This philosophy was so important that our Founding Fathers had to mention it in the Constitution. Yet nearly two and half centuries later where is that diversity in America today? It seems that even with the population of America at over 300 million today we are still like the first groups of Pilgrims, content to stay within our own little groups. As a conscious America we talk a good game, however when we go home at night our subconscious takes over, and we retreat into that comfort zone within our group.
American’s should admit that they really don’t care about anyone else except themselves. They should stop pretending that they do, unless they can actually live by the example that our conscious mind has us profess. According to the 2000 Census report the composite of races in America today are basically 75% White, 12. 3% Black, 12. 5% Hipic or Latino, with Native Americans and other races making up the rest of our population. One can see from these numbers that it would be very easy to segregate into racial groups and to live within one group.
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The Columbia Encyclopedia’s unsigned essay on race which happens to be titled Race points out how we classify groups strictly by our physical characteristics and even argues that the term race is an inappropriate term; Race says that many physical anthropologists believe: “The term race is inappropriate when applied to national, religious, geographic, linguistic or ethnic groups, nor can the biological criteria of race be equated with any mental characteristics such as intelligence, personality, or character. (263).
Still those social distinctions like living with your own race, having all your friends of the same race and background, and even maybe those who are only in the same tax bracket or educational level prevail in our society today, and is not only natural for people to gravitate towards a comfort zone that they find within themselves and their environment? The answer would have to be yes, this means certain social distinctions do in fact matter.
There is Religion in America today, which may not be viewed as one of those important factors of our social make-up as it once was, but when we take a look at the population numbers which profess that Christians and of other religious beliefs are in the majority that make up Americans today; we do have to admit it does play an important role. Probably not as much as in Europe or in some other countries, but Religion is an important factor none the less.
According to the U. S. Census Bureau we have an adult population of: approximately 207 million, approximately 159 million are Christians, approximately 8 million in other religions, and approximately 29 million who believe in something other than a specified religion. With this data we can see that the majority of America’s social make-up is indeed Christian. This provides the American culture with very specific views and customs.
Since religion is one of those fundamental beliefs that founded our country it is easy to see how it becomes a major factor in determining how we act and live in our society today. The facts are that your social background can predetermine your future. David Brooks, a senior editor for The Weekly Standard and who publishes frequently in Atlantic Monthly, Newsweek, and The New York Times, says it best in one of his essays People Like Us, when he says: “Human beings are capable of drawing amazingly subtle social distinctions and then shaping their lives around them. (253).
Truly we shape our lives based on our environment and our beliefs that are familiar to us and we are raised within. That is why people tend to stay with their own group based on the color of their skin, religious beliefs, and social background. We see it everyday in our conscious life, where we go to work, school, shop, or relax. All these are influenced by those subtle social distinctions that make up our lives. Bringing all of these facts together, we can only conclude that man is a driven being.
One driven by his environment, and that just by the luck of the social economic environment they were born into predetermines for the most part where they will live, work, and also which religion they will choose to follow. We can almost go as far as to determine the tax bracket into which they will fall. So when is America going to wake and realize that the only way to find diversity is to come to some happy medium with our conscious and subconscious mind? Change that is not to dramatic, but change none the less, seems to be the only answer.
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