Ronald Takaki

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What does Ronald Takaki say is the master narrative that has been perpetuated in America regarding its colonization?

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Ronald Takaki explains that the master narrative which has been perpetuated in America, greatly due to the educational curriculums throughout history, is that being American equates to being white or being of European ancestry. Takaki first came to this realization as a student at the College of Wooster. Takaki, who...

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Ronald Takaki explains that the master narrative which has been perpetuated in America, greatly due to the educational curriculums throughout history, is that being American equates to being white or being of European ancestry. Takaki first came to this realization as a student at the College of Wooster. Takaki, who identifies as an Asian American (intentionally omitting the hyphen to indicate Asian is an adjective which modifies American), was frequently asked by other students how long he had been in America and where he learned to speak English. Over forty years later, his own students report that they are still asked these same questions. Influenced by his race, his fellow students saw Takaki as an outsider and did not intuitively recognize him as a fellow American. The other students were "ignorant" about their acceptance of this master narrative, and he acknowledges that their beliefs were mostly benign. He quickly points out, however, that ignorance can spiral into dangerous beliefs and actions when left unchecked.

In his lecture titled "Why Multiculturalism Matters in America," Takaki explains that this master narrative, which has been told throughout history to countless students, propels attitudes and decisions which impact all Americans. He believes that it is important to therefore recognize the important contributions of a diverse American culture in order to foster a greater multicultural vision for America.

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