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Intercultural competence is a big deal in the 21st century global economy. For those who want to succeed in the 21st century global economy, you must understand the roots of your biases and prejudices. Especially if you have biases, and prejudices, against foreigners, and foreign products. Why? Because the US economy, and virtually every American business, is interdependent. Almost every US company is dependent upon foreign workers, foreign countries, foreign stock markets, and foreign products in order to survive. Consequently, 21st century employers need employees who are respectful of other cultures in order to prevent conflicts at work.
WHERE DO OUR BIASES AND PREJUDICES COME FROM?
The majority of Americans have been taught that bias and prejudice are the results of “ignorance,” or lack of knowledge. However, that is not the case. 21st century employees need to understand that our biases, prejudices, and negative thoughts come from being nurtured to think a certain way. We are all products of our environment, and we all have learned behaviors. For example, it is a universal truth that every baby is born without biases, prejudices, or negative inner voices (a negative perception of themselves). In most cases the negative inner voice of a person begins when a child does not live up to his, or her, parent’s expectations, for the first time. That can be traumatic.
After that first experience, and if the parents or caregivers are not careful, the child may feel like a failure, and that negative self-perception could last forever. Likewise, babies are not born with religious beliefs, or labels in their heads about others. Babies do not label themselves, or others as smart, innocent, dumb, good, bad, black, or white, Hindu, Christian, etc… Instead, they learn the behavior of labeling others from those who surround them. One example of how biases and prejudices are passed down from generation to generation came up in our discussion of the fact that the American Education System, the most progressive school system in the world, does not teach our children basic facts.
For example, in 2006 Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor in her book My STROKE of INSIGHT, explained that the DNA of all human beings, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation, is 99.99 percent the same: Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, My Stroke of Insight. In other words, since 2006 it has been widely known that only 1/100th of a percent in DNA separates all human beings. What that means is that all human excuses for our biases, and prejudices, are purely based upon things we create in our minds, not based upon scientific fact. Another basic fact that the AES does not teach our children is the fact that it isn’t 2013 everywhere in the world.
For example, when Christopher Columbus came to the “New World,” from Spain in 1492 A.D. and landed in Mexico, the people there had their own calendar, the Mayan calendar. Columbus imposed his religious beliefs, language, and calendar, onto the people of Mexico. That is why 95% of all people in Mexico are Catholic. Tzvetan Todorov in his book, The Conquest of America, the Question of the Other documented these facts which were taken from Columbus’s personal journals. The Conquest of America, p. 42.
The majority of my students had not been taught that when Columbus initially landed in Mexico the natives there, the Mexicans, did not speak Spanish, or use the Christian calendar. Likewise, American school children are not taught that when 70 million, or 90 percent of the Mexicans population was killed, that tragedy was not given a name. Although Todorov had exposed this information years ago, only the city of Seattle, Washington has taken action. Seattle, Washington was the first city in the USA to recognize that, “the killing of 12 million Jewish people called the Holocaust, but the killing of 70 million Mexicans not given a name.” As a result, the city of Seattle got rid of Columbus Day. The city of Seattle renamed it, “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.” Columbus Day is replaced in Seattle, Washington.
Furthermore, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism all have different calendars. Their calendars do not begin with the death of Jesus. The only reason that facts like these are not widely known is, because American history books are written in a way that supports the dominant religious system in the USA, Christianity. Except for North Korea, and Russia, almost every nation has a religious based calendar. The problem with religious based calendars is that they encourage ignorance, bias and prejudice, to be passed down from generation to generation around the world. However, if you are a critical thinker with intercultural competence, you will be an extremely valuable employee.
COMPLETE p. 60 of the workbook, then proceed to p. 61: Be an Expert
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