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The Non-Whites in the United States | OMICS International
ISSN: 2169-0170
Journal of Civil & Legal Sciences
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The Non-Whites in the United States

Sinan Caya*

Istanbul University, Institute of Marine Administration and Sciences, Turkey

*Corresponding Author:
Sinan Caya
Istanbul University
Institute of Marine Administration and Sciences, Turkey
Tel: +90 212 440 00 00
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: October 22, 2016; Accepted Date: November 02, 2016; Published Date: November 15, 2016

Citation: Caya S (2016) The Non-Whites in the United States. J Civil Legal Sci 5:217. doi: 10.4172/2169-0170.1000217

Copyright: © 2016 Caya S. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Abstract

America, the so-called exemplary “melting pot” for decades, does indeed embrace many non-white citizens like Indians, Blacks, Asiatic people and Hispanics. The history of the nation includes bitter struggles for equality, especially for Blacks, the major racial minority. With time, great successes in abolishment of segregation and later in elimination of discrimination were recorded. Ideally, still many problems linger in wait of urgent reconciliation. Nevertheless; under realistic circumstances, even today’s overall situation represents a display of fairly good social skills for living harmoniously and peacefully, all together.

Keywords

America; Race; Prejudice White; Black/Afro-American; Indian; Hispanic/Latino; Asian

Introduction

When I was in high school we had an American English-teacher. One day a student said to him: “You do not have big problems to cope with as we do have here in Turkey”. Our teacher displayed a knowing smile and replied:

? “Yes we do; above all we have the black and white problem, among others”.

Being a very mixed country as far as racial and ethnical differences go, America indeed faces many related problems. While Blacks constitute the most populated racial minority; other non-Whites like (Figure 1).

civil-legal-sciences-speech-important-aspect

Figure 1: Speech is an important aspect of individuals. The different dialect of Afro-Americans may in general contribute to their being discriminated against, by the whites.

Tackling such an Herculean problem as an outsider-scholar (who, nevertheless, had attended an American lyceé in Istanbul and later lived almost a year in that country and who has a fair knowledge of American literature, if I do say so myself) may of course involve some shortcomings but also brings in extra advantages and insights, which a sheer-insider may easily fail to take notice of. It has been claimed that somebody close enough to care about an issue and far enough to have a perspective view, evaluates that matter in an optimally best possible manner.

After all, this is in the nature of social sciences: “The sociological perspective provides a view of human behavior that enables us to see situations ?and ourselves? in a special light. As a result, [even] the familiar may look new to us, as if we were outsiders. The unjust treatment of Blacks [in America] was seen in a new light when an outsider (Swedish scholar Gunnar Myrdal) was assigned to study the situation” [1].

Convenient Definitions

By formal definition, a race is a number of people sharing genetically inherited characteristics while an ethnic group is a number of people sharing a common origin or a separate subculture. [Despite theories of discarding old tribal allegiances with modernization] ethnic differences persist [1].

“Racism is the belief that members of an out-group who are distinguished by physical appearance and ancestry are innately inferior” [2]. “Western racism developed slowly. The seeds of racism were planted early in the colonial period but did not take root until the beginning of the nineteenth century” [2]. “Prejudice is a neg ative or hostile attitude toward an entire category of people and racism is one form of prejudice” [2].

As St. John and Heald-Moore [3] report it in their findings “the effect of the race of the strangers encountered is conditioned by racial prejudice” whereby a black stranger evokes more fear in a white with respect to another white stranger as far as victimization anxiety is concerned in public places.

However; if the encountered white is an armed figure of authority, say, a policeman, in that case the black man is afraid at the mere sight of his. Moreover, this fear of the black man is not paranoia; as a black psychiatrist, in a post-modern consideration, would try to explain, in repudiation of the white man’s science (or at least in questioning the science so far established by a white mentality)!

Black Americans (Afro-Americans)

“Approximately 26 million Blacks live in America. Currently almost one out of every three Blacks ? as opposed to one out of eleven Whites ? is poor 1” [4].

“As many as 15 to 20 million Blacks may have come to this nation in chains as slaves. Black resistance to slavery included many slave revolts such as the rebellion led by Nat Turner2in Virginia” [4].

