Cultural acceptance should not be limited to Global Oklahoma.
Now that Global Oklahoma is over and RSC has cleaned up its own backyard melting pot, it’s time to stop and consider whether or not we have actually learned anything. That is, of course, a part of Global Oklahoma’s purpose. It’s not just about souvenirs, food and entertainment; it gives us a chance to stop and learn about cultures other than our own.
Global gives the community a chance to walk around from tent to tent and talk to people who have first-hand knowledge of what other countries are like. We can spend the day watching the popular culture from those countries performed live on multiple stages and eating food we are not normally used to.
But such an acceptance of other cultures should not be reserved for one day of fun. This acceptance should be a year-around constant in everyone’s lives. Instead, other days of the year sometimes spent segregating or self-segregating a person or people for no reason other than that they look different or have different beliefs. Some scholarships and clubs are available to only a certain type of person while others are left out because they were not born with the right criteria.
Other times a type of “pretend acceptance” is employed by handing something to a person entirely because of whatever criteria they did happen to be born with. For example, if a job that involves hard labor is given to someone who not only can’t do it, but who actually refuses to do it, that person should be let go. But if that person happens to be a woman, she might be allowed to keep that job only because it might look like she lost it because she is female. Some women can do those jobs, and some men cannot, but no one should be forced to do someone else’s work because the alternative would supposedly be prejudice. All that does is reinforce the separation among people. Accepting someone for who they are and what they believe in means looking past those aspects and seeing only the person, rather than giving or taking something away based on his or her gender, ethnicity or religion.
Noticing that someone is different is not the problem. Noticing and recognizing that someone is different is quite human and to be expected. It is the way we react to those differences that matters. Rather than avoiding others and separating ourselves from each other, we can continue to have the same acceptance and interest in learning about each other that we had at Global Oklahoma.