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How is Diversity Treated in America?

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posted on Oct, 6 2006 @ 07:55 PM
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Building on the notion regarding a dialogue between different races, ethnicities and cultures, I would at first would like to present a definition of what diversity is--as described from the "Diversity Initiatives" site (The University of Oregon):


Definition of Diversity
The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique,and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.


With diversity being defined, there are four questions to ask:

1)How is diversity treated in America?

2)What is your definition of diversity within the United States?

3)Do you think that America has achieved diveristy?

4)What would you suggest to make diversity more acceptable in America?

(Would you also please include how these notions play into American society socially, historically and politically? I think that there is a lot of food for thought there.)


I would especially like members of color to give their two cents on this concept. Other than that, feel free to join!


Otherwise, I would like things to be civil between members on this thread. This is only a discussion. It is not an agenda. This is not for one race, ethnicity, gender, culture or religion to supercede any other. And of course, we need a various plethora of people to address this topic.

Mods, please do not move this thread to "Social Issues". I think it belongs here due to the fact that this is a thread that specifically addresses America, its society, institutions and politics.


[edit on 6-10-2006 by ceci2006]




posted on Oct, 7 2006 @ 11:28 AM
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Here are some articles concerning the issue of diversity. Read them and see what you think:


American Diversity Patterns

Those Americans who favor a society which acknowledges the permanent existence of unassimilated or only partially assimilated ethnic/racial minorities generally advocate multiculturalism (or pluralism). This is essentially an encouragement of continued diversity. The concept of multiculturalism came to the United States from Canada in the 1970's. Pierre Elliot Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, first used the term publicly in 1972 to describe the acceptance of a permanently unassimilated French speaking society in Quebec Province. Today, multiculturalism in Canada is a deep-rooted policy at every level of government and has been expanded to cover all ethnic groups.

Multiculturalism has not been as widely accepted in the United States despite its support by national and state governments. Those Americans who wish to facilitate and speed up assimilation in order to reinforce national cultural unity generally advocate a cultural melting pot instead. This latter approach is one in which ethnic/racial distinctness is perceived of as getting in the way of developing a culturally homogenous American society. In the past, most of those who held this view apparently visualized the new American society as one in which everyone spoke English and had European American values, perceptions, and goals. "Americanization" of new immigrants essentially meant educating everyone in the public schools to be like the existing majority European American population.

Americans have been forced by circumstances to focus on this debate over what the country should be like in the future. Generally, those advocating the continuance of the older melting pot model are European Americans. Ethnic/racial minorities and younger, more politically liberal European Americans more often advocate the multiculturalism model. However, it is a mistake to assume how any American would vote on this issue based on their age, ethnicity, "race", and political leaning. It is a complex issue that also has become intertwined with questions of affirmative action, gender equity, sexual preference, rights of the disabled, and public costs of the massive immigration that has occurred over the last two decades.


The Human Resources Site from UC Berkeley has an interesting take on how to "manage" diversity:


Managing Diversity in the Workplace

Most people believe in the golden rule: treat others as you want to be treated. The implicit assumption is that how you want to be treated is how others want to be treated. But when you look at this proverb through a diversity perspective, you begin to ask the question: what does respect look like; does it look the same for everyone? Does it mean saying hello in the morning, or leaving someone alone, or making eye contact when you speak?

It depends on the individual. We may share similar values, such as respect or need for recognition, but how we show those values through behavior may be different for different cultures. How do we know what different cultures need? Perhaps instead of using the golden rule, we could use the platinum rule which states: "treat others as they want to be treated." Moving our frame of reference from an ethnocentric view ("our way is the best way") to a culturally relative perspective ("let's take the best of a variety of ways") will help us to manage more effectively in a diverse work environment.


Dr. Linda Orozco writes a very interesting view of why diversity is needed. She feels, in this 2000 article, that some Americans have a "PollyAnna" view regarding the national culture:


Sharpening the View of Diversity: Five Leadership Imperatives

With increasing diversity across the country, there are growing efforts by mainstream Americans to support and believe a simplified, 'Pollyanna' perspective. This perspective embraces the concept of Americans as - all just one people, one race- human. We should view each other and ourselves as the same, not different. (Marks, 2000) This 'Pollyanna' perspective has been the foundation for dismantling affirmative action, racial preferences, and placing emphasis on a color-blind society. Then, as Rodney King recommended, we could all "Just get along". This perspective embraces the fairness of treating everyone alike, encouraging Americans into the melting pot, and promoting an Americana perspective with a subtle message of English-only simplicity. But Pollyanna is dead; if she ever lived at all. Where was 'Pollyanna' when Americans profited from or turned their heads during slavery, during Chinese immigration to build western railroads, or during our country's shameless massacre of Native Americans? No, we cannot resurrect nor cling to Pollyanna now, as if she were a lifeboat for Americans in the stormy seas of diversity. This perspective has never effectively represented the American consciousness in action, nor does it today.

