This paper reflects on Richard Rodriguez’s claims about culture the article ‘Blaxicans and Other Reinvented Americans’. In this article, Rodriguez has vividly expressed his views about the way the cultures of American people have changed over the years. Cultural identities are no longer determined in the same way as in the past where the ‘black or white’ notion was a common classification factor (Rodriguez B11). As it would be observed, Rodriguez’s arguments in this article have raised a mixture of useful and harmful observations about culture.
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Throughout the article, Rodriguez has come up with very useful claims about culture. One of these claims is that, the embarrassing concepts or ways that were used to determine and classify cultures in the past are no longer used in the contemporary world.
These concepts have been overtaken by events and things such as fashion, language, literature, and cuisines are just some of the many aspects that people tend to identify themselves with, nowadays. This approach compared with the black and white notion which sounds more stereotypical. This view by Rodriguez is very encouraging, considering the fact that America is a diverse country that harbors people of different races.
Another useful observation by Rodriguez can be seen in the episode where he likens culture to air and food. Through this observation, Rodriguez makes it clear that, when immersed in certain cultures, people would absorb them in the same way they absorb the air they breathe or the food they consume.
The kind of impression Rodriguez tries to create here is that humans will tend to fit within the cultural demands of their living environments. This point can further be elaborated using a much simpler explanation that, people’s cultures are redefined by the various features of their surroundings. This explains the reason why Rodriguez had decided to view culture as a choice and race as an idea.
Rodriguez also draws harmful observations on culture in this article, thus raising a lot of controversy on his real stand about this significant trend.
For example, he points out that there is no connection between ethnicity and race, and therefore, people can always select their ethnicity based on the things they value and the kind of life they want to adopt. The climax of Rodriguez’s outrageous perception on this matter is clearly manifested through his decision to classify himself as a Chinese when questioned about his nationality (Alefaio 174).
In support of his startling response, Rodriguez was quick to assert that he considered himself so because he had lived in the Chinese region for quite sometime. This actually is a very misleading observation. Moreover, Rodriguez’s claim that he acknowledges assimilation on grounds where people of different cultures interact and adopt traits from one another is also a wrongful observation.
As it is observed from this article, Rodriguez has provided useful insight on culture and how it is determined. However, some of his claims are not persuasive enough to make him perfect on the matter. For instance, cultural classifications are still very common among people of different ethnicities, regardless of the fact that culture segments are fading away at a very rapid rate as Rodriguez points out.
These bad habits are still evident in some states where discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity prevails. In regard with how culture should be determined, I think there is nothing which can influence people’s cultural aspects more than their ethnicities. Even though it is true that the nature of our living environments will tend to have great impact on our cultures, this cannot exceed the rate by which ethnicity influences our cultures.
Alefaio, Siautu. “Reflections of a Practitioner: Purely a journey of the heart.” Pacific Health Dialog 15.1 (2009): 171-176. Print.
Rodriguez, Richard. ”Blaxicans’ and other reinvented Americans.” The Chronicle of Higher Education 12.9 (2003): B10-B11. Print.