The word diversity may derive its origin from the word diverse. The word diverse simply means the difference; this difference could be ensuing from culture, values, lifestyle, ideas or even goals; all of which may be aspects that define people. People exhibit different sets of values and ideals; this may be construed as diversity. Diversity may be different from divide. All these may be some of the aspects that one learns when they indulge in a diversity class.
The US may have occasioned diversity issues that cam change the way people construe others in their diverse characteristics. Diversity may extend beyond ethnicity, color and culture; it may involve differences in the age, level of education and demographic structures. Information from the Census Bureau (2011) demonstrates that diversity may be growing in all states of the US. The country may be getting more racially and ethnically diverse. There may be an upsurge in the number of the elderly population, and immigration trends may be increasing daily. The election of a black president in the US may have sparked a new look into diversity; it may have changed the perception of ethnic diversity. It may have demystified the notion that blacks would not rule, and inculcated a change in the way people relate to others along ethnic diversity.
Through indulging in a diversity class, people may learn varied aspects regarding their racial, cultural and ethnic history. Black Americans may learn about historical background of their descendants. A new thing that may be learnt in the class would be the fact that all Black Americans may trace their roots from Sub-Saharan Africa. In this class one may learn the historical changes in the perceptional and vocabulary change among black Americans from the slavery times to power struggles, emancipation and ultimately a diverse population. It may now be clear that the difference between Hispanics, the Whites and Blacks may not go beyond color; all tribes may be equal in the US.
Immigration trends in the US may have shaped the demographics and may continue in the future. Given the recent trends, immigration may significantly change the ethnic and racial framework in the country. Mexico, India, China, the Philippines, Vietnam and the Dominican Republic may be among the leading sources of legal immigrants. According to projections by the Census Bureau, the Asian and Hispanic populations may double by to 8% and 24%, respectively, by 2050. The number of African-American people may also increase significantly; the white population may decrease, while the elderly population may experience an upsurge to about 42% (USCB 2011). By 2050 one would predict a situation whereby the US population may constitute all races interacting on the common principles and ethics. This may be attributed to the preponderance of alternative languages other than English being spoken in homes. Many work places may now be open to people of diverse cultures and beliefs. These factors can make the US a hospitable destination for any person. The multicultural environment would affect the country both positively and negatively.
The country may face several challenges due to this population diversity. The main challenge may be cultural acceptance and integration of the racial minorities into the American systems. The stigma that would be associated with racial minorities in the past may also stand as a challenge. Multiculturalism may also be a significant challenge; this may be attributed to the fact that radical policies may not be made in a way to absorb immigrants because of existing racial inequalities (Waters, 2006, p. 5). The challenge may extend to hospitals, whereby the health care practitioners may be faced with the challenge of handling stigma. The new challenge may be ensuing in the business industry to minimize the social orientation of the diverse workforce, and at the same time, tying to maximize the output of those employees. Immigration may have brought extremism in the USA due to illegal immigration; terrorists have found a loophole to get into the country illegally. The motives of the immigrants may not be clear. Therefore, extremism still remains a challenge due to a highly multicultural environment.
On the other hand, several benefits may be associated with diversity. The American population may attribute the economic power to diversity. One of the benefits of a heterogeneous community may be the ability to provide multiple approaches to the same problem. People brought up in same cultural environment may have the same way of solving problems. The other advantage may be the virtue of achieving effectiveness and productivity in the work place. People from a different culture, age, sex and race may have unique expertise different from their counterparts’ from different categories. Diversity in the US population may have promoted international business partnerships. Immigrants would establish businesses that could be easily expanded to their respective mother nations. The entertainment industry may be dominated by people who may not be original Americans. For instance, African-Americans dominate in the US music industry; this industry may in turn contribute to the country’s GDP significantly. The education system may also benefit from diversity when feelings of racial superiority become suppressed at the early age. Here, children may easily become socialized and learn from diverse cultures.
Various approaches may be used to inculcate a climate of cultural pluralism and acceptance in the US. The education sector can play a significant role in inculcating cultural diversity. Teachers could develop positive attitudes towards increasing demand for alternative languages other than English. People could introduce common metaphors that would describe cultural diversity. Laws and policies could be developed to cater for people from diverse origins and culture. People could use the media to spread positive messages shunning the racial segregation and discrimination.
As much as the media may be an indispensable tool in spreading cultural integration, it may promote stereotyping and prejudice. Nowadays, the news aired through the television and paper media may be filled with prejudicial images and ideas. Ethnic minorities may be the key focus in every crime feature; the media may post them as a leading source of felony in the nation (Gorham, 2006, 289). The same way, the victims of crimes belonging to the racial minority may not be as much featured in the news. Racial profiling may be the root problem because negative issues aired in the media may be construed as a representative of the entire race.
The media could play a positive role in fostering appreciation of diversity. The television and paper media have the ability to sensationalize stories and construct attracting headlines. These headlines could be framed in a way to inculcate cultural diversity. For instance, a news item could show a minority as a victim of crimes. A popular movie showing a prejudiced villain could be aired in the public media. A media advert could show people from different cultures interacting freely and bearing positive outcomes. All these could be ways of inculcating cultural diversity through media.
People could work together to reduce prejudice and promote cultural diversity. People could inculcate positive attitudes in education and job situations. People should change their behavior towards their foreign counterparts. Individuals should avoid usage of negative phrases and metaphors in relation to the diverse groups. Facilities should be multifaceted in order to suit the needs of the aged and people from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds.
In conclusion, diversity may be a commonly-visited topic in educational, political and social dockets. Diversity may not necessarily mean division; it just implies difference in social, religious, racial and ethnic characteristics. The current US immigration trends may have contributed to growth in diversity in all states; this diversity may be associated with both positive and negative effects. Failure to plan for diversity may lead to serious consequences in both economic and social life. In order to spread diversity, various avenues could be used; the media could be the best avenue to effect positive change in the way people construe this phenomenon. It should be upon everyone to inculcate a sense of diversity and appreciate it.