University of California Stereotype of Japanese Americans Families Questions

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Internment, the Myth of the Frontier, and the Model Minority Colleen Lye, “A New Deal for Asians” Chapter 4 in America’s Asia: Racial Form and American Literature, 1893-1945 (only pages 141-top of 163 and 201-202 Mitsuye Yamada, “Desert Run” American Frontier: Taming the “wilderness” What comes to mind in this environment? ❖ harmony with nature—animals grazing on pastures ❖ peaceful, healing, authenticity ❖ Jeffersonian democracy—white farmers as ideal citizens ❖ Frontier myth—American settlers are destined to “conquer” nature (also meaning indigenous Native Americans). The experience breeds independence, creativity, and individuality. Access to “sublime” nature is therefore a privilege of settler colonialism Manifest Destiny ❖ “American Progress” by John Ghast, 1872 American Nature Writing: John Muir, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson ❖ Romanticizes the relationship between man and nature ❖ “looking upon the countryside as a peaceful, nature-bound, and harmonious counterweight to the corruptions of urban life” (Ursula Heise, Sense of Place, Sense of Planet: The Environmental Imagination of the Global, 138) ❖ wilderness is a sublime landscape for Muir where nature nurtures and empowers man Biopolitics ❖ The environment is a governing tool in the US, what Michel Foucault called “biopolitics” ❖ Liberal power works passively “make live and let die” through the ability to ❖ Muir’s access to the wilderness is life enhancing—awakens senses, freedom of movement Switch out “Wilderness” for the word “Power” in the quote below to understand Biopolitics: “Wilderness hides its unnaturalness behind a mask that is all the more beguiling because it seems so natural.” –William Cronon, “The Trouble with Wilderness” Why have we separated issues of social justice like racism and colonization from environmental writing? What happens when we try to link them back together? We will explore this question more in our analysis of the Internment and the poem by Mitsuye Yamada SETTLING THE FRONTIER IN THE WEST —THE WHITENING OF FARM LABOR Cheap farm labor in the West was predominantly Asian and Mexican. They become invisible during the Great Depression: Migration of poor white farmers from the Dust Bowl creates national images of the crisis of democracy brought on by the Great Depression. Image of the “whiteness of the fallen yeoman” farmer that the nation must rehabilitate (Lye, 142) GREAT DEPRESSION AND FARMERS IN ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS Drought in the South and Midwest Financial and Environmental Crisis of the Great Depression Dust Bowl Farmers migrate to the West Coast Dustbowl Farmer Oklahoma, 1936 Digging out fence post being buried in sand New Deal policies (1933-1936) of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt aimed at alleviating poverty and the plight of poor white migrant tenant farmers through federal programs like the Farm Security Administration in addition to Social Security, the Civilian Conservation Corp, Federal Housing Administration, and public works projects, etc. "Ex-tenant farmer on relief grant in the Imperial Valley, California.” Photo by Dorothea Lange 1934 Tydings-McDuffie Act revokes “US national status” for Filipinx immigrants 1937 forced repatriation of Mexican farm workers “In the same period 683,000 [white] migrants from the south-central states of Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, and Arkansas arrived in California to take their place” (Lye) February 1942 Forced removal of people of Japanese Ancestry Significance: Japanese and Filipinx farmworkers were effectively removed from farming in order to make space for white farmers LIBERALS REPRESENT THE PLIGHT OF THE FARMER AS WHITE John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath (1939)—sympathetic to the plight of poor white farm workers Lye writes, “labor protest and the entry of drought refugees dually informed the metamorphosis of the willing [Asian] coolie into the suffering [white] migrant” (Lye, 148) The heroic white figure, “Migrant Mother” by Dorothea Lange, 1936 DOROTHEA LANGE ALSO TOOK THIS FAMOUS PHOTOGRAPH OF THE EVACUATION OF THE JAPANESE Think/write for 5 minutes about the differences that you see between this photo and the previous photo by Lange ❖ The Mochida family awaits evacuation by bus in 1942. Prior to the war, Mr. Mochida had operated a nursery and five greenhouses in Hayward, CA. Dorothea Lange / Nara. This image contrasts with “Migrant Mother” in that Japanese families are not portrayed as suffering or in need of aid. They