Humanity has to shift its approach of dealing with prejudices and discriminations as wrongs committed against the rights of minorities, but should cast the challenges as affecting the interests of all, for instance gay, straight or otherwise. The past century saw the rise of activist groups that sought to fight for the rights of particular groups in the societies, the gay, lesbians, the disabled, minority ethnic groups among others. Intellectuals now realize the approach may be detrimental in the end as it creates divisions instead of fostering equality. Those who consider themselves to belong to the mainstream are known to create prejudiced myths about the minorities. For instance, the model minority myth that is a known fallacy postulates that Asian Americans are intellectuals and have succeeded in industries such as health, business, and engineering in the United States of America at the expense of the native whites. Consequently, such myths promote racism, inequality, and stereotypes that confine individual thoughts to negativity instead of promoting peaceful co-existence. The ensuing paragraphs dwell on the advantages and disadvantages of assimilation from an immigrants and non-immigrants perspective, and how the choice to assimilate or not to affects their identity.
The choice to assimilate or not to influences how immigrants redefine their identity. For instance, when Asian Americans chose to assimilate to the Western culture, they are likely to come up with a new ethnic identity that is based similarity of experiences and solidarity (Le, 2012). This is called an emergent ethnic identity. On the other hand, if the choice is not to assimilate, the group defines its identity by maintaining their unique behaviors, traditions, and cultural norms. According to sociologist Milton Gordon, the resulting outcome is called cultural pluralism since the group in question still confines itself to institutional and national values of the host nation (Le, 2012).
In a recap, it is prudent that nations adopt a liberty-based approach as opposed to civil rights, which propagates divisions among minorities and the mainstream (Kenji, 2006). The approach takes into consideration the interests of all and in the end promotes peaceful co-existence. All individuals deserve the right to be who they are and should not be pressured to conform to what the majority are doing that is considered to be ‘norm.’
Kenji, Y. (2006, January 15). The pressure to cover. The New York Times Magazine, 32.
Le, C.N. 2012. "Assimilation & Ethnic Identity" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America.
Reitz, J. G., & Sklar, S. M. (1997, June). Culture, Race, and the Economic Assimilation of Immigrants. Sociological Forum, 12(2), 233-277.
Rosenblum, K. E., & Travis T. C. (2012). The meaning of difference: American constructions of race, sex and gender, social class, sexual orientation, and disability (6th Ed). New York: McGraw-Hill.