Why All The Hatred?

ENGL 1301.021

22 October 2002

There are many things that affect the way that Americans live today. Racism, discrimination, and prejudice are extensive in our American culture. Although racism and discrimination are not accepted as they were in the 1940’s through the 1960’s, these things still exist in our society and are still being used socially today. Racism is a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities, and those racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. In addition to racism, Americans also tend to be ethnocentric. Americans tend to believe that their race is superior to any others and tend to judge other racial backgrounds from the perspective of their own ethnicity. On the other hand, multiculturalism can be a possible solution to problems like ethnocentrism and racism.

Cultural minorities experience racism as a part of their everyday life. They are treated differently and discriminated against as if they are not American. They experience verbal abuse and slander from people of majorities. Racism and discrimination go hand in hand, as racism leads to discrimination. Discrimination is the treatment given based on the class, race, religion etc. of a person. Even if racism and discrimination are not legal 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 same school as whites, they had to sit in the back of the bus and were not treated as equals. Minorities were not allowed to go to the same school as others. These are some instances of the ways that the government discriminated against blacks. Racism in those days was exploited to

such an extent that only whites were treated in a respectable manner. The Italians, Irish, and Jews were also victims of racism and discrimination to some extent. Thus, so much racism is unhealthy for a nation’s progress as it creates tension in a society and a nation, and keeps us from maintaining unity, keeping peace and helping each other.

Ethnocentrism is the belief that one’s culture is superior to that of others thus judging other cultures as substandard compared to their own. Americans tend to cocoon themselves with their own culture so that no other culture can penetrate it and open their eyes to a new dimension. This makes them less accepting of others and their culture and ethnicity. Narrow mindedness on our side could create confusion, misunderstanding, and thus leading to conflicts in the future. If one could look at other cultures from a different perspective and a broad standpoint there would be more understanding amongst us as a nation.

Multiculturalism is the solution and the bright side to be focused on. If all the negative aspects like racism and ethnocentrism were to be overlooked, adding the best of other cultures can enrich American culture. American culture is so diverse and consists of so many cultures and ethnicities all over the world. Multiculturalism is bound to eliminate racism and making one more accepting of others and their culture. This would welcome more immigrants, which not only contributes to cultural enrichment but also technological progress. Learning about other cultures and accepting them is bound to broaden our horizons and makes us more open-minded. Thus, for the reasons mentioned above multiculturalism can help eliminate 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 could advocate many positive beliefs in future and get

rid of the negative tenets like racism and ethnocentricity. Therefore, multiculturalism should be promoted which with any luck will eventually abolish all the cultural negativity in America.

Alongside, Americans shouldn’t judge people by their skin color or religion but accept them for whom they are, and what background they come from. They should not be so judgmental in the way that they think and see people. Everyone in America is an American, and should be recognized as such. Nobody should be excluded from or looked upon as being different because of their background or ethnicity. America is supposed to be “The Land of the Free,” if Americans continue to discriminate against people of different ethnicities, then America is