Why does Assimilation effect you?

Assimilation is an issue that almost every single person in this country has faced or seen in one way or another.America is considered to be a melting pot  which is supposed to be a place where different people’s, styles, theories, etc., are mixed together. However, it usually isn’t this easy to be accepted in America sadly, especially if you are not ‘white enough’. Even though America projects this message of acceptance and integration there is still a strong underlying expectation for foreigners to assimilate to American culture as well. It seems that Americans only adopt another’s culture when it is beneficial to them, but when it is not they reject it and see it as beneath them.There are countless reports of Americans getting frustrated with foreigners because they failed to assimilate to American culture “well-enough”.  The term “if you don’t speak english go home” has gathered a ridiculous amount of popularity, exemplifying the expectations we have set for foreigners.

At this point assimilation sees inevitable, it is a part of American culture, as we assume everyone should assimilate in order to fit out needs rather than trying to find a middle ground. Assimilation also seems to be quickened with second or third generation Americans marrying those from other, longer-settled ethnic or racial groups. The children of these intermarriages are much less likely to identify ethnically with their more recent immigrant ancestors and due to that they are most likely to be more economically and educationally integrated as well. Because Americans tend to view other cultures as lesser than theirs this ideology begins to sink into immigrants minds as well, and sometimes they begin to believe it. Once these immigrants begin to have children they see no need to teach them their native language as based off of the discrimination they have faced about it, it has no real value in America.

The reason why forced assimilation matters is that it affects everyone. Whether you are the daughter of an immigrant, an immigrant, or if your ancestors signed the constitution it affects you to some degree. There is a loss of culture happening in America and that negatively affects Americans worldly understanding, and causes us to become intolerable to other cultures.

As stated in “The Transmission of Affect” nothing we do is self-contained, as everyone is affected by others’ actions and there is no distinction between the individual and the environment. In “Nuclear Wasteland” by Valerie Kuletz states how many tried to individualize the nuclear problem in order to mask how much of a systemic issue it was on a mass scale. She connects this to the broader point of when people try to blame individuals for the negative effects rather than the main issues that caused it. This directly correlates with the issue of assimilation. People have it ingrained into their ideology that foreigners should assimilate to our needs, however we continue to blame this assimilation on the few racists that intimidate foreigners. However it is important to ask stop excluding yourself from this narrative and ask yourself this question? Have you ever gotten frustrated at someone for not speaking perfect English? Ever viewed a culture as beneath yours? If you answered yes or even maybe to any of these questions the problem starts with you, but now that you are aware you also have the option to fix this. 


~ by jaa646nyuedu on April 2, 2017.

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