United States

   
TOTAL SCORES
Year: 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020
Score: 3.5 3 3 3.5 3.5

 

1. CONSTITUTIONAL, LEGISLATIVE OR PARLIAMENTARY AFFIRMATION OF MULTICULTURALISM AT THE CENTRAL AND/OR REGIONAL AND MUNICIPAL LEVELS AND THE EXISTENCE OF A GOVERNMENT MINISTRY, SECRETARIAT OR ADVISORY BOARD TO IMPLEMENT THIS POLICY IN CONSULTATION WITH ETHNIC COMMUNITIES

    No.

   
Affirmation Scores
Year: 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020
Score: 0 0 0 0 0

Evidence:

  • The United States makes no affirmation of multiculturalism, although the Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service (CRS) does act as a “‘peacemaker’ for community conflicts and tensions arising from differences of race, color, and national origin” (United States Department of Justice 2020). The Department of Justice notes that the CRS, which was created by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, is “the only federal agency dedicated to working with community groups to resolve community conflicts and prevent and respond to alleged hate crimes arising from differences of race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, or disability.” The CRS is not explicitly tasked with furthering or promoting multiculturalism but acts, in effect, as a conciliator among various cultural communities. Initially, Black-white relations were the focus, but this has shifted somewhat to also include relations between white and Arab and Muslim Americans.
 

2. THE ADOPTION OF MULTICULTURALISM IN SCHOOL CURRICULUM

    Weak and varies by state. No evidence of a federal policy, mandate or guidelines.

   
School Curriculum Scores
Year: 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020
Score: 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5

Evidence:

  • Efforts to deconstruct and reconstruct notions of race and ethnicity in education in some American school districts go back to the 1930s and 1940s (Johnson 2007, 29-30). New York's school board introduced a “Charter for Intercultural Education” in 1944 (Johnson 2007, 31).
  • School curriculum is a state jurisdiction, although the federal government, through the U.S. Department of Education, does set national standards, collect data, and establish policies related to financial. aid.
  • Multicultural principles have been adopted in school curricula of most states (Mitchell and Salsbury 1996; Mitchell and Salsbury 2000), and particularly in those states with higher levels of diversity or larger immigrant populations (e.g., California, New York, Texas, Florida).
  • However, at the federal level, no evidence could be found to suggest that there is a national framework or federal “push” for such programming. The U.S. Department of Education (2019) does list, as one of its responsibilities, “ensuring equal opportunities to participate,” but guidelines in this area relate exclusively to civil rights and the prevention of discrimination on the basis of race, age, sex ordisability.
  • Moreover, as Johnson (2007, 28) notes, “The present policy context looks bleak for the promotion of educational opportunity and multicultural curriculum in local school districts. A push toward ‘educational accountability’ over the last decade has resulted in largely top-down educational policy- making processes that have mandated high-stakes assessments for students, centralized decision making, narrowed curriculum offerings, and employed punitive sanctions for teachers, administrators and schools that fail to meet the arbitrary benchmarks imposed by state and federal officials.” It is a “high-risk, low-trust environment” and thus, programs related to multiculturalism, bilingual education, and employment equity have been given less priority.
  • It is also instructive that much of the literature in the area of multicultural education in the United States looks not so much at school curriculum, but rather at what colleges and universities are doing to prepare pre-service teachers to work in increasingly diverse classrooms (Gorski 2009). The policy approach thus appears to be geared toward teacher pedagogy and less so toward actual curriculum. Even still, MIPEX data from 2015 indicate that only about one-third of states require teacher candidates to complete some form of cultural diversity training or complete a teaching practicum in a diverse setting during their education (Huddleston et al. 2015).
 

3. THE INCLUSION OF ETHNIC REPRESENTATION/SENSITIVITY IN THE MANDATE OF PUBLIC MEDIA OR MEDIA LICENSING

    Partially. Support given to public broadcasters, but not a part of licensing requirements for private broadcasters.

