As the United States and other nations become more diverse, multiculturalism has become a national issue. In the United States, for instance, there has been a huge demographic shift. Every Census the percentage of Caucasian Americans decreases by more than 3 percentage points as both African-American and Hispanic populations gain a larger share. By 2050, it is estimated there may be more people of color in the United States than Caucasians. On the surface multiculturalism sounds great – it is defined as the acceptance, promotion, and appreciation of multiple cultures. In essence, the goal of multiculturalism is to unify all races and ethnicities to build a stronger national bond. In many aspects, diversity policies and multiculturalism are one in the same. Here are some of the arguments, both pro and con, surrounding multiculturalism in the United States and around the globe.
Education is probably the most controversial subject about multiculturalism. The debate is whether or not schools should implement a multicultural curriculum. Proponents for a multicultural curriculum argue that it promotes unity by reducing fears, ignorance, stereotypes, and personal detachment. The goal is to integrate all cultures into the classroom with the hope it may, for example, decrease the expulsion and dropout rate amongst minorities. Once again this sounds straight forward, but does multiculturalism really promote unity? Many argue that multiculturalism divides and alienates ethnic groups. After all, to dwell on cultural differences is to foster negative prejudices and stereotypes. Think about it; ethnicity battles around the globe have literally split nations apart (Ireland, the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia to name a few).
Multiculturalism also enforces the belief, philosophy, and concept that minorities and even women are inferior to white males. Why else promote diversity and multiculturalism? It would not be an issue if genders and or ethnic groups felt they were treated equally in the eyes of the nation. This is nonsense; women and minorities are every bit equal to white males and are afforded the same opportunities. In fact, diversity policies discriminate against one group of people to afford other groups of peoples more opportunities. Multiculturalism and diversity policies are therefore, overcompensating by giving minorities, in many respects, more rights than other groups. This type of policy does not unite people; instead it further divides and polarizes them. Affirmative action and quota systems lower standards. In other words, positions are given to minorities in corporations and universities even though they failed to achieve the higher standards given to other ethnic groups. First of all, these types of policies do not correct the problem of a poor education. Instead, these policies work to promote mediocrity and hinder excellence in our universities and corporations. If multiculturalism is supposed to promote unity and equality – how exactly is that being accomplished by affirmative action and quota systems? It does not; it is promoting the opposite – more polarity.
Profiling is another issue created by multiculturalism. Muslims are offended if they are put through extra security before boarding a plane; Hispanics are offended if they are questioned further about their legal status; African-Americans are offended because they are being targeted for inner city crime; and Caucasians are up in arms every time more restrictive gun laws are passed. Multiculturalism has made Americans more sensitive and to a further extent more narcissistic. Individual Americans believe everything revolves around their culture and their feelings. Everything is about me, myself, and I. Americans need to look at the bigger picture and allow our police and government to do what is necessary to keep us safe. Individuals need to stop thinking that every policy and law is specifically targeted at them.
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