Equality of Racial & Cultural Identities


Image result for race and multiculturalism in malaysia and singapore

In the text, “Race and Multiculturalism in Malaysia and Singapore,” (2009) Daniel Goh and Philip Holden discuss multiple main ideas but the one I want focus on is, “institutionalized colonial racial identities” (3). According to Goh and Holden, “institutionalized colonial racial identities” (3) was imbedded in social political aspects of Singapore and Malaysia because it influenced how people understood identities of others and themselves. Unfortunately it influenced favoritism of certain cultural groups over another, so depending on a person’s culture, they received favoritism or were disregarded.

The objective Goh and Holden make, is that different cultural identities should have “equal value and worth,” (3). And to do that there needs to be a rearrangement of, “colonial and postcolonial cultures” (4) through the government. The government is categorized into, “civil groups, citizens and residents as postcolonial actors”, (4) but the way the cultural racial groups are set up makes it difficult to change things so they have to settle for compromising, “institutionalized colonial racialization,” (3) until they can reform it to a new multiculturalism where one race is not ranked higher or lower than another.

Image result for race and multiculturalism america

This led to the grouping of labor for people based on the racial and cultural group they belonged to in Malaysia under British rule, “Thus Chinese were placed as commercial middlemen aliens, Malays and Indonesian migrants confined to the fields as indigenous peasant smallholders, and the Indians imported as municipal and plantation labourers,” (5) depending on the rank a racial group has the labor can be bad.

Racial categories relates to America too because both America, Malaysia and Singapore incorporated the same tactics, which are grouping specific racial groups in categories to solely control and regulate their lives, for example in Malaysia, “new immigrant communities were segregated geographically, socially and economically from the local population,” (5). America is perceived as a melting pot of cultures that are so diverse and live in harmony but in reality, America was built on racist fundamentals, is not what it was made out to be which is a country that is accepting and welcoming of everyone no matter how different they are in regard to race and culture. America has strategically done things to keep certain racial groups more controlled such as, segregation in schools and the busing system. Overall, these countries have done everything in their power to put certain racial groups above others.

Works Cited

Goh, Daniel P.S. and Holden Philip. Race and Multiculturalism in Malaysia and Singapore.  New York, Routledge, 2009.







Shouty Words B4

Image result for vietnamerica

In Vietnamerica the author GB Tran uses dramatic words to illustrate when Tri Huu Tran was arrested and held in a jail cell, until he revealed where his father was. Tri Huu Tran could not tell them where his father was hiding because he was not in contact with him. His father left him and his mother when he was a kid and ever since he has not seen him. Regardless of this, he was held there against his will.

Image result for vietnamerica

On pages 69-70 GB Tran uses words that are not part of the text  bubbles to set the scene. Such as, “chuga, chuga, chuga,” to illustrate the car transporting Tri Huu Tran to the jail. The words are huge white block letters that do not have a straight line edge to them instead it is slightly crooked, demonstrating the momentum of the vehicle, these words also get covered up by the cars engine that’s blowing out smoke. There is also the expression, “CCREE,” it has all capital letters and its font is slightly italicized and regular but the size of it is also slightly small. This makes me feel wary of what’s going to happen next because the format of that expression seems to be eerily.

The word, “Shove,” is in all capital letters and there is a symbol that demonstrates the force of the shove the officer enacts on Tri Huu Tran. The other expression is, “Chk, Chk,” which was the sound of one of the officers lighting his cigarette. I noticed that each of these words and expressions was the recollection of what Tri Huu Tran remembered  and the dramatic way it is written and formatted in the book is to demonstrate the way GB Tran’s father felt in that moment, he was frightened and confused, he was innocent but accused of being guilty for not revealing the location of where his father was hiding.

The words on page 70 were made bigger and because of that it was cut off. Also, a thought bubble is shown but with no words, it was just dots and that was a demonstration of an officer that spoke but was not heard by Tri Huu Tran. With all the commotion and interrogation being thrown at him these words on Page 70 depict Tri Huu Tran not hearing everything clearly. Everything in his past life that was bad was because of his father.

Works Cited

Tran, Gia-Boa. Vietnamerica. Villard Books, 2010.  

