Race and Ethnicity: Definition and Importance in the U.S. Society

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What do the terms race and ethnicity mean to you?

Race to me is a human definition of skin color and physical features. In America, we are so easy to classify a race just by looking at a person’s skin color and hair texture. In other countries, such as Brazil it is harder to tell a distinct race by skin color being that it’s a hot country. Examples of race will include; Whites, Blacks, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Chinese, etc. Ethnicity to me is a cultural and physical background. Ethnicity classifies people into groups to be considered different from others. American groups for example can be American Indians, Latinos, Chinese, African Americans, European Americans, etc. Some people confuse minority as an ethic group. However, ethnic groups can be a majority or minority.

Why are these concepts important to United States society?

These concepts are so important in the US because many times, people are so often classified by their race or ethnic group that may not even get hired for a job. There are so many different stereotypes about races in the US. For example, many Whites are all considered rich or wealthy, when Blacks and Latinos are considered poor and living in poverty. In the US there are so many different cultures, races and ethnic groups from all over the world that we have the mind set to judge one by their skin color and ethnic group. This is really nothing to be proud of because everyone should be judge and treated the same.
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