The past couple of posts here have highlighted issues regarding race and diversity.
America is the land of…increasing diversity. It’s not slowing down anytime soon.
However, do “we” really celebrate diversity in this country? Should we? Why can’t we all just get along? Afterall, afloat or sinking, American or not, we’re all in the same boat together.
there is a strong positive relationship between interracial trust and ethnic homogeneity. In other words, the less diverse your community, the more likely you are to trust the people in it who are different from you. The flip side is also true: The more ethnically diverse the people you live around, the less you trust them.
The article also highlights this issue of identity and its categorizations, how we may construct our social identities for some sense of solidarity yet simultaneously separate ourselves from others but over time even these constructions may fall apart.
Just existing together won’t erase mistrust; instead, we should work toward creating an identity that includes everyone.
Diversity may not be the answer to our country’s future, but it is nevertheless our country’s future. Even if it were possible to close our borders to future immigrants from everywhere and then promote the reorganization into much more homogeneous communities for those now here, America would still be faced with this looming question: how do we relate to one another collectively as “we the People”?
As any biologist knows, Nature is replete with examples where more bio-diverse species and habitats are better able to handle stress and changes. But perhaps Putnam’s survey is making an important distinction between humans and all over living things. The former is laden with prejudices and preferences; the latter are not. Humans, we have a problem.
Rodriguez writes that, “More important, perhaps, whites and nonwhites alike will have to create a more generous and expansive sense of ‘we.’” In the just-published secular textbook, Crossing the Ethnic Divide, sociology professor Kathleen Garces-Foley agrees and, in her two-and-a-half year study of Evergreen Baptist Church of LA (Rosemead, CA) suggests that the diverse model we are creating may hold one of the keys to America’s diverse future. Driven by the vision of the Church as a new model of humanity, where Christ has destroyed every barrier between us (Ephesians 2) and united us all into one new creation, we have morphed from being an exclusively Japanese American body into one thus far that consists of nearly a dozen API groups, Whites, Blacks, Latinos who are both young and old, rich and poor, educated and not, immigrants and very americanized. This is an intricate work-of-God-in-progress. However, what propels us is an increasing sense of need for what different people can contribute to our understanding of God and who increase our capacity to love and serve others.
Clearly, there will probably never be a day when every American—even Christian ones—embrace this purpose. Nevertheless, Putnam’s survey missed finding pockets of hope.
Rev. Dr. Ken Fong
Evergreen Baptist Church of LA
Read also DJChuang post on this with more links to follow, multiracial mashup. op-ed. open letter from Ken Fong
I love God’s vision of the church as the new model for humanity. Yes it is a work in progress.
I just wonder in the Chinese church, we talk about wanting a multicultural church…eventually, should it be now or later, is there a plan to getting there wherever there is?
Does the Chinese or immigrant church even share the same understanding of this vision?
Do they or we for that matter realize what it takes to fulfill this vision – realizing that we need each other in how each different person can contribute to our understanding of God? Love that lays our lives down for another.
We want the resurrection glory but I doubt we want the cross that gets us there.
Again, maybe, just maybe we’re dreaming the wrong dreams for our lives.
We’re one but we’re not the same…we get to carry each other, carry each other…” – One, U2