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Cultural diversity final project

By amandalv Nov 02, 2013 1405 Words

Final Project

The United States of America was founded on European immigration. Many diverse people from different cultures and countries across Europe left their respective countries and traveled across the ocean in search of something. Once they arrived in America that something started to unify. The reasoning and motivation for their deflection may have been different for different people but no matter the diversity the goal can be described the same with one word- Freedom. Freedom is a broad term encompassing different freedoms for different people. The first amendment to the Bill of Rights states, according to "The Charters Of Freedom/ The Bill Of Rights" (n.d.), " Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”. People sought out freedom from persecution, freedom of speech, freedom to own property, freedom of education and had other reasoning’s for their upheaval of their known countries and cultures. In theory the concept of all men and women created equal was inviting and comforting, but was found to be difficult to put into practice. It is hard to let go of one’s culture and understandings of the world to adopt the practices of the unknown. When Thomas Jefferson became president in 1801 he emphasized the need to govern each other so that we could hold onto the freedoms we so valiantly fought for as quoted in his inaugural address According to "The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson" (2006),” Let us then, with courage and confidence, pursue our own federal and republican principles; our attachment to union and representative government… equal right to the use of our own faculties, to the acquisitions of our own industry, to honor and confidence from our fellow citizens, resulting not from birth, but from our actions and their sense of them, enlightened by a benign religion, professed indeed and practiced in various forms, yet all of them inculcating honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude and the love of man,” Eleanor Roosevelt said,” Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. “("Brainy Quote", 2001-2012). There are challenges to a diverse society as diversity brings with it different beliefs, answers, questions, requirements, knowledge, and culture. The challenge lies in acceptance of all these differences despite your own knowledge and belief for the greater good. We are a stubborn species, human beings but we are not un-teachable. The benefit to the diversity among us is not different from the challenges within the diversity. If acceptance could be achieved our capabilities are unstoppable. There’s a saying “ two heads are better than one” this is true because it gives you options when something doesn’t work, no one culture has the answer to life, the perfect existence, but when taking pieces of different cultures you have an opportunity to get as close to it as possible. Today immigration occurs closer to home, the trend is for people to immigrate to countries closer to their own, for America that means that the majority of our immigrants come from Mexico. The reasons for immigration are still the search for freedom but more specifically America has the reputation that anything is possible here and that “the streets are paved in gold”. One difference in immigration from yesterday to today is that many immigrants still hold allegiance and ties to their country of birth. Passel (2012) says, “nearly one in five Americans (19%) will be an immigrant in 2050, compared with one in eight (12%) in the immigrant, or foreign-born, share of the population will surpass the peak during the last great wave of immigration a century ago.” I think that by the year 2050 the Non-Hispanic White man will be a minority, women are waiting longer and longer to have children, establishing careers before embarking on a family thus slowing down the growth rate of American born citizens yet the immigration rate stays the same if not grows creating a greater gap in the racial divide in America and the 19% of Americans resulting from immigration compared to the 12% it was in 2005. We can foster a climate of acceptance and cultural pluralism in the United States by inclusion, information, and reward. The media can be used for good and for evil and in today’s culture in America how we feel is directly related to what we see in the media. We live in a technical age where most all of our information comes to us from the media. When the news shares stories through non-biased eyes not using stereotypes as hot button teaser to get their audience to tune in they are using their power for the good, channels such as MTV showing diversity to the youth in their programming and in the faces of their station from VJ’s to news casters they are helping to foster the positives of diversity. When you are able to see more television shows based upon different cultures such as “The George Lopez Show” you are giving America the chance to see a different culture in an informative yet entertaining way so that they don’t feel as if they are being talked down too. Giving people quality programming to watch that allows them to see the different cultures for themselves and how they really are rather than the stereotype that they are portrayed as helps to foster an appreciation for diversity, showing what these cultures offer that you may not have seen or known and only knew of the talking points against a culture. This power can also go the other way the media can show programming that perpetuates the stereotypes and placates to the weak minded calling for riot and call to action for things that are based on a racial agenda. The world at large has a long way to go to be fully accepting of diverse groups of people, but America can get it right and we are moving in the right direction. I have learned that education and information is one key to making that happen but the other thing is to teach people what to do with that information. Today there aren’t many excuses for not knowing about other races, religions, sexual orientations and how these difference live amongst us, but knowing about it doesn’t teach us or face us to live with it peacefully. We explain often that being accepting of diversity is the “right thing” to do or the “moral” thing but we don’t often teach of the reward to diversity, we certainly know of the challenges to it. Diversity gives us challenge and innovation and discovery. Never minding the color of someone’s skin has led to lives saved, Surgical Technician Vivian Thomas of Johns Hopkins, a black man, worked with Dr. Alfred Blalock in the 1940’s to pioneer heart surgery which beforehand was taboo. These two men fixed the problem of blue baby syndrome and performed the first ever open heart surgery and Blalock would not have been able to do this without Thomas. Thomas was faced with much racism and later after receiving an honorary Doctorate from Johns Hopkins created the Vivian Thomas fund to help others fight against adversity and open eyes to the good diversity has to offer. The best way for individuals to reduce prejudice and increase appreciation of diversity is to start with one step at a time, and decides to accept difference, decide to learn something new about someone unknown. I was taught to meet everyone for the first time as though I was blind basing my like or dislike of a person solely on the personality offered to me, and I think this is the best combat against aversion to diversity because for me diversity was enriching to me through personality not skin color. I was born in America and consider myself American my culture is American my heritage is Irish/ Italian but my culture is American and no matter the differences around me the diversity within my identified culture I value freedom and will follow in the teachings and hopes of our founding fathers for a Free America by learning, accepting, and valuing diversity. I welcome those who wish to make this a better place to live and to bring from their respective countries the best they have to offer.

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