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Race, Ethnicity, & Culture


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: 232
Latest Activity: Mar 19


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


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. Daniel W.


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Comment by Daniel W on October 21, 2012 at 12:10pm


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?

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on October 20, 2012 at 11:42pm

Comment by Daniel W on September 25, 2012 at 11:09am

Any suggestions for good blogs or RSS feeds on the subject of race or ethnicity?  I'l love to find something good to follow. 

Comment by Richard Goscicki on August 27, 2012 at 3:52pm

All right, Geraldo.  What right comes from nature?  The right to go to the bathroom, right?  What right comes from God.  The right to get circumcized and be born again.  Just guessing. 

Comment by Geraldo Cienmarcos on August 13, 2012 at 8:24am

quote: "Our rights come from nature and God, not government."
           - Paul Ryan

Comment by Geraldo Cienmarcos on July 21, 2012 at 10:54am

Are Progressives Harming Their Cause by Attacking Organized Religion and People of Faith?\

or shorter URL:


It is simply false that all (or even most) people of sincere faith — including those who are conservative in their religious commitments — are intrinsically irrational, anti-social, patriarchal, racist, or closed to meaningful dialogue. It is equally false that humanists necessarily see the light and embrace progressive politics. In my case, I am a Christian, a scholar, and for more than 30 years now a socialist who supports public healthcare, gender equality, separation of church and state, environmentalism, and pacifism. My humanist brother reads Ayn Rand, watches Fox News and is a dedicated member of the National Rifle Association. He opposes gun control, is a global warming skeptic and supports expanded use of fossil fuels, including fracking (he owns land in an area where you can scarcely hurl a stone without beaning one or two Chesapeake Energy employees). My brother and I do not conform to the stereotypes, and neither do countless other people.


Comment by The Flying Atheist on May 23, 2012 at 3:10pm

Yes, this is a very interesting story, Dallas.  I was going to post it here but you beat me to it.  There's some more detailed information on the background of the attackers from this Chicago Tribune article:  Chicago Tribune

The attackers:  "The men are connected to the Hoosier Anti-Racist Movement, which is part of the Anti-Racist Action Network that formed in Minneapolis in 1987 to address discrimination, according to a leader in the organization, Jacob Domke."

The Sutherlin brothers became interested in combating fascism while growing up in diverse family in Bloomington, a predominantly white city that is home to Indiana University, Domke said. Though they are white, their half sister's father is black, he said.

"When you grow up in a multiracial family in Indiana, I think that can open your eyes to the problem of racism in this country," Domke said.

"Jason Sutherlin, the oldest of the three tightknit brothers, shaped his social philosophies as a teen at the Bloomington's Peoples Park, a decades-old popular spot for protests. The site has been a haven for the anti-establishment movement since 1968, when two members of the local Ku Klux Klan burned a black-owned store there."

Comment by Daniel W on May 23, 2012 at 8:39am

Strange story there in CHicago, Dallas.  From the yahoo pic, looks like the "anti-racist" attackers were white... probably a good think considering the reaction if they were any other race.

Comment by Daniel W on April 15, 2012 at 9:20am

Comment by Daniel W on April 7, 2012 at 8:50am

The book isn't about the slavery prior to the civil war.  It's about the pattern of arresting people for no reason other than being black, putting them into forced labor situations, using them in labor camps and factories for little or no pay and destroying their lives.  This went on for about a century following abolition of slavery.  It's not about words.


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