The theme of gender and sexuality is related to social power. In Reproducing Empire: Race, Sex, Science, and U.S. Imperialism in Puerto Rico, Briggs shows how race, class, gender, and power are interrelated and interconnected. Puerto Rican culture has been sexualized, and the sexualization of Puerto Rico has been largely or exclusively the projection of white Anglo-Saxon Protestant values placed upon a darker-skinned, Catholic populace. The result has been the conceptualization of an exotic otherness, coupled with a simultaneous fear. Puerto Ricans have been criticized as developing a culture of poverty in the United States, and Puerto Rican families are blamed.
Regarding the theme of gender and sexuality and how it is related to citizenship and immigration, Briggs shows that white Americans have projected the culture of poverty on Puerto Rico by blaming Puerto Ricans, rather than acknowledging the sociological roots of the problem that can be traced to American social norms, structures, patterns, and economic systems. Political systems also relate to the Puerto Rican story because Puerto Rico is a part of the United States in many ways. Briggs shows how Puerto Ricans have been framed not as Americans but as immigrants, which relegates them into a subordinate category.
The Briggs book relates to Byrd's The Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques of Colonialism and also to Kauanui's book about Hawaii, because these books address the nature of American attitudes that change according to political expediency as to whether a group of people is classed as immigrant or not.
Briggs book is strong because it focuses on a specific area of research that is compelling and meaningful. Puerto Ricans are often overlooked in the research, and it is important to recognize this and reintroduce Puerto Ricans into the discourse related to post-colonialism in the postmodern world in which new dynamics are considered.
The theme of global apartheid is addressed in Borstelman's The Cold War and the Color Line: American Race Relations in the Global Arena. Global apartheid is the main theme as it relates to the end of colonialism, and its correspondence with the Cold War era. The theme of remapping the Cold War is also addressed tacitly, as the issue of race relations is framed as a global phenomenon. The author shows how civil rights in the United States paralleled movements than encouraged the extrication of colonial forces from places like Africa, leading to questions of political futures.
Borstelman's thesis in The Cold War and the Color Line is that changing global dynamics impacted American domestic policy regarding race. The author's argument is that the Cold War was a transformative period that changed power dynamics at macro and micro levels. While the Cold War was an affirmation of American hegemony worldwide under the guise of freedom and democracy, the United States could no longer afford to be a hypocrite by perpetuating the systematic disenfranchisement of its own people. This dynamic was accompanied also by the overthrow of colonial governments, or those governments' willingly leaving.
The thesis and arguments related to two core themes, including the theme of global apartheid and mapping the cold war. Global apartheid refers to the systematic segregation of power, based primarily on a racial divide, enabling white minorities to rule over people of color like Johnson discusses. On a global scale, apartheid characterizes the systems of government of places that are otherwise unrelated like Byrd does.
Strengths of the Borstelman premise is that it is unique, and shows perspective. This argument is different from other books on similar themes related to the Cold War mapping, and also to the apartheid system globally. The book is well researched and documented, to show that the information is reliable. Weaknesses include the desire to include more countries or examples.
In Hawaiian Blood: Colonialism and the Politics of Sovereignty and Indigeneity, Kauanui addresses the themes of apartheid and especially of history to determine ancestral rights to land ownership. This racist system was developed in the early 20th century, when racialized politics were popular, pervasive, and permeating all aspects of American life. This book also addresses the theme of the meaning of citizenship in the United States, because the indigenous Hawaiians occupy a liminal position in the ethnic and political landscape.
The thesis of Hawaiian Blood is that racialized politics impacted the social, cultural, and political landscape of Hawaii, with land ownership as a primary variable in determining access to power and privilege. The blood quantum system is uniquely racist, based on the premise that blood denotes value, and that blood can be used to measure inheritance of ancestral lands. Moreover, Kauanui shows that the blood quantum system created an apartheid situation in Hawaii, in which the indigenous people were overruled by the white colonial overlords. Ancient Hawaiian kinship systems are important to understand, notes the author.
The thesis and arguments in Hawaiian Blood correspond to similar themes and arguments about the colonial structures described by Borstelman. Similarly, this book addresses issues of citizenship in the American empire, like Briggs book also does using Puerto Rico as an example. Hawaii was a colonized place, which is why Rosier's book also applies.
Kauanui's book describes the themes of blood politics, blood quantum, colonialism, and apartheid well. The connection with other books is well-established, and Kauanui shows how Polynesian variables are significant, and shows how Polynesian culture and kinship play into the main themes. The weaknesses include no inclusion of Samoa.
Paul Rosier's article "They Are Ancestral Homelands: Race, Place, and Politics in Cold War Native America," delivers the promise of discussing ancestral homelands of Native Americans during the Cold War. The Native Americans had a long and difficult battle to redress the grievances that had taken place over the course of the past several centuries, as their land was stolen and their people forcibly removed. This book is about the struggle to regain land rights and political rights, and establish a new type of community empowerment. The Native American cause was enhanced by the Cold War, Rosier describes.
In this article, Rosier argues that it is helpful to perceive Native American civil rights issues in terms of global international politics and ideology. In particular, it is important to take into account issues related to citizenship in the American empire, global apartheid, the need to take the Cold War politics into account, and the definition of indigeneity. This article also refers to the ways Native Americans leveraged American foreign policy to suit their own needs on sovereign turf, which could be conceptualized as a foreign entity. The Cold War enhanced Native American politics and self-empowerment.
Rosier's argument and treatment of the theme is like Borstelman's book about Cold War, and directly references it in the introduction, too. Therefore, Rosier and Borstelman agree that the Cold War provided an opportunity to reclaim land rights and cultural identity from the white, European, and American hegemons. Like Briggs, the issue of citizenship is also explored.
Although Rosier's book does not address gender and sexuality in regards to the concern, the core issues are addressed thoroughly and in a well executed historiography. The strength of the theme is that the Cold War did impact the daily lives of Native Americans, in ways that are not normally considered.
In Johnson's article, "The Cosmic Race in Texas: Racial Fusion, White Supremacy, and Civil Rights Politics," the author addresses the theme of global apartheid through the lens of white supremacy in Texas. This article discusses the ways race is socially constructed, and that identity is also socially constructed. It was politically expedient to withstand the white supremacist ideal of racial apartheid. Intermixing was preferable because it provided the means by which to craft and create new systems of social, economic, and political power. This was especially true in Texas and in the borderland regions with Mexico.
Johnson introduces the subject with the background information related to the history of race identity in Mexico and the changing ideologies related to racial identities in Texas. Then, the author shows how the theme of racial fusion became critical for the development of identities and political power in Texas throughout the 20th century. The borderland region helped to foster the creation of multiple ethnicities that could be fused into one as a resistance against white supremacy. While full fusion did not happen, multicultural fusion identities could emerge and fuse for power in an ideal or theoretical context.
This article corresponds to both Byrd and Kanuai, related to colonialism and apartheid. White supremacy is a unique subject, though. The issues discussed related to the themes of gender and sexuality are not discussed, but there are some tacit references to the Cold War. However, the main gist is related to the theme of global apartheid.
The strengths of this article in relation to the theme is that it is about global apartheid, linked thematically to other analyses thereof. Moreover, this article has a strong sense of time…
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