Multiculturalism and Assimilation
Richard Rodriguez’s “The Chinese in All of Us” is about multiculturalism and bilingual education in America, which impacts our individual identity. He claims that it is our surroundings that define who we are, culturally, and because of the fact that America is a melting pot of many cultures, it is difficult to define who we are. To support his argument, the author uses pathos in the form of his personal experiences. Fallacies are present in the article but it is committed by others and supports his claim. In establishing his appeal to ethos, he is well known for writing a short book called ‘Hunger of Memory’ which addresses affirmative action and bilingual education. Because of that book, he became “…a notorious figure among the Ethnic Left in America.” (Rodriguez 230) In an interview, Bill Moyers asked, “Do you consider yourself American or Hispanic?” (Rodriguez 230) Taking in consideration his name and what Richard may have looked like, one can tell why some would ask a question like that. Moyers seemed to have assumed that Richard was one of the two, which was ignorant of him. Then Richard replied, “I think of myself as Chinese.”(Rodriguez 230) With that said I think it is important to note that Richard is not Chinese, but instead has grown up in a city that was predominantly Asian. Hearing the response and the reasoning, critics say: “Look at you Mr. Rod-ree-guess. You have lost your culture.” (Rodriguez 230) That would be ignorance on their part. They speak of culture like it is an object that could be lost if left somewhere. Culture is defined by the beliefs, behaviors, objects, and other characteristics of a particular group or society. If you were an American that was born and raised in France, you would consider yourself to be French, culturally, even though you are of American heritage. Same goes with the case of Richard Rodriguez, he was born into a Mexican family but was born and raised in America.
Cited: Rodriguez, Richard. “The Chinese in All of Us” “Reading Literature and Writing Argument 4th ed.” Missy James and Alan P. Merickel, Boston: Pearson Education, 2011. (230-236): Print.
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