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On the Question of Race - Quique Avilés

What is the significance of the word “but” when the speaker speaks from the persona of the fifth-grade kid, who says “he’s American BUT…” (lines 23-34, emphasis added).


“But” undergirds the complexity of trying to put a name on one’s identity.


“But” emphasizes the speaker’s lack of confidence in his identity.


“But” bolsters the idea that the speaker feels he is both American and Spanish.


“But” implies the idea that America is a ‘melting pot’ where no real sense of identity can exist.


“But” suggests the speaker’s doubt that people of color are 100% American.

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