Saturday, February 16, 2013


Comparison chart

  Ethnicity Race
Definition: An ethnic group or ethnicity is a population of human beings whose members identify with each other, on the basis of a real or a presumed common genealogy or ancestry. The term race refers to the concept of dividing people into populations or groups on the basis of various sets of physical characteristics which result from genetic ancestry.
Significance: Ethnicity connotes shared cultural traits and a shared group history. Some ethnic groups also share linguistic or religious traits, while others share a common group history but not a common language or religion. Race presumes shared biological or genetic traits, whether actual or asserted. Racial genetic differences were previously assumed to have significance in the area of intelligence, but currently there is no evidence of that.
Genealogy: Ethnicity is defined in terms of shared genealogy, whether actual or presumed. Typically, if people believe they descend from a particular group, and they want to be associated with that group, then they are in fact members of that group. Racial categories result from a shared genealogy due to geographical isolation. In the modern world this isolation has been broken down and racial groups have mixed.
Distinguishing Factors: Ethnic groups distinguish themselves differently from one time period to another. They typically seek to define themselves but also are defined by the stereotypes of dominant groups. Races are assumed to be distinguished by skin color, facial type, etc. However, the scientific basis of racial distinctions is very weak. Scientific studies show that racial genetic differences are weak except in skin color.
Nationalism: In 19th century, there was development of the political ideology of ethnic nationalism -- creating nations based on a presumed shared ethnic origins (e.g. Germany, Italy, Sweden...) In 19th century, the concept of nationalism was often used to justify the domination of one race over another within a specific nation.
Legal System: In the last decades of the 20th century, in the U.S. and in most nations, the legal system as well as the official ideology prohibited ethnic-based discrimination. In the last decades of the 20th century, the legal system as well as the official ideology emphasized racial equality.
Conflicts: Often brutal conflicts between ethnic groups have existed throughout history and across the world. But most ethnic groups in fact get along peacefully within one another in most nations most of the time.
Racial prejudice remains a continuing problem throughout the world. However, there are fewer race-based conflicts in the 21st century than in the past.

The hairs on the back of my neck always go up when I get a questionnaire and must answer what my 'Race' is. I'm HUMAN! That's the race I belong to! My ethnicity is White! Well, after doing some research to gain a better grasp on the subject matter of this blog - changing the term Racism to Ethnicitism, I find out that I'm an ignorant Caucasian. I know there are many more people who have thought along the same lines as I have, so I'm sharing my learning experience with you. You're welcome.
I'm thrilled to understand something more accurately and will be the first to admit that I had it wrong. I'm appreciative that I have the ability to digest and accept the definition of those terms. However, acknowledging that understanding makes me go even deeper into why now either term - 'Racism' or the new term I wanted to attribute to discrimination 'Ethnicitism' - feels inappropriate. 
My thought process and my humanity would lead me to believe that making distinctions based on color and/or physical characteristics is wrong and frankly, rude. We are segmented, classified, labeled, categorized and made into statistics far too often; this only allows more discrimination to flourish. When will we just stop and realize that regardless of our skin, our sex, our belief system, our sexual orientation, our upbringing or any other difference... we are simply... Humans.

When can we get to a place where discrimination, in any form, against someone who is different from us because of any of those characteristics or more, means we are only being anti-human? The inner conversations I have struggled with, the injustices I have railed against all my life resonate around this one thing - How do we teach caring? If we just 'cared for' our fellow human beings rather than pointed out the differences that we have, our world would look much differently. 

Being Pro-Human changes the current dynamic 'we allow discrimination to occur because the differences between us are more important' to 'the differences between us highlight we have the unique ability of be one of a wide variety of human beings'. Thinking about how we get to viewing humans in a whole new way always brings the movie 'Independence Day' into my mental imagery. If an entity would invade Earth, I do think that the current human inhabitants on this planet will finally understand how insignificant our differences really are when our existence is threatened on a global scale.

My plea would be "How about we choose an enhanced humanity in our world right now without that being a requirement?" Can caring please rise up and become a more valid emotion NOW, rather than some archaic thought process that differences between us humans in this world is considered a threat? I hope so.

I'll say it... "I'm NOT anti-human." Will you join me in declaring the same?

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