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Cultural Activities

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Vernellia R. Randall
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 Cultural Activities. Article V(e)(vi) requires States Parties to recognize and guarantee the right to equal participation in cultural activities. In the U.S. system, these rights are protected primarily through limitations on the ability of the government to interfere or restrict the expression of one's culture. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees an individual's freedom of speech and peaceable assembly, which includes the expression of one's cultural identity.

The United States has a rich and diverse cultural heritage. From its earliest days, the United States was a haven for immigrants fleeing persecution on the basis of religion, and it continues to be a destination for immigrants of many different races, ethnicities and nationalities. Largely because of this history, most Americans recognize and appreciate the value of cultural diversity, and both individuals and groups pursue their cultural identities in a wide variety of ways. This tradition is manifest in the thousands of ethnic heritage parades and events, ethnic and cultural clubs, educational programs, and religious, theatrical, artistic, and musical events that celebrate cultural diversity nationwide.

One medium where ever more culture is created, ever more commerce is transacted, and ever more learning takes place is the Internet. Unfortunately, unequal access to technology and high-tech skills has resulted in a "digital divide" in the United States along the lines of income, educational level, race and geography. The current Administration is striving to make access to computers and the Internet as universal as the telephone is today -- in school, libraries, communities and homes. Working in partnership with the private sector, the Administration seeks to: broaden access to technologies such as computers, the Internet, and high-speed networks, provide people the skilled teachers and the training they need to master the information economy, and promote on-line content and applications that will help empower all Americans to use new technologies to their fullest potential.

 

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Last Updated:
Friday, October 05, 2001  

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Thanks to Derrick Bell and his pioneer work: 
Race, Racism and American Law
(1993).