Lab 4: Immigrant Story

Meet John Chisholm. John Immigrated to the United States from Shrewsbury England, in 1979. Shrewsbury England is in the County of Shaophire, and it boarders Wales. In England, John was an officer in the Army, a major qualification. John studied at the Royal Military Acadamy, Sandhurst, and attended Shrewsbury Schools. John was in boarding school from age eight to eighteen years old. John speaks five different languages. Pigeon, French, Spanish, Arabic and English. John currently lives in Clawson, Michigan.

At age twenty-six, John was promoted to High Captain in the Army, but was discharged for high tone deafness. He then worked for a tin can factory. After he left there, he worked at an Automotive After Market Distribution company in Zanzibar. Africa and the United States were his territories. The owner of the company asked him to run a small automotive business in the United States, and John said yes. He then moved to the United States permanently.

John rented an apartment in Sterling Heights, Michigan, and that is where he met his wife Kathy. They were married in 1988, in Jamaica. John and Kathy have two grown children now. When the children were born, in 1989, John became a stay at home dad. Kathy worked as a legal secretary.

While at home, John started writing. He came across an advertisement to make extra money at home making bunk beds. John set up a wood shop in his garage, and his bunk bed company took off, becoming very lucrative. He rented a warehouse with work space, and the business became a financial disaster from overhead costs.

His wife asked him if he could make a cage to put all of the stuffed animals in, that she accumulated from when the kids were little. John made the cage, and that is when his creation, “The Zoo” was developed. (See Picture Below)

John could not keep up with the high demand of his new product. Making at least fifteen a day in his small workshop in his garage. He flew to Hong Kong, and hired a production company at a factory to make his product. That was in 2003, and today “The Zoo” is still selling, and in high demand.

John also works with The David Shepard Wildlife Foundation, in the United Kingdom. John set up his own foundation called, “Little Zoo Keepers.” Both foundations work together. Now called, “Endangered Species Fund”, He supports “Game Changers International” in Zambia.

Johns next step is to create a foundation where he can go work out in the field. Making and showing videos, for his Endangered Species Fund. One example he told me about was the drought in Zambia. He would like to build an organization to help raise funds, and to show people who are donating their money the videos he produces, so they know where their money is being spent.

John and Kathy Chisholm at their home in Clawson, Michigan, Sunday, October 13, 2019
John Chisholm in his workshop in Clawson Michigan, October 13, 2019
John Chisholm holding a boxed up “The Zoo”, ready to ship. Clawson, Michigan, October 13, 2019
John Chisholm holding the fighter plane made out of the metal from the actual fighter plane his pilot father was shot down in and killed in during the war, and a picture of John when he was in the Army in England. Clawson, Michigan. October 13, 2019
John and Kathy Chisholm at their home in Clawson, Michigan folding up the flags from different countries after their annual “Diversity Party.”
“The Zoo” created by John Chisholm, photo courtesy of John Chisholm

Blog #1, About Lab #3

This blog is about Lab #3

I enjoyed doing this assignment. Going back to my old neighborhood was fun. Taking pictures was also enjoyable. There were so many pictures to choose from, it was hard to pick just three. The writing was also enjoyable. It brought back a lot of fond memories. I did feel that there was a lot of linking involved. I did not have difficulties with editing. I really wanted to go into more detail about my heritage, but 200 words comes up fast. What does it mean to be Irish? The food my family cooked, some recipes from Ireland handed down for generations, were some of the things I wanted to talk about. There is so much more to being Irish that my grandfather and father taught me. There is more to being Irish than drinking beer and eating corned beef, as some people think. I would have loved to interview my grandfather for this paper, but that is not possible, because he is no longer living. When writing the paper, I had to make sure I kept my thoughts intact. It as easy for me to want to veer off into other subjects, because there was so much more I wanted to talk about. Organizing my ideas before writing my paper helped me to stay on track. I did edit twice, and revise, to make sure my thoughts, ideas and facts were clear.

Lab 3 My Immigration Story

Eileen LeValley

Hello There!

My name is Eileen LeValley. I grew up in historical “Corktown” in Detroit, Michigan. My grandfather came to the United States from Ireland, and Corktown was where he settled. The Great Irish Potato Famine of the 1840’s resulted in extensive Irish Migration, and the Irish were the largest ethnic group that settled in Detroit.

