Polish Ethnicity & Discrimination

1481 Words6 Pages

Polish Ethnicity and Discrimination
Bobbie Walker
Axia College at University of Phoenix

Polish Ethnicity and Discrimination
I was born to parents who come from an extensively varied ethnic background, most of which consists of European descent. However, my parents have a large amount of Polish background coming from both of their sides of the family. Nearly all that I recall comes from many stories and conversations that were shared by grandparents on my mother’s side of the family. I never grew bored hearing what they had to say, nor did my heart ever cease to break when I heard of much of their struggles as a young married couple who met after immigrating to the
…show more content…
Grandpa was finally forced to join the army during World War II and Grandma was left at home with a new baby to care for.
Since Grandma was not only female, but Polish as well, she experienced double jeopardy for several years. She was not offered a job until long after my mother was born, Grandpa returned home, and my three aunts were born. Interestingly, this came soon after President Kennedy began discussing “affirmative action.” When she did finally go to work, it was in a barely ventilated factory working on an assembly line, putting furniture together. When Grandpa returned from the war, he still had a little bit of his childhood Polish accent. Again he tried to find work in a community that was still somewhat prejudiced. He began to feel the effects of what we now call a dual labor market. Not only had he been a carpenter for years, he became a highly skilled electrician in the army and even obtained some certifications. Still, he was initially viewed as a dumb, drunken Polack, simply because he still had hints of an accent, which made him sound drunk. Several months after his return, he somehow managed to join up in Detroit with another friend from the military who helped get him a job, although it was working in a boiler room at a factory on Zug Island.
The Tables Turn
Sadly, later in the 60’s, Grandpa allowed himself to fall victim of reverse discrimination when blacks began to move into the area. Until then he worked hard and

More about Polish Ethnicity & Discrimination

Get Access