Sunday, September 27, 2015

"Aria" - Richard Rodriguez (Reflection)

In this reading by Richard Rodriguez I related myself to every sentence written on each paragraph. I can start by saying that being in that situation that Rodriguez once was is like living in two worlds. I still live it on a daily basis. At my house no one speaks English, everyone communicate in Spanish even if we understand and speak English. During the beginning of my high school years I had many teachers talked about how I should speak English at home to ease my learning. But my parents never did unlike Rodriguez’s parents. Instead my mom would make my brother and I read in Spanish so we never forget our “roots” and also to have the advantage of being confident in two languages. My mom used to always say that English we would learn it at school so to speak Spanish at home, which it would be the only place where we can practice it. What Rodriguez’s parents did by adapting the English speaking to their house was a harm to their children. By doing that they gave no value to their first language.

I found disrespectful how the teachers went to their house basically to introduce to them the culture of power they live in now. The main point on the teachers’ visit was to express their belief that if Rodriguez’s parents adapt and speak English at home their children would do better in school. His parents couldn’t say no to their suggestion because as parents their wanted the best for their kids so they had to sacrifice their language. Most of the events that happened on Richard’s youth happened to me, my ignorance to the problem could’ve driven me to be influenced by my teachers but my mom prevented it from happening. “Their English voices slowly prying loose my ties to my other name, its three notes, Ri-car-do” now I understand Dr. Bogad’s effort on pronouncing everyone’s name properly. My name have meaning to my family and through out the years I’ve lived in the US many people have tried to call me different names just to make it easy for them. But now that I put mind to it, I have really let people take away the value that my parents gave to my name, the same way we give up many of our origins just to “get along” like Allan G. Johnson would say.

Monday, September 21, 2015

White Privilege by Peggy McIntosh- Connections

White Privilege by Peggy McIntosh and Land of Limitation by Kristof essentially, are replicas of each other. The difference between the two articles is that one focus on the advantage of being white and the other of being wealthy or in a higher social class. “A patter assumptions that were pass on to me as a white person” McIntosh talks about how he was born with these privileges, how none of it was earn but given on behalf of his skin color. On the other hand, Kristof talks about how wealthy people have the head start to progress and achieve better things in life because their ancestors did well in life so it just pass on to them. In class we also talked about “oppression” which McIntosh also mention it. He explains how white people are seen as oppressive but they don’t see how. He clarifies how they don’t know the existence of oppressions because of their skin color they never experienced certain preventions.

On the list that McIntosh provides I can easily relate to several of them. For example the one listed as number 4 “I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.” I’ve heard people before say “this is a white neighborhood I wouldn’t like to live around here” what this show is that the person is affair that his neighbors might look a him different or feel isolated from everyone else in his own house. I never really looked at situations from a white person point of view till now. Another topic brought up in class and also mentioned in this article from a white person perspective, “I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection.” That’s the advantage of growing up without any threat of being physically hurt for the color of your skin. To conclude, ideologies are just building differences between groups and preventing everyone from having equal opportunities. “But a (white) skin in the United States opens many doors for whites whether or not we approve of the way dominance has been conferred on us. Individual acts can palliate but cannot end, these problems.” Like Dr. Bogad said “put a band aid on a broken leg, it would only stop the bleeding but the leg would still be broken.”  

Sunday, September 13, 2015

U.S.A., Land of Limitations? by Nicholas Kristof

A.     “Rich kids make a lot of bad choices,” Professor Reardon notes. “They just don’t come with the same sort of consequences.”
This quote simply explains the cycle of life in the US. Wealthy people mistakes or bad choices in life are quickly unscramble because their well positions and resources get them back in their feet. But on the other hand, if a person with low income makes bad choices mostly the period to reestablish would take longer or in some cases it might never be the same as before. My brother for example, he had his first daughter when he was 19. Having that responsibility on his hands, my brother had to drop out of college and go work full time to take care of anything his daughter needed. 

B.     “Yet I fear that by 2015 we’ve become the socially rigid society our forebears fled, replicating the barriers and class gaps that drove them away.”
Many families leave their native country hoping to progress and have a better life in the United States. What Kristof explain in his work is that the US has turned into a country where depending on your economic status people are limited to socially progress. For example illegal immigrants, they are limited to many of the opportunities that this country provides for others (high paying jobs, ability to drive, getting highly educated, etc). In other words they fled their countries to have less openings for greater things.

C.     “Sean Reardon of Stanford University has calculated that the race gap in student test scores has diminished, but that the class gap has widened.”

In this sentence Kristof explains how things change from your skin color giving you further opportunities to social class instead. How being white before was a clear path to success now being in a higher social class is the key. People in other countries think of the United States as the land of opportunities but it's more like "the land of limitations" like the tittle of the readings says.