Jose Antonio Vargas Journalist Career
When I arrived in the United States at the age of four, I desired to be the blue-eyed, pale skin girl who conveyed the expression that she had no problems in the world. Instead, I was the brown-eyed, brown skin, Spanish-speaking immigrant who was illegally brought to America from her home country, Mexico. I couldn’t comprehend why I wasn’t content with myself at that time, but I presumed that I stood out in my predominantly white community. I requested my mother to buy me different sets of clothes, shoes and I even picked up “American” mannerism as soon as I started kindergarten. At the age of six I asked my mom to buy me the “gringa” (white girl) doll from American Girl Doll, a figure that looked nothing like me. When I think about that stage of my life, I think of the girl who didn’t understand the impact and brightness of her brown skin. That immigrant brown girl would lead the way in the world soon somehow.
When I reflect upon Jose Antonio Vargas, I see a captivator and influencer that paved the way to numerous immigrant dreamers who have the same dream. Jose Antonio Vargas pursued his journalism career to find an escape from his title as an immigrant, though it was never his liability, the lies he was admitted to unwillingly were bound to follow him for the rest of his life. Vargas’ escape from his reality led him to a different realm of expression, journalism. Jose articulated stories and had the ability to grasp the reader's attention without correlating the stories directly to him. Vargas was no longer categorized as an immigrant Filipino boy with the thick Tagalog accent; Jose Antonio Vargas was a renowned Pulitzer writer with an incredible sense of storytelling. His pursuit in journalism hasn’t only paved the way for millions of immigrant dreamers, but to those who lacked resources and money to pursue their dreams as well.
In the opening of the story, Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, Jose Antonio Vargas decided to acquire his drivers permit, much like every American teenager who has just turned sixteen-years-old. “Furing her brows, she then lowered her head, leaned over and whispered, ‘This is fake. Don’t come back here again.’” (32) Vargas reveals that the documents that his Lolo gave to him had resulted in being fraudulent. In this revelation, Jose is conceded to the beginning stages of forged and fraud documents that his Lolo and Lola created in order for Jose to live the life his mother couldn’t. Coming from an impoverished family, Lolo assured himself that it was not the life he desired for his grandson and had to insert himself into an illegal predicament to assure that it would never happen. As for Jose Antonio, the foreign term “Undocumented Immigrant” soon becomes his reality.
Jose Antonio Vargas realized his scapegoat to fitting in America was through being talented at school. “Being accepted in school felt like being accepted in America.” (15) Jose played the “American” role: Talk, write, think and pass as an American. Learning English and embarking on immersions that allowed him to express himself became his safe haven. Jose Antonio Vargas’ first exposure to writing was from his high school teacher, Mrs. Dewer. Vargas immediately concluded that the little Filipino boy who arrived in the United States at the age of 12 would get rightfully recognized for something that required his ability and not Lolo, Lola or anyone for that matter. Despite the disapproval of pursuing writing from his Lolo and Lola, nevertheless he persisted to pursue an escape from his attached title, “illegal immigrant.”
Writing was important to Jose Antonio Vargas, it was a way of belonging and contributing to society. Jose Antonio revealed that pursuing journalism was his form of existing, he was able to experience the people he was interviewing to escape the reality of his life. “I realized that writing was the freest thing I could do, unencumbered by borders and legal documents and largely dependent on my skill and talent.” (58) His role as a journalist: writing, interviewing, and capturing stories allowed him to withdraw himself from having the “right papers,” it was his way of writing himself into America. He no longer needed to pertain to a single category, he was able to freely write about stories that intrigued him. Journalism no longer was just a job that financed his lifestyle, it quite simply became his lifestyle. Everything and everyone took a backseat to his work.
‘“Jose! My man! Congratulations, you won!’” (105) At the peak of his career, Jose won a Pulitzer award for breaking news reporting on the 2007 Virginia Tech Massacre. Jose’s Pulitzer prize raised concern of unwanted exposure that would eventually result in deportation. Despite the constant hurdles, bridges and walls Jose had climbed over, he has remained persistent and followed his bliss. Jose used Journalism to liberate himself from his title and who he is “supposed to be.” His role as a journalist and storyteller forfeited the assumption that he was taking other people’s jobs, he earned his position and his work was a verification of it. Jose Antonio Vargas opened doors to not only those in impoverished communities, but to those who are minorities struggling in higher scale education or jobs that seemed impossible from an exterior perspective. He has inspired thousands to pursue their dreams regardless of status and origin. Jose Antonio Vargas has paved the way and created a movement for immigrant dreamers, journalists and to the boys at home thinking their lack of resources won’t allow them to achieve. I had trouble writing a synthesis question and had a terrible headache until I found an essay sample on this website. There are so many free templates of academic papers.