Embracing Diversity Essay

Embracing Diversity Essay.

It is said that by 2050, the population of the United States will increase by 82 % if current trends continue as they are. It is also states that of that increase in the population that 50 million will be immigrants and another 67 million will be of natural immigrants that are now citizens. Jeffrey Passel and D’Vera Cohn (2008). With the current bias, and prejudice attitude toward ethnic groups. We as a society will need to become more diverse in our society to accommodate this growth in our population.

Some will fear this “invasion” of our borders, but others will be ready to embrace it with opportunity. Our country is ready for change and this is the change that could continue to make this the greatest country that it is. Some of the challenges the culture of the United States face due to the diverse people in the country is communication. Another challenge is the attitude of being unwilling to change, the attitude of “it has always been done this way…” comes in the way, with a diverse group in the workplace.

Finally, with diversity in the workplace comes the challenge of implementing all this and mixing the diversity in the company and getting the benefits of a diverse group. With the difference of ethnic backgrounds, there tends to be beliefs and perceptions on how things are and should be. These challenges can be great stumbling blocks at the work place. Diversity not only involves how people perceive others, but how they perceive themselves as well. With a large company there is a wide assortment of challenges for everyone to work effectively as an organization. Human resource professionals need to deal with these issues properly. Successful organizations recognize the need for immediate action and are ready and willingly to spend the resources on managing the diversity in the workplace. There is a reason for the company to want to manage this challenge, for with such a great opportunity to have a diverse culture in the company workplace come a variety of resources and resources that can benefit the company by the diverse solutions available.

The workforce has a greater variety of solutions to problems in service as well as allocations on resources. A diverse group brings with them a diverse background with individual talents and experiences in suggesting ideas that are flexible in adapting to the customer’s demands and fluctuating markets around the world. As the economy becomes increasingly diverse, organizational success and competitiveness will depend on the ability to manage diversity in the workplace effectively. (Josh Greenberg) When it comes to stereotyping, the media is one of the best examples on how you can stereotype a diverse group for ratings. While it remains a problem in the United States with illegal immigrants working in the United States, you have the media stereotyping certain ethnic groups as being one of the biggest problems to this issue.

On one side of the topic, you have the actual problem of men and women working inside the U.S. without proper documentation. That is the story, yet if you were to get the public view on the very same story that is where prejudice and stereotyping really come into play. Take into account the story about a boycott back in 2006. It was thought that on May 1st of 2006 that all the “illegal” workers were going to call in sick to show they had a voice. One reporter stated this in her story and it still holds true today. L. Brent Bozell III “Meaningful immigration reform” simply means amnesty for illegal aliens, and encouraging more illegal immigration in the future. These people seem to have no finger on the pulse of average Americans, who don’t like illegal-alien cheaters having the audacity to first come into the country illegally, and then demand their “rights”. Then to state that it is virtually impossible to report the news without prejudice because of the people’s view.

And “if the media’s job is simply to report without prejudice, then what of the views of the vast majority of Americans, outraged by the sight of illegal aliens demanding “rights” from the government they refuse to obey?” This unfortunately is true. The United States culture does stereotype and our culture does discriminate ethnic cultures and groups of men and women for their differences and not for who they are. The news and the issues in America are a variety of how we as a society believe in, otherwise we as a culture would not have a more direct voice except on election day. Today, we have so many reality T.V. shows with such a great diverse group of men and women starring in them that the public gets a chance to see how someone with an ethnic background other than ours live. This is good for it opens the doors for society to see the similarities and the differences and realize it is alright.

The media plays a great part in showing diversity in a positive light. Diversity starts early and it starts when you are in school. Look at the issues the schools face today. You have issues with prayers in school, Should we as a country still allow prayer in school? We have such a vast and great mix of children in school today that that would be a great place for anyone parent to learn more about diversity. Become a parent that is involved with their child’s school and what they do. The school system and the country’s education always needs volunteers. What better place to teach children to embrace the difference between one child and another. Help the schools stop ignorance and bullying. Children are afraid to go to school from fear of being bullied. “An epidemic that causes 160,000 children a day to stay home from school because they are afraid of being bullied, according to the U.S. Department of Education”. By JIM DUBREUIL and EAMON MCNIFF. It has been proven school is a diverse place, with multiple cultures and ethnic groups. You have every type of person and belief at school.

