Race and the Community Essay
Race and the Community
What information about diversity in the United States has helped you better understand or relate to others in ways that you may not have in the past? Information about diversity in the United States has helped me better understand and relate to others in ways that I have not in the past. By learning that there is two sides to every story and that prejudice and discrimination does not lead to any good. It hurts society and myself. It can cloud my judgment about a situation and cause me to make the wrong decision. Also the more information I learned about the hardships that many women and men faced in this country I gained more of an appreciation for the hardships that they went through.
From the first immigrants coming to the United States and feeling like they needed to change their own names in order to become respected here in the United States. To the hardships that woman faced in order to get a voice in this country. Having the ability to speak for themselves and have a say in their own lives and how their own country is run. Learning all this gave me a new perspective on how discrimination and prejudice is still prevalent in our country and what I can do personally to combat it. Have you learned something new about your own racial, ethnic, or cultural history? I have learned something new about my own cultural history.
In taking this course I began to ask questions about my own heritage and background. When it came to the discussion of immigration during week three I began to ask questions about where I came from and my families lineage. I decided that the best person to ask would be my Grandma on my dad’s side, not only because she is the oldest in the family but also I new she had done some genealogy research in the past. I knew that the majority of my family came from England and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to reside here in the United States. In talking with my Grandma I learned more information about my families past.
I found out that the Moncur family line originates in France. They were French Aristocrats and fled to England during the French Revolution. Though my last name is not pronounced with a French accent, many people want to do that. Further more “mon couer” in French translates to “my heart” so essentially my last name translates to “my heart” in French. Trends in immigration will continue to shape the demographics of the United States. What will the U.S. population look like in the year 2050? Why do you think so? Because of trends in immigration the United States demographics will continue to change. In the year 2050 the US population will be different than what it is today. I believe we will see a rise in the Mexican American population.
As more people from Mexico will immigrate to the United States to better their way of life. Also because the current generation of Mexican Americans will begin to have their own kids and a second generation of Mexican Americans will be born here in the United States. I also think there will be more of an influx of the African American population as they begin to populate more of the urban areas of the United States. As of right now the majority of African Americans seem to be heavy in the South and in city areas. As time goes on more will move to other areas of the country as more urban areas are built and established.
What challenges does the United States face due to the diversity of its people? Some of the challenges that the United States faces due to the diversity of its people is finding its “one voice”. Because the United States is such a melting pot of a country there are many people with many different beliefs and cultures. Because of so much variety and diversity it may prove difficult to establish a majority, especially on hot topic issues such as religion and how it should affect government. A small example of this is going on in my own home state of Utah. Right now there are a variety of people with a variety of different religions. But the state is being run
by one dominant religion though there should be a separation between church and state.
The current topic in the news has to do with Utah State Legislators asking their church officials about hot topic issues. Because not everyone in the State of Utah is a Ladder Day Saint it makes if difficult to understand that one religion is deciding what I can and cannot do with my life. On a larger scale such as the country we face the same issues. As we become more diverse and have many separate voices it will be hard to find that majority and speak as one as a country. Right now we are having a hard time as it is. Politics have become a attack on each candidate and are no longer focused on what is actually best for the country. What are the benefits of such a diverse society?
Some of the benefits of having such a diverse society is we do get a variety and a mix of opinions. The more people you have that come from a different background and have a different perspective on things allows for more of a stronger dialogue between people. It allows for a new input on problems that we might face as a country. It also allows for us to see our differences and what we have in common and join forces together allowing us to become stronger as a nation. In times of war we have been able to set aside our differences and band together to become victorious. An example of this was using Native American service man and their native language as code, which was never broken and was said to be the reason that we were able to win the war.
We are able to see our differences and use those differences to our advantage for the greater good. How can we foster a climate of acceptance and cultural pluralism in the United States? As a society we can foster a climate of acceptance and cultural pluralism in the United States in a couple of ways. The first way is to ensure and instill in our societies young children that it is because of our differences we are a stronger nation. Education is key when it comes to help foster a climate of acceptance. Most prejudice starts with fear and so by teaching our young that there is nothing to fear we are able to move on and form more of a utopia society.
Part of educating has to do with learning from our countries and society’s mistakes to make for a better future. An example of this is our own countries civil rights movement that went on in the 1950’s and 1960’s. It is from our mistakes in that time that we have learned that social problems such as equal rights only divides our country and makes us weaker. In what ways does the media perpetuate stereotyping and prejudice? Mass media contributes to the perpetuation of stereotypes and prejudice in the United States by having unbalanced reporting. A couple examples have to do with Fox News Channel, they claim they are fair and balanced but they are far from being fair or balanced. Fox news is particularly unbalanced towards the Democratic Party and especially towards our current President Barack Obama who is African American.
There have been times where he has been portrayed as a Muslim because of his heritage and therefore a terrorist. He has been portrayed “ape” like in a couple political cartoons featured on their programming. Fox news is essentially telling its viewers, who are primarily white, that a African American man is unable to run this country. Another way how the media contributes to the perpetuation of stereotypes and prejudice in the United States is by reporting on certain people’s actions for shock value and commercial gain. An example of this is a Pastor is Florida who was burning the Quran.
The media outlets posted this story everywhere, which infuriated the Muslim people. However by doing so a stereotype was formed that the United States is after all people of the Muslim faith. So in a way the media perpetuated a negative stereotype about their own American people. In what ways does the media help foster appreciation for diversity? There are many ways the media helps foster appreciation for diversity. The media does this by reporting on events and situations that effect minorities. There are many situations out there that are often overlooked by the media because they only affect a small amount of people.
But by reporting on these diverse topics it is giving a voice to minorities and they are able to tell their story. An example of the media helping fostering an appreciation for diversity happens here in the city that I live at. There is a whole paper that is dedicated to the Hispanic population and the events that are going on in the community. By doing so the paper allows all others to see what is going on and be included in the community. How might individuals and the United States work together to reduce prejudice and increase appreciation for diversity? Individuals and the United States can work together to reduce prejudice and increase appreciation for diversity.
This can be done in a couple ways. The first would be through proper education. Coming together as a society and declaring that prejudice is wrong and should not happen. Another is by not giving into the tendencies that start prejudice for example telling jokes about a particular race. How might you change your own behaviors to be more inclusive and pluralistic? I can change my own behaviors to promote a more inclusive environment that I live in. I can do this by not contributing to prejudices and racial profiling. I can also help by sticking up for others when they do not have a voice and are unable to speak up when an injustice has occurred. I can also help by supporting businesses and communities that foster the same ideals as I do.