[...]

Race and ethnicity are man-made constructs, they ARE in the eye of the beholder. (Hodgkinson, 1995) Throughout their lives, Americans that do not fit a commercialized 'American look' receive demeaning, divisive, and racist comments and questions by their fellow Americans. Minority members know these comments/questions well. They include 'Where did you come from?', 'How did they learned to speak English so well?' or 'You don't look American'. No, Americans do not see each other as the same, as equal. We are not now, nor have we ever been a color-blind society.
[...]

So where does that leave diversity in America? The Pollyanna perspective of a color-blind society that ignores cultural, social and physical diversity doesn't fit. Yet, Americans defy categorization along racial and ethnic boundaries. So why continue to measure 'diversity' with flawed definitions, inaccurate measures, and with erroneous results? From kindergarten enrollment forms, to job applications, to U.S. Census surveys the use of racial and ethnic categorizations is an antiquated concept. This process continues to disappoint, divide, distract, and undermine opportunities to seek true measures of diversity in the American population that hold weight and promise in our efforts to fulfill the American dream for everyone. The country is rich in the diversity of cultures and identities. The energy and effort expended on racial and ethnic categorizations would be better spent on constructs that directly impact quality of life issues, public policy issues, and future directions for services and resources.


These are three perspectives that can be pondered upon when dealing with this subject.

So what do you guys think?



[edit on 7-10-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Oct, 7 2006 @ 04:58 PM
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I consider diversity more or less a meaningless buzzword for politicians and people desperate to have a cause. The language of "diversity" is rather curious.

They like words like "celebrate", "culture", "tradition" etc and they love to have special days and months for these things.

It's needlessly complex. I believe it is a product of the age of focus groups, support groups, scantron surveys and ten easy steps to anything. It's as if Alanon has taken over the world... given the histories of many American politicians, I can see how that might have happened.

But I don't need politically correct step by step plans to celebrating other people's cultural traditions in an understanding and sensitive way. I'm stable enough, or unstable enough some might say, to enjoy the world in simpler, more realistic terms.

I don't **** with people and when people **** with me I blame them, not the broader group to which they might belong to, because those groups are usually nominal at best. Take my group for instance, the Irish. I don't speak gaelic, I've heard of Finn McCool but I have no idea what the story is, and I don't particularly like corned beef and cabbage or guinness, although I drink it on St. Patty's. So I don't even celebrate my own culture or traditions, unless you're talking about being an American, and I wouldn't really say I celebrate that either... I just do it because it comes more naturally to me than acting Kurdish.

Does anybody here really need buzzwords and coalitions and all that just to interact decently with other human beings?



posted on Oct, 7 2006 @ 06:03 PM
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Diverstiy is a fact of American life. Always has been and it always will be. To me that's as obvious as the nose on your face.

The problem is unity. Find an answer to that and you'll be onto something.



posted on Oct, 7 2006 @ 06:12 PM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
Diverstiy is a fact of American life. Always has been and it always will be. To me that's as obvious as the nose on your face.


What about slavery? and what did Martin Luther King among others fight so hard for?

[edit on 7-10-2006 by Xeros]



posted on Oct, 7 2006 @ 06:21 PM
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Originally posted by Xeros
What about slavery? and what did Martin Luther King among others fight so hard for?


Xeros,

It's 2006. The twenty-first century.

Emancipation Proclamation

As for MLK:


I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. --Martin Luther King, Jr.

www.usconstitution.net...



posted on Oct, 7 2006 @ 06:27 PM
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@ GradyPhilpott


Yes, but you said "Always has been" a diverse country and now you disagree with yourself. Anyway The USA is a very young country and it's hard to believe just how recent the racial issues were. I'll admit that I didn't realise that diversity meant "acceptance" untill reading the definition. If your talking about diversity in any other context other than people "acceptance" doesn't really apply.

