1. The United States is a "level playing field" for someone, no matter what his or her culture.
In the U.S. socialization process (and other Western countries) schools and media regularly project institutions as being "color-blind" and present the culture as being fair to everyone (a so-called "level playing field"). The assumption is that if someone doesn't succeed it is because they are lazy or have personal faults -- and that it is the fault of the individual and not the mainstream culture.
2. Americans don't have a culture.
This is an unconscious norm for mainstream American culture, based on the Wild West pioneer philosophy of the "rugged individual" -- we are "lone rangers" who can self-determine our fate, unaffected by a larger influence. Even though this may be the land of myth and fantasy, many people live there.
3. If it's different, it's wrong.
This assumption has been referred to as racism, but relates to many "antis", such as anti-Semitism, and to anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic, and anti-non-white biases. The popular belief in the race concept dates back to at least 1600 when Europeans built overseas empires in the Americas, Asia, and Africa. The race concept supported the decimation and impoverishment of the people on these continents.
4. You shouldn't talk about cultural diversity.
This assumption is based on the policy of "Anglo conformity," which seems ironic in light of the "rugged individual" mindset previously mentioned. Many think that if you talk about cultural differences it perpetuates problems and is "divisive" -- and just brings up problems that are already solved. It also involves the concept of invisibility -- if you don't talk about different groups, they aren't there. This approach included the forced assimilation of many groups including Native Americans and African Americans. This assimilation has brought about a loss of cultural heritage, other than European.
5. You shouldn't admit to being prejudiced.
This is another age-old approach. If you don't admit to even a perception of prejudice or institutional and system inequities, it supports the idea that life is on a level playing field -- and then you don't have to do anything about it.
Andre's purpose is to reconnect people to their Dignity and Honor in Being Human.
We are never far
nurturing the seeds of change
Andre Koen, Facilitator
Conference call 218.852.6114 ext. 823042
Online training www.organizationallift.com
This Drives Our Work:
- Unity of the Individual(s)
- Goal Orientation
- Race as Construct
- Self-Determination and Uniqueness
- Social Context
- The Feeling of Community
- Mental Health/Wealth
- Individual Striving
- Social/Individual Interest