Please note: This discussion topic involves the exploration of political policy toward immigration and the treatment of migrants seeking refuge and asylum in the United States. While people typically shy away from conversations involving politics in their daily lives – political policy has always set the standard for inter-group relations in a way that has either promoted or discouraged social diversity and inclusion.
Therefore, while this may be a sensitive topic to discuss – it’s impossible to have a meaningful conversation about overcoming prejudice & discrimination without engaging in a factual and critical analysis of how political policy impacts our lives and our conduct toward others. Regardless of your personal views – all perspectives are welcome and encouraged on this topic – provided that responses are expressed in a respectful and constructive manner.
After completing the video and reading assignments this week, join the discussion by addressing the following questions in the order presented and in as much detail as possible. Begin each question on a new line, making certain to number your responses.
Please watch the following two clips about President Trumps “Zero Tolerance” policy on immigration that has resulted in the separation of children from their parents at the Mexico/U.S. border. If the links aren’t “clickable” – copy and paste them into a new browser to view.
1) This week, we read a historical account of Christopher Columbus and the justifications he provided for exploiting the indigenous people of America. We also viewed videos of President Trump’s Zero Tolerance policy, a Muslim travel ban and the proposal for a Wall along our southern border.
While it’s ridiculous to draw direct comparisons between the extreme brutality of Columbus and the political policies of President Trump – both individuals have justified their actions by repeatedly characterizing the targeted “out-groups” as undesirable and/or dangerous.
Reflecting on the concepts you’ve learned over the last 5 weeks (in-group vs. out-group designations, category vs. target based judgments, selective attention & blind spots, schematic vs. critical thinking, role vs. disposition theories and errors in attribution) – please discuss how the current Zero Tolerance immigration policy may relate to one or more of these dynamics.
2) The inscription appearing with the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island in New York reads: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” (The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.)
Unless one’s heritage stems from the Indigenous People of this land (Native Americans) – every individual residing in the United States today are either immigrants themselves – or descended from ancestors who were immigrants seeking a better life – or slaves.
Because prejudice & discrimination typically reflects double-standards on the basis of group membership – please discuss how the disconnect that exists between the SOL’s inscription and the Zero Tolerance policy toward asylum-seekers might be resolved.
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