By going back to school you can achieve a higher education and get a chance to work with other people that are not like you. A college student is surrounded by a variety of opportunity to learn about just how diverse our country really is. The basic idea is that a student learns a great deal from their interaction in and out of the classroom. A students exposure to the diverse views and the individuals will provide them with a greater personal development and challenge. So if someone is looking for a way to learn more about diversity, either get involved with your child in school, or go back to school yourself. This country needs to get involved with diversity, In the workforce area the company’s have just started to scratch the surface of how having a diverse group of people working for them is by far a benefit and not a hinderance. Society is surrounded by diversity. Our country has embraced the idea of having a “melting pot” early in our country’s history.

It has taken a while for the citizens to embrace this concept, but finally the society of the United States has started to embrace the “melting pot” attitude. Diversity matters in our country, diversity matters in our schools, and diversity matters in who we are as a person. In this day of age, a person is no longer tied down to “this side of the tracks”, a person may be in Idaho, but having a conference online with people on the east coast and in Bosnia. Diversity expands worldliness. Can a person function in life without having a little working knowledge of how other cultures act? In today’s social life one needs to expand their social awareness. Diversity expands self-awareness by learning from people whose backgrounds and experiences are different than our owns, only allows us to learn more about who we are.

A person learns when challenged. Hyman, and Jacobs Stated “Diversity promotes creative thinking. Diversity expands your capacity for viewing issues or problems from multiple perspectives, angles, and vantage points. These diverse vantage points work to your advantage when you encounter new problems in different contexts and situations. Rather than viewing the world through a single-focus lens, you are able to expand your views and consider multiple options when making decisions and weighing issues of, for example, morality and ethics.” We are a culture growing and in the technology age we are only going to know more people that differ than ourselves.


Jeffrey Passel, Jeffrey and Cohn,D’Vera (2008). Immigration to Play Lead Role In Future U.S. Growth Greenburg, Josh (2009). Diversity in the Workplace: Benefits, Challenges and Solutions Bozell III, L. Brent (2006). The Pro Illegal Immigration Media Dubreuil, Jim and Mcniff, Eamon (2010). School Bullying Epidemic, Turning Deadly, Nightline Hyman, S. Jeremy and Jacobs F. Lynn (2009) Why Does Diversity Matter at College Anyway?

http://www.multiculturaladvantage.com/recruit/diversity/Diversity-in-the-Workplace-Benefits-Challenges-Solutions.asp http://www.nationalledger.com/news-tech/the-pro-illegal-immigration-me-985853.shtml http://abcnews.go.com/2020/TheLaw/school-bullying-epidemic-turning-deadly/story?id=11880841 http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/professors-guide/2009/08/12/why-does-diversity-matter-at-college-anyway http://pewresearch.org/pubs/729/united-states-population-projections

Embracing Diversity Essay

Americanization During the Late 19th Century Essay

Americanization During the Late 19th Century Essay.

Between 1880 and 1930, despite heavy restrictions on immigration, millions of people from Eastern and Southern Europe emigrated to the United States. As they settled into the urban cities, native-born and second-generation American citizens saw these immigrants and their foreign values and behaviors as a threat and thus sought to “Americanize” and assimilate them into the mainstream American society. However, Americanization in the eyes of the native-born was different from how immigrants understood Americanization. There were formal institutions for learning English and the American government system but the new immigrants learned just as much about the American way of life on the factory floor from their co-workers, on the streets from gangs, and at radical political party rallies from the Socialist recruiters.

The three major factors in the Americanization process were the influence of Irish American culture, the working class culture, and the “support” for a melting pot society.

