Gloria Anzaldua is a Mexican woman who faced troubles growing up because she spoke Chicano and had trouble learning English bdue to her native tongue. She faced quandaries as a child because she had trouble grasping English and spoke with a Hispanic accent. She explains that “At Pan American University, I and all Chicano students were required to take two speech classes. Their purpose: to get rid of our accents.
Attacks on one’s form of expression with the intent to censor are a violation of the First Amendment. El Anglo con cara de inocente nos arrancó la lengua. Wild tongues cant be tamed, they can only be cut out” (Anzaldua 42). She describes her problems with the rules of the university and how they are trying to remove something that is a part of the Hispanic’s culture.
When reading this passage, it is evident that Anzaldua feels strongly about her Hispanic background and doesn’t concur with the ideology of the university and their attempts to rid students of their accents. I also construe, through reading the passage, that even though many natives don’t approve of her Chicano way of speaking, she is pleased with her heritage and culture and doesn’t concern herself with others opinions.
When analyzing the first sentence, I first look at the name “Pan American University.” When I see this name, I think of a university that has a variety of majors due to their diverse culture. From reading an article from the U.S. census bureau, they estimated the number of Hispanics in Texas to be around 9.1 million people. This data sustains the idea that Pan American University is a very culturally diverse university. It is very degrading for a Hispanic person to be required to learn another language to fit into the community.
I find it very ironic that as Pan American University prides itself on its diversity, they still do require their students to take these speech classes. Multicultural by the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition is “of, relating to, reflecting, or adapted to diverse cultures.” Making people learn different languages and forcing them to be bilingual to fit into to modern day society is not multicultural at all. It is in fact, the opposite.
The word Pan America means stretching from North American to South America. This includes all civilizations, ethnicities, and ways of life in between those two borders. So between the name and the way they treat their students, there are very different suggestions of what their university policy should really be. In my opinion, they should not keep the name if their ideology is going to be so much diverse.
In the second sentence, when she talks about the university getting rid of the Chicano’s accents, she seems a little hostile towards that idea, as she should be. An accent is what demonstrates your culture, your personality, it’s what makes you, you! You can tell where people are from, where they have been, and how educated they are. The Irish have a very distinct accent that separates them from the world. They are the only people in the world that sound like that because in their country, it is how everyone sounds. Even in America, there are different accents depending on where you are. The dialect used in the areas also changes as you move from region to region. There all sorts of accents from northern, to southern, to western.
Accents are connected to your culture so trying to get rid of them is practically trying to rid someone of their heritage. Many people are proud of where they came from and how they got here, so trying to get rid of somebody’s past is just erroneous.
In the third sentence, Anzaldua talks with reference to the First Amendment and the attacks on one’s from of expression. The First Amendment states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the...