Ethnicity is a term that is used to categorize people into similar and different groups based on their cultural or physical attributes. The categorizers believe that the biological composition affects the cultures of the people. Race, on the other hand, is a biologic subspecies with distinct traits different from other subspecies. Having said that, do race and ethnicity still matter in the present-day world? This paper seeks to demystify this question that has been the subject of debate in social circles (Bayor 59).
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Race and Ethnicity
By electing the first black president, citizens of the world were inspired by the thought of America finally being post-racial. Then six months later, there came the confirmation of a Hispanic into the Supreme Court. As the celebrations of these two major strides against race debate took place, the world was confronted with the case involving Harvard’s professor and a Police Sergeant in Cambridge. This coupled with negative racial incidents has reaffirmed the thoughts that indeed race and ethnicity still do matter today (Bayor 90).
In the present College system, there are racial gaps in graduate schools with fewer students from minority races. In the hiring field, the genealogical and ethnic minorities do earn less compared to their white counterparts with the same credentials. In business circles, many minorities have no proper access to good credit facilities. Much of it is to blame on the minorities who haven’t yet enrolled in clubs and organizations. Companies stuffed with venture capital firms do have very few minority CEOs driving them. In the circles of love and intermarriages, it is estimated that there were around a 4.5million interracial marriages in the U.S. The challenge is that even though people have gone past the racial barrier in love and witnessed a person rise to the highest office in the land, there still exists fear. An interracial mother wondering how it will be for her kids is still real in the modern world (Rutledge and Stone 100).
As a white student, I grew up in Africa in the early years of my life. Due to my race, I discovered I had limited schools and social places to visit that had other people of my race. I love football but could not yet go unaccompanied by a group of adults to watch a match at the stadium. I also could not stroll freely across some streets in the city without raising unnecessary attention. By being made aware of such, I took it upon myself to understand other cultures by making friends among them. Right now, I have a clear racial perspective, with friends from different racial backgrounds (Marger 119).
Socialization is the process by which an infant gets equipped with the attitudes and skills necessary to be a functional member of society. The belief by the sociologists and anthropologists that we perform race is to a large extent true. It is acting in a way by which our racial society dictates to us. That is why some old untruths about races that were held in the 19th century still get propagated in the 21st century. Earlier on before I got to appreciate racial diversity, I used to be scared and suspicious of engaging with people of a different race (Marger 156). I also did stereotype and label them according to what I heard not what I saw, thought, or perceived to be true.
Knowledge is a powerful tool as it enlightens and emboldens a person. Indeed, people are afraid of what they do not know, so one should confront their fears. Having said so, I would characterize the performance of my whiteness as bold with a keen focus on daily improving on it.
Bayor, Ronald H. Race and Ethnicity in America: A Concise History. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003. Print.
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Marger, Martin. Race and Ethnic Relations: American and Global Perspectives. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.
Rutledge, Dennis M, and John Stone. Race and Ethnicity: Comparative and Theoretical Approaches. Malden, Mass. ;Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2002. Print.