Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Why I hate A&F

Why I hate Abercrombie & Fitch

If the author had a thesis I believe it would be, “Its desire to produce and play on the consumer’s desire for white, “good looking” world where one can “get away from it all,” and to sell that idea as the “good life” in the context of a racist society, only redeploys and rein scribes the fundamental logic of white supremancy which, at bottom, makes such a marketing strategy possible and even appealing in the first place” (87). Mcbride is explaining why Abercrombie & Fitch is a problem to him, which is because it keeps the racial thinking in the world by showing and saying that only white attractive people can wear these clothes.
In the article “Why I hate Abercrombie & Fitch” McBride is stating some of the arguments he does not agree with. McBride’s basic argument is Abercrombie & Fitch is radicalized for white good-looking men, who have a certain white clean rich look to them. McBride states, “Abercrombie & Fitch has devised a very clear marketing and advertising strategy that celebrates whiteness-a particularly privileged and leisure-class whiteness-and makes use of it as a lifestyle that it commodities to sell otherwise extremely dull, uninspiring, and ordinary clothing. I am not, by the way, the first commentator to recognize this fact about the clothes themselves” (66). What McBride is saying is the clothes make a statement that is only towards white people and that is discriminating against other people in the world. Abercrombie & Fitch says this about their clothing line, “ Our brand is natural, classic and current, with and employment on style. This is what a Brand Representative must be; this is what a Brand Representative must represent in order to fulfill the conditions of employment” (67). Abercrombie & Fitch also only hires and used certain people to display and work at the clothing store, which is another issue McBride has with Abercrombie & Fitch. If you do not look a certain way they will not hire you to work at the store because they want to keep this certain image that only people who look a certain way wear Abercrombie.
Abercrombie & Fitch has a certain look and only portrays to certain people, which is discriminating and racist. Another argument that McBride states Abercrombie & Fitch is more than a clothing store it is a lifestyle. The lifestyle it displays is rich, white, American, preppy, privileged, and powerful. People who walk into the store and do not fit that profile feel uncomfortable and looked down upon. They fell unworthy and oppressed, and like they do not belong. These people that do not fit the profile of A&F are radicalized and discriminated against. McBride states, “Thumb rings signify alternative lifestyles at best and queer at worst. No gold chains for men? Who has been over identified or even stereotyped with these in the popular imagination more than black men-from Mr. T. to any number of rap artists and balers more generally? In either case, the signifier gold chain demarcates potential employees of A&F in coded ways along race and class lines” (71). What McBride is saying here is there is a certain look to A&F and those who do not display that are looked at as the different ones. There are many other looks in the world like rappers looks and they are not seen as high up as Abercrombie. A&F has made itself to be seen as a high class and high privileged look that it is seen as discriminating and racist. The argument here is why does it keep giving off feeling to people that they are not worthy? People who walk in the store who are not defined with the look still feel different and out of place.
I agree with McBride’s argument that Abercrombie & Fitch is discriminating and racist. It shows which person is in which class and makes others feel oppressed. I feel that if A&F would stop only hiring people that have the look it would be looked at differently. I feel that Abercrombie & Fitch will not change, they had a lawsuit against then and they did not understand why. The people involved with A&F do not see what is wrong with it and see it just like every other store.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Takaki chp 7 Quest

Takaki Ch. 7 “Foreigners in their native land: Manifest Destiny in the Southwest.”

1. How did this group come to be in the U.S.? How much of this was “by choice” and how much as a result of pressure or force? Identify drivers or motivations for coming to be in the U.S.
The Irish had been pushed from their homeland by British colonialism and here they found themselves becoming Americans by participating in the conquest of the Southwest. Most was not by choice since they were pushed out of their homeland but it was for the better when it comes down to the end. Drives or motivation for coming to the US was more jobs that paid. A place to live and be somewhat free and much more opportunity. The government promised the colonist equipment and food. It was a better way of living for the immigrants that came to the US.

2. What is the significance of the title of the chapter?
The Significance of the title of the chapter is meaning people who are going to a land they are not used too. They are not from the country and on new land as well hence foreigners in their native land. Coming to a different place and living a new adventure.

