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You Sound Like a White Girl: The Case for…
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You Sound Like a White Girl: The Case for Rejecting Assimilation (utgåvan 2022)

av Julissa Arce (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
865318,959 (4.08)7
"Nationally bestselling author Julissa Arce interweaves her own story with cultural commentary in a powerful polemic against the myth that assimilation leads to happiness and belonging for immigrants in America. Instead, she calls for a celebration of our uniqueness, our origins, our heritage, and the beauty of the differences that make us Americans. "You sound like a white girl." These were the words spoken to Julissa by a high school crush as she struggled to find her place in America. As a brown immigrant from Mexico, assimilation had been demanded of her since the moment she set foot in San Antonio, Texas, in 1994. She'd spent so much time getting rid of her accent so no one could tell English was her second language that in that moment she felt those words-you sound like a white girl?-were a compliment. As a child, she didn't yet understand that assimilating to "American" culture really meant imitating "white" America-that sounding like a white girl was a racist idea meant to tame her, change her, and make her small. She ran the race, completing each stage, but never quite fit in, until she stopped running altogether. In this dual polemic and manifesto, Julissa dives into and tears apart the lie that assimilation leads to belonging. She combs through history and her own story to break down this myth, arguing that assimilation is a moving finish line designed to keep Black and brown Americans and immigrants chasing racist American ideals. She talks about the Lie of Success, the Lie of Legality, the Lie of Whiteness, and the Lie of English-each promising that if you obtain these things, you will reach acceptance and won't be an outsider anymore. Julissa deftly argues that these demands leave her and those like her in a purgatory-neither able to secure the power and belonging within whiteness nor find it in the community and cultures whiteness demands immigrants and people of color leave behind. In You Sound Like a White Girl, Julissa offers a bold new promise: Belonging only comes through celebrating yourself, your history, your culture, and everything that makes you uniquely you. Only in turning away from the white gaze can we truly make America beautiful. An America where difference is celebrated, heritage is shared and embraced, and belonging is for everyone. Through unearthing veiled history and reclaiming her own identity, Julissa shows us how to do this"--… (mer)
Medlem:rosaroxxie
Titel:You Sound Like a White Girl: The Case for Rejecting Assimilation
Författare:Julissa Arce (Författare)
Info:Flatiron Books (2022), 208 pages
Samlingar:Lästa men inte ägda
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Taggar:Ingen/inga

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You Sound Like a White Girl: The Case for Rejecting Assimilation av Julissa Arce

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Visar 5 av 5
A short read that echoes a LOT of similar thoughts I've had re: the Asian American community and whether or not we have to "prove" anything with regard to "Americannness" and a sense of belonging while also addressing the in-fighting that comes naturally from smooshing a multitude of backgrounds and diasporas into one broad, racialized category (which should exist in solidarity, given the majority will always see us as Other).

The short version: in the first half, no matter how much one can aspire to whiteness or perfect diction, this country will never love what it perceives as Other 100%, only reluctantly including us when we fight through the court systems (and even then, it's an uphill struggle). Recognizing this, individuals should embrace our identities which AREN'T mutually exclusive. The second half looks to reconcile and reclaim one's history and culture which is complicated for the Mexican diaspora as borders may have moved over THEM rather than any immigration by their ancestors. Some discussion on the way Latines are categorized, as the Census and other demographic counters tend to put Hispanic/Latino as an adjective on top of racial categories which then leaves some to ponder: are they white? Indigenous? And that question tends to get interpreted based on whether or not whiteness is perceived as "successful" or wanting to belong to the majority.

Nothing particularly new here for me as it's things I've been thinking about (for a more academic thought on the rinse and repeat cycle of American labor and immigration, [b:A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America|37564|A Different Mirror A History of Multicultural America|Ronald Takaki|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1439467571l/37564._SY75_.jpg|37420] goes further), but useful for seeing that parallel conversations are happening in other groups perceived as Other. ( )
  Daumari | Dec 28, 2023 |
3.5***

Arce came to the United States with her parents when she was only eleven years old. Eager to achieve “the American Dream” (whatever that is), she studied hard, perfected her English, excelled at college and got a prestigious job at Goldman Sachs. All while undocumented. But no matter the outward appearance of success, Arce felt that she was not accepted or welcomed. Her take on this is that the white people in power will never allow brown and black people to actually assimilate in the USA culture.

