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1997 Selena; “We have to be more Mexican than the Mexicans and more American than the Americans, both at the same time” (Abraham Quintanilla). This quote was said by Abraham Quintanilla to his daughter Selena, as he warned her of the difficult trials ahead as the first crossover as a Tejano American star. These quotes draw on the fact, simply because of different appearance one must act a certain way in order to be accepted into a society that one has grown up in. In Mukerjee’s American Dreamer, she gives some detail on the culture she grew up in and the way she sees America Falling into a similar predicament. “Why it is that hyphenation is imposed only on nonwhite Americans?” (Mukerjee) I disagree with the this question because from personal experience, I always hear a lot of ‘I am German-American’ Etc. “Rejecting hyphenation is my refusal to categorize the cultural landscape into a center and its peripheries; it is to demand that the American nation deliver the promises of its dream and its Constitution to allits citizens equally.” I believe that the hyphenation speaks so much about one's own past and the culture we were raised in. For example, I have an Indian Father and a Mexican Mother but was raised only by my mother, so I identify as Mexican-American. I see the hyphenation as an acknowledgment in the culture I was raised in. I also believe that characterization is already in our society simply by our names, when we open a job application and look at the name, we begin
Lopez 4to paint a picture in our head about the person and their culture. This is not only a characterization made by America but other countries do it as well as evidenced by Mukherjee; “A Hindu Indian's last name announced his or her forefathers' caste and place of origin. A Mukherjee could onlybe a Brahmin from Bengal. Hindu tradition forbade inter-caste, interlanguage, interethnic marriages. Bengali tradition even discouraged emigration...” (Mukerjee) This quote explains much about the culture she grew up in and knew so well. It also explains her dislike of the hyphenation as she may view it a a category that in her past seemed impossible of breaking.