I loved my childhood. I am from Irish descent. My favorite part of growing up in the Corktown neighborhood was no one ever locked their doors. My grandfather, and father, and everyone else who lived in the neighborhood had an “Open Door Policy.” Meaning, everyone is welcome. My father and grandfather always had a pot of coffee brewing, in case a neighbor dropped by. Everyone in the neighborhood helped each other out.

I miss that everything was close. I could walk everywhere. I miss the small meat and fruit markets I would walk to and get items for my mother to cook meals. I miss Sunday mornings when my father would send me to the store with a dollar bill, (yes, dollar bill) to buy a fresh pound of coffee. I would watch the man at the store grind the coffee fresh by hand. I can still smell that coffee.

I miss all of the history and beautiful architecture that Detroit has to offer. My grandfather, who was a Master Wood Craftsman, taught my father and his three brothers the craft. Chances are, if you go in a historical home or building in Detroit, my grandfather or father may have built the wood carved stairway, wood pillars or possibly the whole thing!

Growing up in Corktown, I went to Most Holy Trinity Church on Sundays. Founded in 1834, It is one of the oldest parishes in Detroit. The historical Michigan Central Train Station is located in Corktown. I have fond memories leaving on trains from there with my family, for small weekend trips.

I feel honored to have grown up in a neighborhood with strong Irish and diverse beliefs. I am lucky it’s only a fifteen minute drive away. Although it is not the same as it was over forty years ago when I grew up there, I can still feel the rich heritage and strong beginnings of my past when I go back. What I miss most of all, is my father and grandfather who are no longer living. They taught me that my Irish background and upbringing, meant that I was to work hard, and be kind and helpful to others no matter what.

Corktown Historical Marker in front of Most Holy Trinity Church
Detroit, Michigan
Graffiti, Artists Rendition of Historical Corktown Marker
Detroit, Michigan
Michigan Central Train Station
Corktown Historical Marker, Forefront
Detroit, Michigan

The Trouble with Diversity:How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Equality

Eileen LeValley

“The Trouble With Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Equality”

By Walter Benn Michaels

                In this book, the author is comparing the difference in diversity using race and economic standing. He quotes F. Scott Fitzgerald saying to Ernest Hemmingway, “The rich are different from you and me.”  The point of the story, as Hemmingway told it, was that the rich aren’t really different from you and me. Fitzgerald’s mistake was that he was treating the rich as if they were a different kind of person, instead of the same kind of person with more money. Treating rich people as if they were a glamorous race. In this book, the author compares different scenarios to cover race, identity, diversity and equality.

                The author talks about Robert Cohn’s money in the book, “The Sun Also Rises”. No one cares about the money, but about the fact that he is a “race conscious, little kike” (meaning, Jew). Showing the difference that the fundamental differences are different, than how much money you have.

                The book, “The Great Gatsby” is used as an example. That Gatsby made a great deal of money, but it’s not good enough to win Daisy back. A story of a poor boy that becomes rich. It’s more of a story about a man who makes a lot of money, but tries and fails to change who he is. Someone who pretends to be something he is not.

                Fitzgerald treats them as if they really do belong to different races. As if a poor boy was only passing as rich. Someone yells,” We are all white here”. But they think Gatsby is not white enough. The Gatsby takes one kind of difference, the difference between white and poor, and rediscribes it as another difference. It describes the difference between white, and not so white. The book, “The Gatsby”, gives us a vision of our society divided into races rather than economic classes.

                The author points out that race has not disappeared, but should be understood as social entities instead. Good and bad ways. The bad ways involve racism, refusal to except people who are different from us. The good ways are the opposite, embracing difference, celebrating what we have come to call diversity.

                Diversity emerged out of struggle against racism. The word “Diversity” began having meaning for example in 1978, when the Supreme court ruled that taking into consideration the race of an applicant to the university of California was an acceptable practice if it is served the “interest of diversity”. The point the court was trying to make was that universities had a legitimate interest in taking race into account as a way they would take into account what part of the country the applicant came from, or what their academic interests were. They had an interest in having a diverse student body and racial diversity like geographic diversity could be an acceptable goal for admissions policy. What happened here was that diversity was now connected with race. Now universities measure rankings by race, not the number of people from different areas of the country.