The Irish were unavoidable in the urban cities of the Northeast and Midwest. By 1920, ninety percent of the urban population was Irish and they were dispersed throughout the inner city and the city limits (“The Irish and the ‘Americanization’” 4).

If a new immigrant moved to New York or Chicago, their neighbors were most likely Irish. For many new immigrants, whose lives remained within the city limits where there was work, the Irish people were American people and if they were to learn the American way of life, it was the Irish and their way of life that they observed (“The Irish and the ‘Americanization’” 4). Irish American women played a vital role in the process of Americanization as public school teachers, as labor organizers and social reform activists, as marriage partners with men from various ethnic backgrounds, and as spouses and mothers within the Irish American community helping to produce notions of citizenship (“The Irish and the ‘Americanization’” 6).

Irish street gangs also helped Americanize the immigrants; specifically, they taught them the importance of racial boundaries. Unlike some street gangs which are mostly defensive (“The Irish and the ‘Americanization’” 8), Irish gangs went out looking for fights, even if it meant fighting amongst themselves (“The Irish and the ‘Americanization’” 9). As the first immigrant group to settle in American cities, they managed to gain control of much of the residential space and move slightly up the social hierarchy where they were factory foremen and store clerks. They resented any incursion by other ethnic groups for fear that their bosses would give job preferences to foreigners willing to work for little money (“The Irish and the ‘Americanization’” 9). There was also a fear of interracial marriage and romances and a general sense of entitlement to an entire neighborhood (“The Irish and the ‘Americanization’” 9). So, they created ethnic spaces that persisted for decades and were validated by adults.

The other immigrants as well as African-American migrants learned and imitated this exclusive attitude and formed street gangs themselves. Certain streets like Wentworth Avenue in Chicago remained a site for racial conflict long after the Race Riot of 1919 (“The Irish and the ‘Americanization’” 8). The obsession with race and racism became a part of the American identity. The Irish also tried to Americanize the Catholic Church but this Americanization was very different from the Anglo-American nativist Americanization. With the exception of the Jews, most if not all of the new immigrants were Catholic (“The Irish and the ‘Americanization’” 4) like the Irish but their ideologies varied greatly. Most of the new immigrants considered the “Americanization” of the Catholic Church more like “Hibernicization” instead since the Irish wanted the immigrants to adhere to Irish Catholic ideologies (“The Irish and the ‘Americanization’” 19).

The Irish saw the festas, folk festivals dedicated to a community’s patron saint and central to a peasant’s religious life, as barbaric (“The Irish and the ‘Americanization’” 21). Some of the new immigrants did not go to church every Sunday or contribute towards the collection box every Sunday. In contrast, the conservative Irish were well-known for their reverence. They would attend Mass at least weekly and one would notice that in the Irish enclaves there was a church every three or four streets (“The Irish and the ‘Americanization’” 21). Some Italian enclaves did not have a church at all and some Italians called “priest eaters” were even hostile towards Catholic bishops (“The Irish and the ‘Americanization’” 20), considering their religion as distinct from the institutional church (“The Irish and the ‘Americanization’” 21). Americans, Protestants, and Catholics came to regard the Italians as little better than pagans and idolaters (“The Irish and the ‘Americanization’” 22) and great effort was made to stamp out Italian free thought.

As far as the native-born Irishmen were concerned, in order to be a good American, one needed to be a devout Irish Catholic. Even though priests and nuns followed their congregation from the Old World and built ethnically based religious schools, hospitals, and other social institutions, the people holding authority over these places were usually Irish (“The Irish and the ‘Americanization’” 17). This was not always a bad thing though since the Irish leaders often supported progressive positions on welfare policies such as pensions, public housing, social insurance, the right to organize, and many other social issues that their Eastern and Southern European followers were interested in (“The Irish and the ‘Americanization’” 25). Irish Catholic nuns also played a vital role in Americanizing more recent immigrant children in the parochial schools (“The Irish and the ‘Americanization’” 19). Supervisors and foremen were constantly teaching immigrant laborers how things worked in American factories, specifically who was in charge, to do what they were told, and to keep working (“Americanization from the Bottom Up” 1004).

