Ethnic Groups and Discrimination ETH 125 MASON

Topics: Affirmative action, United States, Discrimination Pages: 5 (977 words) Published: March 9, 2015
Ethnic Groups and Discrimination
Michael Mason
Axia College of University of Phoenix
ETH 125 Cultural Diversity
Dr. Michele Svatos
January 14, 2007
Ethnic Groups and Discrimination
In America today, seldom to people fully realize the importance of their ethnic group. That is until their lives have been affected in a negative way by being a member of that ethnic group by experiencing prejudice or discrimination. Many of us who belong to majority groups glide through life without ever realizing the effect being in the majority has on our own lives because we never deal with any negative side effects of being the majority. That does not mean those negative side effects do not exist and are not as prevalent today as they were hundreds of years ago. There can only be one solution to this problem of discriminatory practices and that is the adoption of one united American ethnic group. As a member of the British-American ethnic group, this author is privileged to belong to one of the oldest ethnic groups that colonized the United States. On May 14th, 2007 the author will be celebrating his family’s living in America for 400 years. In that, on May 14th, 1607, English settlers first landed at the site that would become Jamestown, Virginia the first permanent English settlement in what would become the United States (wikipedia.org, 2007). The early settlers were driven by a desire for a better life but were met with constant prejudice from the Native Americans already present in the area (wikipedia.org, 2007). This prejudice began as a simple refusal to trade commodities or begin cordial relations but soon took the form of open hostility against the English settlers, culminating in the Massacre of 1622 in which over 400 English settlers lost their lives (wikipedia.org, 2007). Slowly and with ever increasing numbers, the English became the dominant force and soon began practicing that same prejudice upon the Native Americans which in turn culminated in the seizure of Native American land and their forced relocation to reservations (wikipedia.org, 2007). This behavior was tolerated in the past but is considered completely inappropriate in today’s society. That being said, it is still as prevalent today as it was then, though it takes different more subtle forms now compared to the drastic scenarios from above. While less drastic and overt they are just as damaging to inter-group relations as massacres or forced relocation. Examples of this new form of subtle prejudice would be discrimination in the form of redlining, the practice of refusing to do business with perceived high-risk individuals usually associated with minority groups (adversity.net, 2007). Another example would be institutional discrimination, where certain groups are categorized as not being fit to hold certain or high-ranking positions in society (wikipedia.org, 2007). Glass ceilings and Glass escalators are very similar to institutional discrimination in that limits are set for minority groups to advance where as members of the majority are advanced faster (wikipedia.org, 2007). There are even forms of prejudice and discrimination set up to seem as if they were designed to alleviate overt prejudice and discrimination. This is called reverse discrimination, the practice of advancing minority groups at the expense of majority groups (wikipedia.org, 2007). A perfect example of reverse discrimination would be affirmative action, a practice that advances minorities over the majority in an attempt to address past discrimination. Without specifically identifying with any ethnic group this author can personally identify with the negative side effects of affirmative action, in that he has lost a scholarship to the University of Florida to a minority group member with an SAT score 300 points lower. This author has also been groundlessly stereotyped in the past for transgression made by his ethnic group. This proves the prevalence of discrimination in society today...

References: Adversity.net (2007). Redlining. Retrieved January 10, 2007, from http://www.adversity.net/Terms_Definitions/TERMS/Redlining.htm
Wikipedia.org (2007). Jamestown, virginia. Retrieved January 10, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamestown%2C_Virginia
Wikipedia.org (2007). Powhaten. Retrieved January 10, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powhaten
Wikipedia.org (2007). Reservations. Retrieved January 10, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reservations
Wikipedia.org (2007). Institutional discrimination. Retrieved January 10, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institutional_discrimination
Wikipedia.org (2007). Glass ceiling. Retrieved January 10, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass_ceiling
Wikipedia.org (2007). Reverse discrimination. Retrieved January 10, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reverse_discrimination
Wikiquote.org (2007). Theodore roosevelt. Retrieved January 10, 2007, from http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Theodore_Roosevelt
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