                The general principal the author points out, is that our commitment to diversity has redefined the opposition to discrimination as the appreciation of difference. That racism itself is not a bad thing, which it is, but that race itself is a good thing.

                The author points out that once his students take a course in his human genetics class, they will stop talking about black and white and Asian races, and start talking about black, European, and Asian cultures instead.

                The author discusses how we love to think that the differences that divide us, are not the differences between those of us who have money and those of us who don’t, but are the differences between those of us who are black and those of us who are Asian, Latino or whatever. A world where some of us have enough money is a world where the differences between us present a problem: the need to get rid of inequality or to justify it.

                 We don’t like to acknowledge differences exist. Americans don’t like to be associated with being lower class, and don’t identify with being upper class. The class we like best to be associated with is middle class. But the upper, lower and middle class are much different.  Over the years, the gap between rich and poor has grown much larger. Poor people do not want to contribute to diversity, but want to stop being poor.

                The author’s goals are to show how our current notion of diversity trumpeted as racism and biological essentialism. Meaning the assumption that all members of a category are alike, or share similar if not identical characteristics.  Example: Gay men are not athletic. His second goal is to show the American love affair with race. Dressing race up as a culture has continued and intensified. Almost everything we say about culture seems to be mistaken. His last goal is to shift focus from cultural diversity, to economic equality.

The Japanese Internment

By Eileen LeValley

The internment of Japanese Americans in the United States during World War 2 was the forced relocation and incarceration in camps in the western interior of the country of between 110,000 and 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry. The internment was resulted more from racism than security risk.  After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed executive order 9066 ordering all Japanese-Americans to evacuate the west coast, many of whom were American citizens. There were ten intermittent camps located across the country.

Traditional family structure was held within the camps and American born children were allowed to hold positions of authority. Some Japanese American citizens were allowed to return to the west coast beginning in 1945. The last camp closed in 1946.

The relocation of Japanese Americans into internment camps during World War 2 was one of the worst violations of civil liberties in American history. After Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in December 1941, rumors fueled with race and prejudice of a plot among Japanese Americans to sabotage war efforts. In 1942 the Roosevelt administration was pressured to remove people of Japanese ancestry from the west coast by farmers seeking to eliminate Japanese competition. The public feared sabotage.

The Supreme Court upheld the legality of the location order, Hirabayashi-vs.-United States and Korematsu-vs.-United States. Early in 1945, Japanese American citizens were allowed to return to the west coast, but not until the last camp was closed in 1946.

Ten intermittent camps were set up in California, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, and Arkansas.  Many were forced to sell their property at a huge loss before entering the camps. A 1948 law provided for reimbursement for property loss by those interned. In 1988 congress awarded restitution payments of twenty thousand dollars to each survivor of the camps. By the end of the twentieth century, the United States government paid $1.6 Billion in reparations to detainees and their descendants. The last 274 internees were removed from San Francisco California on May 20th 1942. Only six seriously ill people remained in local hospitals.

1 Kiyoshi Katsumoto, left, remembers the number his family was assigned: 21365. “That’s what we were reduced to.” he says. (Dorothea Lange).

Diversity and Inclusion at Oakland University

Jada Martin
Jada Martin is a Full- Time student at Oakland University in Rochester Michigan. Jada is majoring in Journalism.

Jada Martin is a full time Student at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Jada has been living on campus for two years. Jada grew up in Oak Park Michigan, and is majoring in Journalism. Her dream is to work for CNN as a journalist. In her spare time, Jada likes to go shopping and dancing. Jada loves art museums, and also loves to travel. When I asked her what she likes best about Oakland University, Jada said,”Safety, and its a great learning experience.” In this short video, Jada answers questions about diversity and inclusion.

Black Twitter

Black Twitter is a cultural identity consisting of black Twitter users from around the world , on the Twitter social network. They focus on issues of interest to the black community, particular in the United States. Active African American Twitter users who have created a virtual community.

