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Breaking Away from Stereotype

The United States of America has been called the “melting pot” of the world. It is a country that is open to diversity and welcomes culture, race and ethnicity of all sorts, for as long as it complies with its laws. United States become a nation rich in immigrants who found new home in a foreign land. Most of the big and key cities in the United States are culturally and racially diversified. This diversity is taught to be an asset of the society. If not understood well, this diversity may also lead to internal and external conflicts such as discrimination and stereotyping. Stereotyping can be as harmless as thinking that Chinese cooks the best orange chicken or Indians have the best chicken curry, but it can also be as destructive as stereotyping Muslims as potential terrorists or Mexicans as potential illegal aliens. Stereotypes come in different forms and it is also apparent in the news, media, television, songs and even literatures.

Latino or Hispanic race, for example, has been a hot topic of racial stereotyping. A Latino man behind a cash register may often hear a customer asking “habla Ingles”. Failure to assimilate to American culture, including language, is one stereotype Latinos are facing. In the story “Rain of Gold”, written by Victor Villasenor, most of the characters spoke little or no English until they entered the United States. Another literary work, a poetry, written by Pat Mora entitled “Immigrants” contained lines that read “before the baby can even walk, speak to them in thick English, hallo, babe, hallo”. There may be some humor to the poem, but it stereotypes the Latino immigrants as having “thick English” accents.

“Rain of Gold”, written by Victor Villasenor was about the three generations of two Mexican families whose hardship and adventures date back in the Mexican Revolution of 1910. The book chronicled the characters’ escape from Mexico and entry into the United States. It was...
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