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Brown: Reflection

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Richard Rodriguez is a writer who, from his numerous works, explores the American future in terms of its racial and ethnic fabric. In his book, ‘Brown; The last discovery of America’ he asserts and defines the brown color which is initially seen as the Hispanics’ skin color as color that will become the future of America. He disagrees strongly on the already existing racial categories in America. He goes ahead to state that nature does not appreciate the fact that people are judged according to the color of their skin neither does He find any justification in differentiating skin color as yellow, white or even black.

In chapter 5: “Hispanics” Rodriguez brings out clearly his dissatisfaction about racial discrimination in America.  He employs the use of various stylistic devices such as imagery, a good sense of humor and also personification to pass his message across. In his writing in this chapter, he deliberately upsets his audience to show just how racial discrimination is unfit and that it should be done away with sooner rather than later.

He begins this chapter by posing the question, “Do Hispanics exist?” (Rodriguez, pg 104). When he tries to define the word Hispanic, he unravels the numerous disturbing stereotypes that are used to identify Hispanic in America. The meanings he comes across leads to him questioning the existence of true Hispanics. He is so much frustrated by the fact that Hispanics are not just seen as normal Americans but have so many nasty labels about them. In Rodriguez’s attempt to answer his own question, he tries to find the historical origin and existence of Hispanics.

He comes across one male lover of Latin decent, who is preoccupied with dark passions. After studying the lover, he fails to establish Hispanic traits. He moves to the Chicanos hoping to find answers to the true identity of Hispanics. To his surprise, the Chicanos distanced themselves from the term Hispanic. They preferred to be identified with term Latino rather than Hispanic. He expresses shock in the great irony that Latinos reject being called Hispanics but call people who are not Hispanics as Anglos. He fails to understand why Hispanics who are Anglo from his argument refer to Anglos as so. He goes ahead to explain that by using the Anglo language, Hispanics automatically become Anglos. He later comes to a conclusion that there are no true Hispanics in America and therefore any racial categorization that still exists is unfit and should be done away with as fast as possible.

Rodriguez emphasizes the need of America to appreciate the fact that it has gone through a total cultural transformation over time.  America has continued to welcome immigrants from other nations and in this case Hispanics which has had a greater influence in the country’s culture and even language. He thinks that the best way to describe America would be to look at it as a Brown state.  He concludes that America is an impure state without a true identity and thus represented by the color brown.  Rodriguez draws his conclusion from the fact that he tried, in vain, to find the true identity of Hispanics. He sees no point of any person being discriminated against in America to be particular. It comes out as quite a shame and ironical that a cosmopolitan nation like America still holds nasty stereotypes about certain groups of people. It is a nation without a true identity which can be referred to as impure and should be the last place that one should be discriminated against. He concludes the chapter by terming discrimination as an illegal. The mere fact that people in America think that all Latin Americans are Hispanic is both untrue and illegal at the same time. It is high time that America starts appreciating the fact that it is a nation of multiple cultures and stop holding on to old- fashioned stereotypes.

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