Ethnic Minorities And The Preservation Of Culture In The U.S.

925 words - 4 pages

In the current landscape of culture in the U.S.A. many ethnic minorities find it difficult to give up their native languages to speak the English language, because they feel that they are losing a part of their culture. However, what they should realize is that by accepting the English language into their lives they are not losing a part of their culture, they are gaining a new identity for themselves and their culture.
The most common reason for ethnic minorities’ fear of giving up their languages is fear that they are losing a part of their heritage and identity. They feel that without their native language they are not able to maintain their identity as well as they could have had they not forsaken their heritage.
Gloria Anzaldua, a Spanish speaking ethnic minority, in her essay, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue”, claims that her language defines who she is. She states that “robbing” her of her language is comparable to war and is a violation of the constitution’s first amendment rights. Anzaldua attempts to convince the readers that their language directly impacts who they are. Thoughts such as these are hardly uncommon, but what the bearers of the ideas fail to realize is that their unwillingness to give up their native tongues creates certain inevitable problems.
One of the biggest problems that a refusal to adapt to the English language brings is a significantly lower chance of success in America. While many would agree that a man’s culture and heritage in life are important, it is clear there are things of far greater importance in life. It is indisputable that a man’s life will be remembered mostly for the legacy he left behind, this includes how he looked after his family. If the man’s family were found to be lacking in food and living in unsanitary conditions, but this man had proudly preserved his native language by refusing to adapt to the American culture. The result would be seeing his chances for financial success plummet; would he be looked upon as a good man? Hardly. He would be looked upon as a selfish and greedy man who let his personal desires get in the way of his responsibility to look after his family. He would be no better than a gambler who had gambled his family’s money away. Also, it is obvious that ethnic minorities move to America in search of two things: liberty and success. Clearly the easiest way to have success is to learn and adapt to the nation’s culture, which is why it is so confusing to see ethnic minorities refuse to adapt to the American culture.
In the essay “Aria”, author Richard Rodriguez writes about the sacrifices his parents made in order for him and his siblings to be able to speak English. The parents were...

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