   
Media Scores
Year: 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020
Score: 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5

Evidence:

  • The Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 (as amended) notes that “it is in the public interest to encourage the development of programming that involves creative risks and that addresses the needs of unserved and underserved audiences, particularly children and minorities.” In line with this, the act created the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which works with non-commercial broadcast licensees to produce programming through the provision of grants and various support programs. The CPB “encourages the development of content that addresses the needs of underserved audiences, especially children and minorities” (Corporation for Public Broadcasting 2020). In addition, the CPB provides some support to the National Minority Consortia, now known as the National Multicultural Alliance, which selects and funds programming targeted at African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders (National Multicultural Alliance 2020).
  • The Public Telecommunications Act of 1988 requires the CPB to report annually on “the provision of services to minority and diverse audiences by public broadcasting and public telecommunications entities” (Corporation for Public Broadcasting 2009, 1). This includes an accounting of programs targeted at minorities and diverse communities, initiatives to increase diversity in the media profession, and the development of services for audiences with particular needs.
  • One of the goals of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is to support programing targeting ethnic minorities (2013). Still, some observers have critiqued the American approach, noting that competition from private, for-profit broadcasters essentially shuts out the educational and non-profit broadcasters that are most likely to include more diverse programming (Zolf 1989). While the Federal Communications Commission does require licensees to take steps to prevent employment discrimination through the establishment of an Equal Employment Opportunity Policy, there is no evidence that licensees must commit to producing programs that reflect the United States’ cultural make-up (Federal Communications Commission 2019). In other words, the emphasis& is on workplace diversity, as opposed to programming diversity. However, in 2017, the FCC created the Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment (ACDDE) which “provides advice and recommendations to the Commission regarding how to empower disadvantaged communities and accelerate the entry of small businesses, including those owned by women and minorities into the media, digital news and information, and audio and video programming industries” (Federal Communications Commission 2020).
 

4. EXEMPTIONS FROM DRESS CODES (EITHER BY STATUTE OR COURT CASES)

    Recent policy changes allow accommodations in some areas.

   
Exemption Scores
Year: 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020
Score: 0.5 0 0 0 0.5

Evidence:

  • Until 1984, Sikhs in the United States armed forces were permitted to wear turbans and maintain a beard; that provision was rescinded, however, in a 1986 ruling by the Supreme Court that supported the prohibition of religious dress in the armed force. In 2009 and 2010, limited exemptions were granted to two Sikhs—a doctor and a dentist—who were recruited to the Army through a scholarship program for health professionals. In the ruling on one of the cases, the Army noted that “this accommodation is based solely on the facts and circumstances of your case. … [It] does not constitute a blanket accommodation for any other individual” (CNN 2009; see also Taipei Times 2010). A directive from the Department of Defense notes that while religious accommodations are permissible, they may be denied in the case of religious apparel if it is deemed that the dress may interfere with the performance of military duties, poses a safety risk, or interferes with the operation or function of weapons and other equipment (Department of Defense 2009).
  • However, in 2017, revisions were made to the US armed services uniform regulations that permitted for a broad array of religious accommodations. The new regulations permit Muslim and Sikh servicemen to wear beards (provided they are shorter than 2 inches, rolled up or tied), and allow the wearing of turbans, patka, head scarves, and hijabs. The new regulations also permit hair braids, cornrows, twists, and locks (Hincks 2017). The Air Force and Navy followed suit and updated their uniform policy in 2020 to provide similar accommodations regarding beards, hair, and religious headwear (Kaur 2020; Myers 2020).
 

5. ALLOWS DUAL CITIZENSHIP

    Partially. Not technically permitted, but occurs in practice.

   
Dual Citizenship Scores
Year: 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020
Score: 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5

Evidence:

  • Dual citizenship in practice has been permitted in the United States going back to court rulings in 1952 (United States Office of Personnel Management 2001, 9).
  • Although citizens of the United States may have more than one nationality, American law does not specifically mention dual nationality. Indeed, the U.S. Department of State (2010) notes that the “Government recognizes that dual nationality exists but does not encourage it as a matter of policy because of the problems it may cause.” Requirements for naturalization do not explicitly require applicants to give up foreign citizenships, but they do require a renunciation of allegiances to foreign states (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 2010). Moreover, the U.S. Department of State (2010) notes that U.S. citizens who acquire a foreign citizenship by choice may lose their U.S. citizenship.
 

6. THE FUNDING OF ETHNIC GROUP ORGANIZATIONS OR ACTIVITIES

    No.