[edit on 7-10-2006 by Xeros]


Mod Note: Trim Those Quotes - Please Review this link


[edit on 7-10-2006 by DontTreadOnMe]



posted on Oct, 7 2006 @ 06:34 PM
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I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. --Martin Luther King, Jr.


Hence, this phrase is always appropriated by those who are "color-blind" to ignore the discussion of race and culture in American society. From their point of view, the use of this phrase is wrongly employed to aid and abet a unilateral view of society. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King ought to be rolling in his grave for how his words have been used and abused against the very policies he marched for in his heyday.


With increasing diversity across the country, there are growing efforts by mainstream Americans to support and believe a simplified, 'Pollyanna' perspective. This perspective embraces the concept of Americans as - all just one people, one race- human. We should view each other and ourselves as the same, not different. (Marks, 2000) This 'Pollyanna' perspective has been the foundation for dismantling affirmative action, racial preferences, and placing emphasis on a color-blind society. Then, as Rodney King recommended, we could all "Just get along". This perspective embraces the fairness of treating everyone alike, encouraging Americans into the melting pot, and promoting an Americana perspective with a subtle message of English-only simplicity. But Pollyanna is dead; if she ever lived at all. Where was 'Pollyanna' when Americans profited from or turned their heads during slavery, during Chinese immigration to build western railroads, or during our country's shameless massacre of Native Americans? No, we cannot resurrect nor cling to Pollyanna now, as if she were a lifeboat for Americans in the stormy seas of diversity. This perspective has never effectively represented the American consciousness in action, nor does it today.


This passage conveys the problem of a society who hasn't come to grips with the differences in society and will use any means to erase this notion in order to keep "chaotic forces" with "aggressive tendencies" and an "axe to grind" at bay.




[edit on 7-10-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Oct, 7 2006 @ 06:40 PM
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Xeros

I'm not going to buy you a dictionary. They're all over the internet. The United States has comprised people of all races and nationalities almost from day one. It has not always been peaceful or equitable, but we have had lots of diversity. What is often in short supply is unity.


[edit on 2006/10/7 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Oct, 7 2006 @ 06:45 PM
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However, for unity to achieved one has to consider what will be made in concession. And there are some who will not want to assimilate into American culture because they think their own is just as important. The problem of unity lies with those who want to forcibly assimilate everyone else into their culture, language, beliefs and social practices.

This problem will never be realized until those who espouse this unilateral view accept that there are other groups of people here who are just as relevant as they are.




[edit on 7-10-2006 by ceci2006]
(post edited at members request)

[edit on 8-10-2006 by pantha]



posted on Oct, 7 2006 @ 09:30 PM
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Deleted so as to avoid drama.


[edit on 7-10-2006 by jsobecky]



posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 04:36 AM
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Originally quoted by TheVagabond

Does anybody here really need buzzwords and coalitions and all that just to interact decently with other human beings?


Vagabond, I gave your question a lot of thought today. I'd like to answer this. For the most part, no one needs buzzwords or coalitions to interact decently with other human beings. But, I think the dichotomy between your stance and mine is that fact that there are some of us in America who have had problems with others who just won't treat us decently, with or without the buzzwords.

That is why coalitions are formed to bring out diversity awareness so that all of us can understand the different types of backgrounds people have in America. In that way, when people address one of other, they can respect and even acknowledge politely the customs, heritage, social practices and beliefs of other types of people in the United States.

I think there wouldn't be a problem if one were to take the time to immerse themselves in other cultures and be the student for the day. For myself (despite the stigmas), I have gone into different neighborhoods and tried to learn as much as I can about other cultures, because it is important, respectful and kind to do so. Not everyone acts the same way. Each one of us has a heritage and a background that is compelling to us.

Learning about other cultures also affect the way institutions, education, social policies and legal issues are done within America. Instead of persons questioning why another "did this", with the knowledge of the said individual's background it would be understood. The social action would have a purpose and an intent instead of being ridiculed by those who blindly misconstrue the actions in question.

That is why we can't simply treat each other as "human beings" and be done with it. There are too many complexities belonging to the human character, social actions, thoughts and background to do so.




[edit on 8-10-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 06:59 AM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
Xeros

I'm not going to buy you a dictionary. They're all over the internet. The United States has comprised people of all races and nationalities almost from day one. It has not always been peaceful or equitable, but we have had lots of diversity. What is often in short supply is unity.


