Hey, Trump: Minority Groups Enrich Our Country More Than You Do

We don’t need to make America great again — it’s already great; and that is largely due to the amazing people who make up this country’s population.

Race is a delicate subject in today’s world. White supremacists are marching in the streets and condemning the diversity on which our country was built, and other minority groups are trying not to respond in kind. What these hateful individuals seem to be missing is that our country isn’t lessened by the minority groups that call it home — it’s enriched by them.

Traditional Cooking, Traditional Values

America is in the midst of an obesity epidemic — our eating habits and sedentary culture both contribute to the growing American waistline. In spite of this, we’re also in love with fad diets and multicultural foods. Many other cuisines, which have been brought here by minority groups and passed down over through the generations, focus on much healthier options — whole grains, fresh produce, and healthy fats rather than the deep fried saturated goodness we’ve come to know and love as American fare.

Culture has always been a factor that influences diet. Japanese diets, for example, focus heavily on rice, fish and fresh seasonal vegetables. In that country, less than 4% of men and women are considered obese. By comparison, more than 35% of men and 40% of women are considered obese in the United States.

While minority groups might not be the ultimate solution to global obesity, their food and culture helps to enrich our own and could potentially provide ways to reverse the obesity epidemic that is gripping this country.

Bilingualism And The Global Economy

Business is a global stage, and even with tools like Google Translate, you can’t get away with knowing just one language anymore. In the United States, less than 1% of the population is at least proficient if not fluent in a foreign language, and only 7% of students take it upon themselves to enroll in an elective foreign language course.

For the longest time, assimilating in the United States required learning English and reserving the use of your native language for family gatherings or in the home. In reality, though, these groups are among our greatest resources when it comes to learning foreign languages.

Americans are at a significant disadvantage in that we’re not taught at least one additional language in childhood. Who better to learn from, though, than someone who has learned English as a second language?

Organic Crops and Farming

Most people think of minority groups in agriculture as the seasonal workers that work the fields and harvest the crops; and, while that is true for many, so many more are part of the inner workings of American Agriculture.

Organic meat and produce is expensive, much more so than its traditionally grown counterparts. This is due, in part, to the fact that many of our organic farming techniques aren’t as efficient as they could be. We’re not the only ones who know how to farm, though — cultures around the globe have been farming organically and producing more than enough food to feed their people for centuries. Farmers who choose to immigrate to the United States have brought those organic farming techniques with them.

Homeopathic and Non Traditional Medicine

Western medicine is some of the best in the world, but it doesn’t know everything. Non-traditional medical practices like acupuncture and acupressure from East Asia and herbal knowledge from Latin America have all emigrated to the United States along with their respective cultures — and have enhanced our own medical knowledge. It’s even been studied by top researchers in the field. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies it as CAM or Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

While it is not as heavily studied as traditional western medicine, it is emerging as another tool for medical professionals to use to provide the best care for their patients.

Dreamers At Risk

The Delayed Action for Childhood Arrivals is a program that allowed children of immigrants to live and work in the country legally. It protected children who came to the country before they turned 16 from deportation. It was started in 2012 by President Obama and allowed nearly 800,000 undocumented children to live, work, and make a life in the only country that many of them have ever known.

These are not the ‘illegal immigrants’ that President Trump is so worried about. These are men, women, and children who go to school, work, pay their taxes, and contribute to their communities. Unfortunately, this didn’t stop President Trump from moving to end the DACA program in 2017, leaving all of these children and young adults at risk for deportation.

This could potentially cost upwards of 700,000 Dreamers their jobs — jobs which were obtained legally under the DACA program, jobs that allow them to pay their taxes, buy groceries, and pay rent. Without the protection that the program provides, the majority of these individuals aren’t allowed to work legally.

These are amazing individuals belonging to minority groups that are willing to work, contribute and, in some cases, even die for the country that they love and the communities that they call home. One notable example is Alonso Guillen, a 31 year old Dreamer who would have aged out of the program this year, who gave his life while rescuing people impacted by the Hurricane Harvey floods in Houston. He lost his life just one day before the President gave the order to end DACA.

The United States has always been a melting pot, and that’s part of what makes it the amazing country that it is. We don’t need to make America great again — it’s already great; and that is largely due to the amazing people who make up this country’s population. Minority groups help add to that greatness, enriching our already diverse country with the skills and culture that they have brought with them through the generations.

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Kate Harveston

Kate Harveston

Kate Harveston is a political writer with an interest in social justice and human rights. If you like her writing, you can follow her on Twitter or visit her blog, “Only Slightly Biased.”
Kate Harveston