Throughout my short life I have been taught by my parents and by society, to respect the differences I can have with other people such as: age, sex, race, beliefs, language, values, etc. But back in my home country, Honduras, I didn’t differ very much from other people. The reality is that I never got to experience big differences with other people until I had the amazing opportunity to live and study in the United States. I had been in the U.S. a couple of times before, I was a kid and it was just for tourism, like going to Disneyland and that type of events. Now that I am studying here my eyes and my mind are way more open, I thankful to my family and to my country and its culture because without a doubt, I was able to learn so many things about why is important to accept and respect people with different backgrounds; like their way of thinking or the things they believe in (religious beliefs).
I believe strongly that tolerance among different cultures is fundamental, without tolerance there would be no place for progress in society. That is the main reason of why I choose Cultural Diversity as my topic. As an international student I think I have the right and the duty to inform how I think I should be treated by others and how I should treat others that might not see life the way I do. Furthermore, to explain why I energetically think that tolerance is a key element to understand difference among cultures, I will use as support examples from happenings around the globe that clearly illustrate my point of view, I will also consider the sociological standpoints from both the functionalist and social-conflict approach to back up my viewpoint. I think that in order to understand the role of tolerance in a society that is constantly changing is really important to understand both sides of the coin. Through the course of history there has been evidence of both tolerance and intolerance, but according to a functionalist approach, there is only one absolute truth and that is that neither one can exist without the other, in other words there is no light without the existence of darkness.
Some major happenings of intolerance are: the existence of the Klu Klux Klan, and The Holocaust during World War II. Both of these ungrateful acts of deviance took place during times of sizeable progress, however according to a social-conflict theorist, even though most of the population was against the development of such acts, they weren’t “powerful” enough to stop them. In the other hand, the minority (Nazis for instance) were able to take final decisions because they had more power and democracy was not didn’t exist on their political system. Some might say that there were many ways to avoid these things to happen; I personally think that there is a possibility that is true but that doesn’t mean that there wouldn’t be any other type of conflict because we live in a world full of differences. However, no one has the right to enforce others to adopt his/her beliefs or to punish in case of refusal. That is the difference between a tolerant and an intolerant person, a tolerant person goes beyond himself and his own interest, while an intolerant person is blinded by ambition, selfishness and cowardice.
The Klu Klux Klan (KKK) According to BBC News on a web article the Klu Klux Klan is defined as: “A racist group established by people who believed that white people were better or superior and who wanted to see black people remaining slaves. It began in the southern states at the end of the American Civil War in 1865” (Social Challenges, image 1).The conception of the idea that white people predominates among other races and that other races don’t deserve anything but slavery, is completely a demonstration of extreme levels of race intolerance. Furthermore it is also stated that: “Only WASP’s (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) were allowed entering the organization” (image 3). Again, these WASP people…