Multiculturalism is the doctrine that several distinct cultures can co-exist peacefully one country as opposed to one national culture. No other country in the world exemplifies multiculturalism better than the USA. The country’s 317 million people spread across its 50 states comprise of people from all cultures (Healey, 12). Going by historical assertions, the USA was discovered by Christopher Columbus- who was an Italian navigator, explorer and colonizer. Columbus was one among many people from different nationalities and cultures who settled in the USA since its early days. As early as 1500 AD, the USA had played host to more than 50 different cultures apart from the native Indian tribes. To date, due to intermarriages, immigrations, globalization and other dynamics, the USA plays host to people from almost all cultures around the world. Multiculturalism has worked to the benefit of the USA and it should continue to gain root in the years to come.
Cultures emanate from different aspect let alone nationalities. Multiculturalism in the USA encompasses issues such as sexual orientation, geographic location and even political affiliation. The USA is rife with all these cultures thereby making it a very multicultural society. This multiculturalism points to the social nature of human beings (Roth, 23). Using the USA, social scientists can truly affirm that man is a social being capable of co-exiting with any other regardless of differences in religion, language, eating habits, dress codes, sexual orientation, political affiliation among other distinguishing factors. As such, the USA serves as a shining light to the whole world that indeed man ought to live peacefully with each other and that all differences are superficial and should never be divisive.
Firstly, the growth of the US and its present status as an economic powerhouse and trendsetter in almost all sectors can be attributed to its multicultural nature. Since its inception, the USA has had very flexible immigration policies that allow people from all the world’s cultures to settle in that country. This opens the country up to many ideas which when executed have massive synergy. According to Healey, the synergy borne from multiculturalism, leads to socio-economic progression (34). For instance, the white settlers in the US from Italy and Spain came with great painting and artistic skills that helped in establishment of strong art culture in the US. The British and the Germans had an eye for industrialization and use of machinery. The French brought about great cuisines while the Asians had an eye for trade empires. In all, the amalgamation of these cultures was very suitable in the establishment of strong cultural and socio-economic foundations.
The US immigration laws are supportive of immigration and multiculturalism. Some of the laws include the Naturalization Act, the Alien Friends Act, Alien Enemies Act, The page Act, Immigration Act, the Chinese Exclusion Act, Immigration and nationality Act, Immigration Reform and Control Act, Illegal Immigration Act, Real ID Act among many others. Many of these laws support do not oppose the settlement of people into the US on basis of their culture but rather in the basic of criminality and non-compliance with the US laws. Some of the US laws have in fact been responsible for enhancing multiculturalism in the USA through programs such as the “Green Card” (Healey, 26). The “Green Card” is a shining example of how the US laws and constitution have been supportive in the enhancement of multiculturalism in the US. Each year, 50,000 people from tens of countries all over the world win green cards. These people gain instant rights to become American citizens.
Through programs such as the green card, the USA has benefitted massively from the talents arising from its multicultural population. Notably, cultures are talented differently and it is the uniqueness in cultures that has made the USA, the prosperous country that it is today. For instance, the USA is renowned for its dominance in sports. Without even examining carefully, one can note that African-Americans dominate the US sporting world. This diversity has catapulted the USA to its global status today.
Multiculturalism improves the community flair and flavor of a given country. Due to s diverse culture, the USA has hordes of cultures congregating at restaurants, grocery stores, malls, social halls and other places. This adds massive flavor and color to communities which is healthy for socio-cultural progress of the USA. The more the cultures in a given country, the more the communities across that country benefit from diverse foods, music, arts, sporting events and local festivals. This leads to the development of cross-cultural curriculums in schools that broaden the children’s understanding of their country and that of the world (Roth, 36). Having its populace “open” to other cultures in the world gives Americans an edge in dealing with people from different cultures which augur well with globalization.
Multiculturalism has led to business development and economic growth of the USA. Skilled people from all cultures are a key source of information and expertise for American countries. Immigrants open doors for investment opportunities overseas and also attract foreign investment into the country. The benefits of hiring immigrants from across the world include; enhancement of corporate image among international customers, attraction and retention of top talent from the entire world’s cultures, reduction of training costs when companies source international experience and skills from the local immigrant populations (Healey, 39).
Multiculturalism in the USA has helped to fight some of the biggest social evils in the world today- racism and ethnicity. Although these evils still exist on varying scales across the world, the nature of multiculturalism in the USA has helped lessen these evils. Intermarriages in the US have led to the birth of people of complex mixed races. It is common to find someone in the USA whose ancestry touches on cultures from all the continents. The number of people of mixed ancestry and cultures is increasing by the day in the US and with it the blows on racism and ethnicity increase (Roth, 45). This point can be confirmed by the fact that racism is highest in countries where one culture or nationality is exceedingly dominant over any others in that country. As such, multiculturalism helps fight racism, ethnicity and other segregation tendencies.
The USA is a “melting pot” of all the world’s cultures. Multiculturalism in the USA has had very beneficial effects. These include affirming to the world on the inherent social nature of all human beings. Through flexible and accommodative legislations, the US has established programs such as the Green Card program that has equipped it with some of the best brains from all culture around the world. The country has also benefited by exposing its companies to talented employees and cheap labor. In addition, the country has a beautiful flair and flavor die to the beauty that comes with diversity in areas of foods, dressing, social events, educational systems and many others. In all, multiculturalism is very suitable in the modern world given that globalization has taken root.
Healey, Justin. Multiculturalism. Balmain, N.S.W.: Spinney Press, 2000. Print.
Roth, Lenny. Multiculturalism. Sydney: NSW Parliamentary Library Research Service, 2007. Print.