Ethnic Minorities and the Preservation of Culture in the U.S.

910 Words4 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 ... ... middle of paper ... ...tions a desire to not adapt to the American culture and language. Fortunately, he states, thoughts such as these were forced out of his head by his teachers, and even there, instant success did not occur. What happened there was the reality of attempt and failure; steady growth is the only way to success in the American culture for ethnic minorities. Adapting and growing into the culture of America is essential for ethnic minorities, although the process may not be easy or appealing, it is the right thing to do. Becoming intertwined with the American culture is not reasonable just because it is beneficial but because it is the moral responsibility of immigrants to do everything in their power to be successful in this foreign and unknown land and to provide for their families. What may seem to be a loss in identity may prove to be the opportunity of a lifetime.
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