Arce gives many examples of ways in which white people have harmed indigenous populations, from the Spaniards who conquered and killed off Aztec, Mayan and Incan populations, to the US settlers who stole the land and resources from the various native tribes in what is now the United States.

But the tone of her arguments in the book was so angry and outraged, so self-important and uncompromising that it turned me off.

I am a Mexican-American woman. I was born in the USA, as was my mother, but I barely spoke English when I started school. When I came to college I was often asked “Where are you from?” And yet, I never felt like I did NOT belong. I took the questions of others as natural curiosity, and I answered, “I’m from Texas.” I didn’t turn my back on my cultural heritage, but I fully identified as being “American.” As I read this book, I kept wondering how Arce can bear the weight of all that outrage and anger. It must be exhausting.

She has some valid points to make in this book, but in the end, I think “she doth protest too much.”

It’ll be interesting to see what the others in my Hispanic book club think of this book. (It’s scheduled for discussion in October.) ( )
  BookConcierge | Jul 2, 2023 |
Brilliant exposition, especially in the book's first part, of the damage and turmoil exacted on people with darker than fair skin in society imbued with white privilege. If the price a Latina must pay for living in the U.S.A. is to lose her Latin culture, that is a huge loss. The author, who grew up in poverty, excelled in school, and won the lottery in the form of a job at Goldman Sachs, recounts in harrowing detail all that led her to quit Goldman and take the risky road of becoming a writer, in hopes that telling her experience might help fellow immigrants sort out their own painful, confused cultural struggles. I'm sure she has. ( )
  Cr00 | Apr 1, 2023 |
In this book, the author takes a hard look at racism against Mexicans in the United States both in the past and in the present. What she tells is both eye-opening and deeply sad.

This book reads like a Mexican/Brown version of Ibram X. Kendi’s book How To Be an Antiracist. Books such as these are important in empowering those who most need to confront white racism in all its ugly forms. This is also a look at what it meant for the author, a Mexican Brown girl, to live and interact in white, racist America. No matter her attempts to be what white America wanted, she inevitably felt much failure in so many sad and subtle ways repeatedly, although from outward appearances it looked as if she had fully “assimilated” into the white American culture. Her call is for people who identify as Latinx to be proud of who they are, and not to think of white America as a goal to which to aspire.

There is a very interesting chapter in this book about how some Mexicans have been belittled at every racist opportunity due to their inferior command of the English language—despite being American born and Spanish speakers from their earliest childhood. In that chapter, it was also pointed out that schools in the area where Mexicans lived were segregating children based on their English fluency or absence of it and sometimes merely based on Spanish surnames.

I was in awe of the eloquence with which the author described the pain of being on the edge of two cultures and the importance of feeling proud of one’s own culture as well as being outspoken in its defense. ( )
1 rösta SqueakyChu | Sep 19, 2022 |
"This was a reminder that taking up space will make others uncomfortable because they only want to see us quiet and thankful."

What is there left to be said about this gem? You Sound Like a White Girl by Julissa Arce was the reminder and call to action that we all need. Assimilation will never be the solution and aspiring to whiteness will never earn us the respect we deserve. The only answer is collective activism which honors and celebrates our unique identities and cultures and dispels the myth of status quo.

In this manifesto, Arce is unapologetic in her tone and calls out the lies that have been used to trick marginalized groups, mainly latinx into thinking that this country will ever accept them. She dispels the lies of whiteness, English and success as being our saviors and she asks us to reclaim our histories, identities and cultures. In essence, she is boldy telling us that we need to take up space and ban together in order to dismantle the systems that uphold white supremacy. I greatly appreciated that she states that the work first lies within ourselves because we have work to do to unlearn the harmful colonialist beliefs we have been taught and reinforced in our own communities, such as anti-blackness, colorism and erasure of Indigeneity.