   
Funding Ethnic Groups Scores
Year: 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020
Score: 0 0 0 0 0

Evidence:

  • In the United States, the INS provides no support for immigrant integration and has no authority to provide grants to organizations to assist with immigrant integration. In her comparison of state support for immigrant civic associations in Canada and the United States, Bloemraad (2005, 867) notes that “the Canadian government thus offers migrant organisations both financial and symbolic support. In the United States, the state favours more distant, neutral relations with immigrants, ethnic organisations and community advocates.” She characterizes the US approach toward immigrant minorities as “laissez-faire,” although she points out that various non-governmental organizations—known as Mutual Assistance Associations—are given funds for refugee resettlement. This is to support integration, however, rather than cultural maintenance or ;preservation.
  • MIPEX 2015 data suggest that there may be some state funding for NGOs at the regional level, but there is considerable variation across states and most organizations will depend on private funding (Huddleston et al. 2015).
 

7. THE FUNDING OF BILINGUAL EDUCATION OR MOTHER TONGUE INSTRUCTION

    Varies. Available in many states, although often targeted specifically at Spanish-speaking students. Evidence as well of anti-multiculturalism policies, with multiple states having English-only laws.

   
Bilingual Education Scores
Year: 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020
Score: 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5

Evidence:

  • The US Department of Education's Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) provides “national leadership to help ensure that English Learners and immigrant students attain English proficiency and achieve academic success. In addition to preserving heritage languages and cultures, OELA is committed to prompting opportunities for biliteracy or multiliteracy skills for all students” (Department of Education 2020).
  • In the state of New York, the Office for Bilingual Education and World Languages has been in operation since 1969 and has a mandate to provide support to schools and other educational institutions in the area of second-language study (New York State Education Department 2019). School districts are required to identify limited English proficient (LEP) students, adopt policies and provide services related to their education, and evaluate and report on their academic outcomes. LEP instructional programs are funded primarily by local governments, but support is also provided through State LEP Aid in the form of State Bilingual Categorical Funds (New York State Education Department 2018). In New York, there are more than 261,848 limited English proficient (LEP) students who come from over 200 language backgrounds (Ibid.).
  • Florida has programs that assist approximately 265,000 LEP students in learning English (Florida Department of Education 2020a). School boards are required to prepare and submit a plan for services to English Language Learners, which includes a survey of students’ home language; immigrants and refugees are specifically targeted in these plans. The Department of Education’s Bureau of Student Achievement Through Language Acquisition further notes that foreign and home language instruction is available in many elementary and secondary schools, although the goal of these programs is “exposure” not proficiency; two credits of foreign language instruction at the secondary school level are required for admission into Florida state colleges and universities (Florida Department of Education 2020b).
  • The California Department of Education administers the English Language Acquisition Program, which was authorized by Assembly Bill 1116 in 1999. It provides funds to support the acquisition of English for non-native speakers in grades four through eight (California Department of Education 2020).
  • English-only laws exist in many states (see, for example, Hero and Preuhs 2006). These laws mandate that English be used in state government documents and communications, and they could be taken as evidence of an anti-multiculturalism sentiment. The United States Senate has twice voted on an amendment to establish an official English language policy at the national level; the motions have never passed. Importantly, however, the amendments were proposed as part of an immigration reform package, signaling a linkage between immigration and language policy agendas
 

8. AFFIRMATIVE ACTION FOR DISADVANTAGED IMMIGRANT GROUPS

   Yes.

   
Affirmative Action Scores
Year: 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020
Score: 1 1 1 1 1

Evidence:

  • Federal contractors and sub-contractors are required to implement affirmative action policies for women, persons with disabilities, covered veterans and qualified minorities. The United States Department of Labour (2002) writes that “affirmative action refers to the aggressive recruitment programs, mentoring, training, and family programs that work to recruit and retain qualified individuals.” Affirmative action procedures should be documented and included in the employers’ personnel policies.
  • In addition to this, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it an offence for employers to discriminate on the basis of race, colour, sex, religion and national origin (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 2020). The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has the authority to investigate cases of discrimination and enforce relevant federal laws.
  • Executive Order 11246, signed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965, required the federal government to pursue affirmative action in order to ensure equal hiring practices within the federal government (United States Department of Labour 2020).
  • Since 1973 the U.S. Federal Government has required contractors and sub-contractors to have affirmative action policies in place (United States Department of Labour 2002).
  • Although affirmative action policies were initially adopted in the United States in response to discrimination against African Americans, they apply equally to all individuals and are bolstered by the inclusion of “national origin” in the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination.