Race Ethnicity Class Gender Journal

Pages: 2 (686 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Race

Race, Ethnicity, Class, Gender

Reading response

"How long have you been in the United States?" Ronald T. Takaki, a native-born American citizen, was recently asked this question by a taxi driver, despite the fact that he is a long-time resident of the United States. This highlights the fact that despite its self-image as a melting pot, the way that a 'real' American looks is still quite rigid in the minds of many people. In his essay "A distant mirror" Takaki examines how Asian-ness is seen as a deviance from the norm of the 'typical American.' This is despite the fact that America is increasingly becoming a non-white nation, demographically speaking. The actual, physical characteristics of Americans have still not fully penetrated the cultural consciousness. America has a short memory, however -- not so long ago, Irish, Italian, and other European immigrants were not considered 'white' because of their ethnic characteristics, even though they were gradually subsumed into the American cultural firmament and deemed worth of status as 'white.'

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Takaki suggests that despite the fact that formerly oppressed groups were sometimes divided by their levels of acceptance by hegemonic American society, there is also considerable evidence that unity has and can exist between different racial and ethnic groups, such as Mexican and Japanese farm workers who went on strike, side by side, in protest of unfair conditions. Similarly, "Label Us Angry," by Jeremiah Torres examines the notion the construction of Asians a model minority lacking in the righteous fury that is often used to characterize black and Latino anger: individuals deemed 'other' or non-white often have more in common than they have been lead to believe, even members of so-called model minorities.

TOPIC: Journal on Race Ethnicity Class Gender Assignment

For Takaki, learning about one's roots, and unpacking the seamless lie that American history is simply based on a polarization of us vs. them, or 'real' Americans vs. minorities, is the key to creating a new and more vibrant form of American character, based upon a true mosaic of identities. The necessity of seeing 'the real people' behind cultural myths is also… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Race Ethnicity Class Gender.  (2011, February 18).  Retrieved September 20, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/race-ethnicity-class-gender/592106

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"Race Ethnicity Class Gender."  Essaytown.com.  February 18, 2011.  Accessed September 20, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/race-ethnicity-class-gender/592106.