Ethnocentrism in America

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Cole Martin
23 January 2013
Ethnocentrism in America
“Race” to me is essentially a classification method that everyone uses to sort humans into large, distinct groups based upon an excess of different affiliations, such as nationality, ethnicity, culture, and class. “Race” is totally just a myth and is no way something that is real or genuine. It has absolutely nothing to do with genetics. The view that reflects the conviction that civilization is divided into these distinct groups called “races” is called racism, and the members of each “race” share certain attributes that make the group either low-class or high-class. The process of racialism can verify the belief in racial differences, but not the absolute hierarchy between different “races.” Racialism is something that occurs on an everyday basis, whether we believe it or not. From your facial expressions to your decision on who to trust can be referred to as racialism. Everyone has a different view on “race”, racism, and racialism and it is essential to keep this in mind whenever talking about experiences that shape ones definition of it. Everyone has this dissimilar view due to the fact that each person is involved in a different experience that allows him or her to take a different outlook based upon every experience they are personally involved in. This simply means that family, residential communities, schooling, work, friendships, sporting events, and movies all must be taken into account when looking at each person’s definition of “race”, racialism, and racism. When I think about family, nothing really sticks out to me when I think about dealing with “race”, racism, or racialism. Although, I can recall a time when attending church when I was about 15 years old where “race” played an important role in what happened. Since I am Catholic, we are typically associated with being anti-Jewish. We went out to eat after church and made small talk with our waitress, who happened to be Jewish. We talked about church with her and it somehow came out that we were Catholic. The next thing we know, we were given a new waitress and told the other waitress wasn’t comfortable serving us anymore and asked for the rest of the day off. This led me to believe that she used “race” to put us into a group where she thought of us as bad people just due to the fact that we were Catholics. I have never felt so judged off of something in my entire life. This shows that the relationship between “race” and religion is simply thriving and that this waitress linked racial prejudice to racial beliefs wrongly, which is a very common occurrence nowadays. Thinking about my past residential communities, I typically used to live with all White families until my parents divorced and were forced to move into two separate houses. I never typically had grouped people due to their “race,” but when my mother moved to her residential community, I admit I grouped people based on their “race.” It was hard for me to do this at first, but it just kind of felt like something that I needed to do. I never had really experienced some of the things that I had experienced when I first moved into this semi-African American residential community. I saw things out of the ordinary that I thought was only in movies: cooking out on the driveway, raising a batch of baby pit bulls, or just blaring music as loud as they could when driving around everywhere. I am not a racist human being by any means, but these were things I associated with African Americans and they all were coming true in front of my eyes right when I moved residential communities about 4 years ago. When high school rolled around, I attended a lower-tier high school that was predominantly African Americans, where White people were the minority. “Race” played a huge role in my high school, whether anyone would admit it. It was very obvious the teachers sorted kids by “race” when creating classroom discussions and groups for group projects. Whenever we...
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