Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Diversity and Culture post-Charlottesville: Expanding your child's horizon reduces ignorance

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Okay, by now most of America (and the world) has been apprised of the issues that has plagued this country for years.  Racial tensions have been refuted and swept under a rug for so long that the tension has swollen and taken on fever. We keep seeing eruptions here and there as those who'd like to see America revert in part back to the 1500's-early 1900's make efforts to have their dreams made a reality; while the oppressed - and those who know equality is right- try to gain true equal rights for everyone here in the country they love.  This is true for almost every shade, religion, sexual orientation, and disability.

A lot of recent awareness by those who were in denial has created a sense surprise.  How could this be happening?  It's been happening outside of your neighborhood, or covertly if it has.  People have been red-lined and steered out of certain neighborhoods while the privileged enjoy their privilege in naivety, or even out of selfish aloofness.  People have experienced these civil rights violations under the guise of something else at work:  "It's hard to approach you".  "Your food odors bother others," are some of the complaints often seen in evaluations of the people you regard as great employees at the workplace.  Having been pulled over regularly and even harassed by law enforcement with "What are you doing in this car, What do you do for a living," questions.  Simply because you happen to like Mercedes brand cars, and worked hard to buy one.

If you now see that racism comes not just by blatant words or vicious attacks, welcome to your awakening.  Stay woke. And enlighten your Alpha Gen child. I know what you're thinking. Whoa, Ele, you're going to far, I don't want to have my child(ren) exposed to that just yet.

I understand - I'm the same way.  But here's how to get started without burdening them.  EXPOSE THEM TO OTHER CULTURES. Plain and simple.  Stop sheltering them; creating a false "universe" by making them believe that their culture is the only that exists.   Place them in a multi-cultural school.  If that's not possible, have them participate in multi-cultural activities, sports, camps. etc. Let them learn at a younger age to be understanding of other views, religions, skin tones, and personalities.   Humans have a huge propensity to adapt to our environments, and children are the best at this gift.  Immerse them early so that by understanding, they can learn to appreciate the cultural ingredients that make up this melting pot. As they grow older, teach them how having differences doesn't mean one is better than the other, but makes us stronger if we embrace it.

If we find this difficult to do, then we ourselves need to get out of our comfort zone and immerse ourselves in other cultures.  Start small and work your way up.  Meet people you may have not have approached before when you sign up for that Frisbee league. Create new comfort zones. For yourself, for your children.  For your country. Be that example, that newly planted seed as we weed out the bigotry and hate that hinders us from reaching our full potential as humans.  Let get more focused on forwarding the human race instead of hindering it.