A major counterargument Rodriguez addresses is the need for public and private identities in American culture. While his detractors lambaste his ideas, Rodriguez argues that everyone has a right to protect the sacredness of his/her private identity. In Hispanics, private identity is encapsulated in language (Spanish) and by extension, the diction that is unique to that culture alone.
Rodriguez maintains that it is wrong to rob Hispanics of their private identities, which inspire camaraderie and social cohesion in their communities. He presents an example from his life. Rodriguez remembers feeling uneasy when three nuns from his school pressured his parents to do more about his lack of fluency in English. Rodriguez felt that, by giving up their own special language (Spanish) at home, they were giving up the language of closeness.
In an instant they agreed to give up the language (the sounds) which had revealed and accentuated our family's closeness.
Rodriguez says that his parents' decision...
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