[edit on 2006/10/7 by GradyPhilpott]


What, did you read what I said? Why do I need a dictionary when you are the one ignoring the definition.

You clearly said "Always has been" a diverse country.


Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
Diverstiy is a fact of American life. Always has been and it always will be. To me that's as obvious as the nose on your face.


Then you said, (after I questioned you about slavery and the Civil Rights Movement.)


Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
Xeros,

It's 2006. The twenty-first century.


So you are either ignoring what you previously posted or you think that the USA has only been a country for six years.

I'll remind you of the definition seeing as it seems you haven't read it yet.


ceci2006
Definition of Diversity
The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique,and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration of these differences in a .safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.


So, according to you, slavery fits this definition. Where is your head at? Your reasoning is nonsense either way. Yes you may need unity, but that's another matter. That is all I wanted to say.

[edit on 8-10-2006 by Xeros]



posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 07:23 AM
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1. Diversity is useually recieved well in the US, unless the people choose not to respect it. Most of the time, most people respect it at the very least.
2.Diversity- A variety of people, ideas, cultures, thinking, living and working together.
3. Yes, the US achieved diversity somewhat successfully during the late 1970s. With lost respect for the Native Americans, which the goverment and local goverments can't reason with, and whom have a limited political diversity for respect for compared to the rest of the US.

I see nothing wrong with the diversity, I just hate that society has allowed the "top dogs" to control the bottom. So they can stay on top, more or less like in the 12th Century.



posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
1)How is diversity treated in America?
2)What is your definition of diversity within the United States?


It's treated in a variety of ways. It depends to which Americans you speak.

Some Americans would like to have everyone 'assimilated' into one amorphous blob where everyone would call the Christmas Tree a Christmas Tree and would go to church on Sunday morning and work 9-5 M-F and send their 2.3 children to the spic-n-span public schools after which they'd hold hands around the dinner table and pray before discussing the wins of their day - because "that's the way it's supposed to be."

At the other extreme, some Americans find cultures other than their own interesting, wonderful, beautiful and curious. They are eager to learn about and celebrate the differences in other people's cultures and beliefs. They're open-minded, never thinking that there is "one way" that everyone should behave. They find joy and amusement in discovering others' chosen ways of life.

And then there are a million ways in between. America doesn't think with one mind, so doesn't treat diversity in any one way. Diversity is treated a multitude of ways.


Originally posted by ceci2006
3)Do you think that America has achieved diveristy?


Yes. Diversity exists. Diversity just means difference. How people accept and honor that diversity is what I think the original definition has additionally taken on. Not just diversity, but the acceptance and respect of those differences. And as I said above, some people do and some don't. America has not achieved 100% acceptance of diversity and while I think that's a wonderful goal, I don't think it ever will be achieved. Because that depends on individuals. And some individuals are willing to accept and respect differences and others are not.

And by the way, the fact that some individuals will not accept diversity is just one of those qualities of diversity that must be accepted. Some people are open-minded and some are not. That's diversity. And I accept and respect that some people don't accept and respect diversity.



Originally posted by ceci2006
4)What would you suggest to make diversity more acceptable in America?


I wouldn't. It's a personal choice. I accept and respect that this nation is made up of ALL kinds of people, including those who do not like or are uncomfortable with differences. All I can do is be an example. Because I don't believe I can or should force another person to be more accepting if they don't want to be. Acceptance of diversity should no more be forced down people's throats than a particular culture or religion. That's the antithesis of acceptance of diversity.



Originally posted by ceci2006
That is why we can't simply treat each other as "human beings" and be done with it.


I disagree. I don't have to know any details of another's culture to respect that they're different than I am. I don't have to know why they do what they do or how they work to respect their freedom to choose how they direct their lives, even though it may be much different than mine.

I don't have to know the Quran or anything about Islam to treat a Muslim with respect and honor their choices about their life, because when it comes right down to it, they are a human being just as I am, and they have the same capabilities to decide how to run their lives as I do. I can understand and respect that they are different than me without knowing all the ins and outs of the differences.

