The Chinese Culture And Richard Rodriguez

Richard Rodriguez starts off his article by prefacing a book that he wrote several years back that reflected his experiences of becoming Americanized.He recounts how this book was how he became a well-known and important person among the ethnic leftist movement in America, and then segways into an important question he answered which led to the drafting of this article. He quotes an interview that he had with Bill Moyers in which he was asked whether he saw himself as being Hispanic or American to which Rodriguez answers Chinese. Assuming most are probably confused by his answer he goes on to explain that where he lives there is a centralized population of Asians mostly Chinese, which has caused him to slowly engulf their culture making his behavior similar in nature to theirs. 

People that often criticize him say that he is rejecting his culture go as far to say that he has “lost it” but Rodriguez country’s back saying that he is his culture and it’s not a tangible object you control, it’s who you are. He then goes into a tangent about multiculturalism using his own personal anecdotes to explain it better. He mentions his educational pursuit in England and the time he went on a trip to Ireland and felt a nostalgic feeling as if he was home and he traced it back to his upbringing by Catholic nuns who just so happened to be Irish as well. Off of that and a few other notions he realized about him being Irish he realized something really important; he realized that as a whole us Americans have this shared belief that we are all completely separate individuals which as he says poses a paradox. This leads into his next little tangent on America and how easy it is to characterize Americans yet Americans love to preach about how diverse they are. He brings up how many educators are beginning to question whether diversity should be the center of America’s education system and if instead it would be better to teach them about their own individual cultures rather than a shared one. The article shares more anecdotes and examples that Rodriguez has witnessed or that he’s talked to others about and made quite a few deductions. One was made by an interaction with a principal in which he admitted that at his school they did away with celebrating Black History Month and replaced it with a month for all newcomers as he calls it. 

In response to this, Rodriguez expresses his disapproval and brings up his point that all American are apart of Black History due to just being American. His other deductions are made through similar stories particularly his own childhood where he was forced to change his language and behavior to that of what his teachers wanted of him even at home. According to him Americans try so hard to portray themselves as diverse that they are now beginning to reject the metaphor that has been used for a long while to describe the diversity that America believes they have, so as Rodriguez addresses this in the article he expresses why the metaphor is so fitting. He eventually uses the metaphor to try and describe America and he comes up with the idea that America is like a constant fluid movement in which our cultures are constantly meeting and intertwining within one another. As an outsider he describes growing up in America from a different cultural background as hard because schools pressure these kids to embrace their culture whilst molding them into how they believe an American child should act; however, Rodriguez also points out the positive as in immigrants unknowingly teach us things from their culture. This last point is the premise of his article “The Chinese in All of Us” as he believes we are what we’re around and as Americans we adapt and learn from each other and America in itself holds its own culture.  

07 July 2022
Your Email

By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and  Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails.

close thanks-icon

Your essay sample has been sent.

Order now
Still can’t find what you need?

Order custom paper and save your time
for priority classes!

Order paper now