The announcement that Donald Trump will be our next president has many people concerned, especially those in the Muslim, African-American and Latino communities.
This country was built on the foundation of diversity. We are a melting pot of different communities. Now some community members in our country are struggling to be accepted.
Culture is important to our lives. We live in a world filled with different cultures, different religions and different walks of life.
The study of other races and cultures is perhaps more important now than ever. Taking college courses in cultural history broadens our horizons. Learning to feel comfortable with other people’s religions, cultures and ways of life creates cultural acceptance.
Learning cultural acceptance replaces misunderstandings with facts. We must realize that people who are different than us are not the enemies. We need to cut off the roots of hatred. Hatred begins with the unknown, unfounded lies and assumptions that have been passed down from generation to generation. The assumption that all Latinos are illegal immigrants proves to be untrue. The thought that all Muslims are terrorists again, proves to be wrong. We need to stop the stigmas attached to the different groups of people.
At UHCL, we offer courses including Mexican Art, Ideas in Transition, Art of Ancient Iraq and the Near East, Art of the Ancient Greek Work, Studies in Film and History of Ideas II. These are all great topics to study, but the list is incomplete.
Cultural history courses are important because they help build communities and broaden our knowledge of other backgrounds.
We, as a largely diverse campus, should be offering studies in the understanding of Islam. We should add more courses in African-American studies and other ethnic history as well. We should be offering a course in the history of the Holocaust so as to not repeat the mistakes of the past. Cultural history courses are needed so that we can try to be more of an ally to those within the African–American, Muslim and Latino communities who are feeling lost, defeated and alone right now.
Humanities and other forms of cultural history classes help build understanding, appreciation and respect toward others. Besides, learning about other people’s cultural history can be just plain interesting. We can learn that we have more in common than we think. We are all part of this world and we all have something to contribute.