are well-clothed and look “middle class”—many Japanese American evacuees were not well off like the Mochidas. Even as the Japanese were being incarcerated due to the Yellow Perilist fear of treason, the Model Minority was also being activated by liberals who sympathized with their plight. THE REMOVAL OF JAPANESE FARMERS FROM THE LAND The Japanese were accused of “soil mining” or overworking the soil (Lye, 157), yet admired for reclaiming “lands that were either completely out of use or employed for far less profitable enterprises” (San Francisco Chronicle) Confusion about internment among liberals like Carey McWilliams who called it the “agricultural adjustment,” or in other words, part of the New Deal for Japanese people (162). Many New Deal liberals viewed the concentration camps as “public works” aimed at “protecting” the Japanese from racism. Japanese American farmer holds a box of tomato seedlings Asians not seen as legitimate “farmers” on the “frontier” West. Colleen Lye argues that the Internment Camps must be viewed as part of this New Deal “progressive” federal management of human populations—“liberalism’s dirty heritage” (141) Illustrates confusion about Western economic growth (Lye, 158)—what was taking over in California was not idealized small farmers but large corporate farms and industrialized agriculture that created a demand for cheap labor in what Carey McWilliams called “factories in the field” and compared with the monocrop cotton industry in the South Ansel Adams published a photo journal of the Manzanar Relocation Center He tended to photograph the Japanese Americans as idealized American pioneers within a romanticized American wilderness setting The American wilderness is a construction of American settler colonialism in that it romanticized the “settlement” of indigenous lands as destined by got, Manifest Destiny This act of “settling the wilderness” is central to our idealization of the wilderness as part of a uniquely American identity, the pioneer: the creative, rugged individual, democratic, meritocratic Ansel Adams’s photographs of concentration camps from Born Free and Equal Japanese Americans photographed as “model” settlers or “pioneers in the desert.” Images of Japanese Americans in nature represent liberal attempts, like this one by Ansel Adams, to recover the image of Japanese Americans in the camps as innocent and even healthful, failing to see their presence in nature as a form of imprisonment (Lye, 201) Ansel Adams. Manzanar Relocation Center, California. Farm, farm workers, Mt. Williamson in background. Ansel Adams tends to romanticize Japanese Americans as productive and hardworking pioneering farmers, skilled workers, and professionals, a “model minority,” in a democratic (“free press”) natural setting Ansel Adams. Manzanar Relocation Center, California. Nurse Aiko Hamaguchi. Mitsuye Yamada’s “Desert Run” Poem ❖ Look at the literary techniques that Asian American feminist poet Mitsuye Yamada uses to describe the natural environment: ❖ Nature for many white male nature writers of the 19th and early 20th century is often personified as a woman, and described as “sublime” and embodying American values of democracy, individuality, creativity, and exceptional destiny. ❖ What is different about Yamada’s personification, through this simile: ❖ “like the bull snakes brought/ into this desert by the soldiers” ❖ If the desert is not a place of “sublime” beauty, what does it represent ? “I return to the desert/where criminals/were abandoned to wander/away to their deaths” Yamada is “returning” to the desert. She is not there on vacation or for the “rejuvenation” of nature, but to return to a site of violence and trauma, where she was treated like a “criminal” and imprisoned in a concentration camp during World War II Yamada was in the Minidoka camp in Hunt, Idaho Children removing sagebrush to clear land for agriculture in Minidoka concentration camp. Accessed at Nature vs. Civilization ❖ “where the sculptor’s wreck/was reclaimed/by the gentle drifting sands” ❖ citing Percy Shelley’s romantic poem Ozymandias where nature is seen to triumph over corrupt civilizations ❖ Yet rather than images of liberation of freedom in nature (Muir), Yamada connects the desert as the place where civilization’s unwanted are left to die—“criminals… abandoned to wander away to their deaths” Not Natural: Power and Oppression in Nature ❖ “I flick my tongue in your face/an image trapped in your mirror./ You will use me or/ you will honor me in a shrine/to keep me pure” ❖ Yamada, as an animal in the desert is not “natural” there. Instead she is imprisoned there by the “you” in the poem ❖ The desert is an environment