Embracing Diversity or Embracing Racism?

Embracing Diversity or Embracing Racism?

Laya Reddy

As we’ve progressed deeper into the twenty-first century, we’ve become more aware of the reasoning behind America’s label of “The Melting Pot.” In America, we celebrate a great diversity of cultures, and we’ve become more open to accepting the wide variety of cultures. However, our words and actions don’t always accurately reflect our good intentions. The intent of embracing diversity soon morphs into racism.

Embracing diversity doesn’t mean seeing everyone the same way. We are equal, but we are not the same. When we say that we see everyone as the same color, we are not embracing diversity, but ignoring it. We try to make everyone conform into the same cutout of a person and praise ourselves for not seeing color. But we should see color.

Embracing diversity means acknowledging the difference in colors, but refusing to let that sole detail allow us to alter our perception of them. We should not ignore the fact that people are different, because we are. We cannot deny facts. We need to get to the point where we can say, “You’re not the same color as me, you have a different culture than I do, you were raised a different way than I was- but I love that.” The key to embracing diversity is not ignorance, but awareness.

Soon, though, the intent to see color quickly turns into racism. People start to make assumptions. They assume that because you’re of a certain race, you should fit all of the molds of that culture. They assume that you should know everything about your culture. It’s not okay to walk up to a Mexican student and ask them to translate something into Spanish. When we make assumptions about people’s race, we shift back to racist tendencies.

It’s easy nowadays to offend people with our words and actions, but if we make an effort, we can become a more socially aware society that accepts diversity as a beautiful aspect of our nation. Race is just one facet of a much larger discussion that needs to take place. We can be accepting of all sorts of different backgrounds, be it race, gender, sexuality, etc. The first step, though, is to recognize the issue.

When we see people, we notice their color. It’s inevitable, and it’s not an issue. It’s what we do beyond that point that determines our intentions. Do we embrace diversity or do we embrace racism?