Many companies either sponsored their own English instruction and citizenship classes or worked in conjunction with the YMCA and other agencies to put on evening or plant classes (“Americanization from the Bottom Up” 1003). Steel mills, meat packers, and textile plants established acculturation programs similar to Henry Ford’s Five Dollar Day plan where case workers would investigate the immigrant’s work record and his home life to see if he qualified for the five dollar incentive pay. Ford argued that these men must be taught American ways, learn to speak English, and the right way to live (“Americanization from the Bottom Up” 1003). He even went so far as to fire nine hundred Greek and Russian workers who missed work because they celebrated Orthodox Christmas, which took place thirteen days after December 25th, to show that immigrant laborers must observe American holidays (“Americanization from the Bottom Up” 1003).

The earlier generation of immigrants, who had lived in the United States for less than a decade, had developed ways to cope with these rigors of wage labor and had years of urban and industrial experience. The new immigrants along with Black and Mexican migrant workers also learned to coexist and learn from these “old” immigrants. Racism did occur since these old immigrants were comprised of British, German, Scandinavians, English-speaking Canadians, and Irish laborers. However, these people understood the value of interethnic cooperation and thus a new working class culture was born. Many of the ideas, organizations, and institutions commonly associated with the working class culture today developed out of Old World values and experiences but applied to America’s industrial setting (“Americanization from the Bottom Up” 999-1000).

There was a high advocacy for trade unionism and Socialism which praised the laborer. Reading material that the immigrants had access to preached the values of atheism, health foods, popular science, temperance, etc (“Americanization from the Bottom Up” 1006). Many educated and politically active immigrant laborers from various ethnic backgrounds and joined the Socialist Labor party and the Communist party. They shared a vision of a new and better world where laborers could have access to the kind of wealth that their bosses had (“Americanization from the Bottom Up” 1007). Activists encouraged immigrants to practice their Constitutional right of free speech and defend themselves, to speak out against long work days, unfair foremen, and poor working conditions which were “against the Constitution” (“Americanization from the Bottom Up” 1009).

How were they supposed to raise their children as good “American” children with “American” standards of living without higher wages, shorter work days, and better working conditions (“Americanization from the Bottom Up” 1009)? When unions organized, all racial, religious, and cultural barriers went away. As far as they were concerned, class struggle was more important than race struggle (“Americanization from the Bottom Up” 1006). The labor union was the only place the Slavs, Lithuanians, Germans, and Irish mixed together well until mixing along other lines eventually came into play (“Americanization from the Bottom Up” 1010). This certainly was not the kind of Americanization that employers and the native-born citizens had in mind but it was how many new immigrants discovered America. The social construction of whiteness was also vital in the Americanization process. The new immigrants had status as “in-between” people, better than the Asians and Blacks but also below “white” people (“Inbetween Peoples”, 4).

The immigrant working class was referred to as “temporary Negroes” and the Greek Americans in the Midwest would be perceived as Mexican, mulatto, Puerto Rican, or Arab (“Inbetween Peoples”, 8). The Italians were called the “Chinese of Europe” and at the same time as “black as the blackest negro in existence” (“Inbetween Peoples”, 8-9). It was not just informal racism from native-born citizens that the immigrants faced; they also had to contend with the institutionalized racism. There was especially great fear over interracial relationships despite their infrequency. An immigrant woman could be prosecuted for race-mixing and a native-born woman could lose her citizenship if either became involved with immigrant men categorized as non-white (“Inbetween Peoples”, 5).

U.S. naturalization laws focused heavily on race, consistently preventing any non-whites from gaining citizenship (“Inbetween Peoples”, 9). European immigrants would be allowed into the country being perceived as white and would usually be granted their whiteness in naturalization cases in the courthouses only to have their racial status and their fitness for citizenship constantly questioned by the public (“Inbetween Peoples”, 10) Thus, an Americanization effort was mounted where the mixing of the Eastern and Southeastern European races and the “white” English-speaking race of Americans would make the nation stronger as a whole. Black, Asian, and Mexican migrants were consistently excluded from this process since they were consistently perceived as non-white and therefore unfit for citizenship (“Inbetween Peoples”, 10).

