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: 234
Latest Activity: Jun 26


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 Donald R Barbera on February 2, 2014 at 2:20pm
Although there were no strategies in place called "Stop and Frisk," when I was a teenager, being stopped,questioned,frisked or even arrested were nothing new. Sadly, the practice of stopping blacks and Latinos is hardly new, it just has a formal name now. There saws a cartoon in old Playboy Magazine that note of what happened to blacks. The captions under the three pictures read, "One Negro=baseball player." "Two Negroes=Sammy Davis Jr." "Three Negroes=Riot!" Not much has changed since then except that most Americans find it unacceptable, but profiling by ethnicities and race is also nothing new, except that Middle-Easterners have been added to the mix. Sadly, with the election of President Obama and indifference of the Republican Party, racism seems to have a stamp if approval. I know that not all Republicans aren't racists, not even most, but the Party seems to attract them. My friends and I have been stopped, questioned, searched and a few beaten and jailed. Only a public outcry against such police behavior will stop it. I even thought about legislation that reinforce the portion of our law preventing illegal search and seizure be aggressivly enforced will make a difference . That and a few $350 million lawsuits would put an end to it.
Comment by Daniel W on February 2, 2014 at 11:17am

Over and over and over and over again. Pathetic. I hope the new mayor provides a new type of leadership.

That racism continues to raise it's stupid head in the 21st century, shows we must always be vigilant, never assume "that's in the past", always promote 1st hand diverse interactions so people don't get into "they" are different from "us" modes.

Comment by Joan Denoo on February 1, 2014 at 11:34pm

This string is a sad one indeed, and very little evidence that real changes for the positive happen. I wonder how the world would be different if each creature, human and all sentient beings, were considered as treasures to be valued, that the role of government is to protect and defend the weak against the strong, and if flourishing of all things, including non-sentient things, were esteemed? 

The films and photos reveal the effects of domination and submission. That should be convincing enough to realize what we value is from the lunatic fringe!

Comment by The Flying Atheist on February 1, 2014 at 2:10pm

A pro argument for Stop & Frisk is:  if you're not doing anything illegal, then what's the harm.  It's just a harmless public safety measure. 

The video clearly shows how naive that thinking is.  As a society we may have constitutionally given all members equal rights, but institutionalized and personal racism is alive and well in monumental degrees.  It's shameful.  I often wonder if racism truly is declining or if we have the same level as before, it's just being deflected and expressed in more subtle ways.  Are peoples bigoted attitudes toward other races really changing at all?  When you get to secretly hear, read or see personal comments and expressions that are supposedly off-the-record, it's shocking and disheartening. 

Comment by Eddie E. Hicks Sr. on February 1, 2014 at 1:13pm

Well at least the new mayor has as promised put an end to stop and frisk. I can't believe this was allowed to go on so long. I know there are many organizations and community leaders that have been fighting this issue for a very long time. Now let's see how long it takes for the police to actually stop harassing young black men.

Comment by The Flying Atheist on February 1, 2014 at 12:11pm

Comment by Daniel W on November 18, 2013 at 9:49pm

Is Europe the new Arkansas?  Maybe. In some ways.  "Opinion:  Racism is nesting in Europe."  Europe is a big, diverse continent to saddle with such a generalization. The author states...  "These days, French society is perceived as virulently racist, but on a fundamental level it is no more racist than others. The rejection of the foreign, that which is different, that which is considered to be a threat to our security, is a universal reflex that leaves no society untouched. Racism can in some cases focus on one community, but this does not mean that others will not also be affected by it. There is no discrimination in the exercise of hatred. Everyone has to endure it."

Comment by Daniel W on November 15, 2013 at 5:39pm

Don, the more I learn, the more I realize I'll never know everything I want to know.  This is an example.  I look into the faces and wonder....  Just wonder.

As for the hierarchy of color, when are people going to move on?

On your side note, it's probably a good thing I didn't somehow wind up in Brazil in my youth.  I might have been tempted in all sorts of ways... and never wanted to return!

Comment by Donald R Barbera on November 14, 2013 at 10:56pm
It is interesting to know more about the parallels of Brazilian slavery compared with the US version. They are quite similar. Brazil is often mentioned as one the least race conscious country's in the world, but the reality is skin politics play big role in day-to-day life. When I say skin, I mean it literally. There is a visual caste system literally based on the color of ones skin. There are white Brazilians and black Brazilians with every shade in between. In business and government white and lighter-skinned are the rule. While black Brazilians hold lesser jobs sports and entertainment are dominated by darker tints. Although decidedly different, in many ways Brazil mirrors the United States. On a personal note, years ago my girlfriend and I visited Brazil. We weren't there even three hours before I said to myself, "Bringing my girlfriend with me was the equivalent of bringing sand to the beach.
Comment by Daniel W on November 14, 2013 at 5:03pm

Images of Slavery in Brazil. Late 1800s, a generation after emancipation  in the USA.   Article is from npr.org.

 Slaves at a coffee yard in a farm. Vale do Paraiba, Sao Paulo, 1882.

The video is long.  The images are compelling, moving, thought provoking, emotional, haunting.

Race slavery did not begin or end with race slavery in the Southeastern USA.  That was a major part of the picture, and there was "slavery by another name" afterwards.  But I find it informative to view slavery's history as more complex and international.  Earlier - Arab slave trade.  Later - Brazil was a last hold-out for race slavery of Africans.




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