Michelle Alexander And Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz Essay

Michelle Alexander And Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz Essay

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Michelle Alexander and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, while drafting texts on two separate issues, have created incredibly powerful pieces that bring to light significant issues that our nation faces. When getting deeper and deeper into both pieces, I began to realize how naïve I really was. Like so many others, information and a set of beliefs have been hammered into my head and I grew up understanding them. These concepts have shaped the way I look at our nation and I am sure it has for almost every other student who has grown up in an American classroom.

When becoming immersed into these two texts, I immediately felt an extreme sympathy for the people being spoken of. I thought to myself, “How can anyone treat another human being with such disrespect?” I also was disappointed in myself. How could I be so blind to very current issues that are occurring in my country? I felt the sudden need to go out and make a drastic change, but who is to say that every other reader had this sudden urge? From a very young age, we have been painted this picture of our “perfect” America and we were taught to grasp this idea. I am sure not everyone would be easily persuaded into believing that our “perfect” America has some flaws. So the question: “How can we re-read these works as efforts to de-colonize the audience?” is a bit difficult to tackle. At age five, we dress up as pilgrims and have feasts in November to celebrate what we think we know about the interaction between pilgrims and natives. By junior high, we are praising America’s Founding Fathers. In high school, we learn about the tragedy that is slavery and racism, but are also taught how we came together as a country to “overcome” these nasty events. We are led to believe that America truly ...


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...as built reservations for these groups of native people, but a lot of this land is undesirable. We should work towards improving this land and providing the indigenous people with the necessary resources so that they may successfully live and conduct business on their territories. Of course being confined to these reservations does not fully pay them back from what was taken from them, but it is a step toward the right direction. We should make it a priority to build up these pieces of land.

Both Michelle Alexander and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz explicitly speak about extremely relevant issues that today’s Americans should really start paying more attention to. They fearlessly defend groups of people who are still paying the price from acts committed years ago. It is time for Americans to become more conscious of the struggle that these people are currently enduring.

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