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Hubert Reading Response

maddyb's picture

As a sociology major and someone whose parents currently live in Tucson Arizona,  I was interested in seeing how the different forms of capital create a “Community Cultural Wealth” for Chicana students in the Hubert article. The value we place on different types of capital give us a window into the hierarchies in American society.  Tracing the capital through various stories of women helps to illuminate the presence of different capital in different people. The “racist nativist framing” also was particularly interesting as I have seen this idea of “immigrants as criminals” often on the news in Arizona. Few whites are shown as drug dealers and murders in Tucson (less than 90 miles from Mexico) where road checkpoints profile every driver and stop those who look “mexican”. There is intense nativism in Arizona as gun laws allow people to carry their guns with them as some take it into their own hands to “fend off” those from Mexico.


For these reasons, I love the idea from Malcolm X at the end of the Huber article about the need to focus on human rights first because “you can never get civil rights without human rights” (724). This puts a human face on all people rather than a white, back, latino, asian mixed, etc. face on people causing us to make judgements at the onset. By calling someone “illegal” or “undocumented”, “criminal” we are stripping “communities of their humanity” or their human rights, then making it okay for us to make unjust laws, racist comments because they are not “human” or are “worth less” than the prized white person.  These labels are not just words but invitations for judgements.  

By using these terms we also immediately devalue the capital of individuals and communities.  Rather than comparing forms of capital to the white, american capital we should begin to value various forms of capital. Like aspirational capital that the chicana students hold from stories of their relatives, or linguistic capital that affords students skills in memorization, storytelling and translation. Instead of devaluing students who speak different languages as many schools do in Tucson (and all over the country) we should believe that all students hold a certain wealth rather than deficit. The valuing of capital instead of the ranking of capital would be a good step toward the human rights that Malcolm X speaks of.