The issue of race and immigration in America is most certainly a hot-button issue, due in part to President Donald Trump‘s administration and its far-reaching policies. An annual film festival in Charlotte is set to take place next week that puts a focus on how race, immigration, and culture intersect across the nation, which set the stage for a riveting discussion on the issue on NewsOne Now.
Roland Martin spoke with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, the founder of Emerging US, which is a production company that produces content around immigration and race. Vargas is also part of the Define American Film Festival, which is now in its second year. In a frank discussion, Vargas artfully mentioned that immigration has long been cast as an issue that affects Hispanic and Latino populations but that ignores the fact that other races and cultures are also part of the growing conversation.
“Undocumented Asians are actually the fastest growing undocumented population,” said Vargas. “One out of seven Koreans in this country are here illegally. And undocumented Black people. The fact that undocumented Black people are far more detained and deported than any other racial group in the immigrant community is just not a fact that people know.”
The conversation shifted to the NewsOne Now panel, which included Howard University Afro-American Studies chair, Dr. Greg Carr, Zoldak Agency’s CEO Sue Zoldak, and Spencer Overton, president of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.
Dr. Carr employed an idea that whiteness is “weaponized citizenship,” which caused the entire panel to chime in on their ideas on race. Zoldak, who was born in Taiwan, offered her perspective as an immigrant in America while Overton artfully examined the stance that people of color have to be exceptional and nearly perfect to excel.
Information about the second annual Define American Film Festival can be found here.