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reading responses and class conversation

Race vs. Ethnicity March 27, 2007

Filed under: Race & Ethnicity — 1020blog @ 1:59 am

I was talking to a friend the other day and the subject of race and ethnicity came up.  She explained that ethnicity is where you’re from and you’re culture and race is more based on your skin tone.  She’s from
Somalia and she said her ethnicity is Arabic but her race is black.  I found that interesting but disturbing.  Disturbing because of what our society has come to and at this day and age.  To consider one’s skin tone and to categorize them is pathetic.  We should all be treated equally and a persons skin tone or where their from should not come into judgment but should be looked at as a new thing to come upon and experience.  According to the Wikipedia: The term Race serves to distinguish between populations or groups of people based on different sets of characteristics which are commonly determined through social conventions. The most widely used human racial categories are based on visible traits (especially skin color, facial features and hair texture), and self-identification. And Ethnicity is defined as: An ethnic group or ethnicity is a population of human beings whose members identify with each other, usually on the basis of a presumed common genealogy or ancestry (Smith 1987). Ethnic groups are also often united by common cultural, behavioral, linguistic, ritualistic, or religious traits.  When you apply for a job, where a person came from or the skin tone of ones skin should be excluded from judging if one is capable to work and have the job.  Nothing should matter other then what they can do, what they can bring to the job and the qualifications needed for the job is met.  But yet there are still many ignorant people who sit high and mighty in their little office who still don’t understand that things have changed and they don’t live in their own little world.  Same goes for everyone else in society, not just in the business world.  In environments where the majority is one race is a major problem also.  They don’t easily except strangers and especially strangers of another race.  A problem people should look into closer.  There should be more groups and programs to do where a mix of different people and different races is always included. Race and ethnicity were created by society and still is a problem.  A problem because race and ethnicity is not just there to have the knowledge of a persons background but to categorize and to class.  It serves no positive purpose and mostly used negatively.  One would think that since we have come so far…that
America the great would see past a person’s skin color or a person’s ethnicity yet sadly we are still battling the issue.  We have come so far getting rid of slavery and having equal rights and women’s right to vote…but this is issue is a bit more complex because it’s more emotional and psychological.  Though the law protects the people and we are to be treated equally, it’s the people’s minds that won’t change and what’s causing this problem to still go on.  We need a different outlook on life and people; we need to be color blind!

~Khadijah M.


A Personal Experience…

Filed under: Race & Ethnicity — 1020blog @ 12:12 am

When I hear the word ethnicity the first thing that comes to my mind is attacks among and against blacks and whites.  As was discussed in class it is not only the blacks and whites that are racially discriminated against, but it is also the Hispanics, Arabs, Jews, Muslims, as well as many more.  As I have noticed, other ethnic backgrounds aside from white people don’t really feel that white people are discriminated against.  I will be the first one to say that I as a white female have been discriminated against. 

            I have a personal experience in which I was racially segregated as a white, blonde female.  After my freshman year of high school my mother and sister and I were evicted from our house in
St. Clair Shores.  We didn’t have too may options when it cam to housing so we ended up moving to the outskirts of Detroit off of Outer Drive also known as Alter Road.  This upper flat that we eventually called home was on the border of Detroit and

Park, between Kerchival and Jefferson.  All joking aside it was a scary part of town for my sister, my mother and I to live.  While we lived there we had no phone and no money.  Each day Laura (my sister) and I would wake up and see how much money our mom left us for the day!  Hopefully it was 4 bucks, because we would then be able to go to Buschimie’s and buy 2 slices of pizza and one lemonade and still have money for a payphone call.  After we showered and dressed we would walk a little was toward
Detroit where the pizzeria was and we would eat out in front of the store.  While we sat there we were honked at, barked at, laughed at, as well as yelled at.  After we were done eating it was time to walk to the payphone and try to call some friends to come and visit.  (We were always bored being so far always from friends)  One day while sitting at the payphone a black woman approached my sister and I and made a comment that went as follows, “I don’t know why in the hell a couple of white bitches like you two are in our city, you little white girls don’t belong here and better stay out of here before something bad happens to you, you girls will get your ass killed out here”.  My sister and I were shocked that a random lady would come across the street on the other side of Outer drive to harass us.  What were we doing do wrong?  It wasn’t our choice to get evicted and have to move away from our home town and out friends.  After this happened my sister and I nervously walked home.  The point of this story is that not many people from other races and backgrounds believe that this happens to “white people”.  All in all we are all victims of ethnic and racial prejudices, and with
America being the huge melting pot that it is, things aren’t going to be changing anytime soon.  People have to realize that we all have to put in effort to make a difference and we all have to give respect in order to get it in return, even if you are blatantly disrespected for no apparent reason.  A quote from third grade; Treat others how you want to be treated. 


