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Blog Post 10/5

After reading the chapters from How the Other Half Lives and the exerpts from Boderlands/La Frontera I realized how tough it is to succeed in our country, especially if you are a minority. Immigrants already have to take a huge risk by leaving our country and starting over in a foreign place, but they also often have to deal with poor living conditions. Not to mention the prejudice they recieve from stereotypes can make becoming accustomed to a new country almost impossible.

Arguably the most intimidating of all is the “unwritten law” to either conform or get out. What I mean by this is the harsh reality that many cultures face in the United States. Despite our countires diversity, there are still many examples of “white washing” going on everyday. The pressure to assimilate is real. This can come in the form of speaking English, or following certain traditions other than those of a person’s original culture. Although our country prides itself on being accepting of all diffeent types of people, this is not always the case.

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4 Comments

  1. Isabela Keetley Isabela Keetley

    I completely agree with what you said about the idea that while the US prides itself on being a diverse melting pot, it also pressures people to assimilate. This pressure appears in day to day life as these immigrants are forced to learn English and develop an understanding of American culture. This idea that everyone needs to learn English, and that we are no longer teaching a second language in many primary schools, is related back to American Exceptionalism.

  2. Kathrine Yeaw Kathrine Yeaw

    After these readings I too, became super aware of how tough it is to succeed. Your idea about the US having this “unwritten law” in which people need to either conform or get out is horrible to me and makes me feel as though this country doesn’t follow everything I was taught when I was kid. My parents and teachers always drilled it in me that being different was something I should take pride in, but when I really look at what the US is like, many people don’t believe the same thing.

  3. Madeline Orr Madeline Orr

    I agree that it must be very difficult to live as an immigrant or a minority where people constantly assume certain characteristics and behaviors from you based on your heritage. The negative stereotypes are very concrete in our society and it is very hard to overcome those assumptions to show that you are worth more and mean more than what people immediately think. I think your point is very important about the U.S taking pride in diversity when in reality there is so much pressure to assimilate. The concept of American exceptionalism really opened my eyes to see how the U.S really isn’t as special as people think it is.

  4. Alexander Dimedio Alexander Dimedio

    The pressure to assimilate is important to think about when thinking about the challenges of immigration. People assume immigrants are happy to enter America to begin their lives equal to everyone else, but this is not the case even when the law says everyone is equal. There is pressure to change who you are to assimilate, and this can cause emotional damage, but even more importantly it can suppress other cultures and religions.

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