This should appear on March 31 section.
To answer Freddy’s first question on what we can do to change the discourse on immigration in order to accept differences, I believe everyone has to always ask and answer the question: is this immigrant individual a person, a human being? The issue rooted in prejudice against people’s differences is that the “normal” beings are the ones who strip “others” of their humanity and personhood. People are prone to see a person’s queerness before their humanity. Once we are able to recognize each other as living, breathing human beings, not objects or things, we will also be able to empathize with the genuine complexity of humanity. It is also necessary for people to learn and to know when to relinquish power, especially when it is hurting someone else. When you understand that another person is human, you are likely to feel what that person feels, so the oppression, persecution, and pain over differences have to be cut. Not everyone identifies with a singular narrative, especially when it comes to family, family values, sexuality, and background— not even immigrant people.
To answer the second question: The long-term solution would be to change the narrative on queerness and trans identity in the U.S. abroad. Overall in the class, we have learned that prison culture primarily reflects broader, outside cultures whether local, regional, or within the entire United States. Those who are in charge, those who administer the prisons live in the outside world and bring their influenced thoughts, actions, and behaviors into the isolated prison cultures. Their mindsets and beliefs would have to experience a shift for any permanent change to happen.
The commendable yet superficial solutions will work for the short-term. Yet, they will remain superficial if there is no grand end goal in mind and in the works.
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