“The end of the Civil War did not bring genuine freedom and equality for Blacks. The ‘Jim Crow’ laws3 of the South were upheld by the supreme Court in 1896. In addition; Blacks faced the danger of lynching4 campaigns, often led by the Ku Klux Klan5 during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century” [4].

The 1960’s6 witnessed vast civil rights movements. Many Black associations7 were founded to oppose segregation. Some younger Black leaders8 turned to an ideology of Black power, rejecting Whites totally, defending the beauty and dignity of Blacks. [4].

Indeed; “Black is beautiful” was one such popular slogan at the time.

Afro-Americans and Social Mobility

It appears that migration of Blacks from the South towards the North has something to do with economic considerations besides the oppression suffered in the South: “As the South’s agricultural importance declined and industrialism in the North increased [from 1900s onward], a great migration began to the cities. This was not a temporary reaction; but the beginning of a long-term process, one that has increased continually throughout the years”. [5]

Indeed; in one of his poems, Langston Hughes craves for the train; he feels like jumping on it and riding on, either to the West or to the North, just anywhere except for the South.

In the cities, the more recent tendency for Whites is to leave down town areas for the suburbs for “more space, better services and lower taxes” as Bledsoe et al. [6] put it. The left-behind spaces are filled by the incoming Blacks. As Phelan and Schneider confirm, in this “suburbanization process, some patterns emerge like Blacks’ being the most underrepresented ethnic group in the suburbs”.

Southern Whites’ own Opinions

At this point a different anthropological approach should give the floor to the southern Whites (from whom Blacks allegedly escape) and eavesdrop their point of view. A non-American (namely French) author says the following: In America the problem of Blacks is everywhere. But the cradle of the problem is in the South, where it still is prevalent in its maximum gravity. The reason is obviously the large number of9 Blacks. The population of the South is roughly 30 million, one-third of whom are Blacks. The other Americans often condemn the southern Whites [for being harsh and prejudiced against Blacks]. But, the southern Whites’ behavior is simply the consequence of a dosage of colors! These people have their own arguments. True, hatred of Blacks exists among them. But, it is limited to the poorest10 layers, those individuals who are immediate neighbors of Blacks. Those particular individuals can only sustain their feelings of self-esteem through the brute arrogance of their pigments. The other southerners are not so hostile to Blacks. A moderate rapport can easily be established between the two colors, most of the time. The southerners say that the Yankees love Blacks as an abstraction; whereas they appreciate Blacks as a sheer reality. The southerners maintain that the Yankees are hypocrites, who actually stay aloof from the Negroes and who repulse the Negroes from their hotels11, restaurants and families and keep them at an inferior economic and social status. The Yankees’ mouths talk of equality. As for us, claim the southerners; we truly believe that the separation of colors is an essential principle for the public order [7].

Possible Opportunities for Afro-Americans

Blacks today can be seen everywhere and in all jobs in America. However; those few blacks may be taken as tokens in the sociological sense, for certain prestigious tasks, it must be admitted.

Certain fields which really offer brilliant career opportunities for blacks may be enumerated as music12, show business, professional sports and the military13 sector.

Commercial enterprises are also more and more welcoming blacks, nowadays. According to some scholars like Inniss & Setting [8] one can talk about an increasing polarization between middle class Blacks and the black underclass and it is becoming more and more appropriate to evaluate Blacks’ behaviors with respect to class rather than race.

Still, some oppose the idea, giving more priority to race consciousness than social and economic hierarchy. De Frances [9], for instance, emphasizes the fact that even those middle class Blacks still live in segregated neighborhoods. On the other hand; still some other authors like Brueggeman [10] for instance, probably most reasonably and rightfully, consider class and race as hard-to-separate, interrelated concepts14 anyhow.

A Case-History of Negative-Discrimination

Some years ago; I was attending a training course in Champaign- Urbana in Illinois. Profiting from the relatively short distance, I visited Chicago a few times. Blacks were in good shape in all aspects of their lives as far as I could judge. They had local political clout, as well. On one occasion, late at night, I got on a Greyhound passenger bus in destination of Tennessee. My seat was at the first row just behind the driver. The driver was a well-built black man in his late thirties. Soon after departure, a white passenger in the back rows let out a neurotic laughter. The bus immediately returned, went through all the labyrinth-like passages and ended up in the bus-terminal again! A gigantic black policeman (based on a sheer denouncement by the driver over the radio) pulled the passenger out, brutally. The man felt himself humiliated as he mumbled, crestfallen, “what? So I’m being asked to leave!”