Nonetheless, there was harsh opposition from both Conservative and Progressive Americans who believed in Eugenics and were afraid that the “inferior races” would ruin the American race. They believed that the violence and brutality associated with Italian stereotypes could be inherited genetically and would cause a moral deterioration of the country (“Inbetween Peoples”, 12). Some supporters of the melting pot did not want the English-speaking races overrun with un-American Slavic and Southern-European biology as if language and culture were also things that could be inherited genetically (“Inbetween Peoples”, 12). Also, having a pale skin color and the ability to speak English did not always ensure that one could become white. For example, in the South, an American would not engage in agricultural, manual labor, that was work for the Negroes.

Naturally, seeing that the Italians were willing to do this work, U.S. Southerners concluded that Italians were un-American and lacked dignity (“Inbetween Peoples”, 32). During World War I, the status of recent immigrants as Americans especially came under scrutiny because the native-born citizens wanted to know whether the immigrants’ political loyalty lied with the United States or their mother country. In order to be one hundred percent white and one hundred percent American, immigrants had to completely abandon all sense of national pride and identify completely with the United States. A large part of the immigrant population did so willingly while some immigrants like the Jews and Italians chose to identify with nonwhites with whom they often shared their lives with.

In general, the new immigrants chose not to talk about race whenever possible and instead focused on nationality and loyalty to American ideals (“Inbetween Peoples”, 31). Americanization for the new immigrants meant various things depending on where in the U.S. they lived and who they encountered. It was a lifelong process that involved daily observation and learning new ideas from a wide variety of sources such as the vaudeville house, the saloon, the workplace, and the street corner. Americanization was just as much about establishing race and class divisions as it was about integrating the Eastern and Southern European immigrant groups with the Northern Europeans. It was usually a coercive process since their lives and their jobs were dependent upon them becoming American.

Americanization During the Late 19th Century Essay

Essay On Immigration Essay

Essay On Immigration Essay.

1. There are already millions of undocumented workers in the U.

S. Would you favor granting them amnesty since they are working or make them leave and file the proper forms and papers? 2. Do you believe the U.S. is doing enough to prevent undocumented workers from sneaking into the country? 3. Would you favor a cap on the number of immigrants entering the U.S. and why? 4. What do you think are some of the economic effects—positive and negative—of having so many immigrants living in the U.S.? Now that I’m going to be graduating high school this year my concern for finding a job could be harder due to undocumented workers.

Employers hire immigrants because they work longer hours for less money because they accept any offer as long as they get paid. I think that undocumented workers should leave and get their proper paperwork and forms filed in order to work in the United States. It’s not fair if someone comes to my country without permission and takes jobs that United States citizens should have the first opportunity too.

I understand they have financial struggles in their own country but by coming to the U.S undocumented puts a strain on the United State’s economy and then slowly makes the U.S have financial struggles. America’s immigration system is broken. Too many employers game the system by hiring undocumented workers, and there are 12 million people living in the shadows. Neither is good for the economy or the country.

Essay On Immigration Essay

Benefits/disadvantages of immigration Essay

Benefits/disadvantages of immigration Essay.

Immigration has its advantages and dis-advantages. Many people hold different views in regards to whether immigration is beneficial or not; these views will be expressed in this piece of writing. Immigration is somewhat beneficial to a country as immigrants can boost a countries economy. For example skilled and successful immigrants that reside in the UK pay taxes towards the running of the government therefore boost the economy. Highly educated immigrants are a benefit to a country as they can become things such as nurses, doctors, and teachers; this would benefit not only the country but the people of it.

Immigration is beneficial as it helps first world countries help those of third world countries. People who have fled from their countries could find refuge in a first world country- through immigration. Immigration can be beneficial to a country as many immigrants that travel to different countries bring with them their culture and establish it in their new country(s).

