Liberal Critic of How to Tame a Wild Tongue

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2/26/13
Liberal Critic of How to Tame a Wild Tongue

Gloria Anzaldua makes several key points in the excerpt taken from How to Tame a Wild Tongue. She addresses the hybrid nature of the Chicano dialect and how the current illegitimate status contains the very power necessary to give the Chicano’s a voice. Shunned from both sides, Chicano Spanish has become less and less pronounced in the general public. But it is because of this very nature that the dialect has become a shared beacon of unity amongst the few that speak it. As many sayings and proverbs have told, the more you suppress someone else’s belongings and traits, the more they will hold on to it as a form of identification of who they really are. “If you want to be American, speak ‘American.’ If you don’t like it, go back to Mexico where you belong.” The words of an Anglo teacher could never have been more ignorant. Many of the Spanish speaking residents in the United States were not immigrants. It’s a simple and unfortunate example of the Manifest Destiny mindset that too many Americans hold. One cannot expect a language and culture to be forced upon another ultimately commanding them to give up their heritage, culture, and identity. This is especially true in the United States of America where everything about it comes from the giant melting pot that started with the first colonization; it is what created America and what has shaped it today. Our culture, heritage, and language are what influence us daily as we grow up. Needless to say, it is a significant portion of who we are and how we identify ourselves. There is absolutely no well thought out argument for the discrimination and restriction of the rights humans possess that identify themselves as an individual. Everything is constantly in a state of change, of creating, destroying, forgetting, and remembering. If one disrupts the delicate balance of this and imposes a single set of ideals upon a community, what could possibly drive that...
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