Running head: MULTICULTURAL COMPETENCY
University of Phoenix, Online
There was a nervous energy that could not be denied as I imagined what it would be like to leave the comfort of the neighborhood that I had always known. There I was surrounded by family and friends who looked like me and who shared most of the same beliefs, attitudes and values. I was bound for a suburban town where Black families were few and far between. How would I be treated? What would they think of me? How would they treat me? All of these questions ran through my mind during the car ride from the urban streets of the city of Philadelphia to the deserted roads of Westampton, New Jersey. I was no longer going to belong to the majoring but now to the minority in this town that was predominantly White middle-class. I expected to experience cultural discrimination. According to Eleanor Seaton, “Cultural racism occurs when the beliefs and practices of the dominant group are regarded as superior to those of subordinate groups.” Since I would now be a part of the minority group I worried that I would not fit in and would be treated poorly for being different. Everyone has a set of beliefs about individuals from different cultures, most of the time these beliefs are instilled in people from childhood from their families, neighbors and friends.
While growing up I was always taught to treat everyone equally and with respect no matter what the race of the person or the ethnic background. Although these were some of the values that were instilled in my family, we were always reminded that it was never easy for Blacks in the United States. In addition, while segregation was long over and discrimination supposedly had been abolished decades prior, we were always informed that racism was very much alive and well.
I cannot help but recognize my own set of biases and attitudes toward individuals of different cultures other than my own. For example, I...