Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz writes:
In spite of this difference, many people believe we Hispanics could have become as successful as the European immigrants. So why haven’t we? For one thing, by the time Hispanics grew in numbers in the United States, the economy was no longer labor-intensive. Hispanics have lacked not “a strong back and a willingness to work,” but the opportunity to capitalize on them. Then, unlike the European immigrants who went west and were able to buy land, Hispanics arrived here after homesteading had passed. But a more fundamental reason exists: racism. Hispanics are considered a nonwhite race, regardless of the fact that many of us are of the white race. Our ethnic difference has been officially construed as a racial difference: In government, businesses, and school forms, “Hispanic” is one of the choices under the category race. (48) Díaz argued Hispanic immigrants did not become as successful as European immigrants in America not because they lacked ability and effort, but rather because they lacked opportunity. She blamed racism as the main cause of this difference, due in part because “Hispanics are considered a nonwhite race”. In this context, success pertained to “government, businesses, and school” which are synonymous with political, economic, and educational success. However, the success of other immigrant minority groups in all three categories disproves and invalidates her claim that being a “nonwhite race” is the definitive factor for success, or lack thereof.
By asserting “Hispanics lacked not ‘a strong back and a willingness to work,’ but the opportunity to capitalize on them,” Diaz portrays racism as the critical reason for Hispanic’s lack of success. Also, she claims that racism stems from the fact that Hispanics are “considered a nonwhite race”. Asian immigrants are a nonwhite race, but their educational achievements disproves that racism creates an indestructible barrier to success. Being that both Asians and Hispanics...
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