Is it just me or is culture being misunderstood, misaligned, being stripped away of its importance or simply ignored in today’s society? We are comfortable focusing on pop culture, high culture, high society culture, being “cultured” and participating in culture wars. What does this mean and should we care? Yes we should. Has culture become a synonym for race, entertainment or a war of values?
The United States is becoming more culturally and racially diverse with each passing day. Demographers predict that by 2040 people of color as a group will shift to majority status. Although there will be more people of color than the white race, this is a misnomer- the white race, as a single race, will still be in the majority. Does anyone care to talk about this radical shift?
This shift is not just about numbers or a fear that certain races are going to disappear into the sunset. It is about many diverse cultures figuring out how to live together in harmony while trying to keeping their cultures intact. Are we going to walk softly into that 2040 world being culturally blind and unconscious or will we take the time to personally reflect and build our skills?
Let’s break this down. The USA is not a racial or cultural melting pot and never has been but it is the national narrative that continues to be taught in k-14 schools. This misguided narrative has led us to cultural blindness. I offer a perspective that within each racial group is the potential of a “gazillion” cultures fighting for survival in the coming decades. How prepared is the average citizen, like you and me, to interact in a multicultural USA?
The action for this week, should you decide to accept it, is to reflect and discuss with others, preferably someone from a different race or culture:
- What is culture?
- What will your culture look like in 2040?
On Being “Cultured:”
On “Culture Wars:”