Diversity In America

Submitted By og156man
Words: 1662
Pages: 7

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Diversity in America

Racial diversity in America has been a topic of interest throughout history. This topic is not without its pros and cons, depending on the individual some may say the pros outweigh the cons and vice versa. These pros and cons are a direct result of the cultural diversity that inhabits our country today. I have learned much throughout this course; some of the things I learned were both new and innovative. I consider myself culturally diverse, because I was raised amongst different races. It is the experiences that I have had throughout my life that garnered my interest at the beginning of this course. This course has shed light on the state of race relations, how our country’s culture and diversity will change over time, the challenges that our country is faced with, and much more. I plan to discuss these issues throughout this essay. At the beginning of this course I considered myself to be culturally diverse, but after reviewing the text I discovered there was more to learn about the diversity in our country. There is one issue in particular that made an impression on me, and that issue was racial discrimination. Discrimination is defined as “treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit.” (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/discrimination) This issue made such an impression on me, because I am a Black man in America and I have been the victim of discrimination. This is my belief; if you are not told directly that you are discriminated against there is no real proof to support your claim. Discrimination usually takes place behind closed doors in the form of a decision that needs to be made. The belief one has toward others has the ability to affect decisions we make. Whether this belief is negative or positive it plays a big part in the decision process. I believe as many do that discrimination is a direct result of stereotyping. “Stereotype is defined as a simplified and standardized conception or image invested with special meaning and held in common by members of a group.” (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/stereotyping?s=t) Stereotypes are based on opinions and have little to no facts to support its claim. So, it becomes easier to understand why discrimination occurs when you know where it starts. Understanding and condoning are two separate issues; in no way do I condone discrimination, but it is not hard to understand that if I believe someone is a criminal I am likely to treat that person as such. The understanding I have for this issue has been enhanced by this course, because I am fully aware of every aspect. I also had to acknowledge that I have been guilty of stereotyping and discrimination; this is why I can relate because I have been on both sides. Throughout this course I have learned that issues such as discrimination, prejudice, and stereotypes have affected other minorities in negative ways. Prior to this class I thought Black people had it the worst when discussing discrimination, prejudice, and stereotypes, but my opinions have since changed. The history of Native Americans is one of the factors that changed my opinion; their past encounters are similar to those of Black people. While Black people were taken from their place of origin, Native Americans had their place of origin taken from them. It is closed minded of me to believe that my ancestor’s struggles were worse than others, because this determination is left to interpretation. It is the experience of other minorities that has made me reflect on my own race and its culture. As I reflect; the term Afrocentric perspective comes to mind. Afrocentric perspective is defined as “an emphasis on the customs of African cultures and how they