Archive for March, 2012

Mar 31 2012

Stereotypes: Assumptions Towards The Latino/a Race

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A stereotype gives assumptions about different races and genders, which can later affect the lives of children somewhere down the line. Stereotypes are associated with prejudice and discrimination, many stereotypes can be misleading having a huge impact on the lives of those that are surrounded by these ideas. Throughout the semester we have read many different pieces of literature that can be related to the idea of stereotypes. We have read different readings that deal with stereotypes of Spanish women to Spanish and white friends mingling to stereotypes directed towards students that are placed in ESL classes. For instance, in Nilda we see the idea of stereotypes towards Latina women, where the mother preaches to her daughter to be a good woman staying in school and getting an education and not getting pregnant like her mother had done; her mother states how she has wasted her life by having babies with so many different men and she doesn’t want her daughter Nilda to suffer the way her mother has in the past. We also see the stereotype of prejudice and discrimination in the reading “The Wrong Lunch Line” when the Hispanic girl and Jewish girl have a friendship but are forced to sit in separate sections at lunchtime in their school.

Throughout the semester the one group that I would like to relate to experiencing stereotypes are the students that are placed in ESL classes. For instance, the film “Immersion” that was on the class blog that we viewed gives a good example of the discrimination that ESL students face within the schools. It portrays how ESL students are seen as being excluded from the rest of the students because they are not familiar with the English language, therefore following the stereotype of being slower learners then those students that are English speakers. This video can be seen as supporting the argument that even though a student is placed in an ESL program, this does not necessarily mean that the student is not intelligent. In the video “Immersion” the young boy in the film is placed in a ESL class and is not able to understand the English language, yet he is one of the brilliant students in the class being able to problem solve through different techniques that does not involve speaking English.


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Mar 26 2012

“Nanny Spanish” or “Star Spanglish Banner?”

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After watching the two video clips from “Nanny Spanish” and “Star Spanglish Banner” it shows how ignorant the United States is towards the Latino/a society. In the video “Nanny Spanish” first off the stereotype that all nanny’s tend to be Spanish is portrayed and that white American mothers are the ones that hire these nannies being that is all that is seen in the video. I found it to be a humorous way to show how Americans are ignorant of the Latino/a background as well because in this video these women are in a class to learn the Spanish terms that they need to communicate with their “Spanish” nannies and it then turns into a class of learning vulgar phrases to direct towards the Latino/a nanny, which shows how America is ignorant and how these American women are seen as talking down upon the Spanish nanny because she doesn’t understand the English language. I found it to be humorous how the teacher teaches these women the wrong phrases to get back at them for wanting to bad mouth the Spanish culture and treat them as if they are lower just because they feel they have power over the nanny being she doesn’t speak English. I don’t feel that this idea was effective because the teacher was the only one who knew what was going on and these American women weren’t interested in learning the language so in the end it just made the American ladies look like fools because they were being taught the wrong terms in order to make them look stupid in the end.

On the other hand, the video “Star Spanglish Banner” I believe to have made more of an impact on people and is more effective because it takes a part the “Star Spangled Banner” and creates it to fit their own interpretation by changing the words to make the United States look like fools. In this video it shows how the Spanish come to America and how the idea of assimilation plays a role in the coming to America. It shows how they crossed the border and how they want their Spanish ways of life to be recognized just like our American ways of life are recognized and honored. For instance, they show the American flag being ripped and they hold rallies, which shows they want to have the power and be honored like Americans are in the United States and how they do not want to be looked down upon. It also refers to the people of the US as gringo’s which is showing how they don’t think very highly of US society and how they stated that they “crossed the border while the gringos were sleeping” meaning that the United States can be made a fool of because these people came over and the people of the US didn’t even realize it, showing ignorance.

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Mar 21 2012

The Destruction of Two Illusions

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Stereotypes from within are no less dangerous than those from without; if anything, we lend them more credence, and propagate the illusion under the banner of “The Inside Truth.” Saddest of all we finally begin to believe them ourselves. (Tafolla 1422)

This quote is trying to show how stereotypes exist both within a culture and exist outside a culture as well. This means that people that are not a part of the culture create stereotypes about a certain culture, whereas people within a certain culture have their own stereotypes about themselves.  There are two types of illusions that exist: internal and external. The external is a stereotype that originates from outside the ethnic group and the internal originates from within the ethnic group or culture. The quote is basically saying how those “internal illusions” about the culture are seen as being equally acknowledged by those that the stereotype is being directed towards. The key word “credence” in this case shows how due to these illusions the Chicano/a people eventually come to believe what is said about their culture through these internal/external illusions brought out by not only others outside their culture but brought out by those within the same culture and ethnic group. These stereotypes have been named as “The Inside Truth” making these people of this culture believe that these stereotypes, illusions, and assumptions about their ethnic group is actually true when in reality people create these not knowing that not every person in an ethnic group falls under the category of these stereotyped illusions.


