Ethnicity and Racial Discrimination Essay

The disadvantages of being from an ethnic background are prevalent in today’s society. These ethnic groups have serious challenges in every aspect of life. These aspects include: jobs, health, education, civil rights, and immigration among other things. The obstacles faced by these racial groups in today’s society impact and shape the way these minorities behave, respond and project themselves to society.

Some of the challenges faced by ethnic/racial groups in today’s society with regards to jobs is that they are either discriminated, underpaid or unemployed. The majority of discrimination in the workforce is towards African American individuals. Though it is slightly different from city to city the majority of the discrimination is towards blacks. Latinos and Asians aren’t far behind when it comes to discrimination, these two ethnic groups sometimes fall behind simply because they don’t speak the language. When this happens, they tend to come together and live with similar groups forming “ghettos” and working in low wage service industries. Education is one major factor contributing to the workplace. “African americans are still less likely than whites to earn a high school diploma, Hispanics are now more likely to complete High School than they were 10 years ago. Asian Americans are significantly more likely to hold a bachelor’s degree or higher than whites, hispanics, and blacks.”

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The Asian American family tends to value higher education and it is a dishonour to the family if school is not completed or continued.

Having a great job doesn’t exactly mean the best opportunities are granted to the hardest working individuals. Even though different races may have great skills and equal abilities sometimes ethnic groups are not allowed to ascend in the corporate ladder. “Research has shown that race and ethnicity can also influence chances for promotion because most high-level managers are white men who feel most comfortable with those like themselves.”

“It is well-established that blacks and other minority groups in the U.S. experience more illness, worse outcomes, and premature death compared with whites.”

The healthcare system also experiences situations with discrimination, both from nurses and doctors towards patients and vise versa. Minorities experience more illnesses and premature death in the US, and even though doctors take an oath to help out everybody equally, sometimes that isn’t the case. These situations of illnesses and death can be contributed to low income households and lack of medical insurance to maintain a healthy lifestyle. People of color are subject to scrutiny because they sometimes are perceived as substance abusers and will most likely not get the adequate treatment available. The same racism can be observed by patients towards doctors and nurses simply because they are a different color or religion. These doctors and nurses are questioned, insulted and attacked by the patients themselves because they are seen as minorities and patients are intolerant towards ethnic and racial differences.

“Three quarters of republicans say that blacks who can’t get ahead in this country are most likely responsible for their own condition”

Discrimination happens in every aspect of society including our civil rights. “when asked generally about discrimination in the country today, 57% say the bigger problem is people not seeing discrimination where it really does exist.” Sometimes people choose to turn a blind eye to racial discrimination, they believe that by not being part of it or involved the problem isn’t there. While people like the LGBTQ community today still fight for equal rights, , back in the 1950’s and 1960’s it was race vs law. Blacks weren’t allowed to marry whites, blacks weren’t allowed to be in the same schools, restaurants and bathrooms until protests and boycotts took place in the 1950’s. It all really started in California with the Mendez Vs Westminster case here in Orange County back in 1947.

After Japanese Americans in California were sent to concentration camps because of fear of espionage during WWII, the Mendez family decided to lease one of the farms the Japanese families owned while they were away in the concentration camps so that the government would annex the farm. The Mendez family now had to send their kids to a different school but they were not accepted because Mexican children were only allowed in one of the 15 schools throughout Orange County, The school closest to the Mendez household was not for Mexican kids. So Mr Mendez along with Fred Ross an anglo who was involved in a lot of the civil rights movement in the area filed a lawsuit against the school board. They won but then the Westminster school appealed the lawsuit, they brought in experts and sociologists to the trial who agreed that segregation was bad because kids were not feeling equal, would not learn english, be discriminated and fall behind. Along with NAACP and other national civil rights groups they joined forces and they won the case. California was the first state to desegregate schools 8 years before the Brown vs Board of Education which is when the whole nation was desegregated.

“39% of whites say the country needs to continue making changes to give blacks equal rights with whites, this percentage has increased since 2014.”

Even though the 50’s was a huge step forward in eliminating discrimination, not everybody felt the same way and discrimination still occurs illegally throughout the nation. For example in 2012 and 2013 a series of incidents happened that involved white police officers discriminating, brutally attacking and shooting black individuals under the excuse that they were dangerous and armed when confronted. These shootings have given rise to the “Black Lives Matter.” The BLM movement began after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting and death of black teen Trayvon Martin which happened in 2012 in Florida. The movement was created to showcase the racial inequality in the united states criminal justice system. This means that people of color are still fighting for equal rights in 2018. That’s 63 years after segregation was outlawed and the equal rights movements were started, Discrimination somehow still finds its ways into the law, workplace, and education to this day.

“about two- thirds (65%) say that immigrants strengthen the country because of their hard work and talents.”

“most americans view openness to foreigners as ‘essential to who we are as a nation.”

While these statements might be true, at this moment we have the President of The United States threatening to bring military force to the US/Mexico border and eliminate any aid to Mexico if Mexico doesn’t do something to stop the thousands of central americans that are asking permission to cross through Mexico to get to the US border for asylum. This is the kind of example that the nation is seeing from the leader of the free world, nothing but hate, discrimination, bigotry, prejudice and intolerance towards those who are different and in need of help. These people are mostly women and children making a perilous journey more than 2000 kilometres to arrive at the US border. They seek asylum from their native homelands of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. These central American countries have been ravaged by war, crime, and gang members threatening their safety and lives. Officials are receiving them with hate, violence and tear gas. It is appalling to see that this is the way we treat those when they are down at their worst. Luckily Mexico has chosen to disregard Trump’s threats of retaliation and actually let the caravan of migrants go through the country in order to reach the US border. Mexico accepts to comply with United Nation laws and let those who are seeking asylum go through in hopes of reaching a better life in the US.

The structural functionalism theory would argue that variety is needed in order to continue making the country diverse and rich in culture. That having diversity would allow for ethnic tolerance and acceptance making it a melting pot of cultures living cohesively next to one another.

The conflict theory would argue that by having such differences in ethnic and racial characteristics you are bound to have conflicts and inequality in the community. It is difficult to make everyone get along specially when you also have differences in income, education, religion and political views. When this happens there is bound to be separation of class among these societies creating more crimes and conflict.

The symbolic interaction perspective would argue that melting pots in communities are ideal for great restaurants and different types of services available, while others might view the symbolism as a source for crimes and ghettos.

These perspectives all vary from person to person, one may view a multicultural society as a great place to enjoy different types of cuisine and make friends from other countries while another person might view this as a nuisance. The difference in perspective let’s us compare and contrast what is good about having a multicultural society and what can be done to prevent or eliminate the negative repercussions of diversity. If we foresee these certain situations like crime, ghettos, discrimination, income inequality we can prepare for it and try and find a solution to avoid having bigger issues and potentially eliminate having the problem at all.

Personally i can contribute to eliminating racial and ethnic inequality/discrimination by spreading positive reviews from my own personal experiences with other cultures. I as a Latino, can also spread tolerance by educating others as to why my culture is a certain way, why we do certain things or behave a certain way. I believe in eliminating negative stereotypes so i always try to avoid being a cliche of my culture. I think that variety is always great, i would rather like to have a hard time choosing a dish from a menu rather than not liking any of the options available. I believe It’s the same for society, the more variety we have the richer our society is. The problem with people is that they fear what they don’t understand, so being open minded and cultural education is definitely the best strategy against combating racism and discrimination in any form.

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Ethnicity and Racial Discrimination Essay. (2022, Jan 11). Retrieved from