-Theresa Provost


Racism is everywhere!!!!! March 26, 2007

Filed under: Race & Ethnicity — 1020blog @ 11:35 am

There is racism everywhere in the world!!!! When you think that you have escaped it, you encounter it again!!! I remember my trip to my home country of Bangladesh.  My entire family went along.  I thought it was going to be the most pleasurable trip that I would have. Well, let just say it wasn’t as fun as I thought it was going to be.  It was actually the worst trip I had ever gone on. But I did learn some very good life lessons.

The trip started off great, just like I had planned. Everyone was energetic and ready for a good trip.  The flight was terrific. There was no turbulence or any disruptions during take off or landing.  But when we finally arrived in the country of Bangladesh, this is when the real trouble started.  One of my cousins is of a darker tanned skin color. He is the same age as me and we hang out all the time.  But when we got to Bangladesh, he and I were treated very differently.  It was like he was from a different world from me.  I was treated with the utmost respect while he was treated like dirt.  Many of the people there treated him like he was a beggar from Bangladesh.  I know there is a caste system there, but I didn’t know that there was a race barrier until I saw it with my own eyes.

The first few days when were home were okay.  Everyone was tired, so we decided to rest.  But after a few days, my cousin and I decided to go and explore the country. When I say country, I don’t mean the countryside. We live in the big city where everything goes on.  When we left, the first thing we wanted to do was go ride on a rickshaw. This is sort of like a small carriage with a bicycle steering you.  To get a driver, you need to call for one. So, my cousin decided to call one. He yelled and whistled to the top of his voice, but all of them seemed to ignore him. Then I gave it a try.  As soon as I whistled, two came from around the corner.  I thought that was strange, but took no mind to it at the moment.  The weirdest thing that happened with the rickshaw is when my cousin was getting on. The rickshaw driver stared at him and then asked me if he was with me.  I glared at him and told him “Well, he isn’t with you!” After that, the driver didn’t have anything else to say.

Another weird thing that happened is that when we went to every store, they stared at my cousin.  They didn’t pay me any mind at all. The worst part of the trip was when one of these certain individuals came up to me and asked me why my cousin was walking with me. This pissed me off so much.  I didn’t want to go down to his standards, so I didn’t say anything to him. I ignored him all the way. This happened throughout the entire trip. At first, I thought of it as nothing. But later, I began to realize that it was racism within my own people. You may say its PREJUDICE, but I don’t think so. You aren’t the same race if you think of color like that. We are all people under god. Everyone should be treated like people.


Rezwan Miah


Racism in the Past and Present

Filed under: Race & Ethnicity — 1020blog @ 8:01 am

Racism has been around for the longest time and is still around today. Everyone seems to have a racist side to them. People say jokes that are not appropriate to other ethicities, jokingly of course. I have grew up around black people my whole life. When I lived in Indiana, I stayed in the projects and my best friend was black. He was a couple years older than me, but we still hungout all the time.  So since I was young I didn’t have a problem with


Me, Myself, and Race

Filed under: Race & Ethnicity — 1020blog @ 6:39 am

Racism has been an issue for the longest time now and probably will not be over with anytime soon. Racism will always be here, because there are types of people that are like that and like to live in the past. I have had many different experiences with all sorts of ethnic groups. I grew up in Indiana and I use to live in the projects there. My first best friend was black, his name was Rollo. Rollo was a few years older than me. Him and I use to do everything together and then one day these kids messed with us while we were at the park. Three white kids came up to Rollo and I and started messging with us, so we ended up fighting them and the cops were called and of course Rollo being the only black guy there was put in handcuffs and got put into the backseat. He asked for the three white kids stories but didnt ask for mine or Rollo’s. So I gt put into the back of the car because I was with him. We got taken to our parents and thats it.  I hate just because someone is the only black person or Arab person they get in trouble because of these stereotypes that society has put on different ethnicities.  Once I moved to Michigan, I attended Clintondale Community Schools. We had three elementary schools, Rainbow which was for poor-middle classed white people, McGlinnen who was for the richer middle class white people and also Parker who was for primarily black people. To say the least there were still black people in Rainbow and McGlinnen but not as many as Parker. Once going into middle school all three elementaries combinded and we had to learn how to interact with different ethnicities. I was cool with all the black people. I had tons of black people as friends and still continue until this day. while in middle school there were always white and black fights because some people were new to the other. When entering high school we were all pretty close with one another. There were rarely any black and white fights. We all got along and werent any problems up until my senior year. My senior year we had open enrollment and this meant we got a lot of the Detroit kids once their school closed. This is were problems occured. They thought they could come in and run the school and everyone else wasnt having it. A lotof the reasons why I was close with a lot of black people were because we played a lot of the same sports and were on teams since we were little. We had a family bond through sports and we carried it throughout school time. Until this day I am still close with a lot of my friends who are of different race because of sports and how i treated them. I believe that all people should get over racism because racism is whack. We are all the same. In the past no because white people were more empowered and ruled, but today everyone is equal and should be treated that way. We are all the same, we have the same type of genes and language and everything else, the only thing that is different is the way we go about doing them.


race & ethnicity

Filed under: Race & Ethnicity — 1020blog @ 6:34 am

I am a young woman but I just happen to be black. I am proud to be black. I love my race but I don’t use that to compare to everything I do. Some people feel that their race is superior than another based of statistics. Some people feel like because one person did something than the whole race is like that. I feel like there is no difference between me and any other female. The only difference is the way we grew up.  Most races get a long except whites and blacks. I don’t know why but it needs to stop. In the work world there is racism and that is something that I think will be in existence for a while especially with the economy.

