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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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Terrors Behind "Toddlers & Tiaras" - Beauty Pageants Need To Go!

Why Honey Boo Boo is not the girl we should be idolizing...

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Honey Boo Boo is famous for her extravagant persona, extreme temper tantrums, overwhelming attitude, and intense sassiness. All of these qualities are shared by many other young girls who participate in beauty pageants - not just in "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" but also in TLC's notorious "Toddlers & Tiaras," a show that depicts the horrors of little girls who have dedicated their childhood to winning the crown.

These shows, and the pageants they glorify do nothing but force girls to grow up too quickly, send negative messages to viewers and participants and pose health risks for the girls involved.

Therefore, beauty pageants for young girls should be abolished.

The hypersexualization that takes place in these pageants is staggering. Not only are young girls' minds molded into having a superficial view on beauty, but they are also waxed, spray-tanned, given wigs, retouched in pictures, injected with Botox and fillers, and painted with fake abs and even breasts.

Sexy is the goal, not cute. Girls of ages 2-12 wear skimpy clothing, accentuating only their underdeveloped bodies. A 4-year-old girl on "Toddlers and Tiaras" once impersonated Dolly Parton with fake breasts, another dressed as Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman (so basically, a prostitute), and another even pretended to smoke a cigarette to look like Sandy from Grease.

In Venezuela, people are so obsessed with pageants that they send their daughters to "Miss Factories," to train them to win. At these factories, underage girls undergo plastic surgery and hormone therapy to delay puberty in attempts to grow taller. In addition, they often get mesh sewn onto their tongues so that they are physically incapable of eating solid food. This idea of taking horrific measures to look slimmer is not unique to Venezuela. A former Miss USA explained that she would "slather on hemorrhoid ointment, wrap herself up with Saran wrap, and run on a treadmill with an incline for 30 minutes to tighten her skin and waist up." Many countries, including France and Israel have banned child beauty pageants because it is "hypersexualizing." Why has the US yet to follow in their footsteps?

Additionally, the pageants strip their young contestants of a childhood by basically putting them through harsh child labor. Oftentimes, girls as young as 18 months old participate in pageants. There is no way that a girl under 2 years old has the capacity to decide for herself that she wants to participate in a beauty pageant. Not to mention, education often takes a backseat in pageant girls' lives as long practice sessions interfere with sleep and homework. This causes long-term distress for the contestants, including widespread unemployment for former pageant girls.

Moreover, these pageants tie self-worth and self-esteem to attractiveness. They teach girls that natural beauty and intelligence are not enough, when in actuality they should be doing the opposite. In fact, 72% of pageant girls hire coaches to train girls to be more "attractive."

Finally, these pageants pose potent health risks for the girls competing. Not only do intense rehearsals interfere with their sleep cycles, but they are also impacted by the harmful methods taken to keep them awake. One example is Honey Boo Boo's "go go juice" - AKA a mixture of Mountain Dew and Red Bull. She is known for drinking this continuously throughout pageant days to stay awake and energetic - but the health risks associated with the drinks, let alone for such a young girl, are completely ignored.

And, the future health problems associated with pageantry cannot be looked past. Participating in beauty pageants as kids leads to eating disorders, perfectionism, depression - in fact, at least 6% suffer from depression while competing. "The Princess Syndrome," as Psychology Today calls it relates to a small study published in 2005 that showed that former childhood beauty pageant contestants had higher rates of body dissatisfaction. This sense of dissatisfaction can so easily be translated to more severe mental and physical health issues, including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. The average BMI (Body Mass Index) of a Beauty Contestant in the US in 1930 was 20.8, which is universally in the middle of the "healthy" range. In 2010, it was 16.9, which is considered underweight for anyone.

So, despite the entertainment these shows and pageants provide, they should most definitely be stopped due to the immense amount of issues they cause for those involved and those who watch.

Although Honey Boo Boo is (sadly) considered one of America's sweethearts, her experience in pageantry has certainly not been a positive influence in her life nor in the lives of her fans - and this is the case for nearly all young pageant girls.

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