Tuesday, January 4, 2011

More Effort Needed to Understand the Struggle of Young People for Cultural and National Identity and Acceptance

with WINGS and ROOTS - Trailer from Christina Antonakos-Wallace on Vimeo.

Reviewing this trailer soon to be documentary( with WINGS and ROOTS by Christina Antonakos-Wallace)--reminded me of the way we still remain largely ignorant of the issues confronting young people who are faced with the confusing messages societies in Europe and the US provide on issue of cultural and national identity. In the US through the mechanism of the "Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act" DREAM Act we seemed to have come near to recognizing our ethical responsibility to at least grant the children of illegal immigrants who graduate from US high schools, a pathway to citizenship. The legislation would allow such a pathway if such students served either two years in the military or two years at a four year institution of higher learning." That limited pathway to citizenship was rejected by the US Senate on December 18 2009.

We all need to understand not just the plight of the children of illegal immigrants but also the mixed messages that various nations sends to immigrants. Viewing documentaries such as With Roots and Wings can help to see that most countries have struggled with the need to separate a country's identity from an ethnic one and to assist more people to view their allegiance to country in non racial terms.

1 comment:

  1. This is compelling issue.

    In Germany young Turkish and Arab kids are tugged in two directions - by a somewhat unwelcoming host society and by their religion. I am not sure what 'national' allegiance they espouse.

    Many of the Turkish families who came to Germany originated in peasant cultures rather than the Istanbul intelligentsia, a fact which seems to encourage a 'closed culture' effect.

    Many continue to speak Turkish or a Turkish-German pidgin. They really are strung out between two worlds.