Eth/125 Final Project Essay

1793 words - 8 pages

The information I have gotten from the past nine weeks has helped me to understand better the way that I am perceived in the country today. I have always believed that we are all Americans and as Americans racial differences were simply a matter of experience with and understanding of one another, but through reading the texts and the conversations I have had in class I now see that this is not so. If the feelings expressed in the text and in our conversations are an accurate portrayal of the situation in general then instead of a mere differences to be overcome, the situation more resembles a battlefield that must be traversed.
To me the curriculum describes a world where I, a white male ...view middle of the document...

One of the interesting things that I took from this course was all the research we did on the lives of groups in the past. Learning about how others lived and the issues that they faced made me curious about my own past and what kind of lives my ancestors lived and the struggles they faced. I have known my lineage in this country for some time and have always enjoyed learning more about them but I had never focused my searches on the living conditions or the cultural struggles. I am of Scottish and Irish decent and my ancestors came to this country in 1632 as indentured servants in the New England area. Throughout the generations they made their way to the mid-west. I’m sure that being established in this country for so long made life much easier than it was for the immigrants right off of the boats. History is full of examples of immigrant workers being abused and taken advantage of but one example I found stood out. I was told a story by a relative of in Virginia of a group of Irish workers working on the railroad. The group was new to the crew and shortly after their arrival there was an outbreak of cholera and the blame fell on them. What ensued was a massacre in which all but 5 of the crew were killed and buried under the tracks, one of the survivors was a relative and passed the story through the years. This was a terrifying but common story and one that was found through the inspiration of this course.

Like my ancestors immigrants to the shores of this country in search of prosperity and opportunity and this will only continue in the future. With the rise in immigration from Asian countries and constant flow of immigrants from the south, I can see a shift in the demographics in this country by the year 2050. I can see a country with a mostly Hispanic and Asian influences as its main contributing ethnic groups. In forty years the majority of the baby boomers will have passed away, which makes up a very large portion of the white population and the birth rate of whites in today’s society cannot keep pace. Between the large amounts of immigrants from the south and the Far East and the fact that the birth rate of Hispanic households is double that of white households, the math suggests that if the trends continue then there will be a majority shift within the 40 years.
No matter who is the majority in this country there will always be challenges. Diversity is a wonderful thing but it also has inherent difficulties that come along for the ride. Two of the things that make this country are our diversity and our independence, but at the same time these things are pulling us apart. We are a country of many different peoples from all over the world with all different backgrounds and today we a finding that people would rather identify with their culture or county of origin than with their country. There is nothing wrong with celebrating your heritage but when everyone is identifying with something different than is makes it very difficult...

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