Comparison of James Baldwin’s and Richard Rodriguez’ Essays

Updated November 13, 2021

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Comparison of James Baldwin’s and Richard Rodriguez’ Essays essay

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One of the biggest problems we are facing in today society is racism. At this point, we have all witness racism, in which it occurs because of our skin color, hair, lips, nose, or even the way we speak. We are treated differently due to our culture. In today society, we see many people divided and even judging on their own sisters or brothers. A great image is President Donald Trump calling Mexicans “drug dealers, criminals, rapists and animals”. Today we can relate to James Baldwin, “Stanger in the Village” and Richard Rodriguez, “ ‘Blaxicans’ and Other Reinvented Americans.” Baldwin and Rodriguez express their experience about culture and society and realize how racism is still alive.

“Stanger in the Village” was written by famous African-American James Baldwin. “No black men had ever set foot in this tiny Swiss village before I came,” admitted Baldwin (63). Baldwin express his experience when he arrived in the village in which most people were white and Catholics. He felt unbalanced since they were shocked to see a man of color. Baldwin continues by saying how the people would touch his hair and try to rub off his skin. Baldwin mumbled, “Yet no suggestion that I was human: I was simply a living wonder”(65).

Baldwin was a total stranger in their eyes, they known his name however they never recognized him as James Baldwin. Instead, kids will shout “Neger !” at him while walking in the streets. Nevertheless, Baldwin does not hold hate towards them, rather admitted they have no knowledge of black history. “People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them” feared Baldwin (65). Baldwin agreed every black person in the world are treated differently even in the tiny villages. His journey shows how people with different culture can be effect and feel like a stranger.

“ ‘Blaxicans’ and Other Reinvented Americans” was written by well-known American Richard Rodriguez. Rodriguez son of Mexicans immigrants express his view on what is our real identity to our society in America. “The American conversation about race has always been black-and-white…but has become as bloodless as badminton,” confessed Rodriguez (348). Rodriguez points out America is no longer black and white since many people with different cultures are starting to come to America and becoming one. Rodriguez claims that our identity is not our skin color, lips, or our appearance but is how we are raised and the people we are surround.

Rodriguez was asked what his nationality was, he identify himself as Chinese, “I am Chinese, and … because I live in a Chinese city and … I want to be Chinese” (352). Addition, Rodriguez disagreed that people shouldn’t be label by their race since America is filled with different cultures however, because of Richard Nixon he is a “mestizo”. Rodriguez argued that we shouldn’t be classify as only white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic etc. For example, Rodriguez tell his experience when he had a convention with a girl. She identity herself as “Blaxican” because her mother was Mexican, and her father was African (352). Rodriguez requires that American should have vocabularies like “Blaxican” since we are mix and that’s what makes America unique.

James Baldwin and Richard Rodriguez can be compared on the grounds that both feel overwhelming about their culture. Although Baldwin and Rodriguez have different nationality, the differences between them far outweigh the similarities. For example, Rodriguez agreed that we as humans choose our identity, while Baldwin argued that people with different nationality have a hard time blending with others. Unlike Rodriguez, Baldwin in his journey explains how Catholic and most people are so closed minded. They are not willing to accept others due to their race. As Rodriguez claims about how Americans classify Latin American as Hispanic. Nevertheless, Rodriguez say there are Ecuadorian, Brazilians, Colombians, Peruvian etc. not Hispanic in general. Baldwin was quite edgy because America created the word Niger due to the fact people with color had no rights as them. In comparing James Baldwin and Richard Rodriguez, we can clearly see that both men agreed that our society should to be equal and have the same life style no matter what your nationality is.

James Baldwin and Richard Rodriguez tells us the true life of racism in their journeys. Today, we can relate to Baldwin and Rodriguez because our society is still the same as before or even worse. A stronger view of racism would be how our president calls African-Americans ignorance. Racism remains a major problem; a strong example would be how people with different religion are killed. When the terrorist attack in Pittsburgh Synagogue killing eleven victims by Robert Bowers. This issue is still living in our society, many are killed and judge others by their religion or identity. Politics is dividing us; the unemployment rate went extremely low due to Trump’s border wall. Another example are gays and lesbians. They play a big role today, they are treated differently. Many religions and cultures won’t accept them since it’s a sin. Also, police are most likely to look out for African-Americans and Hispanic. Society must come together and understand we are equal. America is the flag of freedom; race or religion shouldn’t separate us. As Baldwin clarified, “This world is white no longer, and it will never be white again.”

Comparison of James Baldwin’s and Richard Rodriguez’ Essays essay

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Comparison of James Baldwin’s and Richard Rodriguez’ Essays. (2021, Nov 13). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/comparison-of-james-baldwins-and-richard-rodriguez-essays/


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