saturated with power—it is created by dominant society to trap and contain people of Japanese ancestry that they thought were a “threat” ❖ In other words, unlike the romantic poem, “Ozymandias” where power dies in the desert, Yamada’s poem illustrates, as environmental historian William Cronon argues, that power is what makes “nature,” what makes the desert a desert. ❖ Necropolitics—The Politics of Death in Nature ❖ “I wrote my will here/my fingers moved slowly in the/hot sand the texture of whole wheat flower/three words; I died here/ the winds filed them away” ❖ “I am back to claim my body/my carcass lies/between the spiny branches of two creosote bushes/it looks strangely like a small calf/left to graze and die” ❖ “I take a dry stick/give myself/a ritual burial” ❖ Significance: Yamada describes the metaphoric death of the camps, the social death, as if it were a real death, “I wrote my will here…three words; I died here” ❖ How is “writing” an important part of this process? Does writing help Yamada materialize the “dead body” that is invisible? How does writing create closure? ❖ Unlike dominant nature writing, Yamada is not able to “transcend” death to recuperate in nature—she is trying to describe abjection, social death (Balce) and a process and ritual of mourning here. Concentration Camps ❖ In liberal democracies we think of concentration camps as a “state of exception”: a suspension of the normal rule of law in times of crisis like war (See Giorgio Agamben, The States of Exception) ❖ Japanese American internment camps were also viewed as a “wartime necessity” ❖ Yet Agamben argues that concentration camps are not exceptional but actually everywhere, a “hidden matrix of the political space in which we live,” Border detention center Mine Okubo, Citizen 13660 ❖ Artist and muralist Mine Okubo, who once studied under Diego Rivera, sketched her experiences during World War II and the evacuation of Japanese Americans to “relocation centers” in her graphic memoir Citizen 13660 Oppositional Gaze ❖ Rather than representing imprisonment as “pioneer” wilderness or productive citizens in an exceptional moment in wartime hysteria, Okubo represents the Japanese internee as unproductive, bored, and surrounded by imprisoning systems ❖ repetition of buildings ❖ bureaucratic lining up for food ❖ boredom- as to “bore a hole through” the rights of citizenship A resident of the camps looks lost between rows of identical barracks Miné Okubo, “Waiting in lines, Tanforan Assembly Center, San Bruno, California,” 1942. Drawing. Courtesy of Japanese American National Museum, gift of Miné Okubo Estate, 2007.62. Okubo embraces an affect of boredom to resist images of Japanese Americans as “productive” citizens, idealized hard-working pioneers. Her images are not captioned because they are part of the narrative of her graphic memoir Okubo inserts herself into the scene of people standing around. She is often drawn looking off into the distance, at nothing, or something we can’t see Okubo sometimes draws herself looking directly at the viewer in various states of boredom standing around outside their barracks, standing in lines, or sitting at a table Questions to Guide You ❖ Think about the different techniques that Lange or Adams and Okubo use to depict nature and their place in it (either idealizing citizens and workers as “pioneers” or presenting an oppositional gaze). Compare and contrast two different visual images and try to identify a dominant gaze and an oppositional gaze. ❖ How do Lange and Adams depict Japanese Americans as “model minorities”? Why do you think they are not represented as poor struggling farm workers, which many were? Think about how Colleen Lye talks about the liberal “whitening” of farm labor during the Great Depression. ❖ How did Progressive environmentalists and liberals try to frame the Internment of people of Japanese ancestry as a “positive” thing that aligns the Japanese with American nature ideals? How does Yamada’s poetry challenge dominant American desires to shape the history of internment as a form of assistance and assimilation into America? AsAm320 Critical Response 5: Internment Answer one of the ques9ons below. Be sure to post 300 words of analysis (not including the ques9on) by Saturday end of day. Respond to 2 posts, 50 words each, by Tuesday end of day. 1.Think about the different techniques that Lange or Adams and Okubo use to depict nature and their place in it (either idealizing ci9zens and workers as “pioneers” or presen9ng an opposi9onal gaze). Compare and contrast two different visual images and try to iden9fy a dominant gaze and an opposi9onal gaze. 2. How do Lange and Adams depict Japanese Americans as “model minori9es”? Why do you think they are not represented as poor struggling farm workers, which many were? Think about how Colleen Lye talks about the liberal “whitening” of farm labor during the Great Depression. 