Assimilation Handbook?


Local writer Daniel Hernandez posted an interesting take on the media response (or lack thereof) to the Governors recent comments regarding Mexicans, comparing the marked difference in the approach chosen by the LA Times vs La Opinion. (If some academic manages to understand that all-to-common scenerio, they would surely bridge the gap between Mexican and non-Mexican LA!) With the Governor dissing on Lynwoods popular and entertaining Plaza Mexico by calling it “a growth” (he didn’t mention it’s the idea of Koreans) and repeating the myth that Mexicans don’t assimilate because “they are holding onto their tradition and to their language” it got me to thinking: where’s my fucking manual!?! Maybe I have been imprisoned by the clutches of Mexican culture, and since I seem to have gotten the hang of this Engleesh jibberish, time to break free!

I see nothing wrong with Plaza Mexico or “holding on to traditions” so I guess I’m kinda clueless about how to go about this assimilation business, maybe some readers can give a little help? Besides the language and traditions, what other things might someone wanting to assimilate give up in order to fit in? Are there particular places one should eat,shop, or work? What about traits and mannerisms, any suggestions?

It’s a very real imaginary book, might as well give the intended readers some sense as to its content. Help fill in the blanks!

La Opinion
LA Times
Daniel H. post
Plaza Mexico

10 thoughts on “Assimilation Handbook?”

  1. Well, duh.

    To start, stop flashing your Mexican flag and boasting about Mexican pride. You’re in America! Its okay though if your Irish to be proud on St. Patricks Day, or if your wearing a Celtics jersey. Ok, I guess its okay to wave a flag on Cinco de Mayo, and all the cool kids in LA like to celebrate 4th of July by getting hammered in Tijuana.

  2. You have to change your name to make it easier for Anglophones to pronounce! If your name is Guillermo, you’re not Bill, Esperanza becomes Hope and Macedonio becomes Mac. Happy assimilating!

  3. Those Korean brothers are brilliant. Plaza Mexico is like a Mexican Third Street Promenade with Sunday afternoon tardeadas y todo!
    Sorry Chav, can’t help with assimilation advice. I’m fourth generation and I still speak Spanish, a little pocha-ish but still…

  4. i’m totally assimilated dog, i started readin Malcolm X, then I went to the Black, Chicano Power movement, I learned about our slave owning presidents, I read Che’s writings in English!!! I even read the writings of Ricardo Flores Magon in English. Definetly, I’m assimilated.

  5. I linked to Daniel’s post, too. I was aggravated when I read the Times article, but not being bilingual, I hadn’t read La Opinion’s take. At least one paper here knows an insult when they see one.

  6. The Governor’s statement is ridiculous.

    When people come from another country, en masse, they set up enlcaves. Shops cater to their tastes and language. That is simply the way it works.

    The governor obviously wasn’t “making an effort” to speak english when he was in the crappy, dubbed, “Hercules” film from the 1970’s. Try harder Arnie!

  7. The linked article (under Korean) notes that the Plaza has a Hometown Buffet. That place is sick. You have Mexicans in the kitchen, and Mexicans and Mexican Americans in the dining room (and mariachis at the Montebello one), yet, the “Mexican” food options in the steam tables are American style, and they suck. I also got food poisoning there.

    Also, you should search for “Lynwood Watch”. A funny, funny blog with major shit-talking. Much better than this blog :-)

  8. Oh yeah, one other thing. Latinos are really good at assimilating. Listen to that new Latino reggaeton station. Their slogan should be, “We’re better at pretending to be commercian African Americans rappers than the Asians are.”

    I’m just joking about Lynwood Watch being better.

  9. “When people come from another country, en masse, they set up enlcaves. Shops cater to their tastes and language. That is simply the way it works”

    That’s the way it works until the populations reach a significant number and comfort level that they become part of their surroundings and their surrounding become part of them. There are few Irish or Italian enclaves left (and no, saying Boston or Jersey doesn’t count here). There remain, naturally, concentrations of areas where families can trace their lineage back to common immigrants: aforementioned Irish and Italian areas, the Nordic/Scandanavian roots of many northern-midwesterners (Minnesota, etc), and the earlier generations of Mexican Americans out here in the west.

    But there’s been so much melting going on over the past few hundred years of our country’s existance, it’s harder to recall that those were all distinct, separate, and usually relegated-to-2d-class-citizenry-upon-arrival groups.

    So you’re right – but then things do change as well. Whether things change with more recent immigrant groups – well, it’s too soon to tell since we’re in a period of demographic change right now.

    I think the main problem is the broad manner of most media in defining and classifying immigrant groups. Some maintain more separation, some assimilate faster and more effectively (and I’m not saying “some” in such a way where I mean different groups defined by origin – because it varies even within those groups).

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