Just at this specific point; relying on a comparative analysis; I might as well narrate a closely similar incident with a different consequence, in Turkey, just a few years before the above-mentioned incident. I was in an expensive luxury passenger bus (a rare occasion for me as a student at the time) from Ankara to Istanbul. A well-clothed man with closely-shaven hair (probably a released psychiatric patient, such a hair shave being too marginal and out of fashion in those years) kept bursting into occasional laughter tempers. The driver included, everybody literally “ignored” him. The bus company, famous for its principles and intolerant of late-comers at the resting site (in the city of Bolu), also chose to put up with the laughing-passenger (maybe the appropriate thing to do).

Let us continue with the above Chicago-bus story: Soon after we restarted our way, I asked the driver if I could be dropped at Rantoul (the nearest town to my destination) when we reach that place. He firmly said:

? “No, this is an express-bus! No stopping before Champaign- Urbana and that’s it!”

I inferred that he took me as a white American, (my accent being fairly good and my sentence fairly short to take notice of a difference). Later on; I purposefully engaged in a warm conversation with the passenger next to me, a Japanese university student, who could speak almost fluent English.

At a certain point I noticed that the driver was eavesdropping us just in front (maybe against boredom) and I began to stress my Turkish nationality when a chance bought itself along the course of the dialogue. My theory would bear its fruit: Early in the morning while the sky was still dark, passing through Rantoul, the bus driver made a wonderful jest for my sake. He left the highway, approached the small town as much as possible and let me out at a certain point at the side of the road. He even indicated the way to the town center, which, as I understood he was well aware, could be very confusing for a pedestrian. Disoriented; one could possibly take just opposite direction, getting further away from the town! (The road was equally sparsely crowded with some sorts of small constructions in both directions). When I thanked the driver my heart as well as my lips were grateful for this exceptional, graceful favor. Nevertheless, I knew that I have earned it just because I was not an American man, the object of his probable dislike. My being of a light color-complexion was forgivable for our driver. I was a foreigner, after all.

Native-Americans (Indians)

Another non-white minority is the Indian population, the actual, ancient Americans. “There were approximately two million American Indians enumerated in the 1990 census. About half of them live on or near a reservation band” [11].

Upon the utterance of the word “Indian”, the first image which comes to mind is that of a primitive, barbarian man; that is, the image which the Whites tried to establish deliberately, throughout the history. However, the cultural treasures of Indians are rich and diversified. Indians, who eventually lost many of their material and spiritual values, began to place their hopes in supernatural powers. Thus, many tribal prophets emerged in time [12] (Figure 2).

civil-legal-sciences-speech-christopher-columbus-ships

Figure 2: Christopher Columbus thought his ships arrived in India, in Asia. He baptized the natives Indians and the word lived on. This revealing cartoon appeared in a German-English grammar book published many years ago.

Wovoka, a messianic character and inventor of the ghost dance with the hope of restoring the buffalo, was one such spiritual leader in 1890s [13].

Indians suffered a lot from the guns of whites in the past. Though the principal conflict was over sharing land, in former times prejudices of races were stronger and many mutual misunderstandings took place like the extreme fear of Whites from the ghost dance rituals.

Indeed; “White soldiers at Wounded Knee in the Sioux territory overreacted to an incident during a ghost dance and massacred hundreds of Indians for no apparent cause” [13].

In comparison to a Black; an Indian, thanks to his/her more whitelike physical traits, can integrate with the mainstream white society much more easily if he/she ever chooses to do that.

I have a feeling that most Indians do not resent Whites and they opt for an attitude like “let bygones be bygones”. They make good American soldiers. They fought bravely at the Pacific front15 in world War Two.

I had a female English teacher, whose mother was a Cherokee Indian. As I judged from a picture, the mother was a well-dressed, sophisticated and intellectual-looking lady hardly distinguishable from any upper class White woman. She was a social anthropologist, a cleverly-chosen profession, her very tribe providing an ocean of fieldwork opportunities for academic research. The cultural elements are too precious for most Indians to give up. Accordingly; those proud people somehow cling16 to their rich culture.

