Multiculturalism: American Culture

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“The Chinese in All of Us” is a piece written by Richard Rodriguez that addresses multiculturalism. In this piece, he explains that he is an advocate for the metaphorical melting pot. He believes there is merit in being exposed to many different cultures and influences. However, he strongly believes in the common American culture. He is a notorious figure because of his stance against affirmative action and bilingual education. From his point of view, those two issues continue to separate us as a people by highlighting our differences. As a result some of his critics have dubbed him a “traitor” (Rodriguez, 230). The people who disagree with his view of multiculturalism actually consist of people from many different ethnic backgrounds. Part of this group consists of people who strongly believe in preserving one’s ancestral heritage. Others doubt that the American culture exists at all. They view America as a place where many different cultures come together but remain separate. There are also people who wonder if America can sustain much more diversity or if people from so many backgrounds are even capable of finding a common ground. While both sides disagree on their view of how multiculturalism is to be appreciated, they both agree that diversity and culture is an important part of life. Rodriguez best explains his view on multiculturalism when he states “I AM MY CULTURE” (231). He argues that culture is who we are, rather than what we are. He places an emphasis on the idea that we all share in America’s culture and diversity. An example that he gives is Black History Month. His argument states that “All of us, by virtue of being Americans, share in the history of black America” (Rodriguez, 232). There are many periods of time in American history where one group of Americans has blamed another for an injustice. Rodriguez is trying to point out the fact that regardless of a person’s ethnic background, American...
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