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The Culture War: Culture Diversity Due to Immigration

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Culture is the social behavior and norms found in many minorities and influences part of our lives (e.g., values, views, etc.) However, Americans see other foreign people’s culture as unacceptable and forced to adopted the White traditions by force or violence. Resulting in the manifestation of cultural appropriation; the adoption of traditions from minority groups by a dominant group. Sharing one’s culture to others sometimes lead to violence and assimilate them. In the past, many minorities were forced to adopt some traditions from White people. However, as the years go by, it has been the opposite where White people feel threatened and sometimes adopts others’ culture to avoid the collision. It sometimes leads to a culture war. Culture war is a conflict between [conservative and liberal] groups with different ideas, beliefs, and philosophies. Being forced to become “White” never really matter to me, in reality, many minorities assume being “White” is unnecessary because they don’t feel threatened by Whites, but it might cause some conflict in the future.

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As a young child I felt pressure to be a “white person” by learning English, but as I grew older I never really care about becoming one or changing my culture.I never felt ashamed of my culture, in fact, I love it. I love delicious food, holidays, art, music, history and clothing. In my Mexican culture, our music or folk song are called corridos. Corridos are stories told in a song about the Mexican Revolution, romance, poverty, politics, or crime. I also like the art because it has a wide array of handcrafted ornaments: clay pottery, garments with angular designs and multicoloured rugs. However, some people might disagree with me because they abandoned their culture to gain another to feel accepted. In my younger days, I had a friend who was Vietnamese and loved her culture despite the negative comments she received from Americans. At one point she started to hate her own culture and slowly adopt the American in order to fit in.

In the essay “Craving the Other,” Soleil Ho discusses her experiences surrounding food and cultural cachet as second-generation Vietnamese American immigrant. As a child, she rejected traditional Vietnamese food and desired to eat in line with food norms in America – “Bagel Bites, chicken nuggets”, and the like (Ho 41). This desire was tied to the fact that other children teased her for bringing to school the sorts of food that she was used to at home. However, the attitude of her American peers changed over time when she enters college.

I partially agree with Ho because, in the past, many foreign people were forced to assimilate to whatever Americans like. For instance, children who come from a different culture were pressure to be “White” by learning their language, eating their food, and wearing normal clothes. As the years passed by, the assimilation has decreased while cultural appropriation managed to increased. It is due to the fact that many White people feel left out or assume as a majority group might end and minorities will take over. In his essay “The End of White America”, Hua Hsu says online marketing networks have provided the media for exposure to a global audience and has bred an unprecedented cultural confidence towards people of color. No longer do people of color have to strive to be identified as white to afford the opportunities that were associated with being white (e.g., better-paying jobs, education, homeownership, etc.) to change their socio-economic status in life. Hsu says, “White is no longer a threat or an ideal” (102). The rise to mega-wealth by people of color or ethnicity through sports and music has enabled them to move into social circles previously occupied by only the privileged upper white class. Minorities and immigrants no longer care about assimilating white American culture and behavior but are remaking culture in the image of white America’s multi ethnic, multi colored heirs. Again, Hsu identifies this as a shift of white power and incorporates alarmist statements into his article such as warning “colored migration is a universal peril, menacing every part of the white world” (97). He uses the election of Barack Obama as an example of the gradual erosion of “whiteness” in America and refers to whiteness as the touchstone of what it means to be an American. I agree with Hsu about minorities being forced to assimilate. For example, my parents migrated to the USA to provide us in having a good life, but didn’t need to become white to get a job. Another one is when I watch TV, I notice the amount of popular television shows and music, and how they are mostly all Hispanic or black related. I believe this is what our society is interested in the most. It used to be that many of the popular musicians were white, such as Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys. 

Due to the many immigrants immigrating to America for a better life they bring their cultures with them. America has become more and more culturally diverse. Nonetheless, it causes conflict between conservative and liberal people when it comes to culture. In the essay, “Country Music, Openness to Experience, and the Psychology of Culture War”, Will Wilkinson says country music has an ideology, it has something to do with where we fall on the openness to experience and conscientiousness sliding scale and the personality differences between liberals and conservative. Wilkinson says country music reinforce some part in low openness people are more likely to celebrate the simplest moments (e.g., love at first sight, wedding, the birth of their children) and teaching their children the same values as the parents were taught. However, the low openness conservatives feel threatened by high opened liberals because they are like a bomb ready to explode on to them. Even though embracing other’s culture can be open-minded to ideas we cannot produce as well getting out of our comfort zone. However, the problem arises when somebody takes something from another less dominant culture in a way that members of that culture find undesirable and offensive. For example using garment for fun or fashion, perhaps, and out of a place of ignorance rather than knowledge of that culture. In other words, taking advantage of of one’s elements/traditions leads to racism and culture war. Embracing each other’s culture as a way to past racism can be possible as a way to see in different perspectives, but it can lead to violence. The traditions many people have within their culture preserve it to pass down to the next generation instead of changing it completely. Teaching the new generation can keep their culture alive and being proud of it while being open minded about other people cultures if not, it can cause conflict among each other.

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