Asian Americans

“The first Asian Americans were nearly all Chinese (mostly bachelors from the California Gold rush days) and Japanese17 (who came with families and took up farming). But, large number of new Filipino, Korean, Vietnamese, and Indian immigrants have recently swelled the Asian population to about 3.6 million” [1].

Japanese immigrants near the West Coast are known to be deported to inland regions during World War Two, due to internal anxieties of security.

By most measures of economic and social success, Asian Americans rank higher than any other ethnic group except American Jews. The reasons are ethnic solidarity and internal protective organizations as well as cultural18 emphasis on hard work and self-discipline [1].

There are also orthodox Christian White-Russian communities19 in America, descendants of those tsarists Russians who had escaped by ship from the port of Vladivostok after the Bolshevik takeover of the October Revolution

Hispanic Population

“It is estimated that there are over thirteen million Hispanics (or Latinos) in this country [the U.S.]. The various Hispanic groups share a common heritage of Spanish language and culture” [4]. “The majority are Mexicans (or Chicanos)” [1].

“Latinos are below average on virtually all measures of socioeconomic status (income, occupation, education). They are overrepresented among the ranks of the poor: Almost one in three Latino families lives below the poverty line. Latinos are underrepresented in politics. In general, Latinos have resisted cultural assimilation, maintaining their language, religion (Roman Catholicism), family traditions, and contacts with their homelands over the generations.” [17].

The injustices inflicted upon Latinos in the nation’s history20 were more lenient compared with persecution of Blacks. This can be literally taken as being proportional to their skin darkness. On the other hand, a philosophical approach may deny justification of this degree-difference. Blacks’ ancestors were slaves brought into America by force. Latinos are overwhelmingly voluntary immigrants21 or their descendants. Accordingly; they should look more sympathetic!

Interestingly, a lighter complexion is an advantage for Hispanics too: “Denton and Massey demonstrated that white Hispanics are only moderately segregated from Anglos whereas black Hispanics are extremely isolated from Anglos” [18].

Conclusion

Racial and ethnical diversity may cause tension and difficulties, as it invariably did so in America. But miscellaneous bloods pooled together also represent a kind of enormous richness.

“[Just as assumed, we found out that] diverse groups will have a performance advantage over homogenous groups on a creativity task requiring knowledge of different cultures” [19].

In fact; mixtures of races give what the anthropologist would call the “hybrid vigor”, which leads to generations with more superior properties. Such a mixing had occurred in the United States essentially separately within the very Blacks and within the very Whites. In some societies more tolerant of variety; like Cuba, Portugal and Brazil; even blacks and whites mixed together thanks to numerous inter-marriages [20].

In becoming the leader of the world nearly in all senses of the word “leader”, America, the melting pot, must owe something to the diversity of that population. As for emerging problems (“the other face of the coin”), they are also present to reckon, of course. But the American nation had coped with them well, historically. At the cost of pain and thanks to the precious lessons learned; much ground is gained, much progress is so far realized.

1“The prevalent view in both the academic and policy-making communities remains that concentrated poverty and underclass behaviors are predominantly, if not exclusively, plagues of the African-American community” (Alex-Assensoh 1995: 4). Even the adverse effects of pollution hit blacks and other minorities hardest. As Pinderhughes (1996: 243) specify “environmental hazards are disproportionately located in communities of color”.

2The preface section of William Styron’s novel (The Confessions of Nat Turner) illuminates the reader about this historical person with true (non-fiction) knowledge. Nat, a literate black slave collected other slaves and committed massacres against the white population. He was deemed a prophet by his followers. Their actions were allegedly inspired by “divine orders” revealed to Nat in Biblical language.

3“After the civil War, two new groups were challenging the power of the old slaveholding aristocracy: the rich business elite and the poor-white working class. To meet this threat to their own political power, southern planters and businessmen made what amounted to a deal for the support of the white working class. With the passage of Jim Crow Legislation in the 1880s and 1890s, Blacks were removed from the white school system, forbidden to work at certain occupations and segregated in all public facilities. By 1890 almost 90 % of black workers were engaged in agriculture and domestic service”.