Two Identities, One Decision B3

In the novel Home Fire (2017) by Kamila Shamsie, all the characters have an internal conflict with their British and Muslim identities. Parvaiz, is conflicted with his identity, as he begins to learn about his father. He never knew his father, so when he learns about him, he wants to be just like him, he sees him as a hero that fought for Iraq; his country. He believes that by learning more about his father, he will be more connected with him and his Muslim identity would be more prominent.

Image result for home fire

Shamsie states, “Muslim men need to be detained, harassed, pressed against the ground with a heel on our throat,” (135).  The quote uses imagery to represent how Muslim men are treated in Britain. Muslim men are mistakenly viewed as a threat. The quote does not explain Parvaiz’s experience as a Muslim man in Britain, but it does explain how he feels. He did not understand, until he started to learn about his father, Adil Pasha. Adil Pasha was not talked about in Parvaiz’s family, they avoided bringing him up. To Parvaiz’s family, Adil willingly left them to return to Islam to fight, which resulted to him being labeled as a terrorist in Britain, preventing him from coming back home to his family. That was the version Parvaiz grew up knowing until he met Farooq, a young Muslim man that told him stories of the war and the experiences both of their father’s had.

Image result for muslim identity

From Farooq’s stories, Parvaiz uncovered that his father was not wrong for leaving. Farooq explained that Britain is not welcoming to migrants and that Islam is because there is no differentiating between race, class, and skin color. In Islam everyone is accepted and important, not ignored. Farooq put this idea in Parvaiz’s head. Since Britain could do nothing for him, he should put his energy elsewhere, such as Islam, a country he belongs to and that cares about him. This is like what his father did, because he left everything back in Britain, such as his family to go to war in Islam because he believed in something bigger than himself: his country. The quote emphasis this bigger picture, which is belonging and acceptance. Parvaiz began to only consider himself Muslim. His Muslim identity and understanding his father were not emphasized enough, so now that he has the chance to learn more, he is going to take advantage of it.

Works Cited

Shamsie, Kamila. Home Fire. Riverhead Books, 2017.


The Clash of Blackness and Authority (B2)

The American society is decorated with a history of racism and as of today, racism is still prevalent everywhere you look because America has imbedded race in everything, to the point when it dictates how you are treated. In the book Citizen by Claudia Rankine, particularly the story Stop and Frisk the literary device allegory is used to explain a symbol that conveys a deeper meaning, that symbol in this case is the process of a Black individual being wrongfully accused for something they didn’t do and the deeper meaning is the racism Blacks go through when they are unfairly accused of a crime.  

Image result for police brutality against blacks

Within the first passage of the story is this quote, “Everywhere were flashes, a siren sounding and a stretched-out roar. Get on the ground. Get on the ground now. Then I just knew.” This shows what exactly happens when a Black person is pulled over by the police. The Police become overly aggressive as a reaction from fear of blackness and the Black individual does everything, they can to seem less dangerous by cooperating and being selective, cautious with their tone and diction, one wrong move and it’ll all escalate. All you can do is cooperate because of the fear of dying. In the sixth passage there seems to be a conversation with the police officer and the Black man, or the Black man is having a conversation with himself within his subconscious as a way of trying to understand the situation he’s in. The dialogue has no parentheses, but it includes the words, “You didn’t do anything wrong. Why am I pulled over? Put your hands up.” However, thinking of that dialogue now it could just be him reassuring himself of what to do, even though he knows he did nothing wrong he also knows that the police officer doesn’t care if he is guilty or not so it’s best for him to just cooperate and appear less as a threat.  

Image result for police brutality against blacks

Nevertheless, Black men have been accused of crimes and misdemeanors that they didn’t commit but because they’re Black they were still blamed. Claudia Rankine states, “And still you are not the guy and still you fit the description because there is only one guy who is always the guy fitting the description.” This is saying that yes, a Black man can be innocent but because he fits into a stereotype that all Blacks are dangerous and cause chaos in society, he often isn’t believed, he’s mistaken for something he isn’t, which connects back to the way your treated in society depending on if you’re White or Black and on how close you’re to whiteness which is acceptable in contrast to blackness. It shouldn’t be like this, but it is, and it won’t change until the actual aggressor changes their tactics and stop reacting with racial fear. 

                                                        Works Cited 

                      Rankine, Claudia. Citizen. Graywolf Press, 2014. (Book)