October 14, 2012
Diversity in the United States
We are brought up to believe that America is and has always been a nation of opportunity, home of the brave, and the land of the free. But anyone with a basic understanding of American history is aware that this is not the case. The first settlers had to fight be gain a foothold in this country and then their freedom from Britain. African Americans then had to fight for their freedom from the bondages of slavery. Minorities as a whole had to fight for the opportunity to seek out opportunity. Some may argue this was a long time ago, however minorities are in school the glass ceiling is cracking, and white Americans are no longer the majority of the population. You still cannot forget that the fight for civil rights and equality for all races was only about forty years ago. While many things have changed some things are still the same. As Americans if we hope to keep improving diversity and increasing ethnic pluralism in our communities it is imperative that we understand and identify the weaknesses and strengths of the current social climate.
I’ve learned that diversity in the United States has been working to get stronger through programs to give minorities a fair chance to stand on equal ground with those who have better educational and work opportunities, such as affirmative action programs. At first I thought that these programs were just for African Americans. As I’ve gained a better understanding of these programs I now know that they apply to all minorities and women. This is a good thing because for a long time educational opportunities were limited for minorities. And for those who earned their spots in higher education they were few and isolated on a campus. And afterwards it was a struggle to find gainful employment, let alone be able to work in a diverse workplace. Now with it being mandated by most higher learning institutions and workplaces more minorities are in school and working. Those who came from not so great schools and weren’t given proper instructions are not given the opportunity to go to college and possibly strive with a proper education. With that it is hard not to be able to foster a diverse community at a school or job where instead of someone being on the outskirts or having feelings of tokenism, there are many so people can feel more comfortable and be able to more easily relate to all of those around.
Next, the landscape of the American population is changing and will continue to change into a more diverse nation. According to the Pew Research Center in 2005 67% of the nation’s population was white. In 2012 the white population is just under 50%. By the year 2050 the projected population will be around 47%. The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education account the cause to the number of young adults being ethnic minorities. While a large chunk of white Americans that were in the majority being old and going into retirement years. There is also going to be a boost in foreign born Americans from 12% to 19% in 2050. With this immigration number increase the number of ethnic minorities will have to increase. While the white population is being said to decrease and the African American population is said to remain almost constant all other racial groups are supposed to be boosted. Some like the Hispanic community is said to even double from 14% to 29%. This is a good thing for the American community as it will bring diversity right to your door step. Because there will not be a race that is the majority, opportunities for diversity will become more accessible and commonplace.
Diversity in the United States is a good thing, but as seen with the evolution of technology there was bound to be some difficulties in transition. In the earlier paragraph I discussed the benefits of affirmative action programs. This has been used as a weapon to cut...