Cultural Diversity and Interaction
Cultural Diversity and Interaction
The City of Los Angeles, California, as we fondly call it “The City of Angels”, is the second most heavily populated metropolitan area in the United States of America. It is classified by my fellow Americans as a global city or a world city which means that the channel of associations binding this city has a downright actual causatum on all-encompassing global affairs. Furthermore, including myself, it has a fairly large population of 3, 844, 829 according to the U. S. Census Bureau (“Annual Estimates of the Population for Incorporated Places over 100,000, Ranked by July 1, 2005 Population: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2005 ” 2006).
Because it is a global city, it is a world-class center of distinction in various fields such as culture, science, education, technology, trade and commerce. Moreover, it is home to world-class institutions of different cultural and socio-economic fields like our community being made up of local government, service groups, clubs, schools, and many more. The racial make-up within our city is mainly divided into whites (46. 9%), African American (12%), Asian (10%), Native American (1. 0%), and other races (31. 1%).
So basically, Los Angeles City is composed of Blacks, Whites, and Hispanics or Latino (Mormon, 2007). Majority of the population in our place spoke English and Spanish while the rest spoke Korean, Tagalog, Armenian, Persian, or Chinese/Mandarin. History In the earlier periods, Native Americans such as the “Grabrielenos”, inhabited the coastal area of Los Angeles. It was then (re)discovered by a Portuguese explorer named Joao Rodrigues Cabrilho (Rapasky, 2003). Almost a century later, Europeans arrived with Franciscan priest Juan Crespi, and reached the present site of Los Angeles City (Britannica Online).
The aboriginal migrants are from Spain and they are of African descent. When California attained its freedom from the sovereignty of the Spanish rule, Los Angeles then became a suburb of Mexico. However, as the Mexican rule concluded during the Mexican-American war, Americans took over California. As the years passed by, the city of Los Angeles progressed. Industries flocked into the city. Also, the World War II brought economic growth and prosperity to the city as urbanity expanded the city. Religion
Due to its large population, the “City of Angels” is one of the most religiously diversified localities in the world and it is home to enthusiasts and believers of many religions and has over 100 Christian churches. Aside from these, several religious sectors and organizations representing diverse faiths includes Islam, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, and Eastern Orthodox Churches. Moreover, Asian immigrants formed a number of important Buddhism denominations that made the city a home to the most number of Buddhists in the world having also the biggest population of Buddhists in the United States.
Roman Catholicism is expectedly the largest because of the high numbers of Hispanic and Filipino Americans and it leads the largest congregation of Roman Catholics in the United States America. The second largest population of Jews in the United States of America is also in Los Angeles and various churches of the Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox dynamisms are established in the city. Census The ratio of females to males in our country is almost equal.
Notably, due to the progressively high economic status of the city, only a small portion of the population was below the minimum level of income essential for achieving an adequate standard of living. When the African Americans from the southeast part of the Unites States of America arrived in Los Angeles, the population grew 15 times. Since 1990, the population of Blacks dropped into half because the middle class relocated to the suburbs. However, despite the relocating of homes and families into other areas, the city still has the largest community of African-American residents in the United States.
Los Angeles is one of the cities in the United States wherein majority of its population differs from the national majority which is the “whites” that’s why I expected that it will finally have a Latino majority for the first time. Today, the population of Latinos, Asian Americans, and Caribbeans is still flourishing at a fast rate. Los Angeles City has a large population of people from different nations. Various ethnic ascendancies like Chinatown, Korea town, Little Tokyo, and Thai Town is a sheer evidence of the multilingual and multi-cultural characteristic of the City of Los Angeles.
Government The city of Los Angeles is governed by a mayor-council system or a system of governance wherein the council is headed by an elected mayor (Britannica Online). The present mayor in office is Antonio Villaraigosa, a Latino of Mexican descent. Primarily, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) protects the city from crimes, but, there are also categorically specialized police agencies: the Office of Public Safety, the Port Police, and the Airport Police.
The Office of the Public Safety handles the crimes committed within the premises of the city proper such as in public places. The Port Police work together with the Harbor Department in the Ports of Los Angeles. And the Airport police are responsible for law enforcement at the four city-owned airports. Crime Since 1990, the crime rate in Los Angeles rose alarmingly with accounted exploits of violence, homicides, and property crimes. However, at least, compared to violent crimes, property crimes are more frequent.
Also, for a global city with a large population, it is amazing to note that the crime rate of Los Angeles city is lower compared to that of Chicago and Atlanta. The distribution of homicides occurring in the city is somewhat concentrated to the South Los Angeles and the Harbor area while a mere quarter occurs in the Downtown. In addition to, the city is a home to hundreds of thousands of gang members and this has led to the city being referred to as the “Gang Capital of America”. Media The mass media or public media of Los Angeles serves a large population in the area.
