Why Multicultural Studies is important


Kevin Clyde Tate

One design for a class t-shirt

Americans have a tendency to grossly overestimate the amount of social mobility. It’s no wonder, after all, America has long been known as the land of the American dream and home of the brave, but the validity of these titles is constantly under fire. Because here’s the thing: America is a land of opportunities for those who control the dominant narrative of our country.

The fact of the matter is that what you are instead of who will largely dictate where you end up in life. If you are a part of a socioeconomic class odds are you’ll stay there the rest of your life. If you are of a white, the likelihood of your successful graduating from high school can go up as much as 17% nationally. If you are poor, there also exists an academic gap.

This is true nationwide, as well as on a local scale in our own school.

It’s not like in every school there is this big conspiracy that a majority of people have against minorities’ success. But if there isn’t an active effort to promote equality then naturally humans tend to group themselves up and those groups begin to polarize from one another.

Often times, some in the majority even believe their dismissal of issues like race, socioeconomic classes, religion, and gender is a kind gesture, showing that they don’t discriminate. This is apparent in statements of those who insist on being “colorblind” because they’ll focus on one race, the human race.

And that’s cute and all, but it doesn’t help the situation America is already in. Since America’s start, there have been many attempts by those in positions of authority to suppress and break the spirit of those who are marginalized.

From the Native Americans who America broke treaties with to the African Americans who America has constantly antagonized first through slavery, then the Jim Crow, and now through the prison system, there isn’t much reason why minorities should expect others to play fairly. So it’s no wonder that so many of them feel like they are fighting against the current of history and simply give up.

The problem isn’t just that many situations for minorities haven’t improved, but often times they have gotten worse. As previously stated, many institutions in America already work in favor of the majority.

For example, schools get tax money from those living in their jurisdiction. But if many policies of redlining and insurance kept racial minorities from living in certain areas in the past, that means their children probably have stayed in those areas gone to worse schools and stayed poor and leads to the resegregation of schools in many schools.

It is for these reasons that children need to be exposed to how their peers live. Be it across town, race, gender, sexuality, religion, or just about anything, exposure has a profound effect on acceptance.

If there is one thing science and history have both long proved, it’s that distance does not make the heart grow fonder. In social psychology, the familiarity principle is a very established phenomenon in which the more someone is exposed to something, the more positively they will view it and the easier they can find themselves welcoming it into their lives.

Multicultural Studies has the potential to help students simply be exposed to views different from their own and thus help them to overcome their own biases and preconceptions. The making of Multicultural Studies as a civics class is an overwhelmingly positive change as it empowers students to make a difference.


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Click (here) to watch a video on the outsider’s perspective on the topic