Africans on the Move: Transnational, Intranational, and Metaphorical Migrations
the old colonies out of the mainstream of the metropole’s economy, and worse, denying them of equal rights. These migrations were in part, geared at supplying cheap labor from colonized countries to core zones during the postwar expansion of the capitalist world- economy. One of the advantages to the migrants was that they had automatic citizenship in the metropole. However, their citizenship did not protect them from racism and discrimination, which worsened after the downturn of the capitalist world-economy after 1973, when these migrants and their offspring were denied jobs. The virulence of xenophobia and nativism became more overt as evidenced by the cultural racist demonization of the migrant workers proliferated. Grosfoguel asks why discrimination and marginalization coexist with citizenship. As well, he seeks to explain the differences in each of the four countries that he focuses upon. Are the differences a consequence of national differences in the core states?
Grosfoguel’s argument is that in its uses of labor, its immigration policies, and its domestic political economy, the old empire seeks to maintain a dominance vis a vis its old colonies. And although formal colonization may have ended, old colonial subjects remain peripheral to the mainstream of political economy and social life in the various metropoles of the colonizer. A sort of pecking order develops wherein some migrants from old colonies are absorbed into the lower echelons of the metropole’s public bureaucracy, offered privileges and held up as models who demonstrate the possibilities that can be accomplished for migrants who play their cards right. At one and the same time, these “paragons of virtue” are discriminated against in employment, access to housing, and the social welfare benefits. The rest of the migrants from old colonies occupy even lower levels in the socioeconomic totem pole, suffering from rampant discrimination and lacking any voice in the political sphere. While this model applies to France most directly, the UK, Netherlands and US are variations of the same theme. This situation underlines the fact that the causes and consequences of the migration of people from old colonies to the metropolitan centers of the colonial powers follows a worldwide schema.
Baptiste’s analysis of US labor procurement policies during the Second World War focuses on Amy Ashwood Garvey’s critique of the policies as gender biased and on her failed attempt to force Britain and the US to extend these opportunities to women. While these labor recruitment schemes only provided work in the agricultural sector, opportunities to secure these jobs and to work as domestic labor meant access to resources that were unavailable in British speaking Caribbean colonies where unrequited poverty was the lot of the overwhelming majority of black and Amerindian colonial subjects. Amy Ashwood Garvey’s ploy to force Jamaican colonial authorities to include women in the migrant labor schemes was repaid by U.S. authorities with Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) surveillance. Baptiste also makes a connection between the older labor recruitment schemes and more contemporary ones in Canada and the US, that are
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