The article that appeared in the September/October issue of the Hope Dance Magazine in 1998 was done by Scott London. The author drew inspiration from a Time magazine cover material that had an exotic girl with a mixture of features drawn from African, Middle Eastern, Asian, and Caucasian backgrounds. This exotic girl was accompanied by the phrase: The New Face of America. In this article, London has tried to discuss the issue of diversity in the American landscape. A careful examination discloses the unbiased and all-inclusive tone that he has accorded the article.
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The article has taken a balanced stance as far as the American landscape is concerned. London has covered all the members of the American community without resorting to unnecessary stereotypical attributes that are common in the media. He takes a fairground when he analyzes the issue of diversity whereby he puts forward the issues that have been raised over the increasing diversity of the American population. He also touches on the American racial history whereby he talks about miscegenation laws that never allowed interracial marriages as recent as twenty years ago (London, 1998). These laws never allowed marriages between black men and white women or white men and black women. The changes that have occurred over time have rendered these laws irrelevant with constitutional amendments and social activism against discrimination and infringement on individual rights.
The setbacks to diversity according to London include the resistance of some communities. These communities are concerned with the disappearance of their culture. He names the Jewish community as one of the communities that are concerned with the loss of cultural identity as a result of cross-ethnic marriages. This is a genuine representation of the Jewish people given their effort to galvanize themselves after a long period of discrimination in Eastern Europe and later on in the United States.
It is not uncommon to come across stereotypes in the media. There are certain attributes that have been associated with certain groups of people, and each time a certain incident occurs, the first point of reference is the racial group that is stereotypically associated with the action or incident. To illustrate this point, the African American community has long been associated with violence. This may have been true in the period that came immediately after slavery due to psychological problems. But with the rise in African American role models in scholarship, leadership, and sports who are the motivation points for young African Americans, the incidence of crime among African Americans has reduced. But the media is always left behind as far as proper presentation of people is concerned. Another angle in the issue of stereotypes is racism. When an issue of racism arises, it is always thought that a white person is discriminating against a black person. This is not the norm. African American neighborhoods can discriminate against the few whites who stay among them. Latino Americans can discriminate against whites and blacks too. It is therefore not justifiable that the media ascribes a particular trait to a certain ethnic or racial group based on societal thinking. This is a point that London brings out when he addresses the aspect of tension.
The London Article and Diversity/Multiculturalism
Concerning racial tension, London takes a case of violence in the California area as an example of how the media and some sections of the society make conclusions based on stereotypes (London, 1998). When the issue of tension between different groups of people is mentioned in the United States for instance, the media and some sections of society are quick to jump into conclusions and make it a black and white issue. They come out saying that the tension is between African Americans and white Americans when the reality is different. London notes that since the nation was founded by Caucasians and African slaves who offered much of the labor, there in fact seems to be more racial tolerance among blacks and whites than the media wants us to believe. The Civil Rights movement of the 1960s also pushed into the minds of Anglo Saxons the idea that African Americans are part of the American fabric, and this is why when the issue of immigration arises, it does not focus on blacks but other groups, most notably, Mexicans.
In addressing diversity and making us understand how it works in American society, London makes it clear that the violence that is witnessed in Los Angeles has nothing to do with blacks and whites (London, 1998). He tries to make us understand that it is not always about blacks and whites when issues of ethnic tension are addressed. He identifies the groups involved in the feud as Mexicans, Koreans, and Hmongs.He further illustrates this point by giving another example of the violence that is common in High Schools in San Francisco as being between Filipinos and Samoans.
What London Achieves
By making this point, London drives home the point that we are to be careful when stereotyping people and interactions in society. They are sometimes not true, a position that makes us develop the mentality that we need to have the facts about a particular group of people instead of resorting to stereotypes and generalizations.
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In this article by London, we are presented with information that touches on the diversity of the American people and how they interact. London shows us the groups that are concerned with the disappearance of their culture through cross-ethnic marriages and gives the example of Jews. He also bursts the stereotype of racial or ethnic tension that is always believed to be between blacks and whites. He does this by giving examples of tension areas in California that have nothing to do with blacks and whites. He correctly identifies the conflicting groups as Koreans, Mexicans and Hmongs in the Los Angeles area and Samoans and Filipinos in San Francisco High Schools (London, 1998).
This report recommends that whoever is interested in the utilization of information concerning a particular racial group should do so while knowing that much of the information that the media feeds into the public has a stereotypical inclination. The best way to get the best out of any of such information is to access facts. In the absence of the same, the assumptions made are always biased since they are based on prejudiced data.
London, S. (1998). The Face of Tomorrow: Reflections on Diversity in America. Hope Dance Magazine. Web.