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Org6499 Cultural Diversity & Individual Differences - the Perpetual Debt to Society

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The Perpetual Debt to Society

Richard Noon

ORG 6499 Cultural Diversity & Individual Differences

Instructor: Dusty Clark

January 21, 2019


In today’s world, it is generally held that as a whole, people are more tolerant of differences seen or perceived in others. It is very unlikely that the term and concept of political correctness are unknown to very many people on a global scale. Even those people that may not even acknowledge the concept openly or know in-depth to any degree still, again, generally speaking, display the concept to a larger degree than was the norm just decades ago in everyday interactions.

While not ideal by any stretch of the imagination, most would agree that compared to past interactions among people of different nations, beliefs, and cultures, seem to have progressed in accepting more diverse elements encountered on a daily basis. According to Kahn (2015), Even the term diversity was not widespread until the 1970s and 1980’s even though many in the United States were familiar with the concept due to issues found within the Civil Rights Movement and in that arena, even as far back in history as Abraham Lincoln served as President.

Unfortunately, even with the recognized progress that has transpired over time in this country and globally as well, there are still some areas concerning diversity that have not changed for the better very much at all. Kahn (2015) focuses on two areas that have accounted for much of the progress that has been made. Diversity as Consideration for Disadvantages and Diversity as a Moral Imperative are responsible for changes that have seen progress and have improved the lives and livelihood of many that these concepts have directly impacted by the improvement in the thought process concerning diversity and inclusion of those that may have experienced the opposite before concepts were accepted and put in to practice. The rationale of one compelling factor behind Diversity as Consideration for Disadvantages is that improving views and practices in this area ultimately benefits society as a whole because of skills and know how can then pooled for the economic gain of all. Diversity as a Moral Imperative, while maybe not seen as profitable from a strictly economic standpoint, still benefits those that adopt that philosophy theoretically because it focuses on striving for a system of Social Justice and equality to the many. There are separate camps that differ on the internal definitions and rules that could accomplish that, but even so, represents positive change for many compared to not doing so at all (Kahn, 2015). Areas that do not seem to show as much progress seem to indicate a threat to one’s livelihood in some manner, and some that pose no threat of one’s livelihood, but stem from an insidious trait in human nature that allows one to justify demonstrating a sense of superiority, and even cruelty, when it clearly has a negative effect on the recipient and contradicts such a stance and attitude that one may profess and even practice in most situations to the contrary.

Areas with Issues Pertaining to Diversity

The area of immigration to the United States seems to be moving backward instead of making more positive strides. This is somewhat ironic when one considers that the motivation for founding the country in the first place was influenced rather heavily with others from various places worldwide laying the foundation that was seen as a melting pot for all to be accepted and welcomed.

An area that may not get as much political attention or seem to have such far-reaching coverage for the majority of the nation, is an issue that stems from a personal choice to not accept an individual either despite one’s diverseness for politeness sake or accept one because of an aspect that is considered to be diverse in nature. Although something of this nature is absolutely applicable under the guidelines one finds in the Diversity as a Moral Imperative. Kahn (2015) presents various input from various sources that can be seen and used as a categorization of certain thought processes that align with accepting and embracing another’s diversity following a path of morality during the process of learning to become a more accepting person of diverseness. “Do not do unto others what you would not like others to do to you. Treat all fellow human beings with respect for their dignity (Kahn, 2015, p. 193).”  It is not difficult in any way to recognize that these moral based guidelines are consciously and blatantly being ignored when studies show that anti-fat prejudice is so normative that those that have been recognized as being unfairly treated by others such as those that are Muslims or homosexuals are found not to be so unfairly judged and held in contempt (O’Brien, Latner, Ebneter, and Hunter, 2013).

The Penalty of Imperfection

While the topics mentioned so far are valid, concerning, and perhaps, thought-provoking issues, the following is one that provides more of a personally experienced insight and therefore, is the issue chosen to focus on.  A dilemma or issue that has had very little progress is continued penalties that a convicted felon endures regardless of how long ago “the debt to society” has supposedly been paid. The stigma, difficulty in re-establishing the right to vote, and exclusions suffered due to the regularity of required background check nearly ensure that he or she will never be accepted as others are in society. Companies in one study said that they “would not”, or “probably would not”, even consider ex-offenders for employment (Griffith & Young, 2017, p. 1). While living with a stigma attached and/or not being allowed to vote is frustrating and at times disheartening, being rejected from gainful employment due to a lapse in judgment or even offenses committed willingly and consciously should not be subject to

To err is human. No one is perfect. All have fallen short… Most people have heard and accept those adages as insightful, somewhat wise, and certainly true if one is honest with their self. The same message is still spoken about among a certain religion phrased as “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Her. Being someone accused of a serious transgression of capital proportions. These adages illustrate that people, if truly honest, know that none are perfect, yet still there must be laws to address those that are even less perfect than the majority of the population. A person comes under the direction of said laws if they have done something serious enough for a set period of time, and then once they have completed that time and/or task, they are said to “have paid their debt to society”. That seems fair and certainly necessary at times. If things went as conceptualized regarding such matters, it would be fair and reasonable. It happens that it is at this juncture that is where a dilemma arises that affects those that became enmeshed in the legal system and is starting to gain the serious attention of even those that have never run afoul of the system.

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