Things such as Chinese takeaways were brought to the UK by the Chinese and have become a part of the British culture.

Mosques were built in the UK by Muslims as a place for them to worship and Indian takeaways were established in the UK by Indians. Immigration can turn a country in to a multi-cultural society. The dis-advantages to immigration are that those who come to live in a country without any qualifications would be slowing down the economy of a country. The government would have to fend for the citizens of the country as well as the immigrants; putting a huge strain on the taxpayer. My opinion regarding the quote is that immigration is beneficial but with its downsides. I believe that immigrants that contribute positively to a country could be looked at as beneficial, however immigrants that contribute negatively could be looked at as a dis-advantage to a country.

Benefits/disadvantages of immigration Essay

“Does America Still Exist?” by Richard Rodriguez Essay

“Does America Still Exist?” by Richard Rodriguez Essay.

In the short essay “Does America Still Exist?” by Richard Rodriguez, the primary inquiry is found by plainly considering the title. This question is much deeper than what some might consider it to be. In order to even begin to consider this interrogation, Rodriguez must first define “America”. In his opinion, the main cornerstone of this country is the unity and welcomeness in which it was created. After defeating the might British in order to become independent, the solidarity among the victors begot the American core.

“We pledge allegiance to diversity.

America was born Protestant and bred Puritan, and the notion of community we share is derived from a seventeenth-century faith”. (Paragraph 7) America has been immensely diverse throughout its short time in history. This is where Rodriguez is puzzled. If this great nation is diverse and the American citizens have defined themselves as hospitable, then how come there are vast amounts racism and immigration headaches? Has the nation lost its true identity and finally given up on trying to assimilate “foreigners”?

This latter half of this dissertation is very similar to Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s essay “Documented/ Undocumented”.

Gómez-Peña focuses on the different manner immigrants are viewed once they arrive in America and the evolution that an immigrant has in America. Rodriguez expands on this topic as he expresses the ways immigrant children are changed in schools and are “assimilated into gringo society”. (Paragraph 12) This transformation is frowned upon the parents of these children since their offspring do not resemble the children that immigrated into America and they have lost the identity that traces back to their native land. Rodriguez also mentions how he feels that he became like his classmates(i.e. became Polish, Italian) while his classmates reciprocally assimilated a little into his Hispanic heritage. I can definitely relate to this assumption since in the majority of my classes, classmates inquire about my past and they are engrossed about what I tell them.

When Rodriguez mentions that the famed melting pot of America has become “retired, clanking, into the museum of quaint disgrace, alongside Aunt Jemima and the Katzenjammer Kids” (Paragraph 12), I tend to agree. In my interpretation of melting pot, I see various folks that have different heritages becoming one and having healthy relationships that include discovering about each other pasts and “assimilating” into each other’s culture. In my time here in America, I have seen this occur, but I have also experience the polar opposite. In schools, kids that are Asian only relate to other Asian classmates, same for Hispanics and Blacks. This isn’t healthy for America and this isn’t what America was founded on. Unity and togetherness have always been resilient values of this nation and having those values be deteriorated will cause future problems. How can this fissure be resolved?

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“Does America Still Exist?” by Richard Rodriguez Essay

“Shadowed Lives” by Leo R. Chavez Essay

“Shadowed Lives” by Leo R. Chavez Essay.

One of the few case studies of undocumented immigrants available, this perceptive anthropological study improves a group of people too often abridged to statistics and typecast. The suffering of Hispanic relocation is expressed in the immigrants’ own accent while the author’s voice elevates questions about authority, typecast, settlement, and assimilation into American society.

Immigrants are torn by contradictory social and intellectual demands, while facing the confront of entry into a strange intimidating environment. The migratory progression, for whatever the reason, seems to improve the sense of harmony among those who migrate, who are often united by ties of affiliation, community and customs, as well as class.

Symbols of ethnicity, such as language and religious behavior serve as reminders of their origin to the migrants themselves, while at the same time marking these people as outsiders in their new locale. Some migrants make a conscious decision to abandon an old unsatisfactory way of life for what they believe will be paradise on earth, land of the free, the place to find the American dream, never thinking about why or what the leave behind.

