Piece Comment

Review of Jincho

Reporter Josue Melgar gives voice to a rarely discussed problem regarding immigrants: the tension between the ones who have assimilated and those who haven’t. By looking at the situation in his high school, Melgar provides a sense of how it feels to be truly on the outs, beyond the regular feelings of simply being a teenager. The assimilated kids feel superior and pick on the new ones. As a student Carlos says with pride, “it’s tradition,” and Carlos has only been in the U.S. for 4 years. Jincho is the derogatory name given to a student who can’t speak or read English. Painful as it is for them to experience, these young people understand the ascendancy of language and how it shapes identity. I appreciate the sound of their accented voices, fighting to be heard above the surety of those who feel comfortable. This is commentary adults should hear.