Race, Ethnicity, & Culture

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Race, Ethnicity, & Culture

Beliefs about race and ethnicity influence our cultures, politics, and relationships.  What is race?  What is ethnicity?  This group explores those concepts.

Location: Global
Members: 229
Latest Activity: 15 hours ago

Welcome!

Racism and the effects of ethnocentrism are alive and well in the 21st century.  Racism and humanism are incompatible by definition. 

 File:BlueMarble-2001-2002.jpg

The most human, and humane, thing that we can do is acknowledge and support the humanity of people who are different from ourselves.  Curiosity about what makes us human, by necessity, includes curiosity about our human ethnic heritage.

 

We are incredibly enriched by immersing ourselves in a diverse world.  We are intellectually and emotionally impoverished when we exclude others who are not our mirror image.

 

This discussion group includes many topics about race and ethnicity.  Feel free to comment to new threads, or resurrect old threads, if any spark your interest.

 

My 2 cents. Sentient Biped.

 

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Discussion Forum

White Cultural Pathologies

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner 15 hours ago. 0 Replies

Review of Carl Hart's book "High Price"

Started by Luara. Last reply by Richard Goscicki Dec 27, 2013. 4 Replies

Buried alive - Kalief Browder

Started by Luara. Last reply by Luara Dec 10, 2013. 4 Replies

Why the right hates government

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Sentient Biped Nov 25, 2013. 3 Replies

On "Race Denial". Are Races Real? Not Real?

Started by Sentient Biped. Last reply by Sentient Biped Jun 10, 2013. 3 Replies

The Guardian / World / Race Issues

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Comment by Natalie A Sera on November 6, 2012 at 12:33am

Ruth, I LOVE it!! Especially because Obama actually has just as much white as black ancestry! He's the quintessential American in that way.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on November 5, 2012 at 10:55pm

A little presidential race humor.

Comment by The Flying Atheist on October 21, 2012 at 11:33pm

Sentient,

That's an interesting remark you made:  I also think it's easy for a white person, like me, to say race isn't real, but for many people, their race defines many aspects of what happens in their lives.


I think that's very true.  If you are a minority race in any population you will likely be subjected to, unfortunately, not only discrimination but unfair labeling and treatment.  And those experiences definitely define what happens in their lives. 

But I would say that, for example here in the US, race defines Caucasians just as much.  Our majority status and "white privilege" has served us very well.  We've been quite prosperous; often times only because of our race.  That's also quite defining. 

A major problem with "white privilege" is that it has allowed us to ignorantly view race and discrimination as a problem that some minority group needs to solve on their own.  Many white people have not been able to see the subtleties of our everyday privileged advantage.  

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 21, 2012 at 9:56pm

Sentient, it is a fascinating story and one that has so many implications especially about personality development. Romney seems so detached, unable to read his audiences, speaking as if he were a spoiled nine year old at times, and trying to mimic grown-ups who talk at a different cognitive level than he does. Inappropriate, insensitive, arrogant, hubristic. All in all, I find him a most unattractive human being, full of himself.  

Comment by Sentient Biped on October 21, 2012 at 9:40pm

TFA,

I agree with you idealistically.  I know race is an artificial construct, and does not exist genetically as a clear categorization, except as what we view in our minds.  I think racism is real.  How racism can be real, but race not real, is a challenge.  Ethnicity is also real, in the sense that there are many people who have strong identity in their ethnicity.   I also think it's easy for a white person, like me, to say race isn't real, but for many people, their race defines many aspects of what happens in their lives.

*

I don't think we should be voting for someone because they identify as African American (Obama being bicultural, and not with a strong African American heritage) or trying to appeal to a "Hispanic Bloc" as a Hispanic wannabee (Romney's attempt to convince Hispanics hes sort of "one of them" while keeping WASPS comfortable that he's "one of them".)

Comment by Sentient Biped on October 21, 2012 at 8:38pm

Joan, 

Sorry, I didn't mean to mislead.  That reference list is from the Wikipedia article.  I mean to give credit where credit is due.  It does tell an interesting story about a type of American family.

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 21, 2012 at 2:10pm

@Sentient Biped, you put together a powerful reference list that reveals strong influences on Mitt Romney. I share your list with my family and friends because it is so revealing.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Romney 
"From wikipedia:  (On George Romney):  Romney's grandparents were polygamous Mormons who fled the United States with their children owing to the federal government's prosecution of polygamy.[1][2] His maternal grandfather was Helaman Pratt (1846–1909), who presided over the Mormon mission in Mexico City before moving to the Mexican state of Chihuahua and who was the son of original Mormon apostle Parley P. Pratt (1807–1857).[2][3][4] In the 1920s, Romney's uncleRey L. Pratt (1878–1931) played a major role in the preservation and expansion of the Mormon presence in Mexico and in its introduction to South America."
Sentient Biped

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 21, 2012 at 12:59pm

The Flying Atheist,  You state it perfectly, without a doubt we exist along a line of evolution that changes from species to species and from time and place. So, get over it creationists, the evidence does not fit the conclusion. 

" We are just one race:  Homo Sapiens.  And let's not forget that we apparently manged to get some Neanderthal into our mix as well.  We've been mutts since day one. "

~ The Flying Atheist 

Comment by The Flying Atheist on October 21, 2012 at 12:30pm

A former coworker of mine was Caucasian (of English ancestry) and was born and raised in Zimbabwe.  When she moved to the US and started working with me, I used to joke with her that she was now African-American. 

Anyway, I think ethnic labels really are irrelevant (or should be.)  We are just one race:  Homo Sapiens.  And let's not forget that we apparently manged to get some Neanderthal into our mix as well.  We've been mutts since day one.            

Comment by Sentient Biped on October 21, 2012 at 12:10pm

Ruth,

Romney does make claim to Mexican heritage.  I don't know the story well, but his ancestors were Mormon missionaries to Mexico, emigrated there, and later generations returned to the US.  This does get into what it means to have a particular ethnicity.  Is a Mexican born person, of the present era but of entirely Spanish heritage, "Mexican"?  If someone identifies as Mexican, but does not have Aztec or Mayan heritage, are they really Mexican?  How many generations would his family have to live in Mexico for his parents or grandparents to be Mexican?  

I really don't think that, if the Romneys and their community lived as missionary "ex-pats" in Mexico, but maintained their US identiry, they could be considered Mexican.

But what does that say about people who come to the US, continue to speak the language of their country of origin, and/or maintain separate identity?  For example, what do we think of Amish as US citizens?  Hassidic Jews in NW?  In my area, ex-pat Russians and Vietnamese and Mexicans?  

It's all a mishmash to me.  

From wikipedia:  (On George Romney):  Romney's grandparents were polygamous Mormons who fled the United States with their children owing to the federal government's prosecution of polygamy.[1][2] His maternal grandfather was Helaman Pratt (1846–1909), who presided over the Mormon mission in Mexico City before moving to the Mexican state of Chihuahua and who was the son of original Mormon apostle Parley P. Pratt (1807–1857).[2][3][4] In the 1920s, Romney's uncleRey L. Pratt (1878–1931) played a major role in the preservation and expansion of the Mormon presence in Mexico and in its introduction to South America.

*

To me, Mitt Romney is as American (USA) as anyone.  I doubt that he has even one particle of a Hispanic chromosome.  But as far as ethnicity, is a Hispanic chromosome needed to claim some Mexican roots?

 

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