Personal Identity Essay

495 Words2 Pages
Personal Identity Nell Bernstein is the author of "Goin' Gangsta, Choosin' Cholita: Claiming Identity," an essay describing how the youth in certain parts of the country are choosing their preferred identity rather than accepting their own. For example, in Bernstein's essay a girl named April, living in California, wants to be Mexican; therefore, she dresses like and attempts to talk in the same accent as a true Mexican, even though she is Anglo. The essay also specifically talks about the state of California, where all this identity changing is happening due to the great diversity of race there. Bernstein claims that this is a positive situation when a youths choose an identity other…show more content…
The idea of people trying to change their identity just strikes me with stupidity. It is God's decision as to what color, nationality or such a person will be, and I believe He has a purpose for everything; therefore, each person should respect His decision with acceptance and serve Him well under the identity chosen for them. The biggest mistake of this essay is the misuse of the word "identity." Bernstein claims that, "Identity is not a matter of where you come from, what you were born into, what color your skin is," but rather, "It's what you wear, the music you listen to, the words you use..." (45). This is all wrong! Identity is exactly what she thinks it is not. The color of one's skin describes their race. That is one piece of their identity. Where they come from is their nationality. That is another piece. What they were born into, such as family, beliefs, religion etc...., is their culture, Furney 2 which is yet another piece. All these pieces together describes who a person is. Clothes, music, and accent only describe who a person appears to be. April, who is in fact Anglo and should be proud of it, dresses like a Mexican because she thinks this will make her Mexican, but it will not. Frankly, if I were Mexican and April came to me in her imitation Mexican costume trying to speak Spanish to me even though the only thing she probably knows in Spanish is, "Yo Queiro Taco Bell," it would annoy the hell out of me.
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