Theories of Race and Ethnicity





Theories of Race and Ethnicity

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This paper gives an in-depth interaction to the Theories of Race and Ethnicity. This is a well written article which offers a lot of explanations on the meaning of race, ethnicity and racism. Besides, it traces the historical development of these concepts in the history of man right from the medieval to the present time. The presenter explores a series of approaches in presenting his ideas. These include the use of illustrations, discussions and analyses: components of an extensively conducted research.

The article begins by discussing the various meanings of the term race. Unlike what many people believe, the author argues that race is a socially constructed ideology that symbolizes divergent social interests and conflicts in justifying different kinds of human bodies. Race is no pegged on the biological appearance of an individual. Instead, it is just an idea of what people ascribe to biology. This means that it is not based on the physique of an individual, but just a belief that man has put on certain individuals with specific morphological constructions. This belief varies from individual to an individual depending on their associations in the society. In this regard, race, as a concept, can be categorized into micro and macro levels. Micro race refers to individual perception of others as distinct people who must be identified with a racial group. Macro race is a large scale stereotypical belief which is manifested at institutional levels. Hence, a person’s race can be a determining factor in securing job positions, winning elections or getting education opportunities.

The other important discussion made in this article is about racism. According to the writer’s point of view, racism is simply a combination of discrimination, prejudice and institutional inequality witnessed in people’s day to day relationships. A racist is a person who believes in equality based on people’s racial affiliation. To such an individual, a people should be given different kinds of treatment depending on their race. In this regard, some people are given preferential treatment as compared to others. This is quite discriminative because it promotes inequality. It is also unfair because it denies other people an opportunity to enjoy the privileges which they should all be entitled to, regardless of their racial background. There should be an equal treatment of all the people since they are natural equal. Complexion should not be a barrier to empowerment.

The paper reveals that there is a very close tie between religion and the rise of racism in the world. As the author insists, the history of racism can be traced to the 15th and 16th centuries when people were given preferential treatment based on their religious affiliation. For instance, in Spain, Christians and the Jews were treated differently. While Christianity as gaining prominence, the Jews who were converting to it were highly regarded as compared to the conservative ones who were deeply rooted in Judaism. In fact, it is because of this that the racial Spanish government organized for the infamous purging ceremony for the Jews.

Moreover, the article also links racism to the colonial activities of the Europeans. This author concurs with scholars of history who have blamed the intensification of this practice the European conquest of Africa, America and Asia. Originally, the Eurocentric Europeans formulated Hamitic theories in which they placed Africans as barbaric and cursed generation which should be controlled of being inferior to their white counterparts. This explains why they were conquered and subjected to lots of discriminative practices. They were not given a chance to pursue education, get employment and exercise their freedom of speech, association and conscience. Instead, they were enslaved, exploited and tortured. All this was done to them because they were taken to be taken as an inferior race.

I would like to agree with this author for producing such an informative article. It is true that racism has become a menace in the contemporary society. However, the argument that it was intensified by the Europeans holds water. The whites have assumed a position of supremacy because of the misleading belief in the inferiority of other racial groups like blacks. This justifies their intention of colonizing Africa under the disguise of spreading civilization, Christianity and education. Racism has persisted in the contemporary society. Despite the fact that all humans enjoy equality under the umbrella of the United Nations Human Rights, racism is still a force to reckon with. The blacks are still treated as second class human beings, just because of their complexion.

I would therefore like to commend this author for such a brilliant work. It is quite educative and informs the readers on the historical development and general knowledge about racism which has become a contentious issue in the world today. It has opened my mind to look at it from a scholarly perspective. However, I would like to appeal to the writer to dig deeper into this topic and tell the readers about the implications of this prejudicial practice. Besides, he should have gone ahead to discuss the efforts by different groups in addressing this menace. This leaves the readers with a very wide gap which needs to be bridged. Therefore, when writing such an article, I would like to recommend that the writer should go ahead to give the views of both the ‘superior’ and ‘inferior’ groups. If this is done, there will be a fair ground on gauging the contributions of each of them in curbing this problem from their midst.