All Academic, Inc. Research Logo

Info/CitationFAQResearchAll Academic Inc.
Document

Racial Borderlands: Suburban Plantation Culture and 'Rancho California (por favor)'
Unformatted Document Text:  Racial Borderlands/10/9/03, p.3 in order to “save our sovereignty from criminals”. 3 But it was a repeated public mantra of then Governor Pete Wilson that finally gave me a metaphor that seemed to open up all sorts of possibilities for my own projects: “The values that guided us for so many years are suddenly under siege, and so is America. Washington actually rewards these lawbreakers by forcing states to give them benefits paid for by the tax payers. That’s like giving free room-service to someone that breaks into a hotel.” This apocalyptic world of “siege,” “war,” and “sovereignty,” therefore, was actually (somehow) about wrongfully appropriated living conditions and accommodations. Which seemed an absurd proposition to anyone who’d bothered to acknowledge the living conditions of the estimated 10,000-15,000 migrants who lived in the bushes and on the countryside in San Diego and Orange Counties. So I visited migrant camps in the suburbs, where residents talked in very different terms—of the earth; of memories and dreams; of work for hire. Televised political candidates spoke of high- jacked room-service, and hotels taken hostage. But the migrant camps spoke in very different metaphors; they spoke in a more direct language of space, and place, and daily negotiation. Of course, by choosing to visit (and later to film), I realized the trap I faced as an outsider going in. For many academics and media watch-dogs, migrant workers are among the most recurrent stereotypes in border mythology. Images of migrant workers, that is, are racial cliches challenged by those promoting more positive media images, and simply ignored by many with commercial interests. From my vantage point, such denials did not make the working homeless disappear as easily as their images, however, in a range of camps with names like: “Loma Bonita,” “Porterville,” “Kelly Camp,” and “Rancho de los Diablos.” I figured that in some way I was part of the equation— part of the racialized status quo—so set out over several years to see how some of my long-held assumptions--about resistance, self-representation, and creativity--might play out in this world. I had been a seasonal farmworker over six years of my life, in a very different part of the country. But that experience did not prepare me--in this land populated by hundreds of homeless workers--to understand the many layers of complicity at work here. Or to easily isolate "culprits" and

Authors: Caldwell, John.
first   previous   Page 3 of 26   next   last



background image
Racial Borderlands/10/9/03, p.3
in order to “save our sovereignty from criminals”.
3
But it was a repeated public mantra of then
Governor Pete Wilson that finally gave me a metaphor that seemed to open up all sorts of
possibilities for my own projects: “The values that guided us for so many years are suddenly under
siege, and so is America. Washington actually rewards these lawbreakers by forcing states to give
them benefits paid for by the tax payers. That’s like giving free room-service to someone that
breaks into a hotel.” This apocalyptic world of “siege,” “war,” and “sovereignty,” therefore, was
actually (somehow) about wrongfully appropriated living conditions and accommodations. Which
seemed an absurd proposition to anyone who’d bothered to acknowledge the living conditions of
the estimated 10,000-15,000 migrants who lived in the bushes and on the countryside in San Diego
and Orange Counties.
So I visited migrant camps in the suburbs, where residents talked in very different terms—of
the earth; of memories and dreams; of work for hire. Televised political candidates spoke of high-
jacked room-service, and hotels taken hostage. But the migrant camps spoke in very different
metaphors; they spoke in a more direct language of space, and place, and daily negotiation. Of
course, by choosing to visit (and later to film), I realized the trap I faced as an outsider going in. For
many academics and media watch-dogs, migrant workers are among the most recurrent
stereotypes in border mythology. Images of migrant workers, that is, are racial cliches challenged
by those promoting more positive media images, and simply ignored by many with commercial
interests. From my vantage point, such denials did not make the working homeless disappear as
easily as their images, however, in a range of camps with names like: “Loma Bonita,” “Porterville,”
“Kelly Camp,” and “Rancho de los Diablos.” I figured that in some way I was part of the equation—
part of the racialized status quo—so set out over several years to see how some of my long-held
assumptions--about resistance, self-representation, and creativity--might play out in this world.
I had been a seasonal farmworker over six years of my life, in a very different part of the
country. But that experience did not prepare me--in this land populated by hundreds of homeless
workers--to understand the many layers of complicity at work here. Or to easily isolate "culprits" and


Convention
All Academic Convention is the premier solution for your association's abstract management solutions needs.
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.
Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!
Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!
Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

first   previous   Page 3 of 26   next   last

©2012 All Academic, Inc.