The Wisdom You Need to Succeed in a Diverse and Divisive World


Author: Dick Martin
Pub Date: June 2012
Print Edition: $24.95
Print ISBN: 9780814417522
Page Count: 288
Format: Hardback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814417539

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A Few Hard-Hitting Facts

A Few Hard-Hitting Facts

HEADELINE:Why It’s Crucial and So Tough to Be Wise in Relating to Other People Unlike Oneself:HEADLINE

* Not only increasingly dependent on a global marketplace, the United States is fast becoming a predominantly multiracial, multicultural, multigenerational society. Non-Hispanic white people accounted for less than 10 percent of America’s population growth over the last decade. Four states and dozens of the country’s largest metropolitan areas—including the New York metro area—already have minority-majority populations.

* The rate of incarceration for America’s immigrants is about one-fifth that of people born here. Despite hysteria over drug-addled illegals, Arizona has enjoyed record low crime rates in recent years. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, at the peak of illegal immigration in 2007, violent crimes in Arizona dropped to their lowest level since 1983. In any case, from that peak illegal immigration has declined by more than 60 percent. Nevertheless, two-thirds of Americans approve of Arizona’s tough immigration laws.

* People of color are judged by the color of their skin. For example, a Harvard University study of state and national elections since 1865 showed that light-skinned blacks were four times as likely to be elected as dark-skinned candidates. The earnings of light-skinned African Americans and Hispanics are roughly $3,000 higher than those who are dark-complexioned. And darker-skinned African Americans convicted of a capital offense involving a white person are twice as likely to receive the death penalty as a lighter-skinned black man.

* Subtle, unconscious biases do affect our behavior, often in surprising ways. For example, few people would agree with the proposition that height is an important leadership quality. Yet, while only 15 percent of the male population is six feet tall or more, 58 percent of corporate CEOs are that tall.

* About half of Americans believe that “sexual relations between two adults of the same sex is always wrong.” Studies also show that familiarity breeds acceptance. People who know who someone who is gay or lesbian are almost evenly divided on the issue of gay marriage, with 49 percent in favor and 47 percent opposed.

* Many Muslims believe that their religion is under attack—eight out of ten say that America’s top foreign policy goal is to “weaken and divide Islam.” Yet, most American Muslims are far from radical. A 2009 Pew survey described American Muslims as “middle class and mostly mainstream.” Three-quarters enthusiastically subscribe to the American dream. And about three-quarters are concerned about the rise of Islamic extremism around the world, just a bit less than among the general public.

Adapted from OtherWise: The Wisdom You Need to Succeed in a Diverse World by Dick Martin (AMACOM June 2012).

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