4“The Chicago riot of 1919 flared from the increase in Negro [Black] population. Between July 1917 and March 1921, fifty-eight Negro [Black] houses were bombed, and recreational areas were sites of racial conflict”. “Negro [Black] soldiers returning home suffered indignities. Of the seventy Negros [Blacks] lynched during the first year of the war, a substantial number were soldiers! Some were lynched while still in uniform!”.

5“The Ku Klux Klan appeared in the south to keep the Blacks ‘in their place’ after the civil War. It has reappeared at intervals in various parts of the country as a movement to protect ‘real Americans’ against Blacks, Catholics, foreigners, atheists and liberals” (Horton & Hunt 1984: 503).

61960s were ripe times for civil right movements. But the ground was paved before: “The victory of the Allies over the racism of Hitler soon went beyond the expectations, or even hopes, of those responsible for the defeat of Aryans and other racist doctrines. [Those developments] contributed to the protest of the Negro [Black] Americans against their mistreatment and degradation that had gone on for centuries”(Kaya 1983: 73-74). Similarly, Olzak et al. (August 1996: 609) emphasize that revolts originate from strength (solidarity and competition) rather than oppression and when conditions are improving rather than declining.
    Blacks began their upward movement basically from 1960s onwards. Higher education and positions of higher prestige began to infiltrate their domains. The plot of a novel by Noah (1992) takes place in 1967 (as we can infer from the mention of Martin Luther King’s assassination). In one episode the hero, a medical assistant, wants to take a shower but he has no soap left. His young black colleague offers to lend him his soap; but he teasingly adds that he had just washed his black ass with that lump of soap, a little while ago. S.Ç.

7Footnote“Some black associations were founded earlier, but they flourished in 1960s” (Mauss 1975: 521). Among them, Black Panthers were a fierce group of militants. One particular activity of the group was spoiling shop windows by spraying hydrofluoric acid (HF).
      Hydrofluoric acid has the exceptional property of etching glass and it is preserved in plastic bottles unlike all other strong acids. I remember an article from mid 1970s about the return of a self-exiled Black Panther activist, Eldridge Cleaver. While abroad he had grown more moderate and he finally decided to come home. At the airport he said he’d prefer to be in prison in America rather than free elsewhere. He specified that communist countries tried to abuse his bitterness and all that began to hit home. S.Ç.

8James Baldwin (1963: 74-76) gives an account of his encounter with such a leader, Elijah Mohammed (the second leader of Black Muslims after W.D. Fard in the Detroit ghetto). Elijah left a strong impression on his followers and they seconded whatever sentence he uttered. Elijah drew his force from his own conviction. He believed in what he said. Elijah preached that in the origin of times, the era which the whites describe as prehistoric times, the blacks governed the world. Later, he claimed, Allah permitted the “white demons” to govern the world for a certain period, which was touching its end.

     All those are fanatical, marginal claims. The original Islam distinguishes no color differences among Allah’s human creatures. No color is superior to any other. One of the early apostles of the Blessed Islamic Prophet was an Ethiopian, Black Bilal. He had endured many tortures but still refused to repudiate his new faith, in the hands of unbeliever Arabs. He has the honor of being the first muezzin of Islam (A muezzin recites the ezan, the call to prayer, five times a day). S.Ç.

9In today’s modern Turkey only about a few hundred blacks live. They are settled mainly on the Mediterranean coasts. They experience no discrimination whatever. On the contrary, some enjoy being so different and feel privileged. Some of them are descendants of former service girls of favorite concubines in the Seraglio. (Male blacks in the Ottoman Palace were castrated men, eunuchs). Some blacks are grandchildren of a shipment of slaves brought by an Egyptian khedive (Khedive was a general governor nominally loyal to palace but having the right of passing on his post to his sons since the times of Mehmet Ali Pasha of Kavala. This strong governor opposed Sultan Mahmud the Second in 1830s and if it were not for the intervention of western powers, he could have easily overthrown the Ottoman dynasty in Istanbul and could have usurped the throne).
     The Ottomans had no notion of nationality, race and ethnicity. Even the core of the army, the Janissaries, were grown-up children once collected from the Balkans from among orthodox Christian children. Once converted to Islam, an Ottoman subject had all the opportunities of political ascent, all the way to the post of the Grand Vizier, the second man after the Sultan. Therefore, this cultural and historical toleration of races is always there, as a splendid legacy to the whole world. Nevertheless, the very few number of the Turkish Blacks might be another factor in their social well-being in this country. S.Ç.