3.How did Progressive environmentalists and liberals try to frame the Internment of people of Japanese ancestry as a “posi9ve” thing that aligns the Japanese with American nature ideals? How does Yamada’s poetry challenge dominant American desires to shape the history of internment as a form of assistance and assimila9on into America? Move you can make in your Cri9cal Response: Define words Make connec/ons between ideas, with your own experience Ques/on Predict Find causes “because” “if…then” Expand on idea “this also applies to…” Disagree and why Agree and why Find limi/ng condi/ons “yes…but” DESERT RUN □ POEMS AND STORIES □ MITSUYE YAMADA KITCHER TABLE: Women of Color Press DESERT RUN □ I. I return to the desert where criminals were abandoned to wander away to their deaths where scorpions spiders snakes lizards and rats live in outcast harmony where the sculptor's wreck was reclaimed by the gentle drifting sands. We approach the dunes while the insistent flies bother our ears the sound of crunching gravel under our shoes cracks the desolate stillness and opens our way. Everything is done in silence here: the wind fingers fluted stripes over mounds and mounds of sand the swinging grasses sweep patterns on the slopes the sidewinder passes out of sight. I was too young to hear silence before. II. I spent 547 sulking days here in my own dreams there was not much to marvel at I thought only miles of sagebrush and lifeless sand. I watched the most beautiful sunsets in the world and saw nothing forty years ago I wrote my will here my fingers moved slowly in the hot sand the texture of whole wheat flour three words: I died here the winds filed them away. I am back to claim my body my carcass lies between the spiny branches of two creosote bushes it looks strangely like a small calf left to graze and die half of its bones are gone after all these years III. Like the bull snakes brought into this desert by the soldiers we were transported here to drive away rattlers in your nightmares we were part of so me one's plan to spirit away spies in your peripheral vision. My skin turned pink brown in the bright desert light I slithered in the matching sand doing what you put me here to do we were predators at your service I put your mind at ease. I am that odd creature the female bull snake I flick my tongue in your face an image trapped in your mirror. You will use me or you will honor me in a shrine to keep me pure. but no matter I am satisfied I take a dry stick and give myself a ritual burial. 2 3 IV. At night the outerstella r darkneess above is only an arm's length w a ay I am pressed by the silence around me t h e s tars are bold as big as quarters against the velvet blue sky t h eir beams search for the marrow of my bones I shiver as I stumble my way to the outhouse. In the morning we find kangaroo rats have built mounds of messy homes out of dry sticks and leavings behind our wagon They have accepted our alien presecnce. The night creatures keep a discrete distance. When we leave the dirt roads my body is thankful for the paved ride the rest of the way home. Row s of yucca trees with spiked crowns wave stiffly a t us Some watch us arms akimbo. I cannot stay in the desert where you will have me nor will I be brought back in a cage to grace your need for exotica. I write these words at night for I am still a night creature but I will not keep a discreet distance If you must fit me to your needs I will die and so will you. V. The desert is the lungs of the word. This land of sudden lizards and nappy ants is only useful when not used We must leave before we feel we can change it. 4 I t t!] ;c,J 5
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Strategic Career Plan
Thesis statement: My career vision is working as a family nurse practitioner in a primary
physician facility. My ideal work situation should be based on a major trauma center. I plan to
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Career Vision
My Ideal Work Situation


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Career Vision

My career vision is working as a family nurse practitioner in a primary physician facility.
The short-term career vision objective is to collaborate with a physician in the primary care field
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My Ideal Work Situation
My ideal work situation will be based on a major trauma center. I prefer to work close to
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