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The Frustration and the Importance of Voice. Now You’re White... Now You’re Not (Martinez article – the Frustration of Voice) Now you’re not white. Court.

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Presentation on theme: "The Frustration and the Importance of Voice. Now You’re White... Now You’re Not (Martinez article – the Frustration of Voice) Now you’re not white. Court."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Frustration and the Importance of Voice

2 Now You’re White... Now You’re Not (Martinez article – the Frustration of Voice) Now you’re not white. Court ruled Mexicans aren’t necessarily white because encyclopedia says 1/5 are white, 2/5 are Indian, remainder are mixed. Now you are.Court ruled that while Mexicans would not be white by anthropology standards, because of all the treaties between U.S. and Mexico, it is obvious Congress wants them viewed as white. Now you’re white, but... Court ruled Mexi-Amer are white so integration into schools s/b enforced. But, in spite of this ruling, segregation is maintained due to linguistic difficulties. Now you’re white, therefore... Court ruled Mexican-Americans are white, therefore a plaintiff who sought to have Mexican-Americans on his jury was told his jury was composed of members of his race (all of whom were Caucasian). Now you’re a cognizable group. Court ruled “persons of Mexican descent” are a cognizable group – but only in parts of the country where they are subject to local discrimination Now you’re not a group. Court rejected claim for class representation holding that the term “Mexican- American” was too vague. Now you’re not white Census did not include “Mexican” in the “White” category. Now you’re white.1950 Census classified “Mexican-Americans” as white.

3 The Frustration and the Importance of Voice (Montoya article + The Mixquiahuala Letters) What would have happened to Teresa and Alicia if voices had never been raised? Importance of Voice: They could not have lived the unconventional lives they led. Frustration of Voice: Both Teresa and Alicia were raising their voices (raising voice doesn’t have to be vocal), but they constantly encountered stereotyping even though they, and others before them, had spoken out. The question I asked was: Were Teresa and Alicia better off because they raised their voice? Both tried to define themselves outside the conventions of the dominant culture -- but also outside the conventions of their own culture.. Teresa reminds me of Margaret Montoya. Both went through college Both became political (the Chicano Movement, ethnic label.) Both constantly had to confront assumptions on the part of others, assumptions brought about by skin color and gender. Both experienced conflicts because of the choices they made. Montoya primarily wants to challenge the idea that the voices of Truth and Success are always spoken in the same voice. She wants to include many, many voices. In spite of the difficulty of doing so.

4 The Importance of Voice Do women have to speak like white men in order to speak out and be heard? Do racial minorities have to speak like white men in order to speak out and be heard? Montoya gives the example from her law class of the white, male, law student whose “identification of the salient facts and articulation of the major and minor issues were so precise that he had already achieved the model for the rest of the class: the objectivity, clarity and mental acuity that everyone aspired to.” Montoya questions this privileging of the white, male, linear, objective voice. She doesn’t want this voice excluded. But she wants to include the voice of subjectivity, the voice of contextuality. Montoya’s answer to the above questions is “no. That would still be the voice of the status quo.” She definitely tells us she believes we should speak out, we should all tell our stories, when she tells us: “Speaking out assumes prerogative.” “Speaking out is an exercise of privilege.” “Speaking out takes practice.” “Silence assures invisibility.” “Silence provides protection.” “Silence masks.”

5 “Voice is Not a Privilege--It is a Responsibility” (James Berlin, author of “Social Epistemic Rhetoric: Dialogics and the Move Toward a Postmodern Condition) and this is why... Susan B. Anthony Cesar ChavezCesar Chavez Rosa Parks

6 I was arrested on December 1st, 1955 for refusing to stand up on the order of the bus driver, after the white seats had been occupied in the front. And of course, I was not in the front of the bus as many people have written and spoken that I was -- that I got on the bus and took the front seat, but I did not. I took a seat that was just back of where the white people were sitting, in fact, the last seat. A man was next to the window, and I took an aisle seat and there were two women across. We went on undisturbed until about the second or third stop when some white people boarded the bus and left one man standing. And when the driver noticed him standing, he told us to stand up and let him have those seats. He referred to them as front seats. And when the other three people -- after some hesitancy -- stood up, he wanted to know if I was going to stand up, and I told him I was not. And he told me he would have me arrested. And I told him he may do that. And of course, he did. Rosa Parks


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