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   Lara 1 Bryan Lara Professor Batty English 28 5 November 2018 “Included” by Being Excluded  Should immigrants retain their culture or assimilate to the American culture? When it comes to immigration, the journey is a very difficult and a long process that some cases, it's a hit or miss, unfortunately. Not everybody makes it, and what’s even more sad is the fact that children go through this journey as well. Going through the obstacles of the harsh environments,  jumping onto moving trains, gang violence, lack of resources throughout the journey, which causes the immigrants to pass out, and finally the strict border patrols, and not just one, multiple  border portals. Now finally passing all those obstacles, for survival, immigrants lose their cultural roots, being forced to assimilate. To assimilate is to transform or the integration of a  person with a different culture or idea. For the survival, immigrants are forced to assimilate to the superior society. Causing internalized oppression to one another. Although some may say that assimilation brings the diversity in America and it helps out the immigrants, I believe that immigrants shouldn’t assimilate to the American culture because assimilation is a form of oppression. The reasons why immigrants come here to America is for work and to have a better occupation than the one they have back home. Other reasons too can be to see family members that have migrated to America as well, but most cases is that immigrants are forced to leave their native lands and come here because of the situation. An example is the civil war in El Salvador   Lara 2  between 1980 and 1992. For some background information, during the Carter and Reagan administration, America funded millions of dollars to military training and weapons to the Salvadoran military. America’s “good intentions” funded a corrupt government at the time, which eventually led to the death of saint Óscar Romero. Saint Óscar Romero spoke out against  poverty, social injustice, assassinations, and torture. He was targeted by the Salvadoran government and from his death, it led to groups to rebel against the government, which caused a whole civil war. With that entirely going on, that’s when the creation of refugees happened. As a child of immigrants during that time, my parents were forced to leave El Salvador because of the civil war that was happening. Children were recruited by the Salvadoran military to fight against the rebels, and those children of war, started the MS13 gang. So with the corrupt government, civil war, and gang violence, America let organized violence take root. That’s why immigrants find refuge in America. To get away from what was happening and go through a violent and dangerous journey to America, I think it is already enough for their human rights to force them to assimilate to the American culture, when their whole native land was treated unfairly by the “good intentions” of America.  For the numerous amounts of genocides that has occurred, assimilation is apart of the cycle of genocide. For example the Native Americans, their land was taken away by the colonizers that created America today but the whole process of that involved assimilation, the erasure of cultures. Native Americans were forced to cut their hair a certain way, dress a certain way, speak English, and they were forced to have their skins bleached. The process of assimilation erased the ir culture. For survival, they were forced to assimilate, but they shouldn’t  be forced to the point to give up their culture. “They agreed to give up the language”   Lara 3 (Rodriguez). I understand that it is for survival when it comes to assimilating to the superior society but that doesn't promote the “diversity” in America.  Although America has a diverse population, which is true, that does not dismiss the fact that the American society promotes these oppressive ideals to how a “good” person should look like and how a “bad” person looks like. You can see that through how the media, movies, and even video games that they favor Eurocentric beauty standards. Having the lighter skin, colored eyes, blonde hair, and skinny. There are immigrants that have light skin, blonde hair, colored eyes, and skinny that are able to get by but if the immigrants have brown nappy hair and dark colored skin, they are seen to be the “bad” person. An example can be that in the media a person of color can be seen as a terrorizer and a white person can be seen as a person with mental illness  problem. With those ideals promoted, that's what creates the internalized hate, also known as internalized oppression. The issue with assimilation is because it causes internalized oppression. That’s wh y  people of color are targeted. But a better idea than to assimilate is to actually adapt to the American culture for survival. The diversity has been possible on through rediscovery of identity. Acknowledging your roots and that is apart of your identity than repressing than who you really are. Diversity is seen to be more genuine if it is left raw rather than to be shown how a  person should look like or act like. Because to assimilate to American culture is to ask others to repress uniqueness in a country where assimilation is a constrained box that only shares one description of what success, beauty, and pride should look like. So when it comes to immigrants to assimilate to American culture, they shouldn't. I hope for this essay to let the people reconsider the fact that immigrants should not be forced to assimilate to the American culture but rather have the choice to adapt to the American   Lara 4 culture. Immigration is for a reason, to flee from the violence that was happening in their homelands. The continuation of oppression is through assimilation and that is something that  people should be aware of. Even though the system of America is corrupt, the children of immigrants are changing America in positive ways, and hopefully in time, America will be more welcoming to immigrants. Works Cited Rodriguez, Richard.  Hunger of Memory: the Education of Richard Rodriguez  . Penguin, 2004. Bonner, Raymond. “Time for a US Apology to El Salvador.” The Nation , 12 Dec. 2016, www.thenation.com/article/time-for-a-us-apology-to-el-salvador/

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Dec 12, 2018
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