In fact, the need to know all about another's culture or differences is not at all necessary to me because it implies (to me) a desire to know and approve of their differences. It's enough for me to just know that they're different and unique. I can accept that. Sure, there are some things I might be interested in and ask about, but I don't feel the need to explore and understand the differences (as suggested in the original definition of diversity) in an effort to accept them. I can accept and respect without knowing all the nuances behind their choices.

In other words, I don't need to know why they pray 5 times a day in a certain direction or why they insist on calling it a Christmas Tree or why they wear certain colors on certain days, it's enough to know that they choose to. That's what I respect. Their choice and their freedom to do so.

The Vagabond - Excellent post!


[edit on 8-10-2006 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 02:04 PM
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Since we are having a good discussion on the notion of diversity, I thought that I would throw in a few more things to enhance our conversation. These definitions are taken from the "Access to American Studies" site:


Access to American Studies

The use of the term cultural heritages is to be understood in a broad and loosely defined sense. As an object of study, the concept of cultural heritages will take on a more precise meaning in relation to the particular focus of the research you are undertaking. At the outset, however, it will be helpful to outline some of the notions involved. These include preservation of the past, concrete and abstract means of transmitting and understanding the past, and the ongoing creation and development of what comes to be constituted as heritage. The concept of cultural heritages can be interpreted both as object and as process; one can explore what cultural heritages are as well as what cultural heritages do.

Strictly speaking, heritage refers to that which is inherited from one's ancestors, usually by birthright. It generally connotes something concrete, such as property, or at least something static in quality that is capable of being passed down through time. A current usage can be found in reference to historic sites and edifices which are being preserved for a nation's future generations. In the earlier part of this century, a number of anthropologists used the term social heritage as a synonym for an historical approach to culture. For them, this sense of the term was very similar to the concept of tradition. (See Culture: a Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions, by A.L. Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhorn (1963) p.92-93)
[...]
This guide is devoted to the study of cultural heritage in its plural form. On this view, the United States is understood as a "mosaic" of various and diverse cultures, as opposed to the single monolithic culture that results from the "melting pot" or assimilation model. The concepts of pluralism and multiculturalism both reflect the heterogeneous nature of the American society. Pluralism tends to focus on differences within the whole, while multiculturalism emphasizes the indivi dual groups that make up the whole. The term multiculturalism is also used to refer to strategies and measures intended to promote diversity. A recent survey of the American cultural landscape is Cultural Diversity in the United States, edited by Larry L. Naylor (1997).
[...]
Any of the groups in the above categories could be considered a minority or subculture. This would depend on the relationship that the group has with the larger or dominant culture. Minorities and subcultures are considered to be outside of what can loosely be called the power structure. Terminology that describes this condition includes otherness, alterity, and marginality. A classic examination of the construction of the "other" may be found in Edward Said's Orientalism (1978). A good overview on subcultures is provided in The Subcultures Reader, edited by Ken Gelder and Sarah Thornton (1996), and another survey work is Out There: Marginalization and Contermporary Cultures, by Russell Ferguson et al. (1990).




[edit on 8-10-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 04:00 PM
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Originally quoted by badbeginings

1. Diversity is useually recieved well in the US, unless the people choose not to respect it. Most of the time, most people respect it at the very least.


First of all, thank you very much for answering my questions!


I agree that diversity is somewhat treated well, but with a few exceptions:

1)After 9/11, the move toward nationalism has somewhat put diversity in the back seat in terms of being recognized.

2)An aura of mistrust of "outsiders" has prevented overwhelmingly the appreciation of diversity.

3)9/11 and "immigration issues" has encouraged those who sponsor "assimilation" to disable and nullify the notions of diversity due to "national security" and the "War on Terror".


2.Diversity- A variety of people, ideas, cultures, thinking, living and working together.


Beautifully put.



3. Yes, the US achieved diversity somewhat successfully during the late 1970s. With lost respect for the Native Americans, which the goverment and local goverments can't reason with, and whom have a limited political diversity for respect for compared to the rest of the US.


Interesting. Explain more about this.


I see nothing wrong with the diversity, I just hate that society has allowed the "top dogs" to control the bottom. So they can stay on top, more or less like in the 12th Century.


I don't see anything wrong with diversity as well. It involves more work on the individual's part to engage and try to understand another's background instead of pushing toward one monolithic culture. We need to understand these differences amongst us in order to truly appreciate how each social group has contributed to the nation--contrary to what is espoused by the dominant culture. The dominant culture, imho, are the "top dogs" who control the bottom solely because they push the idea that their culture is best. They use that idea to subjugate other groups in American society due to the perception of "marginality" and "inferiority".


