteed a temporary “U-Visa” that is only given to undocumented children if they have been a victim of a crime that was committed in the U.S and even then the children are forced to agree to help law enforcement and government officials in the investigation and persecution of the crime.
In the first chapter the narrator is traveling with her family across the country for a vocation. She starts thinking about the children at the border. Most immigrant kids have crossed the border and have been caught by officers and have to be interviewed on how they got to the border. The kids have also been asked the following on where their parents are located and why they are coming into the U.S. Most don’t even know where they are located or can’t speak English without having a translator.
Luiselli also goes on to describe the treatment of these kids while at the detention centers. The kids face everything but the American Dream they hoped to live for. From 2015, children immigrants were mistakenly given the adult treatment for Hepatitis A vaccinations. Many became hospitalized and were very ill. Not only that but the detention centers also gave the kids frozen sandwiches to eat for dinner while staying in the freezing cold center. Luiselli also goes on to say how the treatment of these children is unfair and also inhumane.