I thought the reading “From Borderlands/La Frontera” by Gloria Analdua was extremely powerful and eye opening. I had no idea that some of the different sectors of the Spanish language were considered illegitimate. As I was raised speaking English in the United States my entire life, I have realized how easy it has been for me- to speak the most universal language in the world without second thought. Language is such an important part of culture and identity, and to have one’s language categorized as “wrong” is unbelievable. I think a major problem with our world today is not recognizing smaller languages, as we believe everyone should have to learn English or Chinese or Spanish, and we just gloss over the other languages. I am worried about the effect this will have on the future, as elements that made a specific group unique and special are erased, and people become more and more similar until whole cultures are ultimately eliminated. In addition, from the reading I was inspired by Gloria’s tone and outlook on the topic in general. Although she acknowledges that she did experience adversity with her identity and language, she states she will not let this get to her as she claims, “I will no longer be made to feel ashamed of existing. I will have my voice. Indian, Spanish, white….I will overcome the tradition of silence.” I think this empowerment is very influential for every audience reading- those who can relate to what she is saying, and those who are having their perspectives enlightened for the first time on the topic.
I was also struck by the “How The Other Half Lives” chapters for many reasons. It really made me think about the concept of immigration for the past, present, and future of America. The fact that immigration is such a controversial and difficult subject today, when none of us would be here if we did not have immigration to the United States back in the late 1800s and early 1900s, is very concerning. How can we keep calling ourselves a “Melting Pot” when there is nothing in the pot?