Memory Assessment In Hunger Of Memory By Richard Rodriguez

1672 Words 7 Pages
Hunger of Memory Assessment
1. The author of the novel is Richard Rodriguez. Richard was born to Mexican immigrant parents and grew up in Sacramento, California. He primarily spoke Spanish until the start of his formal education. Once Rodriguez was forced to speak English, his life was irrevocably changed. Unlike most Mexican-Americans during the 1950’s, Rodriguez did not live in a barrio – a Mexican neighborhood – but instead lived in a primarily white area of the city. Rodriguez’s autobiography Hunger of Memory details his education and childhood in relation to the national movements of affirmative action and bilingual education. Rodriguez’s schooling has given him the opportunities to study at respected universities like Stanford, and study
…show more content…
Mr. Rodriguez benefitted from affirmative action in college and used it for career opportunities. Affirmative action is the practice of choosing members of certain groups that are often discriminated against, by race or sex. Mr. Rodriguez was affected by affirmative action when he entered university. He would be pushed into a group of minority students that he felt he had little to no similarities with, as he came from a working class family. Rather than being accepted for their knowledge and abilities, minority students entered colleges with little to no formal education or drive to succeed. When Rodriguez was applying for teaching positions, top universities reached out to him. One fellow faculty member remarked: “Not many schools are going to pass up the chance to get a Chicano with a Ph.D. in Renaissance Literature” (182). Many of Rodriguez’s friends distanced themselves from him, because they were angry that he received offers just because he was a minority. Rodriguez experienced both sides of affirmative action; receiving job offers to teach at universities, but also the hatred because of his …show more content…
In the 1997 lawsuit Gratz v. Bollinger, affirmative action was at the forefront of case. Accused of awarding “extra points” to racial minority applicants, The University of Michigan was challenged by the Center for Individual Rights. According to the university, they used race as a deciding factor in admissions, in order to “[achieve] diversity among its student body” (oyez.org). In a 6-3 decision, the Court ruled that universities could use race as a factor of applicants; however, no point value may be applied due to their minority. Writing in the majority, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist stated: “[the policy of a point value] is not narrowly tailored to achieve the interest in educational diversity.” (esc.org). After reading about Rodriguez’s personal experience with affirmative action, his view is in line with the majority in the Supreme Court case. He was not distinguished from less educated Mexican-Americans, and universities did not care whether the student had the drive to learn or not. At first, Rodriguez seemed to enjoy the benefits of affirmative action until his was misjudged for a minority student when he received a proper education. When he saw uneducated minority students at Stanford, he could see that they did not belong at a college university. As he put it, “many years of inferior schooling could not be corrected with a crowded hour or two of instruction.” (166). When many minority students dropped out, Rodriguez was left to wonder why affirmative

Related Documents