One example is #BlackLivesMatter. The hashtag was created in 2013 by activists Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullars and Opal Tometi. They felt that African Americans received unequal treatment from law enforcement. Alicia Garza describes it as, “An ideological and political intervention, in a world where black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for their demise.”

Garza also added, “It is an affirmation of Black folks’ contributions to this society, or humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.”

Black Twitter is an extension of the black urban experience. It has power and impact. Twitter gets a lot of attention for dragging someone through the mud, but it also serves as a mechanism for activism. African Americans use Twitter at a higher rate than any other ethnic group. Examples of tweets are: #YouOKSis which is for street harassment and also, #BlackLivesMatter which gives voice to the ongoing movement to reform police practices.

Black Twitter, is not a hashtag or website, it is a group of individuals that come together to have conversations about , culture, identity, and race. Black Twitter is not a secret platform. Its all in the way that people use the platform to draw attention to issues of concern to black communities.

• • • •

The Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima

During the last part of World War 2, the United States detonated two nuclear weapons over the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. The dates the events occurred was August 6th and 9th 1945. The americans bragged that they now had a new way of distruction. The atomic bomb, code named “Little Boy” was dropped on humans. No warning was given. It contained uranium, and formed a mushroom cloud into the air. The first bomb dropped killed 80,000 people instantly. The second bomb released killed at least 74,000 people. Nuclear weapons have not been used on civilian targets since this event. Cancer and birth defect from this event have been felt for generations. I believe the ethical and legal points of this event can be debated by many people. Uranium and Platonium were used, and today, you never hear of these compounds being used. The distruction this event caused is overwhelming. But do we really know the thought and plan of the United States military. It’s hard to look at distruction of human beings. It’s easy to read about something and come to a conclusion without knowing all of the facts. My father was overseas during World War 2 when this event occurred. He was in the Navy. I remember as a high school student asking him about this event for my history class. It was something my father never talked about. When I asked my father to tell me about it, I remember him saying, “ We had a job to do, and we did it and came home.” Wow, a totally different viewpoint than a civilian would have. When I asked him more questions, he told me again, “ We had a job to do, and we did it. Don’t ask me again.” I believe the distruction of the event did bother my father because he would never talk about it in detail. My father had many military stories he talked about when he was in World War 2. But this was not one of them. I do believe , now that I am an adult,that this event was devistaing to him. I hope in the future something like this never happens again.

Exercise Two

What drew me first was “Diversity”.  Hesitant to click on was “White Privilege”. What surprised me most was how people have a different explanation and definition of the word diversity. What confirmed an expectation was how people limit it to one thing like for example, “race”. What was new? Was that the one person determined diversity just on looks. What caused strong feelings was how they felt like the workplace was not equal. What further questions were raised was how they feel certain people don’t belong , and want to be with people only like them. My pull for action is to maintain my family and home, with an open mind about diversity.

Personal reflection in journalism’s role is to cover events but to probe more deeply. They wanted to examine words and phrases that people of all different diverse backgrounds use differently. As a newsroom, they wanted to be able to understand events better, so they can limit misunderstandings for stories in their newsroom.  The role of personal reflection can also mean that your responses are different from someone else’s. Your opinion and beliefs, empathy, experiences and contrasts play a key role in personal reflection in journalism. The article, ” Media must do better with race reporting.” about the times changing, came to mind.

Exercise One Response

I felt comfortable taking the test. I felt it was a bit repetitive, but I am sure there was a reason it was submitted that way. I don’t feel that in my subconscious, that I have any implicit biases. The reason being, is that I am a pretty honest person, and do not judge people on their race, background , age, appearance, political orientation or age. The article “The Enduring Whiteness of the American Media” that we read in class, came to mind on this subject. The part in the article where people are typecast in the work place, reminded me of an incident I went through at a job I had at one time. A certain area was up for bids and an African American Lady wanted the spot. I never met her before. They put me in the area because I was qualified, and she did not like that. She had implicit bias towards me, making comments that I got the position because I was white. She did not realize she was making such comments until I brought it to her attention. The end result was a meeting with management, where she made the same comments to them. When they pointed it out to her, she was very upset with herself and apologized. I was very hurt by this because it was a decision by management to put me there, and I had to deal with her implicit bias. The end result is that this happened many years ago and we are still friends to this day.