The Supposed Requirement For More Diversity Will Only Divide Us More

The Supposed Requirement For More Diversity Will Only Divide Us More

The Diversity Movement, racism and immigration
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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.

Cover Image Credit: Youth Intervention Programs Association

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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Ilhan Omar Is at Best Foolhardy and at Worst, Yes, Anti-Semitic

Her latest statements seem to lack substance, motivation, or direction.

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I find the case of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to be a curious one.

Specifically, I am referring to the recent controversy over select comments of hers that have generated accusations of anti-Semitism. In all honesty, prior to doing research for this article, I was prepared to come to her defense.

When her comments consisted primarily of "Israeli hypnosis" and monied interest, I thought her wording poor, though not too egregiously deviated from that of most politicians in the current climate of bad behavior. After all, Israeli PACs surely do have a monied interest in the orientation of United States policy in the Middle East. Besides, if President Trump can hypothesize about killing someone in broad daylight and receive no official sanction, I don't see the need for the House of Representatives to hand down reprimand to Rep. Omar for simply saying that Israel may have dealt wrongly, regardless of the veracity of that position.

And yet, seemingly discontent that she had not drawn enough ire, Omar continued firing. She questioned the purported dual loyalty of those Americans who support the state of Israel, while also making claim that the beloved former President Obama is actually not all that different from the reviled current President Trump.

In short, the initial (mostly) innocuous statements about the United States' relation with Israel have been supplanted by increasingly bizarre (and unnecessary) postulations.

Those latest two controversies I find most egregious. Questioning the loyalty of an American citizen for espousing support for a heavily persecuted world religion and in defense of a refuge for practitioners of that self-same religion that has existed as an independent state since 1948, seems, in really no uncertain terms, anti-Semitic.

After all, is it not her own party that so adamantly supports persecuted Palestinians in the very same region? Is it not she and fellow Muslim Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) (who is not without her own streak of anti-Semitic controversy) that have rejected challenges to their own loyalty in being ethnically Somali and Palestinian respectively? Is her claim not akin to the "racist" demands that Obama produce proof of his birth in the United States, and the more concrete racism that asserted he truly was not? And (if you care to reach back so far) can her statement not be equated to suggestions that President John F. Kennedy would be beholden to the Vatican as the first (and to date only) Catholic to hold the presidency?

From what I can discern amongst her commentary, in Omar's mind, the rules that apply to her framework on race, ethnicity, religion, and culture as sacred idols above reproach do not extend to her Jewish contemporaries.

Oh, and may I remind you that over 70% of Jewish Americans voted for Hilary Clinton in 2016.

And yet, beyond even this hypocrisy, is the strange disdain Omar suddenly seems to hold for Barack Obama. Even as a non-Democrat, while I can find reason for this, it is still largely perplexing.

To begin with, I recognize that Ilhan Omar is not your prototypical Democrat. She would scoff at being termed a moderate, and likely would do the same to being labeled a traditional liberal. While she doesn't identify as an outright democratic socialist, one would have to be totally clueless to avoid putting her in the company of those who do, such as Tlaib or Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

As such, she's bound to have some critical evaluations of President Obama, despite the lionizing that the Democratic establishment has and continues to engage in. Two points still stick out to me as obvious incongruities in her statement, however.

First, Obama and Trump are nothing alike. Again, this coming from someone who does not regularly support either, I can at least attempt to claim objectivity. While Obama might not have been faithful to all the demands of the far-left during his presidency, his position on the political spectrum was far from the extreme bent that Trump has ventured into.

Secondly, there is the style of the two men to consider. While Obama had his share of goofs and gaffes (I still think it somewhat juvenile that he often refused to say "radical Islamic terrorism" when referring to Islamist extremists) he pales in comparison to Trump. Every week Trump has his foot caught in a new bear trap. Obama is enormously tame in comparison.

And in addition to all of that, one must beg the question of Omar's timing. With Republicans emboldened by her controversies and House Democratic leadership attempting to soothe the masses, why would Omar strike out at what's largely a popular figure for those that support her most? There seemed no motivation for the commentary and no salient reasoning to back it up, save that Omar wanted to speak her mind.

Such tactlessness is something that'll get you politically killed.

I do not believe Barack Obama was a great president, but that's not entirely important. I don't live in Ilhan Omar's district; her constituents believe Obama was a great president, and that should at least factor into her considerations. Or maybe she did weigh the negative value of such backlash and decided it wouldn't matter? 2019 isn't an election year, after all. Yet, even if that's the case, what's to gain by pissing off your superiors when they're already pissed off at you?

You need to pick your battles wisely in order to win the war, and I'm highly doubtful Omar will win any wars by pitching scorched-earth tactics over such minute concerns.

Her attitude reminds me not only of that of some of her colleagues engaging obtusely and unwisely over subjects that could best be shrugged off (see the AOC media controversies), but also some of my own acquaintances. They believe not only in the myth of their own infallibility, but the opposition bogeyman conjured by their status in a minority or marginalized group. As the logic goes, "I'm a member of x group, and being so gives me the right to decimate anyone who has any inclination to stand against me in any capacity, tit for tat." So much for civility.

I initially came here to defend Rep. Ilhan Omar, and I still do hold to that in certain cases. The opposition to some of her positions is unwarranted. She is allotted the freedom of speech, as are all Americans.

And yet, in certain other cases she has conducted herself brashly, and, one could argue, anti-Semitically.

All I can say is that I am content living adjacent to Minneapolis, not in it. You'd be hard-pressed to find me advocating for leadership that makes manifest in such impolitic fashion.

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