Rowland Heights: A Narrative Analysis

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During the 1980s, six million immigrants from Latin America and Asia immigrated to California. This, in effect, had a great impact upon the development of cities, such as my hometown, Rowland Heights, which has a predominantly Asian American and Latino community. For instance, if you drive down Colima Road, you are greeted by a row of ethnic stores and restaurants that proudly display their names in their own language. Three years ago, I read an article about Monterey Park revising an ordinance that would make the use of Latin characters on signs mandatory, which caused anger in the community due to its similarity to an issue from the 1980s. I remembered this story when I noticed that many signs in Rowland Heights showcased foreign languages.…show more content…
Yet, these signs are located in the same city within the USA, and clearly demonstrate that each store has its own respective audience. The Korean store is advertising solely to the Korean community, while the Spanish store is only advertising to the Latino community, which shows how both store owners maintain their own cultural identity. Most importantly, both stores do not provide an English translation and are not required to. Thus, these signs are a significant representation of the desires and outcomes of the opposition movement to the English Only movement. The modern-day English Only movement began in California during the 1980s, fueled by a wave of xenophobia and “growing nativism” due to increased immigration (Crawford 186). Thus, the opposition movement was born since members of minority ethnic groups felt that the English Only ordinances were unjust, and wanted equality by having the right to speak their own language recognized, whether as written language on signs or spoken language. So, as expressed in the excerpt from Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience, all situations in which an…show more content…
Both of these signs are within close proximity of each other and are located in the same strip mall. Also, the signs belong to businesses which have the common goal of making financial gains. Thus, these characteristics are significant since they represent multiethnic harmony and show how different communities work together towards a common goal. Thus, this relates to the formation of multiethnic coalitions, one of the tactics utilized in the opposition movement, since the close proximity of different ethnic groups resulted in their unification as a multiethnic coalition to fight against the establishment of discriminatory English Only ordinances. For instance, in the 1986 Monterey Park incident, the Chinese and Latino communities unified to form the Coalition for Harmony in Monterey Park to fight against the English Only ordinance imposed by city council (Chen 25). The formation of a multi-ethnic coalition also allowed for communities to begin using other tactics, such as petitioning local government and filing litigations. Using the Monterey Park example once again, CHAMP petitioned local government to rescind the ordinance by collecting about 5000 signatures from the community, which convinced one of the city representatives to change his vote, effectively repealing that particular ordinance (Crawford 189). Furthermore, litigations were utilized to

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