Eth 125 Final Essay

| Race and My Community| Desiree’ ForgasonETH/125September 5, 2010Anthony McBride| | | | | The majority of the members of the community look like me. The ways that members of my community look the same as me are that most members of my community are white, wear normal clothes and shoes, and speak English. The ways that members of my community look different from me are that a few of the members in my community are Hispanic Americans or African Americans; their skin color is darker than mine is. We all speak the same language (English). We also have elderly living in the community.

The majority of the community is white. Everyone within the community treats each other with respect, dignity, and compassion. The community does not really have a leader our community is a single street that dead ends. Other members of my community treat people who are like me with the same respect, dignity, and compassion. The problem begins when the immigrants want to come over to our country and expect to be given everything they need and want when they need and want it without having to work for it or abide by the laws of our country.

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In this course, I feel the texts contained information by and about people like me because every human being has an ethnic background including one or more cultural races. For instance, I have Cherokee and Lumbee Indian blood in my family and the text included information about Native Americans. I have German, English, and Irish decent in my family and the text includes information about the Irish, English, and Germans therefore, I presume in a roundabout way the text contained information about people like me.

I also, have Scottish decent in my family and the text does not include information about the Scottish. Also, in my family history we where some of the first pioneers that where here in the United States prior to it becoming the United States of America. The local media does represent people like me and people who are different from me. The local media will represent anyone or any issue regarding any matter because the media is looking for any topic that they think might interest of the public.

The media did not cover the story based on the person’s race or ethnicity; it is simply because it is such an unusual story. A few of the similarities between me and others who are in leadership positions in my community are we all American citizens, all of us work hard for the things we have, and are family and community oriented. A few of the differences between me and others who are in leadership positions in my community are members in leadership positions are of a different ethnicity and race than me, some of the members of leadership are female, and members in leadership positions make more money than me.

One inequity within my community and the United States as well, that I would like to see changed is the amount of government assistance each race and ethnic group receive. I do not have a problem with the government helping African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, or any other immigrant group because the government feels these groups are the minority. It seems like the other ethnic groups get help from the government prior to the white Americans.

However, the white American population is quickly becoming the minority and I feel as a white American I am entitled to the same government assistance that the other groups are receiving. The main concepts from the text that relate to race are subordinate groups and segregation. Subordinate groups are minority groups whose members have significantly less control or power over their own lives than do the members of a dominant or majority group. These subordinate groups then are, categorized as racial groups, religious groups, ethnic groups, and gender groups.

All of these groups have five characteristics, which include unequal treatment, distinguishing physical or cultural traits, involuntary membership, awareness of subordination, and in-group marriage (Wagley and Harris 1958): 1. Members of a minority experience unequal treatment and have less power over their lives than members of a dominant group have over theirs. Prejudice, discrimination, segregation, and even extermination create this social inequality. 2. Members of a minority group share physical or cultural characteristics that distinguish them from the dominant group, such as skin color or language.

Each society has its own arbitrary standard for determining, which characteristics are most important in defining dominant and minority groups. 3. Membership in a dominant or minority group is not voluntary: People are born into the group. A person does not choose to be African American or White. 4. Minority-group members have a strong sense of group solidarity. William Graham Sumner, writing in 1906, noted that people make distinctions between members of their own group (the in-group) and everyone else (the out-group). When a group is the object of long-term prejudice and discrimination, the feeling of “us versus them” often becomes intense. . Members of a minority generally marry others from the same group. A member of a dominant group often is unwilling to join a supposedly inferior minority by marrying one of its members. In addition, the minority group’s sense of solidarity encourages marriage within the group and discourages marriage to outsiders (Axia). Racial groups are then, defined as any group that is socially set apart because of obvious physical differences. The obvious physical differences differ between different societies. The most obvious physical difference to me and most of the citizens in the United States is skin color.

Even though many have been taught to classify or judge someone because of the color of their skin, I feel you should classify and judge people by their personality and work ethics. For example, I was in the military and served this country alongside men and women from all different races, but as a child growing up the obvious physical differences that are, pointed out as the color of skin versus how he or she treated me, and the work ethics of his or her parents. If someone is nice to me and treats me with respect, I do not care about the color of their skin.

Ethnic groups are then, defined as groups who are set apart from others because of their national origin or distinctive cultural patterns. The only problem I have with different ethnic groups is when immigrants from certain ethnic groups come to the United States in hope for a better life, but in return are not willing to abide by the laws or work to earn money in order to provide the things they may want or need. If a person from any ethnic background comes to the United States and is willing to work and make a living for his or her family just as I do, I am willing to accept them for who they are not the ethnicity they may be.

Religious groups are groups who are set apart from others because of their religious beliefs or background. Dating back to biblical days there have been many different religions present throughout the world. Many people have different beliefs and a few even believe that anyone not believing as they do is wrong in their religious beliefs. For example, I had a Jehovah’s Witness come by house and tell me that only 144,000 people were going to be allowed into Heaven. I asked the question “Don’t you think there have already been 144,000 people who have died and gone to Heaven? The Jehovah’s Witness did not know what to say and politely turned around and walked away without saying another word. If you cannot support your religious group and answer any question that is, brought to your attention then in my opinion you do not need to call yourself a member of that group. As I once heard the saying, “If you can’t walk the walk then don’t talk the talk. ” Gender groups are groups whose members are a minority although they outnumber the other gender of the group.

For example, there are more female teachers teaching at the school where my sister works, but that does not mean that a male cannot or does not have the ability to teach. Just because someone has a different color skin, ethnic background, religious belief, or is of a different gender does not make that person much different from anyone else. Judge a person for the quality of their characteristics not the quantity of their characteristics. ? References Axia College of University of Phoenix. (2008). Understanding Race and Ethnicity. Retrieved October 4, 2008, from Axia College, Week One reading, aXcess, ETH 125—Cultural Diversity Web site.


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