The major daily newspaper in English is The Los Angeles Times while the La Opinion is the city’s largest Spanish paper. There are also a lot of smaller regional newspapers and periodicals, and weekly magazines and journals. Indubitably, many local periodicals serve immigrant population in their “mother tongue”. The Los Angeles metropolitan area is served by different of local television stations. There are considerably numerous movies and recorded songs about Los Angeles that describe the concept of the gangs and professional criminals in the area.
Also, several television programs and stations operate using the Spanish language and other Asian languages. The media tends to downplay the indiscetions of whites but really blows up the indiscretions of minorities through its use as the framework for cultural communication and expression across the globe. There are research projects that I have already read that focus on cultural interaction in the public domain and investigate issues of technology literacy, education, and politics among the dominant whites and the oppressed blacks.
In my point of view, those publications must be critically assessed and that statements which tries to subjugate minorities, or actually oppressing them, should be eliminated. Work manuals, often refer to groups of different races and cultures, must also broaden their perspectives and treat both whites and blacks or minorities as one. Education There are many world-famous educational institutions in the City of Los Angeles such as the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Southern California (USC).
Today, racial segregation is no longer permitted by the law; therefore, Blacks, Whites, and Hispanics have the freedom to study in whatever school that they believe is best for them. Cultural interaction is strongly exhibited in Universities and other learning institutions. As a white with a Native American heritage, I definitely observe some discrimination within our school area, eventhough there is a law under the Constitution that racist acitivities must be put to a halt.
And I think, more effort must be given to effectively implement the said directives. Cultural Interaction In our city wherein numerous distinct cultures coexist, interaction is a must. Basically, there are no “pure” races, in the same sense as there are no “mixed” races. We are all equal and we all descend from one and the same race. In the ancient world, in the time of empires dominating continents, together with every small territory laid in their feet, it is not such an unknown fact that our existence in this world is entangled with each and everyone’s.
Our lives are all engaged, through trade and through movements, in continuous cultural exchange of no such particular proportions, the legacies of which are still with us. Although there are three main races that live in Los Angeles, California, cultural interaction can be seen at work. In relation to the interaction between the different cultures of the Blacks, Whites, and the Hispanics, crime management is a vital thing to be considered in assessing the cultural interaction among them.
It is important to note that there is neither enmity nor animosity among the Blacks, Whites, and the Hispanics. As we can all see, these three different cultural groups are living harmoniously with each other. Their interaction in the city, despite the scars left by wars, is extraordinarily peaceful that they all had exerted an astounding influence on each other. Also, they have also earned each other’s respect and trust needed to promote diplomatic relations. Respect towards individual religion, customs, and traditions are shown. Cultural interaction is an enormously complex thing.
It requires the full participation and cooperation of everyone involved. It is more than just communication. Cultural interaction is understanding—understanding the fact that we all are different but equal. There is just no race that is superior from the others. Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics are all equal. No matter the complexity of such phenomenon, we should not think that it is not attainable, because it is. Truth to be told, it has already been attained. It is an all-influencing process has been happening, ever since the beginning of civilization.
An observation from a community leader, like Mayor Antonio Villaragosa, with reference to the interaction between whites and other ethnic groups in the community is that he treats whites better than other ethnic groups like African Americans in the following circumstances. He once fired black activists from municipality official groups and made it his rule to in no way employ a protester to a metropolitan authority throughout his term in belief that they tend to be less reliable and more corrupt in the administration.
Furthermore, he also did not act at once on the cases of Latino killings against the blacks. It is a result of thousands of years of struggles, and wars for the sole purpose of achieving equality in its purest sense. The battle has already been won. And the process of cultural interaction will not cease, as long as we human beings are still living and co-existing in the same dimension and direction. References: city. (2007). In Britannica Student Encyclopedia. Retrieved June 7, 2007, from Encyclop?
dia Britannica Online: http://www. britannica. com/ebi/article-9273680 Annual Estimates of the Population for Incorporated Places over 100,000, Ranked by July 1, 2005 Population: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2005 [Electronic (2006). Version]. U. S. Census Bureau. Retrieved June 2, 2007 from http://www. census. gov/popest/cities/SUB-EST2005. html. Los Angeles. (2007). In Encyclop? dia Britannica. Retrieved June 9, 2007, from Encyclop? dia Britannica Online: http://www. britannica. com/eb/article-10129 mayor and council system.
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