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Mar 20 2012

“Nuyorican Poets”

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The experience of Puerto Ricans on the streets has caused a new language to grow: Nuyorican. Nuyoricans are a special experience in the immigration history of the city of New York. We come to the city as citizens and can retain the use of Spanish and include English….The interchange between both yields new verbal possibilities, new images to deal with the stresses of living on tar and cement. (Algarin 1345)

This quote explains the significance of the creation of the term “Nuyorican”. The term refers to the Puerto Ricans that come and migrate to New York City bringing many of their own ideas with them.  The Nuyorican Poets Café has brought much attention upon this group of people making them stand out in society. These people are seen as a “special experience” in the immigration history by bringing about their ways of culture to New York City. This group of people brings about a new culture to follow and shows how these Puerto Rican people assimilate into the American culture due to the way that they “retain the use of Spanish and include English” which shows that they are not ignorant of the English language spoken in New York. The migration of these Puerto Rican people to the city of New York brings about a new lifestyle and influences the creation of new language and opens up a new outlook on life and the way in which other cultures live their lives. The café has made a significant impact on the lives of these people by allowing them to be recognized through this hot spot and by allowing people to appreciate the ideas of the Nuyorican poets.

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Mar 18 2012


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The shop in Havana is dust

And the Irish cotton is dust

And my father, a dusty Jew

Day after day, each day comes home with a loaf of bred beneath his arm

Day after day, each day alike…. (Kozer 1242)

The term “diaspora” refers to the movement or migration of people scattering away from their homeland. In this poem the speaker talks about the Jewish people being spread around the world and in particular this family living in Havana, Cuba. The speakers father seems to own a shop in Havana and he refers to the shop as dust and he refers to his father as “a dusty Jew”. The speaker talks about how his lifestyle is quite dull living in the home and how each day seems to be the same repetitive routine.  The speaker refers to his life as being dull and boring living in the house, for instance, he states “day after day, each day alike”, this quote shows how the speaker’s life is dull and boring with no excitement to fill the hours of his day because he already expects to know what will happen because he is so use to the routine that his family follows and always expects his father to come home from his shop and expects his mother to do the same chores around the house.

No flower to ever be seen in any bedroom.

All the shops in Havana have closed,

The workers, in a noisy fever, file through the streets… (Kozer 1242)

This quote gives the reader the idea that the speaker’s household is very dull and bland looking on the inside. It compares the idea of what the inside of the household was like to the outside town after the shops close up for the night.  The speaker describes the house as being very plain and simple with little decorations around the rooms. He describes how “all the shops in Havana have closed” which allows us to create a visual of the quiet town and how all the workers are rushing home through the town creating a busy atmosphere with a lot of noise and traffic in the streets. He describes this moment as a “noisy fever” meaning that the surrounding outside is more exciting then what is going on in the dull, boring household that he experiences day in and day out.



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Mar 17 2012

“Immersion”: Views on ESL

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After viewing the video “Immersion” it made me realize the difficulties that children who do not speak English as their first language face in the classroom setting. I personally did not know much about ESL before our class discussion and was not aware of how unorganized the program was until after viewing this video. I believe that ESL is a good way to allow students who do not speak English to adjust in a classroom setting in order to be able to assimilate and become aware of the English language. I believe that ESL allows the students to seek help in the areas that they need being that they are unable to seek help at home where they do not speak English as a first language. I think that ESL is also a bad idea because it puts pressure on the children in those classes and separates these students from the rest of the students that are not in ESL making it known that these students are different from everyone else. I believe that ESL leads to stereotypes where the students are made fun of because they are in a different class and learn at a slower rate because they are not familiar with the English language.

In the video “Immersion” we see the young boy Moises who comes from a non-English speaking family and has to take his first exam in the US. The video shows how he is not able to understand what is going on in the class because the teacher speaks English at all times. I found it interesting how Moises was able to solve the mathematical problems by putting together what he understood and using a dictionary to try to translate what the teacher was stating in the class. The video also showed how Moises was made fun of and treated with disrespect by the other students because he did not understand the English language. I found it interesting how the teacher tried to help Moises because she recognized his knowledge even though he was unable to explain how he solved the math problems, the teacher is an important figure in the class due to the way in which he/she responds to the students knowledge and progress. This video shows how by placing children in classes where they are unable to understand the language has an impact on the child. For instance, Moises friend skips the test because he over heard the Principal saying how they will fail because they do not understand the language anyway, which is showing how these programs are not efficient and how schools do not put enough effort and time into the classes to help those that are struggling with the work, instead they just ignore it and let the students fail. I believe that this video shows how ESL programs need to be more organized and how teachers should put more time and effort into the students that are struggling like Moises struggled. The video shows how just because a student is placed in ESL classes doesn’t mean the student is not capable of doing grade-level work, in this case Moises was one of the students that was unable to read and understand the language and yet he was one of the intelligent students in the class. I feel that teachers need to be more involved in their students lives like Moises teacher was because this shows how his teacher tried to help him because she was aware of his knowledge and saw he understood the work being taught. This shows how even though Moises was unable to understand the language he still was capable of doing the work through other techniques and this shows how intelligent and serious he was about his education.

