Discuss the claim of the essay "The Chinese in All of Us" by Richard Rodriguez.

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carol-davis | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The essay "The Chinese in All of Us" encapsulates Richard Rodriguez's love for America.  When he was interviewed by Bill Moyers for a television news show, Moyers asked:

Do you consider yourself American or Hispanic?

I think of myself as Chinese," Rodriguez replied.

Despite having no oriental heritage, the author lives in San Fransisco which is predominately Asian, and predominately Chinese.  Living side by side, Rodriguez has begun to integrate many of their oriental customs.  That is America.  The immigrants bring with them their traditions and culture.  They embrace American customs, and America adopts many of theirs. 

His argument in the essay becomes then America is everyone who lives within its borders.  America is built by all of the the cultures and all of its diversity.  The variations in our lives come from the longstanding idea of people coming from all over the world to assimilate into the American way of life. 

I think that the adventure of living in a multi-racial, multi-ethnic America leaves one vulnerable to a variety of cultures, a variety of influences. 

As Americans,  everyone shares in the country's history. For example, to be an American, one must be a black American and share in their experiences--the slavery, the exhausting wait, and finally, the winning of their freedom and future.

Rodriguez's logic stands with merit.  America lives through its melding of lives, cultures, and heritages. 


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