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Government - and the issues surrounding Diversity

On March 1, 1790, the U.S. Congress passed A Census Act. The first census reported a total population of almost 4 million persons in the United States and western territories. Native Americans were not counted. It is reported that there were likely over 80 tribes with 150,000 persons. African Americans made up 19 percent of the population. Ninety percent of the blacks were slaves held in the South. For white Americans, the average age was under 16. Most white families had an average of eight children born.

Consider the issue of diversity in your school, community or state.

"Ethnic diversity is increasing in most advanced countries, driven mostly by sharp increases in immigration. In the long run immigration and diversity are likely to have important cultural, economic, fiscal, and developmental benefits. In the short run, however, immigration and ethnic diversity tend to reduce social solidarity and social capital. New evidence from the US suggests that in ethnically diverse neighbourhoods residents of all races tend to ‘hunker down’. Trust (even of one's own race) is lower, altruism and community cooperation rarer, friends fewer." Abstract Robert D. Putnam The Saguaro Seminar, under the leadership of Robert D. Putnam, has been conducting research on the inter-relation of diversity (mainly examining race and ethnicity), immigration and social capital since 2001. E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century The 2006 Johan Skytte Prize Lecture

"In theory, America's racial and ethnic mix can inspire idealism, based on the hope of a grand melting pot. In practice, however, it can cause many people who actually live with neighbors, students, or workers of different ethnicity or race to withdraw and retreat into their shells, producing what's called a "turtle effect.""Diversity, at least in the short run, seems to bring out the turtle in all of us," says Robert Putnam, a well-known political scientist at Harvard University and author of a massive five-year study on the effects of immigration and diversity on the United States.Drawing on interviews with 30,000 Americans, Dr. Putnam finds that the greater the diversity in an area, the less trust neighbors have – even for those like themselves – and the more isolated they become.

That lack of trust, the study reports, shows up in a variety of ways. These residents are less likely to register to vote. They do less volunteering, give less to charity, have fewer close friends, and are less happy. They also spend more time watching television. " Editorial - "United around racial diversity", CS Monitor June 29, 2007

Consider the issue of diversity in your school, community or state.

Begin by examining yourself. Do you seek out people who are similar to you - that share your interests and skills? Do these choices mean you are intolerant of others? What about in your school? - Do people gather together based on race, gender, religion or special interests? Should the administration intervene?Do "birds of a feather flocking together" in your community?
Should the government intervene at this level? If yes, how would that happen?


"The efforts of the government alone will never be enough.
In the end the people must choose and the people must help themselves." - John F. Kennedy

Food for thought:

American Murder Mystery - A criminologist and a housing expert, each engaged in separate, unrelated research, have discovered an overlap between the destruction of inner city housing projects and an increase in crime in historically quiet neighborhoods. CSPAN Washington Journal 6/26/2008 - Hanna Rosin discusses her article about the Memphis research and the impact the findings could have on the national effort to diffuse inner-city poverty. Hanna Rosin, The Atlantic, July/August 2008. Printable document of article | Consequences from the Redistribution of Urban Poverty During the 1990's, A Cautionary Tale by George C. Galster


U.S. Census - | The Big Sort - like minded people live together

Examine your Government's Demographic Statistics project | Home Ownership - the positives and the negatives

It's Getting Crowded In Here | How to deal with a falling population | U. S. Constitution - Preamble

Watch - A Class Divided - compelling | Raid on Deerfield - an extraordinary site Check it out! | The Genographic Project video

Government, Statistics and the Media - What Black Men Think | Head to Head: Debating Affirmative Action

The Yes Men - democracy for sale - Try your hand at this approach to dealing with a problem facing you today.

Center for Media and Democracy - PR Watch investigating and exposing public relations spin and propaganda

Constitution Activity ms/hs Essays on civics Quotes on government Voting & Elections Civics & History Studies
Make Election Puzzle Bill Of Rights hs Elections Bill of Rights ms Thomas Paine Bridges or Earmarks
Electoral College Diversity American Creed Amend the Constitution Constitution Jobs Initiatives
Who is in Charge? eGovernment Fire Legislator Who gets Fines? First Amendment Rights Public's Right to Know
Founded on Compromise Susan B. Anthony & Right to vote Examine your Government's Demographic Statistics Evaluate Legislator Youth voters

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posted 6/2007 In the spirit of Thomas Paine - released to public domain by Cynthia J. O'Hora

Aligned with the following Pennsylvania Academic Standards - Reading, Writing Speaking, History, Civics and Government, Mathematics, Civics, Science and Technology
Aligned with the National Standards for Civics and Government

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