Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Immigration Article of the Day: The Geopolitics of Race, Ethnicity, and Representation: African Immigrants and the Congressional Black Caucus by Menna Demessie
Abstract: Scholars of race and representation agree that although their interpretations regarding racial group consciousness may differ across groups, the increase in non‐white immigration to the United States has not only drastically changed our perception of race and racism in America, but has called for a reexamination of the specific ways in which ethnicity complicates our ideas about political mobilization, participation, and representation for racial and ethnic minorities. In this paper, I explore the extent to which the racial group consciousness of the Congressional Black Caucus remains significant in explaining black legislator engagement on foreign policy issues of interest to African immigrants. Additionally, I run cross tabulations on a set of foreign policy issues of significance to African immigrants and black legislative activity in order to assess whether black members of Congress are more responsive to the needs and interests of African immigrants groups compared to nonblack members of Congress. Finally, using the framework of Kjellén’s philosophy of geopolitics, I analyze the potential for African immigrants largely located in metropolitan cities to strategically mobilize their political power, similar to African Americans in majority minority districts, to not only elect legislators partial to their cause, but to also hold them accountable when they do not deliver on their promises.