Ethnicity and CultureWho is accountable for ensuring that our children, men and women are not forgotten because of their ethnicity or culture?
I'm not exactly sure what the question is asking. If it is asking how people from certain cultures can keep from being overlooked, I would say that I agree that individuals are responsible for making themselves visible. But surely some responsibility falls on institutions to create an environment where different cultures are valued. They can do this in a negative way, by enforcing anti-discrimination laws or avoiding discriminatory behavior (like former Confederate state governments flying the Confederate flag over public buildings) or they can take positive steps, such as diversity initiatives, public celebrations of diversity, and so on. Ultimately, it is up to the individual, but institutions can play a role too.
The posts here so far seem to deal with the issue of visibility, maybe we can say "subcultural visibility", and look at this issue a level of individuals. On the individual level I completely agree. It's up to every person to be assertive, to strive to participate in the work place and in the community, etc.
But I wonder if the question is attempting to look at a more insitutional issue... Is the questioner possibly asking what officials, policitians, business leaders, university officers, and community leaders can be held responsible for maintaining or creating the kind of subcultural visibility we're talking about?
The recognition and respect for all cultures by institutions is something we should all hope for. However, institutions are not responsible for promoting or perpetuating cultures, which, as a few people have pointed out, is up to the individual and the family. If we value our culture and wish to preserve it, it is not the job of government, for example, to see to it that a culture remains extant. While I am a generally in favor of government helping people, the idea of the government or any institution undertaking the task of preserving my culture is frightening.
We live in a country where cultures are blended and that is what makes America great. However, individual families should try to preserve what makes their culture and ethnicity special. That can be done by observing religious and cultural practices in the home as well as preparing the traditional foods for family and friends. I teach in a school where many cultures converge and it is wonderful when someone tells a story or shares a recipe about the "home country". Eventually, a lot of those differences become blended when you live in a diverse country like the U.S.
I think that the responsibility falls on the family to ensure that children do not forget their ethnicity and culture. Family members need to pass on the important customs and beliefs and teach the children in the family of the importance of the family heritage, including language and religious beliefs. Who else can?
Post #6 talked about from the institutional point of view, and I think school is one of those important institutions that must recognize and appreciate students regardless of social class or background. As an English teacher, I think it is important to acknowledge my different student groups through literature.
No one is going to be forgotten if they take it upon themselves to become productive members of society. There are always going to be obstacles due to the close-mindedness of some people, but this can be overcome with a little determination and the drive to make something valuable of yourself.
I agree with the above posts. It is up to the family and the individual him or herself to insure they are not forgotten. Without making a conscious effort to maintain cultural and racial identity, it can be left at the wayside.
I agree with the first post. Only people themselves can be sure that they are not forgotten due to race or ethnicity. They need to work hard to be sure that they are productive members of society who will not be forgotten.