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Diversity

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Submitted By shaundh
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Diversity, before this course was really just a word to me. Studying the meaning of diversity and learning about the benefits that a brought forth when living in a diverse culture has made this word much more than just letter but a goal for a new lifestyle. Learning that we as people can be broken down into simple groups, “there are four groups of people identified by race, ethnicity, religion, and gender” (Schaefer, 2012). From these groups we can be further more separated into our separate cultures. When we come together from different walks of life and create a diverse culture, we gain the knowledge and skills of many people with new and different ideas to better our culture. America is a great example of diversity, we are a nation made of immigrants from every other nation in the world and also compiled of our Native Americans. Our diverse nation has earned us a nick name as a melting pot, which as explained by Schafer is a “diverse racial or ethnic groups or both, forming a new creation, a new cultural entity.” Not only do we learn about others when we study cultures and groups, we also learn about ourselves; discovering things about our ancestors and how we came to where we are today. The most basic of groups for me would be simply white, while historically this group was actually to describe the English and did not include the Irish. When we think of white in the terms of race we now think of just a skin color and not what nation the person or their ancestors originated from. While also the most dominate race in America it is the least race that has pride associated with it “when asked to comment on their “Whiteness,” White people are most likely to see themselves devoid of ethnicity (“no longer Irish,” for example), stigmatized as racist, and victims of reverse discrimination.” (Schafer 2012). From my experiences in life I would have to agree with the stigmatism of racism, due to the actions of our past many people associate the term “white pride” next to white supremacy and racism; yet if we break past just our skin color and celebrate our pride as Irish, Scottish, German, Polish, etc. we are not seen as being a racist we are viewed as just taking pride in our ancestry like any other race. 2050 will be an America of much diversity, as immigrants come to seek a new life for themselves they will also create families. According to an article by Passel and Cohn “By 2050, the nation’s racial and ethnic mix will look quite different than it does now. Non-Hispanic whites, who made up 67% of the population in 2005, will be 47% in 2050. Hispanics will rise from 14% of the population in 2005 to 29% in 2050. Blacks were 13% of the population in 2005 and will be roughly the same proportion in 2050. Asians, who were 5% of the population in 2005, will be 9% in 2050.” I believe that this is because the era of “white” immigration has really slowed down in the past 50 years, currently the largest immigration is from Mexico. Mexico being our neighboring country is a world of difference in freedoms and benefits from the United States, but for those who have family in both countries it is much easier and cheaper to visit than if someone had to travel to Europe to visit family. Being only a bus ride away from family in Mexico makes it easier for a person to leave and immigrate to America, where as others know they may only be able to afford one or two trips to visit their family in Asia, Europe or Africa once they leave and come to America. I do not see challenges for the United States as much as challenges to the people when it comes to diversity. It is a challenge for those who come from other countries where the Education standards are not the same as America’s, these people will often struggle within the school system and have a far disadvantage when it comes to seeking higher education or better paying jobs. As stated in our text “The education gap among today’s Latinos does not facilitate upward mobility. This is particularly challenging given the much greater importance that formal schooling has today for economic success compared to a century ago.” (Schafer 2012). This could be a very large issue if predications are correct in the immigration trends, since it is Hispanics that will see the most growth. It is however that the benefits of a diverse society far outweigh any negatives. When you bring people that having different traits, thought processes, and ways of life that different from your own, you are able to create new ideas together that may have never come to creation be either separately. This is thought to diversity creates a new way of business and higher economics than we have seen in the past, Schafer explains that “an increasing proportion of the workforce is foreign-born, and the numbers of U.S.- born African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans are also growing. Growing research in business and the social sciences is documenting that diversity is an asset in bringing about creative changes. The benefits of workplace diversity are especially true at management levels where leadership teams can develop innovative solutions and creative ideas”.
I believe it is religion that is the strongest base of different cultures, that being said in the United States we allow the freedom to practice any religion without prosecution. So with all the smaller cultures that make up America’s dominate culture there are many different religions, we help to create a climate of acceptance by allowing these religions to build and create their places of worship. It is only here within our country you can visit a church, synagogue, mosque and temple without leaving a cities limits. We also accept traits of a culture an incorporate them into our dominate American culture, a good example is the teaching of other languages in our public school system; many state standards require for a student to complete at least one year of a foreign language before graduation of high school.

The media today represents good and evil in my opinion, this is because the media can influence many people and normally reports stories in a suggestive manner. The biggest story that perpetuates stereotyping and prejudice currently being reported is the incident in Ferguson, Missouri; “Michael Brown shooting: 'They killed another young black man in America'” is the title of an online article written by Jon Swaine for The Guardian. Many articles have been printed that portray the acts involved in the shooting and the acts of police to control protestors as racist white cops out against the black community. Media can sway people’s opinions by printing only facts or stories that see one side to a situation and not a neutral position that reports both sides evenly as they should.
Diversity however is shown throughout media, often the news reports not only things affecting our country but issues affecting other countries that many of our citizens may come from originally and still have family. The greatest appreciation of diversity I can remember from media though is on the Today Show when they would run “Where in the World is Matt Lauer” in which he would visit different countries around the world and report on their culture. Prejudice is a subject that has lived for too long and needs to end. Over the years prejudice has decreased and continues to every year. It is only through ignorance that it thrives, the closed minded individuals that seek comfort in making others feel subordinate is the biggest problem to a diverse culture. When we take the time to educate ourselves on the cultures of others we learn to appreciate their traits and also learn that stereotypes do not apply as we may have thought before. Prejudice is often passed down from generation to generation, however each generation takes in less and less as society rejects the idea of prejudice; it is only natural then that as the older generations pass we will have less prejudice that is passed down. It is my personal goal in life to never have a close mind to those from other cultures, to study and better understand those who make up our world and to never let stereotypes and the actions of an individual create a bias against a people as a whole. My whole life has been Military so naturally I am always surrounded by those who do not share the same ancestry as my family and may not practice the same religion, yet I have learned when I include everyone into a mission or project we can come up with some great ideas; often these ideas are created by adding to the ideas of another person. Right now my biggest project is educating my fellow Soldiers that being Islamic or Muslim does not mean the person is an enemy of the United States and that it is the much lower percentage radicals that make up our enemies.

References
Passel, J. S., & Cohn, D. (2008, February 11). U.S. Population Projections: 2005-2050 | Pew Research Center's Hispanic Trends Project. Retrieved from http://www.pewhispanic.org/2008/02/11/us-population-projections-2005-2050/
Swaine, J. (2014, August 12). Michael Brown shooting: 'They killed another young black man in America' | World news | The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/12/ferguson-missouri-shooting-michael-brown-civil-rights-police-brutality

Schaefer. R.T. (2012). Racial and Ethnic groups. (13ed). Merrill Prentice Hall.

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