From the Ghostlife of Third Cinema, we learned about early immigration in the United States. At that time, many Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Japanese, etc. decided to immigrate to search for better lives. They had moved for labor and believed they would be fine and fit in as long as they could assimilate into the new culture. However, reality proved to be harsher; immigrants eventually faced the fact that even if they tried hard to be like the white people, they could never actually be like them.

Take language barrier, for example. Learning English is an obstacle the immigrants had to overcome over time. But once they passed that initial stage, then there is the issue with their accents. I used to volunteer at an adult ESL (English as a Second Language) program and I vividly remember one of the moms shared a time when her co-worker asked her not to talk with her broken English. Not only were the words targeted right at her, but those words were also harsh on someone who was clearly trying to fit in. Like it was mentioned in class, language plus job does not equal to advancement.

The point is, there is always something ahead – steps to become more American. Despite all the characteristics that we can change and improve upon, in the end, we are still different by outer appearances, customs, etc.


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