Cultural Diversity By Brandon A. Mize Axia College University of Phoenix ETH/125 Cultural Diversity Novella Sconyers 24 September 2012 Diversity can be such an interesting topic. When one mentions diversity several things come to mind and most often the first thing that comes to mind is the cultural diversity of The United States. To gain a better understanding of different cultures around the World, a person could spend their life traveling the globe or even better yet they could sit back and take in the daily occurrences around them.
It is hard to find a country more culturally diverse than our own and yet we fail to see it. There are several reasons that we fail to see this diversity, whether it be a lack of understanding or just a lack of willingness to understand. For a country that is called “the melting pot of the world”, we certainly still have a prevalent degree of prejudice and discrimination. Some would call it a lack of insight and willingness to grow; I prefer to call it ignorance and fear, fear of differences and change.
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In order for a person to learn about the diversity of this great nation that person must first understand the history of this great nation. Since the colonization or European settlers we have had a history of taking over land and corralling people that were not white, like us, into their own little areas. This can be seen in the history books by the colonists taking land from the natives and sending them to remote areas to try and survive. This act was something of genocide and forced the extinction of various tribes.
This corralling effect can be seen in modern society where the poor huddle in masses near project housing, these masses are generally comprised of minority groups forced to live in lower quality housing simply because we have not rectified the wrongs we committed against them in earlier decades and generations. Though promised the right to an equal opportunity many find it hard to rise from the ashes to take advantage of the opportunities due to the bind their parents are in.
This creates a vicious circle in which it is hard to get out of. Many people, like my Irish ancestors, were discriminated against in the earlier years of this country and most found ways to overcome the adversity while and unfortunate few were oppressed for so long that the damage is near irrevocable. Times have changed and the masses have flooded our borders, some literally dying to gain entry to the promise land. Immigration has changed and increased with the new opportunities to equal rights in this country.
More and more people from different cultural backgrounds and different walks of life are moving to celebrate, embrace, and enjoy the freedoms and liberties that some of us take for granted every day. The irony here lies in the American dream. When the industrial age came about every white man in this country was working to achieve and live the American dream. White Americans have lost sight of this dream and now other races are coming in droves to find and obtain the American dream. Due to the spoiling of our own race, the government has driven the need for migrant workers to look after the fruits of hard labor in this country.
According to censuses by the year twenty-twenty five Caucasians will be a minority group to Hispanics in this country. Some would blame it on their culture, the atrocities happening in their own country or some other generalized irrational remark. Others will blame it on laziness of the American people driving the need for migrants from a third world country willing to work a little harder. With the increasing drive in immigration to this country there will be painful growth involved. Job markets will change and evolve in ways never before seen.
Migrants will come from other places in the world to reap the benefits of hard work. The population will reach unprecedented levels while the homeless numbers grow, people on government aid will double in numbers, and cities will become denser. This is a fact that we will have to face sometime soon. As a population we can choose just how painful this experience will be. Introducing new cultures or even expanding on existing cultures that are not solely American will prove, and has proven, to be a great opportunity for education and even personal growth.
The diverse our cultural surroundings the more broad our spectrum can be and the more we will understand about those outside of the walls of our freedoms. Being able to understand why a person is who they are will allow America to be more accepting of differences and changes. This could also be the time where we as Americans have the chance to find new things we like and make them a part of our daily lives, and could even get us closer to the dreams of great minds Martin Luther King Junior, Abraham Lincoln, and Nelson Mandela.
Diversity welcomes all kinds of new things into our lives and has given this country. In fact without diversity we would not have the carbon filament in light bulbs, the traffic signal, or the gas mask. Diversity in this country has given us the leading edge to make us the forerunner in most things against other countries. More importantly the fruits of labor from diversity have given us a symbol that represents this country on an unforeseen level, The White House. The continuation of diversity will only lead this country to more greatness.
This country sees the benefits of cultural diversity in some many ways that go without thanks that it is nearly unbearable to consider them all. Diversity has led to an unprecedented amount of allies throughout the World. Thanks to our many great cultures we have the ability to associate with most cultures and find a way to adapt ourselves to become more friendly and sympathetic which has brought us closer to the brink of a world without war than ever before. Many wars are caused by the lack of diversity and understanding.
By teaching our youth to see beyond physical appearances we can continue to grow the ideals of a world without prejudice someday bringing us to the greatness that many have only hoped for. The media has made leaps and bounds in both the promotion and destruction of ideas of prejudice and discrimination. Currently to coverage by news outlets on the recent unfortunate events in Libya have helped to promote the idea that all Islamists are evil and destructive people with little regard for life. The hidden message here is the fact that not everyone is like those depicted as terrorist by our media juggernauts.
More recently movies have been the primary media function that helps rid our minds of negative thoughts toward other races and they have helped to break certain stereotypes. By showing us the true sides of people movies have allowed to see beyond the generalizations portrayed by the news. Movies have allowed us to see what fools we looked like historically by assuming that a person’s race renders them useless to society. Movies have shown us that at any given moment any one person can step up and be the light of the day or the hero that prevents one unfortunate event.
On the other hand it seems every time I turn on the news I am seeing something related to Jihadists and what horrible people they are, which helps promote a stereotype of Muslims that is nothing more than a negative assumption based on the errors of a few bad people. We all like to preach the old adage never judge a book by its cover, only to turn around and do the very same thing we are speaking against. To tell our children that and then do it is two very contradictive points that could be related to taking one step forward and two back.
We are only helping to perpetuate the cycle. It is time that we step up to the plate and walk what we preach. If we want to teach others then we have to remember that actions speak louder than words. We can say that just because a person appears one way or believes one thing does not make them a bad person but we also have to show that we believe in what we are saying. While derogatory or demeaning jokes may seem to be acceptable we must also remember the company we keep and that the way others perceive us is merely the way we project ourselves.
By keeping in lines with the way I was raised, I will remember that the Asian guy sitting next to me, the girl from Zimbabwe two cubicles over, they Indian lady in the office, and even the white man sitting behind me could one day be the person that is put in a situation to save my life. Remembering that I too want to be looked at as a good person by everyone I have ever met. I will choose to walk the path to live in a diverse world, one where society is color blind to race.