This book is bite sized but it packs a big punch. There were so many passages that spoke to me and I found myself stopping to just scream out "Yes" or "I feel this on so many levels." The time is now to band together & shake things up. We have been denied our lands, our dignity & humanity for way too long. It's time to live our authentic lives and speak up in all the places where we have been forced to be quiet. They may deny our history but they can't deny the fact we are still here & that as long as we are rooted to this land, we will grow wherever we are planted. If the only way to be truly "free" is to assimilate to whiteness, then what exactly are we aspiring to? How much more will it cost us? Thanks to @flatiron_books for the gifted copy. ( )
1 rösta Booklover217 | Apr 8, 2022 |
Visar 5 av 5
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I coveted whiteness once, but I knew in the back of my mind that conning myself into assimilation would only ever make me a poor imitation of what I would never be. -- Reni Eddo-Lodge, Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race
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For the people of El Paso, Texas.
For all the Mexicanos who never left.
For the ones that just returned.
For paisanos everywhere.
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A runner ties her shoelaces and is ready for the race.
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During the attempted coup on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, the Confederate flag was flown inside the building for the first time in history, but the white supremacy it represents has roamed the halls of Congress all along. And it is still there.
Since the moment the first Mexicans became part of the country, the United States has tried to send us back to where we came from—without understanding that where we came from is the very land they stole from our ancestors. Mexicans have been here for centuries, since before it was called the United States, and throughout the confusing, painful, and untold history, our U.S. citizenship has been up for debate, our Americanness a question mark, because race, more than any other factor, has driven immigration and naturalization law.
In 2018, I had the privilege of welcoming new American citizens at their naturalization ceremony in our nation’s capital. It was surreal, to have been undocumented and more to stand in front of mostly Black and Brown immigrants and to welcome them to America—to tell them that in their Brown bodies, in their Black bodies, they deserve to be here.
Many schools in America now teach Spanish as a Second Language and well-off parents pay tens of thousands of dollars for dual-language immersion programs, but speaking Spanish while Brown still isn’t safe in many parts of America.
Why don’t you speak English? Why don’t you speak Spanish? Being Latino in America means the answer to both of these questions hold us to an impossible standard to prove we’re both sufficiently American and authentically Latino. I am tired of the interrogation, the unattainable, the in-betweenness. I am enough to stand on both sides, fully and completely.
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"Nationally bestselling author Julissa Arce interweaves her own story with cultural commentary in a powerful polemic against the myth that assimilation leads to happiness and belonging for immigrants in America. Instead, she calls for a celebration of our uniqueness, our origins, our heritage, and the beauty of the differences that make us Americans. "You sound like a white girl." These were the words spoken to Julissa by a high school crush as she struggled to find her place in America. As a brown immigrant from Mexico, assimilation had been demanded of her since the moment she set foot in San Antonio, Texas, in 1994. She'd spent so much time getting rid of her accent so no one could tell English was her second language that in that moment she felt those words-you sound like a white girl?-were a compliment. As a child, she didn't yet understand that assimilating to "American" culture really meant imitating "white" America-that sounding like a white girl was a racist idea meant to tame her, change her, and make her small. She ran the race, completing each stage, but never quite fit in, until she stopped running altogether. In this dual polemic and manifesto, Julissa dives into and tears apart the lie that assimilation leads to belonging. She combs through history and her own story to break down this myth, arguing that assimilation is a moving finish line designed to keep Black and brown Americans and immigrants chasing racist American ideals. She talks about the Lie of Success, the Lie of Legality, the Lie of Whiteness, and the Lie of English-each promising that if you obtain these things, you will reach acceptance and won't be an outsider anymore. Julissa deftly argues that these demands leave her and those like her in a purgatory-neither able to secure the power and belonging within whiteness nor find it in the community and cultures whiteness demands immigrants and people of color leave behind. In You Sound Like a White Girl, Julissa offers a bold new promise: Belonging only comes through celebrating yourself, your history, your culture, and everything that makes you uniquely you. Only in turning away from the white gaze can we truly make America beautiful. An America where difference is celebrated, heritage is shared and embraced, and belonging is for everyone. Through unearthing veiled history and reclaiming her own identity, Julissa shows us how to do this"--

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