Essay on Assimilating into American Culture

1214 Words5 Pages
Immigration and assimilation is a divisive topic that has been heavily debated in America ever since we became a country. There are two stories that explore the assimilation issue from different viewpoints’; in Mary Pipher’s story; “The Beautiful Laughing Sisters – An Arrival Story”; provides the viewpoint of immigrants leaving a hostile home for America. Elizabeth Wong details her journey to break with her culture and become Americanized in, “The Struggle to be an all American girl.” and (McWhorter, 2010 pp522-529). At debate today is whether immigrants and their families should blend into American culture even if it means breaking with their past. Once cultures intermingle, they are forever changed.
American culture was initially
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In addition, half of her family lived in a dugout instead of a house that caused her to be embarrassed of her heritage. Once she married an Indian man and had children, she embraced her cultural heritage. My sister, who has a dark complexion was working at a nursing home once and was detained by immigration because they thought she was here illegally from Mexico. I wish I could report that racism is in the past and we have all evolved enough to be color-blind.
Our American history and attitude towards immigration has been conflicted ever since we formed our nation. Black people were initially brought to America as slaves and were segregated for the greater part of the 20th century. I can remember when desegregation occurred in our schools in Dallas; there was panic and fear among the adults. In the mid 19th century, during the California gold rush many Chinese people came to America to work as cheap labor and provided the needed workforce to build our railroads (Ashabranner, 1993). The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was enacted to regulate immigration and excluded certain classes and races of people who were undesirable as immigrants, prior to this America had no formal immigration policy (Kennedy, 1964). This era in our history is a bit reminiscent of when the Borg encountered the Enterprise and tried to assimilate the crew in Star Trek the Next Generation series; “( . . . ) Resistance is futile. We wish to improve ourselves. We
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