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Mar 13 2012

From Nilda: A Mother’s Dedication

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Nilda you must never do anything foolish like that. Never. Don’t have a bunch of babies and lose your life. Listen to what I say. I love you, Nilda, and I love your brothers, all of you, regardless of who the father was, I don’t care…you are all….still mine. (1053)

This quote is showing how Nilda’s mother is on her deathbed and is trying to preach to her young daughter to do the right things in life so she will not make the same mistakes her mother has made in the past. She is telling her daughter not to have children at a young age because it will be a burden to her. She is trying to get her point across to Nilda that she doesn’t want her daughter to struggle and have her life ruined like hers was. Even though the mother seems to be having a harsh conversation with her daughter she is doing this for her daughters well being. She doesn’t want her daughter to struggle throughout life. The mother is giving this advice to Nilda because she wants her to be strong and not make mistakes in life by having children at a young age because of the hardships she went through herself having Nilda and her brothers at a young age. She is trying to let Nilda know when you have children all the fun and games end and your life is now devoted to those children the way Nilda’s mother devoted her life to Nilda and her brothers. She tells Nilda how her and her brothers were all her mothers’ responsibility because they all came from different fathers, who left her mother to care for them on her own. It shows how the mother is the one to be left to raise the child no matter what regardless of if the father stays or if he leaves the woman. This shows how a woman’s dedication to her children never dies out and how for as long as a mother lives, she lives for her children, which the mother seems to compare to as giving up her life to raise her children so that they will live happy lives and not make the same mistakes she made in the past.


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Mar 10 2012

“The Wrong Lunch Line”: Separated Because Of Prejudice

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Yvette ate the free lunch provided by the school and Mildred brought her lunch from home in a brown paper bag. Because of school rules, free lunch children and bag lunch children could not sit in the same section, and the two girls always ate separately. This week, however, they had planned to eat together. (Mohr 1056)

This quote I believe shows how there are prejudices against Spanish that exist in everyday life that many people are unaware of. The quote shows how these two young girls who are friends are separated through such boundaries in their school where they are separated into two different groups while eating lunch. It specifically states how the one girl Yvette being the Spanish girl gets the “free” lunch while Mildred brings her lunch from home which shows the difference in class between the two girls. This shows how even in schools these children were not allowed to be associated with each other because of the difference in class, the two girls were friends but they would never be able to sit with one another because they are considered to be different from one another and this would be going against the school rules.  The quote does show the effort these girls made to make a difference by deciding to sit together which showed that they didn’t mind being associated with each other even though others would judge them for going against what was considered to be wrong being the two would sit together instead of sitting separate like they were supposed to which shows how society can have an impact on these races and shows how discrimination is continually a part of our everyday lives and how the actions of one person can make a difference by doing what they think is considered the right thing.

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Mar 05 2012

“I Am Joaquin”

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I am Joaquin, lost in a world of confusion, caught up in the whirl of a gringo society, confused by the rules, scorned by attitudes, suppressed by manipulation, and destroyed by modern society, … (Gonzalez 788)

This quote is stating how the speaker is lost and “confused” about his identity. He faces the hardships of being apart of the “gringo” society which is foreign to him. He refers to the “gringo” society being that he is experiencing being a part of the US. He states how he is “confused by rules” and “scorned by attitudes” which shows how the US doesn’t treat him with respect. The speaker talks about how he was “suppressed by manipulation and destroyed by modern society” meaning how he was forced and controlled by shrewd acts which has destroyed his culture and taken his identity by these acts of injustices.

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Mar 05 2012

A Girl Like Me: Stereotypes Take Toll

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After watching the video “A Girl Like Me” it made me realize how children are exposed to stereotypes at such young ages and are aware of how society views them through these stereotypes. I thought it was sad how these girls would feel bad about themselves because society views those who are black as being less attractive, not smart, having bad hair, and that they are not attractive because they have darker skin. These girls feel that they are not beautiful because they have darker skin and society forces them to think that lighter skin appears more beautiful, which is not the case. I found it to be sad that the mother of one of the girls in the video told her daughter to stop wearing her hair natural because she looked “African.”  These girls should be proud of who they are and what they look like and should not be mistreated because of what they look like or what color their skin is or what type of hair they have. I was shocked when I heard that some of these women would bleach their skin to try to make it lighter in order to be characterized as “beautiful.” The one thing that stuck out to me about this video was the “doll test” that they constructed. After seeing that most of the children preferred the white doll, it shows how these stereotypes have an impact of the child’s life. I found it interesting how when asked which doll is good and which is bad they would respond saying the white doll is good because “she” is white and when referring to the black doll they would say “it” is black. This shows how society views black from white and shows how they rank in society. Stereotypes are directed to all different races created by society and people don’t realize how stereotypes can have an impact on people’s lives like it had on these girls in the video leaving them feeling worthless because they are different.

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