Becoming Members of Society: Learning the Social Meanings

Melvin Richardson Professor Shana Smith English 112 (D22P) March 21, 2013 Machin Rifamos (The Rise of Brown America An argument essay by Melvin Richardson) “Resistance is futile” is a resounding statement first exclaimed by the alien race called the Borg in the Gene Roddenberry long running television series Star Trek. “Why do you resist? Asked the Borg commander, Ryker replies “I like my species the way it is”! Borg commander counters with, “We only wish to raise quality of life for all species”.
This is the last thing you heard before your kind was assimilated and your unique cultural and biological essences absorbed. If you have heard or read this statement before, it’s because it has been the theme of White America since its inception and so has appropriating and assimilating cultures, with racism, class warfare, and loss of ethnic identity as unfortunate by-products. The Xicano (Chicano) was able to evolve and retain their cultural identity and ethnicity by creating a border dialect or language (a Patois) which supports the view of the essayist Gloria Anzaldua’s “How to Tame a Wild Tongue. This dialect is viewed as sub-cultured jargon in their homeland (Mexico) where Standard Mexican Spanish is spoken and the Working Class English is demanded by their adopted host north of the border, America. Ultimately, the appropriation and assimilation of borderland Mexicans (Hipic Americans) did not occur as did the Native American Indians or the African Americans that occupy the rest of the nation. However, these Hipic Americans, who are considered second class in their native home (Mexico) and 3rd class by the U. S.
For use many years use of the Spanish language declined in the Chicano Nation because of the immigration of Anglo-Americans and the brutal efforts of the U. S. imperialists to eradicate the Spanish language. Further analysis reveals, the link between language and identity with respect to community cohesiveness effects self- awareness. The focus of Gloria Anzaldua’s essay, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue,” focuses on the idea of losing an accent or native language to conform to the current environment. Anzaldua’s essay describe what it was for her, living in a English speaking nvironment, and not being an Anglo, combined with speaking Xicano Spanish and not true Spanish. Many Xicano parents did not pass the Spanish language on to their children, largely because upward mobility in America is directly connected to proper use of the “Queen’s English” with all its proper enunciations and cultural correctness’s. As substantiated in her piece she stated, “being caught speaking Spanish at recess—that was good for three licks on the knuckles with a sharp ruler and being sent to the corner of the classroom for talking back to the Anglo teacher when all I was trying to do was tell her how to pronounce my name.

The Anglo teacher said, “If you want to be American, speak American, if you don’t like it, and go back to Mexico where you belong. ” However by contrast, now this trend is reversing itself with the rise of Hipic Americans, both born in the U. S. and the ones that were able to acquire U. S. citizenship. At one time, it seemed that the English language would replace Spanish as the common language of the Xicano Nation, this no longer appears likely. Anzaldua is arguing for the ways in which identity is intertwined with the way we speak and for the ways in which people can be made to feel ashamed of their own tongues.
People no matter what race of culture needs a group of like kinds in which to identify their proud ethnicities and heritages. This tendency for oneness or sameness is demonstrated in an article published in the Colorado Gazette “A New Era in Race Relations? Real life say’s not so much”. William King, professor of Afro-American Studies of the University of Colorado-Boulder, “insist(s) it’s just human nature to seek out people who look like them” he insists there’s more to it: blacks and other minorities segregate themselves only because society has taught them that grouping together is the only way to stay safe.
In support of this argument I contend that this feeling of being ashamed of one’s own native tongue is nothing less than marginalization, in order to appropriate the labor of the Hipic Americans to keep them from assimilating into the American mainstream. In the 1960’s American society was influenced by movements that were fighting the political and social injustices of the time. The Xicano movement was no exception. During this time there were visible signs of “No Dogs or Mexicans Allowed” as well as a general sentiment of segregation based on race and economic class.
As the movement started to progress in the Xicano (Hipic) community, identifying with the term Chicano became widely accepted. This is an evolutionary moment of the language. Although native Mexicans believe that the word Chicano is an ugly term to use when identifying one’s cultural background. To them, Chicano signifies a lower class of the Mexican. The term “Chicano” seemed to spring up out of very impoverished areas of the Mexican-American neighborhoods known as Barrios.
Mexicans, as well as US culture connected the word Chicano with another term called Pachuco or Cholo. Despite the negative connotations and images the term sparks up youth and others (gang members) embrace being Cholo, to call oneself a child of the Mexica. In support of the position taken by Senora Gloria Anzaldua, I titled my piece “Machin Rifamos” which means “High achieving” and “We Rule”. Xicano dialect is an evolutionary event. With the rise of Hipic Americans in every walk of American life, the “phoenix effect” is occurring.
William Blaine Richardson, governor of New Mexico; Sonya Sotomayor Supreme Court Judge; Linda T. Sanchez U. S. congresswoman; with individuals that not only speak Xicano; need the support of this new powerful evolved group of Americans and potential Americans . The evidence is irreversible and ongoing. By the end of this century, Spanish speakers will comprise the biggest minority group in the U. S. , and the America that has been, conditioned by effortless assimilating, appropriating cultures and native people, miss the boat this time.

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