10In the novel titled to Kill a Mockingbird (by Harper Lee) this theme is handled. The lawyer Atticus (played by late Gregory Peck in the movie version) defends an innocent black man, who is claimed to have raped Pamela, a white girl. The accusers (the Ewels, the girl’s family) live in misery and their hatred of Blacks is nothing but a compensation for their lowly conditions. S.Ç.

11The northern hotels may refuse Black guests by trickery and implicit excuses. In the novel titled Hotel (by Arthur Hailey) the old-fashioned, nostalgic, aristocratic hotel patron (a man of principles, insisting on the old stylish way of keeping his hotel and refusing fast food and other degrading novelties) simply refuses a black guest, explicitly. The black guest is a dentist taking part in a congress, but this high social and academic position does not help him in the face of that particular New Orleans hotel.
      I once made some reconnaissance of some inexpensive hotels in Izmir / Smyrna (a city on the Aegean coast of Turkey) for a probable stay of a few months. (It turned out that I gave up the idea, refusing to take the offered job then in question). The hotelkeeper in one of the hotels I saw, was absent at the moment. A permanent room-holder, a man resembling French actor Alain Delon, a whitewasher by trade, met me at the desk and provided some explanation. He said that the hotel was a good one, but to check in, the hotelkeeper had one strict condition: The hotel-guest must definitely be from the west half of the country. “For an easterner, neither education nor wealth nor good manners and politeness counts. One might as well go ahead and report the man to the highest authority, and he still would not step back an inch from his insistence; because he is an obsessed person, after all!” the whitewasher explained. This is a very unusual phenomenon for Turkey. Indeed, it must have been a psychiatric obsession rather than a sheer attitude of a committed racist individual. S.Ç.

12Blacks’ talents for music is recognized all over the world. Especially jazz is known to be their style. An outstanding black singer worthy of particular interest is late Paul Robeson. I specially searched for his cassettes while I was in America. Music critiques compared him with late Ruhi Su, his Turkish counterpart, as a musician. A music authority said for Paul Robeson: “When he sings, deep bells ring in his voice!”S.Ç.

13Black soldiers first proved themselves in World War II, when they were in separate troops. After the war, their integration proceeded rapidly (paraphrased from Broom and Selznik 1956: 465, 480). As Moskos & Butler (1996: 2) put it; “a visitor to an army dining-facility is likely to see a sight rarely encountered elsewhere in American life: blacks and whites commingling and socializing by choice”.
      Availability of military units even “dilute” racial tension in any given civilian environment: “As a rule of thumb the more military the environment, the more complete the integration. Interracial comity is stronger in the field than in garrison, stronger onduty than off, stronger on post than in the world beyond the base” (Moskos & Butler 1996: 2).

14Blacks usuallyrespond as a united block to an injustice, in a manner irrelevant to their social classes. Recent violent demonstrations in American towns one after the other verify that they especially resent brutality inflicted on innocent Black men by cruel White cops.
        In a realistic movie (starring Sidney Poitier) the family of the white bride is disappointed with the black groom even though he is a scientist. In an old black-and-white movie (The Incident) passengers in a train wagon are harassed by a couple of white thugs. When policemen finally arrive they move for the black passenger, just another victim, let alone being a thug. I remember Turkish university students booing and cheering protests as spectators at this scene in a movie-theater, in mid 1970s.
     Blacks are much more color-conscious than being class-conscious. In fact, I do remember criticisms directed at Bill Cosby for picturing unrealistic middle-class views of Blacks in TV serials. I also remember accusations directed against late singer Michael Jackson, for employing white cadres in his close proximity. One of his supporters defended him with words claiming that Michael is color-blind; he employs people based on merit only. Michael is known to have alleviated his facial color with special ointments and pomades. He must be an exception in repudiating his black origins, in a sense. S.Ç.

