After reading Aria by Richard Rodriguez, I was reminded of a few different articles and discussions we had in class. One particular article was read Privilege, Power, and Differences by Allan G Johnson. In this article it talks about how racism still exists, it’s just in different forms. In our current society men rule the house hold and are typically the bread winners. In the article Aria, Richards’s mother, a Spanish speaking women becomes the spokesmen of the family. Richard’s mother was the individual who was went through to communicate with her husband. This isn’t typical in our current society, and the fact that Richard and his family eventually talked around their father because he had said so little over the years. According to Johnson’s article, the typical man would take initiative and be the voices of the family, not letting anyone talk around him, but to him.
When attending school Richard also experienced discrimination. One form of racism like women and men in the work place is when a student is bilingual. Some teachers target students like Richard in the classroom because they don’t speak English, making the student feel very uncomfortable and little to no confidence in themselves. Due to the fact that Richard would have been labeled as a child with a “learning disability”, he was made to feel as though there was something wrong with him and he wasn’t like the other children. Johnson has said that English is the dominant language, and that if you are unable to participate in what dominants, then you are discriminated upon.
This article also relates the Lisa Delpit, Other People’s Children. Delpit talks about how power is in the classroom, for Richard he is able to experience how English dominates in the classroom. The importance of being an individual is completely stripped by taking an individual’s language away from them and enforcing the language the public society spoke. Deplit speaks of the idea of embracing the idea of different student’s cultures and languages instead of making students feel like there is something wrong with them because they speak a different language. Richard was told from the beginning of school that English was the ‘public language’ and he needed to know it. By the time Richard was older he had become completely Americanized and had no longer recognized when individuals spoke English. He had completely lost his Hispanic culture, and no longer felt comfort when hearing Spanish words spoke. It is safe to say that, Delpit and Rodriguez would believe that teachers should embrace students who are bilingual and schools should teach other langue’s at a younger age because the students will learn and understand better.