For others, migration leads to a new existence, one that incorporates two or more ways of doing things, and a declining sense of national loyalty.

Many workers are reluctant to seek health care for fear of being deported, losing their jobs, losing money and many don’t even know where to seek help since they rarely leave campsites. Immigrants try not to draw attention to their presence and generally do not attend church services, school or go to the movies (Chavez 63-82). Many only stay immigrants, come to the United States and return to his/her origin either on their own or through deportation. Few actually have the chance of becoming settlers and staying in the US for years to come. For undocumented immigrants, crossing the border is a territorial passage that can be divided into three important phases: separation from the known social group or society, transition (the liminal phase), and incorporation into the new social group or society (Chavez, 4-5).

Immigrants only want enough money for survival and provide basic living needs for their families. Another motive for separation, seeking “the Immigrant’s dream” relates to “the American dream” to gain upward mobility and more economic opportunities. Other motives involves females who want to continue relationship connections with men follow them to the US, or some even want to flee from existing relationships, family conflicts or simply out for adventure and satisfy curiosity (Chavez 21-39).

Chavez presents a clear fair look at the ruthless and often unsafe life of undocumented immigrants primarily in Southern California. Chavez holds the reader through precise description of people who stay on the borders of American society for fear of deportation. Their stories are moving; their persistence astonishing. North American readers will be reminiscent of just how confined and privileged they are by the good quality of living in America. An ought to read for anybody trying to comprehend the complication of illegal colonization or in the location to make strategy on the topic.


Chavez, Leo R., (1992) Shadowed Lives: Undocumented Immigrants in American Society New York: Harcourt Brace College Publishers.

“Shadowed Lives” by Leo R. Chavez Essay

Delaney Mossbacher Characterization Essay

Delaney Mossbacher Characterization Essay.

Delaney Mossbacher resides in the hills of Topanga Canyon, away from the rest of Los Angeles and its ethnic problems; he tells himself it is to feel at peace with nature. He disagrees with the idea of living in the seclusion of the white American neighborhood of Arroyo Blanco to escape ethnic disputes the city holds; he lives in Topanga Canyon to satisfy his environmentalist title. After letting Delaney’s character develop more to give further insight on who Delaney truly is, there is no need to address how one action of his gives him a specific trait.

Delaney strongly stands by his liberal views when other characters criticize Mexican immigrants, but when he is faced with a situation possibly involving a Mexican immigrant his liberal views dissipate. Delaney can give off a sense of awkwardness when found in an uncomfortable situation, but he can’t be classified as being completely socially awkward. He does, however, possess an introverted personality. He will not be the type of person to take charge or one to freely initiate a conversation.

At this point of his life Delaney is being bombarded with a number of incidents that cause him to formulate a dislike and anger toward Mexican immigrants. Delaney allows what occurs around him to dictate how he reacts to situations. This starts to promote contrast in his liberal views, making him a product of the society and cultural views that surround him. At first attempt to characterize Delaney it took a number of possible traits, and it summed up to: Delaney struggles to be a normal person due to his social awkwardness and lack of common sense, but that was only with part one of The Tortilla Curtain.

After seeing further development of Delaney’s character, it is observed he does communicate well with others unless he’s uncomfortable, his marriage is normal and has its rough patches like most other relationships, and that Delaney isn’t completely irrational in the way he reacts in stressful situations. Delaney reacts on impulse and jumps to conclusions like most people do. “Delaney would be on his own. But Delaney didn’t want to be on his own (225).

” In part one, solitude seems to enlighten Delaney, though he clearly states he doesn’t like being alone in part two. Yet he is alone for the majority of each day, Delaney enjoys the company of others and expresses how he eagerly waits for the Kyra to return at the end of each day. So Delaney keeps himself productive and finds things to do while Kyra is at work. So why did Delaney marry Kyra if she is a workaholic? Delaney finds happiness in his life by catering to Kyra, he feels she compliments him by completing everything he isn’t.

