Call for a Celebration of All Culture
As you may have noticed, I’ve been posting things in order to celebrate Black History Month. While I am proud of my heritage and culture, I also appreciate other people’s culture too. Yet, it seems like most young people in my generation and the generations coming up can’t see outside their own ethnicity. Even though there is nothing wrong with being proud of your heritage, too much of it can cause you to become close minded.
For the most part, today’s youth culture is unhealthy because of its emphasis on conformity rather than individuality. Other harmful things such as prejudice and discrimination can cause young people as well as everyone else to develop an “Us versus the world” perspective.
Recently, I read an article that says ninety percent of students arrested for crimes in New York City are black and latino.
Ever notice the race of some of the people arrested for crimes anywhere?
Ever consider the effect of that on people?
One of the most awful effects of stories like the one above is prejudice and discrimination in a never-ending cycle. Some people see these stories and assume all people of a certain ethnicity commit crimes. They may discriminate against a race so much that they embed that hatred into some people. After a while, the hatred from one turns into self-hate and anger that may eventually explode out in self-destructive or violent ways. The latter can lead to crimes being committed because that person feels they have no choice but to be the criminal people expect them to be.
A similar effect occurs with stereotypes. The stereotypes of blacks and Latinos are similar; the only difference is the culture. For a student of these ethnicities, these stereotypes could cause them not only to become violent, but also to dumb themselves down in school. For instance, for a black student to make good grades is considered “being white” to some other blacks.
In addition, cliques can be formed from different ethnicities as well. I remember being in high school and seeing a whole table of Asians, a whole table of blacks, and a whole table of Hispanics. There were less white students than other minority students, so I can’t say for sure about them. However, I do remember being one of few students who sat with peers of different ethnicities. I had Asian friends, black friends, Mexican friends, and white friends. They were few and in between, but they were friends.
Being friends with different people of different ethnicities really broadened my perspective and helped me develop an appreciation for different cultures. Today, that appreciation is stronger than ever. We should all come together and focus on our similarities rather than our differences, because we are all connected as human beings.