15Navaho Indian veterans, who had employed indecipherable codes in military communication at pacific wars in World War Two, were honored by the President. Thus the heroes were remembered, if only after 55 years. Four of them were still alive. 25 Passed away and their medals were submitted to their blood relatives. Their codes in Navaho language had frustrated the Japanese military intelligence, at the time. Two examples are as follows: “Besh-lo” means “iron fish”, that is, “submarine”. “dah-he-tih-hie” means “growling bird”, that is, “war plane” (Milliyet Newspaper July 28, 2001). As it is seen, the Navaho code is like a code within another code, the riddle-like metaphors themselves providing protection from being understood.

16Some cultures are transmitted orally rather than in written form (as it was the case of Turkish rural societies, formerly). During my guest-trainer days at a technical instructor course at Chanute AFB in Illinois; in our class there was an army-sergeant of Indian origins. He was a smart and witty person. However, he was not on good terms with reading assignments, due to his previous cultural formation, a habitude acquired in childhood, in Indian reservations. At the moment, he was repeating the course (a “washback” from the former course). He did fail a second time and he could just pass the conditional exam, his very last chance to receive a certificate (Çaya 1996: 34).

17The Japanese, from 1900s onwards, also came to California coasts by ship via the Pacific Ocean, like the White Russians escaping Bolsheviks. The Japanese people (pejoratively “Japs” or “yellow-bellies”) suffered many consequences of being outcasts, until they proved their worth in bravery and sedulity, throughout a slow and steady process of integration. Japan was an ally of America in World War One and this enhanced the opportunities for the Japanese-Americans until the next world war set a temporary blow

18A novel written by a Chinese-American author stresses the importance that his community attributes to their rich old cultural values. The hero of the novel, a Kung Fu master, Mace, on one episode, thinks about a young girl, Sue, in his own community. He is worried about her being too Anglicized. His thoughts then drift towards a severe criticism of all American ways. American culture is puzzling for this young but wise man of oriental origins:
      “A paradoxical nation where people were honored not for the quality of their minds but for their ability to throw, or kick, or bounce a ball. A childish and immature nation, always preoccupied with the sexual function in a deranged sort of way: while men and women were prominently displayed stark naked in magazines and in motion pictures, “morals squads” still spied and snooped in public rest rooms to ensure prim and proper sexual behavior!” [14].
      The watch of public toilets as mentioned above, a peculiar practice even for Europeans, is probably unique to America. In a novel about policemen, written by Wambaugh [15], we encounter a chief of a vice squad, Scuz, whose job, in fact, comprises the task of watching over public rest rooms secretly behind adjacent partition walls. (The partition walls are pierced with small observation holes). A colleague asks him about his measures against somebody’s possible morally inappropriate behavior in a public toilet.
      “I shoot him,” Scuz replies. “You what?”asks Harold, shocked. “I shoot him with this”, Scuz insists, pulling a pink plastic water-pistol from his pocket. So; he merely shoots that-somebody through the screen from where he is peeking. First it confuses the wrongdoer, then it scares him soon’s he realizes where it’s coming from. It degrades him in a way he can’t stand. A few squirts of water cause great humiliation for him. Scuz have seen them go out in tears and never come back.

19In another one of his novels, J. Wambaugh [16] depicts one such White Russian-American character as the main hero. The man is a plain-clothes policeman. He is a practicing Orthodox and a Tschaikowsky-admirer.He enjoys Russian food. When things go wrong he whispers a Russian word for “shit”: Gawno! The loss of Charlie, his former work partner, badly affects him. Charlie had been a splendid detective. Therefore, Walnikoff begins to take consolation in drink. Which drink? Naturally vodka, that good old Russian brew! While inquiring about a house-pet theft, his encountering a female colleague, makes an effect on him. He pulls himself together again.

20 “After World War Two, thousands of returning Mexican-American veterans, many highly decorated, found that they were still barred from movie theaters, residential neighborhoods, and even cemeteries” (Portes & Rumbaut, p.127).

21This time, a documentary book of Wambaugh (1984) talks about with Mexicans illegally crossing the Californian border and policing-measures against them. The state uses Latino policemen to deal with the illegal immigrants. A special squad consisting of Spanish-speaking disguised cops spread over the border constitutes a marvelously effective preventive measure to catch those Mexicans who dare cross over to America. Moreover, those cops cope with bandits who victimize such fugitives.

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