A few days ago, my daughter was talking to her friends about the impact of being a second-generation African living in America. Before that time, I had never taken time to reflect on how being a second-generation African in America could affect her outlook on life.
It must be interesting to live in a blended family hinged on the American, and African cultures. Most of the social and religious institutions she belongs to have traces of African values. On the other hand, the schools she attends, although diverse, adhere to American values and culture.
Let’s talk about globalization and how it affects immigrants. When people migrate from one country to another, either to expand territories or to gain access to a new market, they bring along pre-existing cultures and values systems, which may not be compatible with the new environment.
The challenge for most immigrants is how to realign their values to fit into the new system and culture. Those who can successfully blend into the new environment are not only accepted, they tend to succeed faster.
As an African American, it will be dangerous to hold firmly to my African values and use it to shape my perspectives in America. Doing this will create a rather intense atmosphere making it difficult for me to do business or lead a stable life.
I have had intelligible conversations with immigrants on what makes it difficult for them to assimilate the new culture. Most of the responses have been that the new culture isn’t so welcoming. It is time for immigrants to look at these issues from a balanced perspective. Will you be willing to accept someone who has refused to embrace your culture and value systems into your community? Maybe not. This is what many immigrants are asking of their new home when they refuse to be flexible. Instead of complaining about the changes, look for ways to merge both cultures and become astoundingly mature.
As globalization continues to spread, more migrations will occur, and cultural disruptions will be on the rise. The earlier we accept that we cannot insist on our old value systems in new communities, the easier our lives will be. We preach diversity and inclusion, it is high time we lived up to it. Acceptance and Integration are two peas in a pod.