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cadet blogs

One Person’s Perspective on Diversity

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2013) Permanent link   All Posts
 Brooklyn Andreasen I grew up in a neighborhood that saw the arrival of more cultures as time passed and the city grew. Growing up with essentially four parents (two were not born in this country), going to high school with classmates who had their own unique family dynamic, and then attending the USCGA brimming with cadets from all over the world and representing such a vast multitude of cultures there is not a “spectrum” large enough to hold them all. Because of this, I am led to believe that my opinion of diversity is perhaps different than others. Diversity is not as simple as the color is one’s skin; it has more dimensions than that.

When I sit at a table to eat dinner in the Wardroom, I hear my friend from Arizona attempting to speak French to my friend from Belize; I’ll also hear a different friend from Virginia with a mother from Laos speaking Spanish to that same friend from Belize. Then when I go back to my room, I’ll discuss how I was raised in comparison to how my roommate from Colorado was brought up, the beliefs that we have in common and those that we do not. Here at the Academy, we have cadets from one parent homes, two parent homes, in some cases three and four parent homes, and in some cases the parent is considered a “legal guardian.” We have cadets from the inner city as well as far away as you can get from a city. We have cadets who are exposed to the traditions of their ancestors’ countries and cultures and we also have cadets whose families have created their own traditions. The Academy exemplifies the true spirit of the American "melting pot."

Bernard Lewis suggested in one of his articles that "tolerance is actually an intolerant idea because it means that one group claims superiority and merely accepts another’s views though do not necessarily afford them equality." This is an interesting viewpoint as the world moves further into the twenty-first century and the United States seeks greater equality amongst its citizens. As one of the United States’ service academies, it is essential that we be open to what diversity truly means.

More about Brooklyn.