Coexistence Within Our Society | Teen Ink

Coexistence Within Our Society

January 23, 2019
By PB1-2 SILVER, Parkland, Florida
PB1-2 SILVER, Parkland, Florida
6 articles 0 photos 1 comment

As a child, whenever I stood at the border between Mexico and America I looked at both lands with wonder. Mexico was the land I had always known and America the one full of mysteries. I used to cross to the unfamiliar land, with its foreign tongue and customs, whenever I visited my grandparents. I never felt any different. My eyes were veiled with the innocence only a child can possess. Now I see the truth. Countries, such as America, fear immigrants. They simply do not fit in. Leaders have begun to want “indistinguishable” immigrants to become part of their country. American news stations broadcast this sentiment day in and day out while the president lets his opinionated remarks flash up on Twitter without so much as a care. This problem, however, goes beyond our borders. Immigrants bring a broad range of cultures through their diverse, individual identities. In keeping cultures apart, countries run the risk of facing detrimental consequences because no one will learn to respect and live alongside each other with their differences.

There is an advantage, and a newfound identity, that comes with embracing multiculturalism. All over the country there are politicians and citizens who share the view that immigrants will bring detrimental consequences to our society. To them assimilation means becoming indistinguishable from anyone else. Being a white European with little to no accent certainly helps, but being a tanned Hispanic with a thick accent does not. It is distressing to see how the white nationalist agenda continues to tear up holes into a country that should pride itself on its diversity. By pushing for integration, and not assimilation, all cultures can balance and live side by side. London Mayor Sadiq Khan stated in 2016 that immigrants, especially pointing to ones in America, should not have to assimilate into their new country’s culture. He stated that immigrants had to integrate, not assimilate, because “people shouldn’t have to drop their cultures and traditions when they arrive in our cities and countries.” It is clear that the controversy between integration and assimilation is an international issue. This only highlights the importance of having integration over assimilation because integration has become an important part in forming the ideal cohesive community.

In their struggle to force assimilation onto their citizens, countries promote the negative effects that accompany it. In any country people want to be respected despite their differences. When there is a push for them to fit inside a premade mold of what that country’s ‘perfect’ citizen is, it leads people to renounce parts of who they are. Without an understanding of different cultures, American culture has no chance of integrating it into their own. The pure desire for assimilation will introduce wider, negative impacts as it makes its way across the world. In America, President Trump wants to base the decision to help or not help refugees on what his cabinet believes to be the immigrants “ability to assimilate and contribute to the US.” Helping refugees should not be based on how they can fit into a society, it should be based on the need for protection. Trump’s administration wants immigrants to apply to the great university of America so they can see what the immigrants have to offer and decide if they want them or not. We are a country of immigrants, we all bring something to the table. It should not become a struggle to find a new home just because someone else wants a society filled with people that look and act alike. If there is anything to be proud of, it is the diversity each part of the country holds that leads to the unity of all citizens.

An indistinguishable face in a crowd of thousands, a country of millions, and a world of billions. Since when has becoming indistinguishable been a goal society wishes to accomplish? The world is full of diverse communities, learning to live with their differences, where people seem to have mapped out a want, a need, to stand out from the rest and create their own identity. However, when immigration comes into the picture the once idyllic dream of living in harmony with our differences melts away. It becomes starkly clear that the harmony was just that, only a dream. All over the world countries have begun to lock their borders to the danger that immigrants will bring with their diversity. Australia. America. France. How many others have to lock these people out until we, as a society, can learn to see that diversity is not something to fear? An indistinguishable face in a crowd of thousands cannot change the world views people have engraved on their minds. A voice in a horde of millions is only faintly heard. However, an array of people, from all corners of the world, standing together can teach us to embrace diversity.

The author's comments:

As an immigrant the art of fitting into a new culture is one I have yet to master. I want people to know that there shouldn't be a need to hide who we really are because at the end of the day we are all in this country as one people.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.