There are many stereotypes and negative connotations that come along with the term “immigrant.” However, today immigrants are all around us whether we know it or not. Many immigrants traveled long and far and endured a lot of pain and hardships to get to their new home. I believe it is time we start accepting them and welcoming them into our communities. I respect the way Gloria Anzaldua sticks up for herself and other hispanic immigrants. She states, “if you want to really hurt me, talk badly about my language. Ethnic identity is twin skin to linguistic identity–I am my language. Until I can take pride in my language, I cannot take pride in myself. Until I can accept as legitimate Chicano Texas Spanish, Tex Mex, and all the other languages I speak, I cannot accept the legitimacy of myself.” Language is an important part of someone’s identity, and because of Gloria’s mixed-cultural background she feels that she is judged just for being herself.
In the two chapters in “How The Other Half Lives” by Jacob Riis, we are given examples from Italian and Chinese immigrants about the way they live as immigrants in the United States. They endure so many stereotypes and harsh living conditions just because of their immigrant status. I believe these negative connotations of immigrants have direct correlation to imperialism. Americans look at themselves as far more superior than others no matter where they come from. The fact that immigration into America has only gotten harder and more complex over time proves that Americans feel that they are simply better than other ethnicities and don’t want to accept change. Personally, I believe Americans need to accept change and be more inviting to other perspectives and cultures because it could certainly have a positive effect on our country.