Cultural Diversity In America

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America contains several ethnic and cultural communities. History goes to show that our country has had a large problem with different cultural backgrounds. During America’s colonial period, our society was a segregationist society – one in which encounters other ethnic groups via conquest. This behavior mimics that of inequalitarian pluralism¹ in which the Native Americans were driven from their land. The white dominant group was then allowed to establish a caste-like system in which anyone of dark skin is considered lower than those who identify as white. A class system then formed within the white population – wealthy class, working class, and the poor. Middle class wasn’t formed until the 20th century.² Class and race had a distinct separation,…show more content…
When southern and eastern Europeans began to immigrate, tension between “old” and “new” immigrants began to rise.⁶ The new immigrants wondered how well they would assimilate? They were judged immediately based on their homeland, not their individuality. America’s transition into an assimilationist¹ society was largely seen during this time. I think it is interesting how history today is repeating itself. Americans tried to get Congress to pass laws against new immigrants because of where they are from and that “normal” is being challenged. We are seeing this today with Syrian refugees and those of Islamic faith. The United States is supposed to be a country where everyone can be accepted as who they are as individuals, and feel like they belong. The old immigrants did not trust the new immigrants to assimilate into the communities they built in America from the ground up. The new immigrants were forced to form their own communities that were smaller and often poorer. Change is difficult, especially if it was something you were comfortable with. Americans have proved time and time again that they prefer uniformity among the masses. The Americanization process hit hard after World War I to get the new immigrants to pledge allegiance to the dominant culture and let go of their homeland pride.⁶ Ethnicity was broken down on a white level. Class and race…show more content…
New immigrants want to come to America for a new chance at life, to live the American dream, and we are not willing to let them try to assimilate because of the color of their skin or reputation of their homeland. A large amount of Americans are trying to support pluralism in the form of an egalitarian society where everyone can participate while holding true to self. Assimilation is not allowing room for pluralism to occur because of the large separation of classes, specifically the wealthy from middle class. The wealthy are the oppressors of our society today. They have large political influence where money is concerned, which affects education, welfare, healthcare, and more. The wealthy class need to be able to move beyond their prejudices and greed to allow minorities to, as Freire said, become “beings for themselves.” Multi-dimensional social layers of race and class are easily blurred in today’s society compared to the past. It was easy to differentiate class within the white population and deem

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