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Dealing With Diversity in Social Life Essay

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Updated: Dec 9th, 2021

Diversity has been called the spice of life. But as I look at the history of human interactions, I quickly conclude that man has used diversity as a wedge to divide and deny others their God-given opportunity. I cannot imagine of owning a farm with only black cows or just white cows. That would not be a beautiful farm to me. How would the world be with only brown people or white people or black people? Personally I would not find that a good place. That is why diversity is truly the spice of life. But why has man utilized these differences for the evil purpose of degrading others socially, exploiting them economically and oppressing them politically?

As we focus on all the evils that have their roots on diversity, I now know the various levels of diversity; thanks to this module. People can be racially diverse. They can also be diverse in terms of gender, sex and body condition; whereby someone can be disabled. All these and other differences have been used in society for the purpose of mistreating others for a long time. Progress may have been achieved in creating a fair playground for all groups of people but it is not sufficient. We still have a long way to go.

From the content covered in this module and the extra reading and discussions I had with my classmates and faculty, personal reflections give me a sense of inner peace. I feel like I am able to understand the root cause of all the discrimination that is witnessed in most parts of the world. But this is an individualized position that can be rejected by another person. I am of the opinion that all discrimination is carried out with the intention of benefitting the person who is carrying out the discrimination. This covers both negative and positive discrimination. I understand positive discrimination to be the deliberate move by an organization or the government of the day to give priority to a group that it feels has been treated unfairly. How does this benefit the government or the organization? Both the government and the organization benefit by maximizing returns given that they are able to make full use of all the available manpower (Solomos, 2003, p.117). Social tension also reduces since the mistreated group sees the fairness or justice being done to them. Negative discrimination also benefits the person doing it as it hurts the person being targeted. But in the long run, everyone loses. There is no winner (Jerome and Taylor, 2005, p.1).

Having taken the position that all discrimination is done with the intent of benefiting the perpetrator, I came to a bitter realization that most of the stereotypes about people who do not look like others were crafted to instill a sense of fear and inferiority in the victims of discrimination so as to lengthen the period of exploitation. An example of this is the scientific racism that existed at some point that claimed that the shape of the head determined the level of intelligence (Wright, 1998, p.133). The aim was to make brown people, red people and black Africans feel stupid compared to whites. When the white community realized that their own children were being born with head shapes similar to those of some black Africans and some black Africans had the head shapes of whites, the claim died in some quarters. The rise of black intellectuals like Ben Carson, the best neuro-surgeon in the whole world as well as the dominance of blacks in sports that require rapid reasoning and a high degree of alertness has smashed this fallacy (Academy of Achievement, 2008). The recent discovery that skin is essentially the same, apart from the outer pigmentation, has brought me to the conviction that the physical differences are a decoration from a God of diversity. High achievement is possible in the brown, red, white and the black community just like low achievement has been observed in both communities. Also, men can achieve as high as women can; as we have witnessed from the rise of women intellectuals and sports personalities.

Added to the fact that discrimination, especially negative discrimination is geared towards the creation of conditions for perpetual exploitation is a case that caught my conscience as I kept on pondering over the material covered in this module. The American story is a perplexing one. White Americans who owned slaves were willing to eat food served by the slaves. They also let the black African slaves take care of their children and some male slave masters sexually abused the female slaves. The hostility of male slave-owners may have prevented black male slaves from sexually interacting with white women. The current rush of white women to black men is a testimony to this. If all these happened, what made the white community so mad when the President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, ended slavery through the Emancipation proclamation in 1863 (Pohl, 2008, p.230).Why was the white community not willing to let their young men and young women sit in classrooms with the children of slaves who played with their children back in their homes? The answer I got in my reflection is that this has always been a question of economics and power. The discrimination is meant to economically weaken the victims by taking away all possible sources of power and enlightenment. The internalization of the attitudes by children born into such a society leads to a social-psychological situation where they erroneously think that they are what the discriminating group has given them.

To make the matter even more complex, these dehumanizing attitudes go both ways. The children of the victims grow up with a feeling of inability and deficiency while the children of the group that discriminates against another group grow up with a superiority complex. What this leads to is a vicious cycle of imbalanced relationships characterized by prejudice, a foolish sense of entitlement, inferiority complex, superiority complex and disrespect. This reflection puts more focus on the ethnicity/race area; but the elements discussed touch on gender and sex.

Upon deeper further reflection, I realize that there are more questions that are still unanswered. For instance, how are we to deal with the latest façade of discrimination that is pegged on religion that has focused on Muslims? Are we nearly achieving racial respect for all ethnic groups wherever they may exist whether as minorities or majorities? Does the rise in interracial socialization through such processes as dating and marriage make any difference? If yes, what is it? As a white, I know how I feel. I also know how someone who is totally brown or black feels. How does it feel to be in-between; for example if one is a product of a black father and a white mother? Can interracial marriages be a panacea to racial hatred?

In conclusion, it is clear that this module opened my gates of reflection on the issue of dealing with diversity. It is a broad concern that affects all areas of societal life. I was able to conclude that discrimination is based on a system of fallacies that are meant to perpetuate unfair treatment of the victims. I however still have questions that are unanswered. It is my hope that I will be able to get answers and diversity will be used as a spice in life rather than a reason for treading upon those who do not look like we do.


Academy of Achievement: Museum of Living History, 1996. Benjamin S.Carson, M.D Biography: Gifted Hands That Heal. Web.

Jerome, F and Taylor, R., 2005. Einstein on Race and Racism. New York: Rutgers University Press.

Pohl, F., 2008. Framing America: A Social History of American Art.2nd ed. New York: Thames & Hudson Inco.

Solomos,John.,2003. Race and Racism in Britain. New York:Palgrave Macmillan.

Wright, W.D., 1998. Racism Matters. Santa Barbara California:Greenwood Publishing Group Incorporated.

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