There was a movie called rosewood and it was about a small black owned town down in
Florida and whites tried to take it over. However a white woman was cheating on her husband and he began to beat her because she said something that he felt was out of line. After this incident she had two choices. She had to either tell her husband the truth and get beat again or lie and say a black man did it. She took the easy way out and said a black man did it and the white men from all over began to hunt for this so called black man who committed this “rape”. Two weeks went by and there were numerous amounts of hangings all because she wouldn’t tell the truth. She didn’t know that she  saw the whole thing and she didn’t tell until they threatened to kill her family. The men were so eager to kill blacks that they killed her too. After that they realized that she wouldn’t lie and they finally figured out the truth. I said that not because I’m racists or anything like that, but it is so easy for whites and blacks to feud. Now in real life there was a case where a white man reaped a young black girl an it didn’t go to trial until years later because they thought the girl was trying to get some money. Now that wasn’t fair. Either way it goes it wasn’t right that someone life was changed because of the acts of one person. Does that mean all white women are liars and all white men are rapists? No race is better than the next. When Osama Bin Laden blew up those buildings does that mean everyone of his nationality is a terrorist? We can’t assume that because of one person that the whole race is like that. In my opinion no race is more superior.

Another thing is interracial couples. People need to stop judging because people want to be with whom they choose. You can’t pick and choose who you fall in love with. People think they way they do because it is passed down from generation to generation. People want to be socially accepted so bad that they will say and do anything to gain respect. Even if that mean criticize another race of ban biracial marriages and couples.

 In my conclusion there is no race. There are just people and the difference is where we grew up not the color of our skin.



Why Has Race Become A Standard for We You Are?

Filed under: Race & Ethnicity — 1020blog @ 5:39 am

This is a topic that I hold very personal in a lot of aspects. First off, I’ve never really understood why who or where someone came from always seemed to determine how people would treat them or what they would expect from them. We all know exactly what I’m talking about in regards to this. Certain races are stereotyped to do certain things or be certain ways. If you’re white, people a lot of times think that you’re uptight or boogie, and always speaking proper english. If you’re black, people a lot of times think that you come from a poor neighborhood, you speak broken english (ebonics) 24/7, that you just have to be good at sports or have a lot of rythym, and that you’re not intelligent enough to do certain things. If your asian, you’re supposed to be this great math or computer wiz. If you’re native-american, you’re supposed to have on what people call “indian head gear and the whole nine, and live somewhere on a reservation in poverty. If you’re middle eastern or from india(trust me a lot of people are so ignorant that they can’t tell the difference), they think that you’re some type of terrorist. I know that what I’m saying sounds a harsh, hateful, and very ignorant. But these are the types of things that we as a people say about each other. And it’s to the point that we think these things about people of our own race, and that’s just plain crazy. I don’t and I hope that none of you actually believe or express any of these stereotypes on another person. But I’m pretty sure you either know someone or have been around someone who has expressed these beliefs about people of other races or even the same race as themselves. I think that this way of thinking should be erased from our existance as human beings. There’s one very important thing I’ve begin to truly realize when I became a mother. It doesn’t matter what race you are, what part of the world, or what community you grew up in. Everyone loves the same way. What I mean by this is this: when I’m sitting somewhere with my son or even if he’s not with me, when there are other mothers around we all have an instant connection with each other. And that’s the fact that we are mothers. It doesn’t matter that I’m black and they are white, asian, middle-eastern, whatwever they are; it really doesn’t matter. We all love our children and want the best that life has to offer for our children. We all want them safe, happy and healthy. We all would give our last breath for our babies. And with all of this, race never comes into play.  We have a common ground, we’re mothers. Period! It’s the same with men. Get a bunch of men around a t.v. set with a good game on and all color barriers disappear. They all speak the same language when it comes to sports and a whole lot of other things that I really don’t understand because I’m not a guy- but that’s a whole other story. So why is it that when we deal with other races in situations other than these that we bring up race as a factor of determining what type of person someone is. Our ethnic background should not be a determining factor on how we treat each other. That is not how God wanted it! I believe that God made different races and cultures because he wanted to show us the of life in all colors. I mean would you really want to live in a world where everyone and everything was exactly the same color? there’s no beauty in that. We get joy and happines from seeing different things in the world around us. The flowers,trees, plants, animals, earth, and sky. We relax in the sun and enjoy it’s warm rays and have great appreciation for a cool breeze. At night, we love to look at the moon and the stars in the sky. We enjoy everything about this earth, so we not just enjoy each other as we are. Different but still the same. 

La Yonda M.J. Baldwin