According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, diversity is the inclusion of different types of people (such as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization (“Diversity”). Sara Saedi, the author and the main character of Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card is a woman who knows this issue inside and out. This book is the story of her moving to America and integrating into the culture of the United States. She struggles with the mixing and balancing of cultures, the diversity of America, and growing up becoming a teen alongside the ever growing and changing views of our country.
In America we compare our culture and our diverse population to a melting pot, a salad bowl, a kaleidoscope, or a blend of cultures. Sara’s parents were moving to America to escape growing tensions in Iran. They wanted them to be free of Iranian troubles, but they also told her, “‘You’re becoming too American.’ Or Maybe what they meant to say was, ‘You’re not one of us anymore.’” (Saedi 264). The idea of America and our culture is that we mix with every other culture around us. So of course, Sara has become more American, and of course her parents still want her to recognize her Iranian roots, but what they realized later is that however “American” she becomes, she will always have that part of her that is Iranian. She tells how she will always be too American for some and too Iranian for others. Her parents later accepted that their children would become more and more influenced by American culture hence the title Americanized. Sara does a great job explaining how cultures mix and how we deal with that. Our country is still growing and becoming more and more diverse by the day. As we grow as a population we also have changing views of what is right and what is wrong.
America has become so much more diverse and continues to do so. Did you know that “a new immigrant moves to the United States every 33 seconds, according to the Census Bureau.” (Zimmerman Paragraph 3). Currently in the United States, six races are recognized which include; White, Native Americans, Native Hawiians and other Pacific Islanders, Asians, African Americans, as well as Hispanics and others. America has continued to grow and has gotten to a population of over 300 million people. As we grow as a country, we grow in our diversity and the mixing of cultures. Our beliefs of who or what is acceptable are also changing as the years go on. Saedi is worried what people will think if they know she is or was an illegal immigrant. “There was one Canadian member of my clique, who always blathered on and on about how her parents had taken the appropriate legal channels to move to the United States.” (Saedi 24). People have different beliefs on this topic and that also contributes to our wide diversity. According to Pew Research Center, “Democrats are far more likely to say this is a very good thing (71% vs. 39% of Republicans).” (Horowitz Paragraph 9). We battle with differing beliefs everyday and how to talk about them. Whether you support the diversity of our country of not we each are aloud to voice our opinions. Teens of today have had to grow up finding ways to voice their opinion and wrestle with all the different ideas of diversity that are spread through our country. We have grown up with the most diverse population in history, but we have to explore different views.
Teens of today have grown up in a diverse and growing population. When the country was founded, we had very little diversity. As our country has grown we have become more and more populated. With over 300 million people living in the United States, we have become one of, if not the most diverse countries in the world. People want to understand things but some are too ignorant to try to understand. Sara Saedi talks about how she feels that the Middle East was and is very misunderstood. Sara thinks about the issues in the Middle East because she has Middle Eastern influence from living there and her parents still enforcing that culture, which includes the news of that culture. All teens are influenced by their surroundings and that is how we develop ideas. Teens develop their own thoughts about things based on their environment. One of the biggest issues right now is how we view people that are not like us. For example, the Black Lives Matter movement is supported and hated on because people are diverse and not the same. The diversity of our country is only to the extent that it is because we have supported the integration of different cultures and peoples. Many parents say that diversity in schools is very important, “(42%) say children should go to schools that are racially and ethnically mixed, even if that means some students go to school outside of their local community.” (Horowitz Paragraph 2). Diversity in the classroom translates into the real world, and more and more students know how to handle people that are not similar to them. The United States and the world becomes more aware and more accepting if we embrace and push forward in our changing and diverse country and world.
Diversity is so important and many authors have taken on the issue of ignorance and the unwillingness to be accepting and diversify our views and the people around us. Sara Saedi captures it perfectly when she says, “And a lifetime of figuring out how to fit in and be cool, without being a total traitor to my race.” (Saedi 18). That is what America is, a diverse country where every culture is melted together to create our collective culture without forgetting all the separate cultures we came from. Every single bit of culture that has ever been brought to the United States has shaped how this country runs and how our culture has truly come together and needs to continue to mix and integrate different cultures to truly make the finished American Culture. I believe that we will never have a clean cut view of American culture because it is ever changing. But if we had to point to one thing and say that right there is what America is, I would point to our diversity