Other than that, welcome to the board! Please continue to contribute when you can!


[edit on 8-10-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 04:05 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
I think the dichotomy between your stance and mine is that fact that there are some of us in America who have had problems with others who just won't treat us decently, with or without the buzzwords.


I think I understand where you are coming from, though you can correct me if I seem to miss the point. Racism does continue to exist, without a doubt, and I appreciate the necessity of confronting it. It is quite true however that an ignoramus will be an ignoramus with or without the buzzwords.

The value of the coalitions that I am able to see is not in direct influence on those who don't get it, but in rallying what the ADL has called "frown power" against those people from those who get it.

I don't know if the culture of anti-discrimination movements (generally speaking) is optimally effective for that purpose (assuming I've got the purpose right).


I think there wouldn't be a problem if one were to take the time to immerse themselves in other cultures and be the student for the day.


It's awesome that you enjoy broadening your horizons like that, but I don't know how much it does for the base problem of racism (or given your explanation, perhaps a more general phrasing of aversion to the unfamiliar is better).

As a tutor at a community college that's popular with exchange students and is in a predominantly hispanic area, I work with illegal immigrants, Japanese students, Chinese students, Romanians, Ukranians, Indians, even a gentleman from Côte d'Ivoire. There aren't enough months in the year for me to celebrate all of the cultures I rub up against in a given week, but I've found that all that's really required is that I acknowledge that I don't know them, because then I'll turn on my charisma and I'll find some way to know them well enough that we can work together.

So my own experience, happily enough, has been that rather than learning to deal with people through cultural familiarity, I can catch onto cultures through personal familiarity. I've found that although we are taught very differently, there are a few basic things that transcend most cultures, particularly humor and the desire to talk about one's self.

I suppose if others actually are finding themselves better able to deal with people who they would have been down on otherwise, or if they are encouraged to check racism when they run across it, then that's great and maybe what works for me wouldn't necessarily work as well for them, but the experience you've had with it is something that I needed to be told about, because I've sorta stumbled into another way of going about it.



posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 06:44 PM
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When it comes to the diversity in our country, things tend to vary on the scale and region. America was founded by immigrants as well as slaves from different parts of the world. As time has gone by, we have had influxes of people from just about every ethnicity, race and religious belief. On a national level, this is celebrated especially in places like New York, Los Angeles, Miami and New Orleans. It is when you get to the local level that things tend to change. Most communities still segregate themselves from each other so in fact there is not that much diversity within each neighborhood.
Most people remain ignorant to other cultures even if they are only next door. In Paterson, NJ, where I am from, we have a diverse population yet everyone is sectioned off mostly. We have Arabics, Jamaicans, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, African Americans, Italians, Polish and a host of South Americans. Everyone tends to stay to their own kind for the most part.
African Americans are highly concentrated in the ghettos ( as usual ) although some live in nice homes on the east side. Arabics basically control South Paterson and have you would be hardpressed to find a shop there not owned by a middle easterner. Italians have West Paterson to themselves for the most part and it is now a separate city from Paterson. Dominicans and Puerto Ricans populate the ghettos just outside of the center to the south and the west respectively. Jamaicans have a large population towards the northeast.
Dont get me wrong, different ethnicities can be found in either part of town but I am speaking of the majority. I, myself, tend to enjoy every side of the town whether it's the curry goat on 10th ave to the numerous bachata bars downtown. I have even eaten halal chinese food on Main st. in South P. I do know of people who don't care for anything other than what they were raised on.
I think that it all depends on how you are looking at the situation and for what purpose.



posted on Oct, 9 2006 @ 09:42 AM
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Originally posted by Xeros
but you said "Always has been" a diverse country and now you disagree with yourself.

The US has allways been diverse. THe fact that blacks were treated as subhumans doesn't mean that the US at the time wasn't diverse nor that it was incapable of dealing with other cultures. There were english, dutch, eastern european, mediteraneans, catholics, irish, etc etc, throughout the US. Those different languages, cultures, and religions made up an extremely and unusually diverse culture. Today, those diverse groups are united, they've melded together so successfully that people today don't even realize that their 'culture' is a patchwork.

Diversity works in america, and so does unity thru diversity.

[edit on 9-10-2006 by Nygdan]



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