When reading Gloria Anzaldua’s excerpts from “Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza” I was once again disheartened and became more aware of my own privilege. Gloria Anzaldua describes how it feels to be too much of one thing to fit it with the other, but too much of the other thing to fit it with that group too. She was thought of as not being Mexican enough to be a true Mexican, but not white enough to be a true American. She describes how she feels as though she is denied by her roots and doesn’t have a place to fit in. Her poem, “To Live in the Borderlands…” really stuck out to me. Each stanza goes through a different reason why she feels like she doesn’t fit in, from where she lives to what she looks like to how she talks to what she eats. This made me sad because as I was reading this I realized that I am so lucky to not really ever have to think about these things. I am what is perceived to be “normal” in the United States, but that is unfair. Everyone who lives here is just as much American as the next person regardless of race, what language you speak, or what food you eat.
The United States prides itself on being a “melting pot” when in reality we are not. The United States wants to think that it is accepting of all different cultures, races, and types of people, however after reading what Gloria Anzaldua had to say and how she feels, it is clear that she and other immigrants do not feel welcomed. The United States takes great pride in saying that it is the greatest country in the world, but if that were true they would want to share that with others and let them enjoy it too, not make it so hard to move here and if they ever are finally able to, strip them of their own culture. That is not acceptance. A trademark of being “the greatest nation in the world” is the fact that it is a melting pot, however there is not much different culture to be seen, as the people of diverse cultures feel the need to hide their differences. When people are told to “speak English because this is America”, it takes away a part of someone, causing them to lose part of their culture and themselves. We should want to preserve other cultures and history instead of make everyone feel like they need to be the same. The United States needs to work to get rid of the sense of the “dominant culture” and embrace the fact that there are many cultures here and we should be learning from each other.