Recently, there has been this call for more diversity in the workforce, more diversity in schools, more diversity in jobs around the world. This all sounds like a great way to promote a better world for all countries, but by simply looking at what psychology suggests about how humans view people, it should be hard to completely cave into the current diversity movement's initiatives. The truth is, we will never see eye to eye on race issues. People of difference races and ethnicities have their own attitudes about in-groups and out-groups. Social psychology can easily prove that the mental processes that produce such a divided attitude is actually completely normal and should not be confused with the idea of racism. It is the extreme view of in-groups that can promote racist attitudes.
I make this claim a lot when explaining the difference between seeing someone as different from you and being straight up racist. I see a Muslim and I automatically assume he or she might have come from the Middle East or some other foreign nation, and might know a lot of people named Mohammed. I might also think he or she prays every night to Allah, practicing the Muslim faith. Is this racist? Absolutely not. It becomes racist when I figure out he or she was born in the United States and I continue to suggest he or she is from the Middle East. This is a basic case of social identity theory. These ideas that have come to mind did not appear because of some ingrained hatred for Muslims. For some people, simply calling them Muslims is somehow racist. In that case, I find being called an American very offensive. These ideas came to mind because we all have a form of social identity theory fused into our minds, and a lot of times, we do it subconsciously. Social identity theory states that "group members of an in-group will seek to find negative aspects of an out-group, thus enhancing their self-image". From the very beginning when we start to see who we are as individuals, we then start to see which group(s) we could be a part of. Social identity has three major steps, which have no racist intentions, although if taken to the extreme, could result in racist attitudes. They are: categorizing, identification and comparison. A man by the name of Henri Tajifel is best known for his work in social identity and aspects of prejudice. He is quoted as saying "stereotyping (i.e. putting people into groups and categories) is based on a normal cognitive process: the tendency to group things together." The fact that these processes are initiated on such a subconscious level should mean it would be hard to get rid of it, as the current diversity movement claims are required for people to coexist. The truth is, there will be blacks, whites, Muslims and Hispanics that will work together in society. So suggesting we should not be picking out the superficial differences between these races is to deny all of Tajifel's most credible work on social psychology.
Today, topics that typically garner backlash from the diversity movement are; support of border patrol, support for national security and support for Donald Trump. I am not denying there are extremists on the right that have called for the death of blacks, the annihilation of Muslims due to terrorism, and the continued existence of the KKK in some communities. These accusations are not at all representative of the attitudes of the aforementioned. People with such beliefs make up a drastically small percentage of the country, and to think they will somehow impact government legislation is absurd. I for one am a supporter of increased border security due to the exponential increase of immigrants into this country. And this is not because of my disdain for diversity or a sense of racial prejudice against those coming from Mexico. It is the fact that since 1960, the number of immigrants entering the U.S has more than quadrupled, exactly from 9,738,100 to 43,290,400 in 2015. Now compare this to the influx of immigrants to Elis Island in the early 20th century ( starting in 1900, a number of immigrants entering the country only rose to a climax of roughly 4 million in 1930, then went down). There is a serious problem with our current immigration laws and they need to be more strict. Again, I should clarify that making such claims has no relation at all to racism, but by the mere fact that there is a sincere concern. I also cannot stress this enough. People who support increased border patrol have issues with ILLEGAL immigrants. Of course, our country was founded on immigrants, but the key work is LEGAL immigrants.
To conclude, this article is not rejecting the idea that there are indeed racists out there, but the most basic forms of categorization should not be confused with racism, but by the theory of social identity, something we all have. The sooner we begin to realize that sometimes recognizing the differences between ourselves and other cultures is the right way to work together, the sooner we can live in peace.