American Stereotypes of Immigrants
Peter Marin writes about how America is not a `melting pot’. He mentions that though that might not be so bad for America, it does have an effect on the immigrants that come to America. Marin explains that America takes the values and lives of immigrants and destroys them to fuel American life (Marin 82). In other words, rather than accommodate other cultures values and lives into the American life, America destroys those values and lives for the country’s own benefit. The values are not completely destroyed, but they remain and force immigrants to remember their past (Marin 83). Therefore, because of America’s ways, immigrants may not truly be happy. They come to this country expecting acceptance of their ways and instead they are molded to the American ways and racially slurred for their ways.
Race and labels are two main topics in Zora Neale Hurtson’s essay `How It Feels to Be Colored Me’. Children typically do not notice race or labels. It is not until they become older that the judgmental world around them reveals itself. Hurtson shapes American culture in an unfavorable way through the racial comments and labels that white people or Americans place on others. This type of behavior has been around for many generations. It has been a way of the American culture to believe Americans are superior because they are free and white people are superior for the color of their skin. There should be no labels. “Labeling,” is harmful to the person being labeled regardless of the content of the label’ (Stubblefield, par.18). Even if the label placed on a person is positive, it could still hurt them rather than help them (Stubblefield, par.18). Everyone should be viewed as equals. Hurtson uses a metaphor in her final paragraph to elaborate on why color or race shouldn’t matter. She gave the example of everyone being a bag. Everyone was a different color bag, and their contents were a jumbled mess, but nonetheless they were all unique. When all of the contents could be seen together, skin color or race would not matter (Hurtson 100).
American culture is viewed in a negative way by authors Jack Shaheen, Richard Rodriguez, Peter Marin and Zora Neale Hurtson. America has let the media take harmful ideas and run with them. There are many stereotypes on the media that should be removed. America as a country needs to be more accepting of change. Americans are determined to change immigrants into something more fitting for the American life. Consequently, that is driving some immigrants away from America in fear that they may lose their cultures. Racism and labeling need to be extinct in America for it to truly be a blended country. In order for America to live up to its nickname as a `melting pot’, everyone inhabiting America needs to work together to be more accepting of change, extinguish labels and racism, and to clean up the media. Then and only then will America be viewed in a more positive way and become one community where various types of people live together as a whole (Merriam-Webster).
Hurtson, Zora. “How It Feels to Be Colored Me.” Writing on the River. 3rd ed. Boston: McGraw, 2012. 97-100. Print.
Zora Neale Hurtson was born in Eatonville, Florida. She attended Howard University
and Barnard College. She was a novelist, short story writer, journalist and folklorist. Her
work “How It Feels to Be Colored Me” appeared in The World Tomorrow, and I Love
Myself When I am Laughing.
Marin, Peter. `Toward Something American: The Immigrant Soul.’ Writing on the River.
3rd ed. Boston: McGraw, 2012. 81-84. Print.
Peter Marin has written about morality, freedom patriotism, and homelessness. He has had nine essays collected in Freedom and Its Discontents: Reflections on Four Decades of American Moral Experience (1995).
Morganthau, Tom, and Adam Wolfberg. “America: Still a Melting Pot?” Newsweek 9 Aug.
1993: 16-24. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.
Tom Morganthau is a writer for Newsweek. He has written articles on topics from culture
And drug gangs to critical mass and slavery.
Adam Wolfberg is an obstetrician. He co-writes on articles with other authors, has his
Own blog, and writes short stories.
“Melting Pot.” Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2013.
Merriam-Webster is an online dictionary.
Rodriguez, Richard. `The Fear of Losing a Culture.’ Writing on the River. 3rd ed. Boston:
McGraw, 2012. 93-95. Print.
Richard Rodriguez is the son of Mexican immigrants. He has published many works
including Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez which is a collection
of autobiographical essays. He received his B.A. from Stanford University and his M.A.
from Columbia University.
Shaheen, Jack. `The Media’s Image of Arabs.’ Writing on the River. 3rd ed. Boston: McGraw,
2012. 85-87. Print.
Jack Shaheen earned his Ph.D from the University of Missouri. He has been a professor
at multiple universities, a television reporter, and a radio announcer. Some of his works
include The TV Arab and Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People.
Stubblefield, Anna. “Racial Identity and Non-essentialism About Race.” Wilson OmniFile Full
Text Mega Edition. H.W. Wilson, n.d. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.
Anna Stubblefield has very clear views on race and labeling. She wrote `Ethics Along
The Color Line.’