There has been this dilemma on what Hispanics in America recognize themselves as, if they are American or if they are from their parents origin country. This isn’t a bad dilemma necessarily but there are some negative consequences. The influence of American policies and other Americans is a form of assimilation upon newly migrated Hispanics. After all the implementations on the Hispanic community, they will feel “American” and lose their culture from their past country.
In the book, “The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisnero, the protagonist, Esperanza, struggles to find her identity as a Hispanic young women around her family who are poor and experience racial discrimination on the daily. People who corrects other Hispanics for talking English or even Spanish the wrong way. While reading about the discrimination Hispanic people face, I read an article that expresses that not all Hispanics are the same. Hispanic people are from a variety of different Spanish speaking country that have different cultures or another way of speaking Spanish. An example of this is the Chicanos who live around the Midwest of America and speak Spanish differently than how Caribbeans speak their Spanish. This will demotivate Chicanos to speak with other Latinos and Hispanics because they are afraid to make a mistake. Chicanos speak this Spanish because of their region but it is rapidly being looked down upon by the community in their area. Esperanza looks to find this identity without the influence of her family who has already been in America for awhile and would rather stay “American.”
Borders & Barriers
The Mexican-American border has been a controversial issue recently because it has to do with a lot of immigration whether it be legal or illegal. This border has dramatically affected how some Latinos are seen. Many Americans think that the Mexicans are stealing their jobs and that unemployment in America has increased because of the illegals. This idea has represented Mexicans in American minds as a threat and/or have a stigma for the race. This doesn’t only mean Mexicans but also Central Americans who strive for a better life because of unstable government, famine, and etc in their home country. This makes it harder for Latinos to find an identity in America and feel like they don’t belong but many risks their lives to get in this country for that better life. Today, about 16% of the American population are Latino meaning millions of people risk their lives to have that better life even if it means losing their culture or past identity.
Latinos make up for a large section of the American population and this country wouldn’t be the same without them. Trying to make them more American and have less cultural diffusion is wrong because that is what they know and you are telling them that what they know is wrong or disapproved. This gives Latinos pressure to follow what the Americans have to stay to either stay in the country for that better life or be a part of the community more. In primary schools, children are taught English which will make that language more reinforced but Spanish isn’t reinforced in many ways. Later generations in America will speak fully English and barely know any Spanish or past cultures that were followed by their ancestors. Losing your heritage is something valuable that is lost because it is like losing a part of yourself in this big world of ours.
The discrimination needs to stop, we are all people, and people should stick together!