3. What mechanisms of social construction are discussed in the chapter?
What mechanisms of social construction are discussed in the chapter are the way the immigrants and the Americans have an understanding of respect for each other, some not all. They communicate and understand they way each other wants to be treated and understood. Socially that helps stop confrontation and other issues that could be raised.

4. How did these groups resist discrimination and racialization?
I believe these groups resist discrimination and racialization because they do not give the people with higher power a hard time. They do what was told and they are benefited from it in the end. The higher powered treat them well and give them all they need and that takes away fighting. They had respect and got respect in return.

5. Give one example in the chapter of “race” and one example of “ethnicity.” What is the difference between the two as they are discussed here?
One example of ethnicity would be, “Stephen Austin urged his countrymen to “Americanize” Texas and bring the territory under the U.S. flag” (173). This is an example of ethnicity because it states that he wants Texas to be American and that is ethnic and part of a culture. Its about where you come form and what culture you are not color or gender.
An example of race would be, “Mexican farm labor can be utilized in the culture as well during the picking season. These workers also cleared the lands for planting “Grubbing brush” many Anglos said, “Is a Mexican job” (185). This is racist because it is taking someone for their color or type of culture and personally treating them different.

Monday, October 29, 2007

In Class Post

I think the quote means that as a minority he feels that he is being looked at differnetly by others. He feels different everywhere except with his family or other people that are in the same minority as him. He is explaining how differnet he feels in the world becasue he is a minority and because of that people treat him differently.

We do want our differences to be seen and acceptable but we do not want race and people treating others badly.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Comic Strip Blog
Dare Devil
The comic strip I Choose to write about was titled Dare Devil. The comic strip has a heading of “Extra-Play “Slap The Jap” excited new game inside! It also has a Japanese looking man who is the largest picture, and he is holding a knife, which seems to be cutting a picture of planes. Behind the man cutting the plane picture there are other Japanese soldiers behind him who are little and seem to be scared of what is going on. They also seem to be stabbing themselves with a knife. The large Japanese man has a huge mouth that is open in a very dramatic way, his eyes come to a point at the end and his nostrils seem to be flaring. The large man seems very angry and not happy. This seems to be mocking the war that went on the Japanese. I feel like the main man who is cutting the picture of the planes is towards the enemies and he is showing the anger they hard towards them. The other men in the picture are showing what happened to all the solders in the war and how many dies and some probably wanted to kill themselves.
The Japanese immigrated to the Americans to have a better life for themselves. As Takaki states, “Unlike the Irish, the Japanese went east to America” (246). But they, too, were pushed here by external influences. During the nineteenth century, America’s expansionist thrust reached all the way across the Pacific Ocean. After all the troubles the Japanese were faced with they wanted a better life for themselves and this comic strip is showing this not in a racial way but in a very blunt way. The comic shows a side of the Japanese that was not usually thought of the seemed demanding and wanting revenge from the main character. Takaki stated, “In December 1919, the Japanese Federation of Labor and the Filipino Federation of Labor submitted separate demands to Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Association. The workers wanted higher wages, an eight-hour day, an insurance found for retired employees, and paid maternity leaves” (259). The Japanese were much smarter and strong then many people saw them as. After getting out of troubled areas and coming to America it opened a lot more positive opportunities for the Japanese culture. The comic strip is not racist but it is an example of how the Japanese were treated and portrayed. Then men in the back show weakness, and the main man in the front shows how the Japanese really felt they were mad, pissed off, treated poorly, and seen as weak.
I feel like the comic strip is a mixture of how people saw Japanese and how the Japanese saw themselves. I do not think the comic strip is racial at all. But I do think the comic strip mocks a lot of things and ways people think of the Japanese people. The men in the back are the weak ones because it seems as thought they are killing themselves by stabbing themselves. The main man in the picture is taking a picture of airplanes and cutting it up in a very strong, mad, furious way. I feel that is how the felt towards what was going on and they wanted people to see how they felt when they were getting treated poorly. I think the comic strip is a good example of two sides to explain what was going on at the time, and how the two sides were portrayed and how the Japanese really felt.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Brodkin Reading

