ENGL 1301. 02122 October 2002There are many things that affect the way that Americans live today. Racism, discrimination, and prejudice are extensive in our Americanculture. Although racism and discrimination are not accepted as they werein the 1940’s through the 1960’s, these things still exist in our societyand are still being used socially today.
Racism is a belief that race isthe primary determinant of human traits and capacities, and those racialdifferences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. Inaddition to racism, Americans also tend to be ethnocentric. Americans tendto believe that their race is superior to any others and tend to judgeother racial backgrounds from the perspective of their own ethnicity. Onthe other hand, multiculturalism can be a possible solution to problemslike ethnocentrism and racism. Cultural minorities experience racism as a part of their everydaylife. They are treated differently and discriminated against as if theyare not American.Order now
They experience verbal abuse and slander from people ofmajorities. Racism and discrimination go hand in hand, as racism leads todiscrimination. Discrimination is the treatment given based on the class,race, religion etc. of a person. Even if racism and discrimination are notlegal anymore, they still haven’t been eliminated from today’s society. For example, a few decades ago blacks weren’t allowed to go to the sameschool as whites, they had to sit in the back of the bus and were nottreated as equals.
Minorities were not allowed to go to the same school asothers. These are some instances of the ways that the governmentdiscriminated against blacks. Racism in those days was exploited tosuch an extent that only whites were treated in a respectable manner. TheItalians, Irish, and Jews were also victims of racism and discrimination tosome extent. Thus, so much racism is unhealthy for a nation’s progress asit creates tension in a society and a nation, and keeps us from maintainingunity, keeping peace and helping each other. Ethnocentrism is the belief that one’s culture is superior to that ofothers thus judging other cultures as substandard compared to their own.
Americans tend to cocoon themselves with their own culture so that no otherculture can penetrate it and open their eyes to a new dimension. Thismakes them less accepting of others and their culture and ethnicity. Narrow mindedness on our side could create confusion, misunderstanding, andthus leading to conflicts in the future. If one could look at othercultures from a different perspective and a broad standpoint there would bemore understanding amongst us as a nation. Multiculturalism is the solution and the bright side to be focusedon. If all the negative aspects like racism and ethnocentrism were to beoverlooked, adding the best of other cultures can enrich American culture.
American culture is so diverse and consists of so many cultures andethnicities all over the world. Multiculturalism is bound to eliminateracism and making one more accepting of others and their culture. Thiswould welcome more immigrants, which not only contributes to culturalenrichment but also technological progress. Learning about other culturesand accepting them is bound to broaden our horizons and makes us more open-minded. Thus, for the reasons mentioned above multiculturalism can helpeliminate racism and ethnocentrism. There is an evident need for Americans to come out of their shells,look at the bigger picture, and cease being judgmental.
This couldadvocate many positive beliefs in future and getrid of the negative tenets like racism and ethnocentricity. Therefore,multiculturalism should be promoted which with any luck will eventuallyabolish all the cultural negativity in America. Alongside, Americans shouldn’t judge people by their skin color orreligion but accept them for whom they are, and what background they comefrom. They should not be so judgmental in the way that they think and seepeople. Everyone in America is an American, and should be recognized assuch. Nobody should be excluded from or looked upon as being differentbecause of their background or ethnicity.
America is supposed to be “TheLand of the Free,” if Americans continue to discriminate against people ofdifferent ethnicities, then America is not what it is said to be. Americans should embrace all cultures, races, and ethnicities. This wouldmake America a better place for all people.