Delaney is a proud liberal humanist, proud that he stands for the right for anyone to have to the right to pursue the American dream and pursue a better life. He is all for everyone having their rights when it best suits him, but where do these liberal views go when he assumes Mexican immigrants are camping in the canyon leaving their trash in attempt to make it a garbage dump, a little Tijuana (Boyle 11)? When he concludes Mexican immigrants stole his car? When he absolutely knows what Jose Navidad is doing in his neighborhood demanding the Mexican man to explain himself.

Ever since he hit Candido, Delaney has sheltered inner conflict within him and doesn’t become apparent to what he is becoming until the incident in his cul de sac, “so devastated he couldn’t speak, what was happening to him, what was he becoming (229)? ” Delaney is back and forth between two different people, he is not a liberal humanist he is a hypocrite. The Delaney that’s shows concern for the immigrants, like after the news that the corner of Shoup and Ventura had been cleaned up along with the labor exchange, his thoughts are, “Where were these people supposed to go (193)?

” The Delaney that still has glimpses of his liberal views is contrast with the new Delaney. The Delaney becoming a product of the society that surrounds him is starting to shape his thoughts, thus the first impulses and conclusions he has are racist. Delaney is from New York. The east coast has a large diversity of ethnic cultures due to the many European immigrants that had immigrated generations before. Delaney’s liberal views could have been shaped by the culture he grew up in because of the large diversity of race after so long.

There was not a large amount of racism on the east coast, and or he received the same kind of racial tension for being Irish-American. Now that he resides in California and he is now part of the white superior group, the people around him like to conservatively think they are better than anyone else. Whatever the underlying cause of his sudden change of feelings towards Mexican immigrants, it is do the influences that had started to take affect around him.

Delaney channels his anger through his writing; he uses his articles Pilgrim at Topanga Creek to describe the coyote but the coyote is symbolic of much more than itself. It symbolizes the life of the Mexican immigrants. He uses the coyotes as metaphor to stand for Mexican immigrants, because like the coyote, the immigrants also coincide among the white American population, struggling to survive. There is a fence between the coyotes and the Mossbacher’s dogs but the coyotes still breach it. Just like there is a U. S.

and Mexican border the Mexican immigrants find their way across in search of better lives. At first reading the second article on the coyotes just seemed as if Delaney was venting his frustration because another coyote had struck again. Then something stood out, “The coyotes keep coming, breeding up to fill in the gaps, moving in where the living is easy. They are cunning, versatile, hungry and unstoppable (215). ” Delaney’s implicit thoughts could very well stand for his true feelings of the Mexican immigrants and all along his liberal views were all talk, never truly made to be put to action.

He passes by the perfect opportunity to put his liberal views to action when Todd Sweet asks Delaney to intervene in opposition with the wall (227). So was Delaney Mossbacher ever a true liberal humanist at all? His racism had been dormant and it took the fire of hitting Candido, Jack’s influence, and the incidents that kept including Mexican immigrants, to somehow spark the same racism he could have possibly felt growing up as a child. The wall represents more than what Delaney and the citizens of Arroyo Blanco see it as.

More than a distance between humans and nature and more than keeping the unwelcome out. The wall is a symbol of the strong separation between the prospering white Americans and the struggling Mexican immigrants. The Mexican immigrants that are working hard to achieve the American Dream, while the wealthy Americans feed them nonsense but know the immigrants will never amount to anything. Delaney describes the wall as not only “keeping them out, but look what it keeps in (224).

” This refers to the racism Jack’s son displayed, concluding that walling in all the poisonous racism it would affect Jordan, just like it had already affected Delaney living in the seclusion of Arroyo Blanco. Delaney has become a developing product of his racist community and society. He fears the worst for Jordan to grow up around racial tension, but has not yet seen how much it already has affected him. Delaney is gradually losing his liberal views, while also losing control of his temper and his over morale he once held. It is only a matter of time until Delaney himself becomes a “Jack Jardine”

Delaney Mossbacher Characterization Essay