Author: Richard Rodriguez
“Did I somehow suspect that once I learned public language my pleasing family life would be changed?”
This quote stuck in my mind and I found myself reading it over multiple times. Does changing a way of communication that’s so familiar to you change things? Of course it changes things in life. Communication is extremely important. Without communication, you wouldn’t be able to express an opinion, idea, or feeling. So when you ask a child to change how they express themselves, they get insecure and scared about the change. I know from experience how it is to be asked to change dialects. I had to retake the 1st grade because I couldn’t read in English. I think the transition from school to home is confusing. On top of that, you would have to switch from Spanish to English.
“At last, seven years old, I came to believe what had been technically true since birth: I was an American citizen”
To me, this quote embodies the importance of spoken language. In a way being fluent in English makes you American. At least that is how I understood the quote. Embracing the language is embracing a part of the culture. The more you embrace the more it becomes part of who you are. Most people identify themselves with a culture. So many of these new American born minorities adopted the American lifestyle instead of their foreign parents culture.
“The silence at home, however, was finally more than a literal silence. Fewer words passed between parent and child, but more profound was the silence that’s resulted from my inattention to sounds.”
Language is not only a bunch of words used to communicate. It is a way of passing down heritage and culture from past relatives. When the language of ones parents is no longer acknowledged its like the person is forgetting how to speak to their parent. Assimilating is useful if you want to understand the majority but its sad when you forget your roots. More and more American born Latinos don’t even know Spanish. If that pattern continued the language would be dead but those Latinos would have the same advantages of the other American born people.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Author: Jonathan Kozol, Peggy McIntosh, Salim Muwakkil, Pat Parker
Text: "Amazing Grace", "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack", "Data Show Racial Bias Persists in America", "For the White Person Who Wants to know How to be My Friend"
Reflection: The first reading by Kozol resonated with me. It was incredibly sad and bleak. The saddest part is that I can remember hearing many stories that parallel to the events portrayed in this particular text. Many people go though poverty and disease. They need assistance and have to do more than most just to get a checkup. The part Kozol wrote about walking through the ghetto with the small boy Cliffie was one of the more memorable parts of the reading. I just kept thinking to myself that I don’t even walk around my neighborhood and that little boy walked around in that horrible neighborhood fearless.
I thought the writing by Pat Parker was hilarious. I completely agree with the idea that some white people act oversensitive around some people of color because they want to come off as pleasant and inoffensive. I love it when writers are honest and straight to the point because I was raised to speak that way. To me, tip toeing around a touchy subject is not necessary. If you want to say something just say it.
The reading about white privilege was enlightening. I never thought about how what’s so obvious to be is oblivious to others. I just assumed white males knew they could do certain things that I couldn’t. I remember when speaking to one of my white male friends about working out. He said jogging around my neighborhood would be a good exercise and I told him that would be impossible for me. I couldn’t just run around the west end of providence and he looked at me as if I was crazy. So what made so much sense to me was outrageous to him.
In class I want to discuss the idea of educating people about cultural differences. I would like to reflect on the text about privilege. The thought that I didn’t think that others cant relate to me makes me feel uneasy but if there is a dialogue between different cultures, then we could all try to find a way to understand each other. Understanding the differences ties in with everything. If you know everyone’s rules you can share your rules and either go along or change things.