How Jews Became White Folks and What
That says about Race in America

In the reading the thesis is, “The record is very clear. Instead of seizing the opportunity to end institutionalized racism, the federal government did its level best to shut double-seal the postwar window of opportunity in African Americans faces. It consistently refused to combat segregation in the social institutions that were key to upward mobility in education, housing, and employment”(49). What I believe was going on in this reading was that immigrants came and were looked at differently until much time later.
The reading starts off with talking about how in the olden day when the immigrants came to America they where not thought of as white. Brokin states, “It is clear that Kenith Roberts did not think of my ancestors as white, like him” (38). Immigrants where thought of as biologically different because they came from a different area and may have spoke a different language so they did not have the privileges as the other white folks did, even though they and the same skin color as them. Brodkin stated, “It is certainly true that the United States has a history of anti-Semitism and of beliefs that Jews are members of an inferior race” (39). Meaning in the United States there was belief that Jews were not a part of the inferior race. The reading went on talking about how Jews and other immigrants were treats differently then others and did not have the same privileges as others did because they came from a different place. Brodkin stated, “Racism in general, and anti-Semitism in particular, flourished in higher education. Jews were the first of the Euro-immigrant groups to enter college in significant numbers, so it was not surprising that they faced the brunt of discrimination there” (41). All immigrants and other races were discriminated against.
Brodkin stated, “How we interpret Jewish social mobility in this milieu depends on whom we compare them to. Compared with others immigrants, Jews were upwardly mobile. But compares with nonimmigrant whites, that mobility was very limited and circumscribed. The existence of anit-immigrant, racist, and anti-Semitic barriers kept the Jewish middle class confined to a small number of occupations” (42). He was saying how Jews and immigrants were compared with others and worked differently than others did. As time passed Jews and other immigrants were considered white. “By the time I was an adolescent, Jews were just as white as the next white person” states Brodkin. They became one and all their separation from school and work places were different and seen as one. Race and privilege took over in the beginning when the immigration first started; people from different places around the world were looked at as different when they had the same skin color as white people did. Later on that was changes and immigrants were know and called white, they joined in the same school, power and privileges. Brodkin stated, “The myth that Jews pulled themselves up by their bootstraps ignores the face that it took federal programs to create the conditions whereby the abilities of Jews and other European immigrants could be recognized and rewarded rather than denigrated and denied” (49).
I thought this reading was interesting and I learned a lot from it. I enjoyed this reading because it taught me a lot and it was very informative. I liked how it wasn’t long and it flowed. This reading is a good reading and will be useful to me in the future.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Zinn Chapter 9

Zinn Chapter 9

In Zinn’s article I believe the thesis would be “With slavery abolished by order of the government-true, a government pushed hard to do so, by blacks, free and slave, and by white abolitionists-its end could be orchestrated so as to set limits to emancipation” (129). Which I believe he is saying that with slavery abolished the governments have to work hard to get both sides expectations met.
In Zinn’s article he stars talking about slavery and how it benefits many different groups of people. White and black people would sometimes work together. For example “This helps explain the stern police measures against whites who fraternized with blacks. In return, blacks helped whites in need. One black runaway told of a slave woman who had received fifty lashes of the whip for giving food to a white neighbor who was poor and sick” (132). This explains how black and white people can and sometimes work together. Zinn also talks about how slaves tried many times to change the system and rise up against the government. He argues how slavery destroyed black families and they would do anything to try to stop it in some cases. In the article Zinn stated “Blacks had to struggle constantly with the unconscious racism of white abolitionists” (137). Then he talks about how they had to use their own independent voice. Zinn states how he thought that free blacks were the ones who started the abolition movement.
In the article Zinn states “Certain black women faced the triple hurdle of being abolitionists in a slave society, of being black among white reformers, and of being women in a reform movement dominated by men” (138). That is an example of the abolition movement. The union eventually gave slaves the freedom to fight on their side of the battles that took place, and they became a part of something important. Zinn stated, “The importance of the new capitalism in overturning what black power existed in the postwar South is affirmed by Horace Mann Bond’s study of Alabama Reconstruction. It was an age of coal and power, and northern Alabama had both. “The bankers in Philadelphia and New York and even London and Paris, had known this for almost two decades” (152). State how blacks had stared to gain some power. In the article it went back and forth with going abolishing slavery and keeping slavery, defending blacks and supporting blacks. There are many opinions and arguments but in the end it the government decided to go against slavery, “The culmination of this mood came in the decision of 1896, when the Court ruled that a railroad could segregate black and white if the segregated facilities were equal. Slavery was being put away and the people were trying to compromise and the Court was trying to enforce equality.
I thought this reading was interesting and provided me with a lot of information that I did not know about. The abolishment movement and the different sides of slavery. I still believe that people are always going to have their opinions no matter what and how ever we try to inforce something there will always be people who disagree.

