Identity Crisis In Mexican America

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As a Mexican American I was raised acknowledging both of my cultures, but as I got older the concept of being Mexican American became more complicated. I remember watching the movie Selena when I was younger and being able to relate to one scene that involved the discussion about how tiring it is to be Mexican American. The characters discussed how Chicanos have to prove that they are American enough for America and at the same time being Mexican enough for Mexico. Additionally, if they are too much of one or the other, they are faced with constant criticism. An identity crisis builds up for Chicanos because of the uncertainty of who they are and where they belong. The balance of being both Mexican and American has made it difficult for Chicanos…show more content…
Most Chicanos have a weak connection to Mexico. A way parents establish a connection between Mexico and their children is by teaching them Spanish. Often students with similar Hispanic backgrounds use Spanish to communicate with each other and this has caused issues for schools. Teachers have started to reprimand students for speaking Spanish and forbidding the use altogether. Teachers’ reasoning has been that by doing so, it creates a fair environment for students who do not understand the language, but this has an effect on Hispanic students. As Gloria Anzaldúa describes in, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue,” “In childhood we are told that our language is wrong. Repeated attacks on our native tongue diminish our sense of self” (210). When teachers tell their students to stop speaking Spanish, it affects the way those students perceive their culture. Teachers are indirectly telling students that their culture, which is tightly associated with their language, should not be expressed. I was in ninth grade when my teacher told me and the rest of my Chicano classmates that we should not speak Spanish in class. It felt like we were being stripped away of a special quality that made us stand apart from the rest of the class. After we were not allowed use Spanish, that attribute that made us unique individuals was gone. When someone’s culture is dismissed as a nuisance,…show more content…
It becomes difficult for Chicanos to balance being both Mexican and American equally without being criticized for being too much of one or the other. Pressures from both cultures contributes to Chicanos choosing which side gets represented more, thus forfeiting a part of their identity. The act of restricting Spanish makes Hispanic students feels like their culture is not of importance. Similarly, the condemning of the use of Spanglish pushes the idea that users are not good enough for their culture since they do not speak both languages fluently. Lastly, the negative effects of the media contribute to the creation of a stigma that makes Chicanos want to separate themselves with their Mexican identity. For Mexican Americans to fully embrace their biculturalism, criticism for being both Mexican and American needs to

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