Monday, October 8, 2007



In the book Kindred the thesis would be, “A black women named Dana was celebrating her twenty six birthday with her husband when she was taken back into time from California to the south on a plantation, while her and her husband were in the past they experienced and had to do things that they were not used to.”
Kindred is about a modern black woman named Dana, who lived in California in 1976 with her husband named Kevin Franklin who was white. Dana was an intelligent black woman who is a writer as well as her husband. Dana was taken from her home in 1976 and was brought back into time in the south in the 1800’s. Dana’s experience in the south was very different from what she was used to. Dana experienced working in the kitchen on the plantation, and doing other slave work. Her husband traveled with her once to Maryland in the 1800’s and did very different work than she did. Since he was a white male he taught the plantation owner’s son how to write and read. While Dana was just as educated as her husband since she was a black woman she had to work as a slave. Although she was a black woman, Dana and Rufus the plantation owner Tom’s son had a special bond with each other. Dana taught Rufus how to read and write, and she would read to him as well.
In the time of Kindred, which was between the 1800’s and 1976 times were completely different and the black woman named Dana shows how she experienced the differences with race, privilege, gender, and power issues. Because Dana was a black woman in the time of the 1800’s she was automatically looked at as a slave, no matter what her education level was. She was not used to the power the plantation owners had over her, and it was difficult for her to have someone always telling her what she could and could not do. All of these issues took place in Kindred but the most common issue in the book delt with race. For example in the book Kevin said to Dana, “ I’m not sure its possible for a lone black woman or even a black man to be protected in that place” (47). In this quote Dana and her white husband are talking about how scared they are for Dana because she is a black woman in 1800’s and they are treated very differently from the time they are used too. In the quote they also mention how it isn’t easy for a black man either which all leads to the issues of race. Although Dana was not used to nor did not like acting the way of a black slave woman had to act in that period of time she felt herself doing exactly what was expected of her because she felt that there was no other way to act without being severely hurt or possibly killed. In the book another issue that was brought up a few times was privilege. Dana’s husband Kevin was a while male and during the time of the 1800’s he did not have any problems with traveling back in time. His life was fairly the same as it was in 1976, but his wife’s on the other hand was extremely different. On the plantation Kevin was a teacher and taught the plantation owners son how to read and write, but Dana had some privilege with Kevin as well. When Kevin was around he would stick up for Dana is some situations. She also had the privilege of reading and writing, which at that time no slave knew how to read or write and Dana wrote and read better then the plantation owners, and they used her to help them learn more, so she had special privileges other slaves did not. Through this book we learned that from one period to another times where very different and when someone goes from one time period to the next it is a change but they get used to things and adapt to the atmosphere. These issues are like the issues that are going on today, society says something towards power, privilege, or race and some believe that is how or world is supposed to be. Race and ethnicity are a part of or culture and we don’t do anything to try to change it, and Dana shows that in the book she goes from being free to being a slave and doesn’t fight it but excepts the way she was treated.
I really enjoyed reading Kindred the book was interesting and kept my attention. Some times I would get confused about the time changes but the book was overall good. It gave me a new perspective on race, power, privilege, and gender issues that I didn’t realize before because I read how someone transferred from one time to the other. I saw the issues in the book and how they relate to what we have discussed in class and it helped me look at issues differently.