Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.
Respond to two of your colleagues’ posts in one or more of the following ways:
Racial and/or ethnic identity can affect life in many aspects. It takes place in individuals’ personalities, manners, different types of behaviors, religious interests, culture, intelligence, and more. I feel that race and ethnicity will influence any aspect of life in the world we live in today. Due to events that have happened in the past, human beings develop a way of thinking. Unfortunately, judging in some cases due to race and ethnicity. The way people stereotype others comes from racism in many cases. Racism is the belief that humans are subdivided into distinct hereditary groups that are innately different in their social behavior and mental capacities, and that can therefore be ranked as superior or inferior” (Marger, 2015, page 18, para 1).
When I was younger, I used to work in retail. A few members of my team were racist. On many occasions, when we have specific skin color walking into the store, they will guard them while assuming they are planning to steal. We had to do multiple training and even let some of them go. I feel that some people follow the path they were raised in, and they only know one way.
In my environment, the main source of racism comes from history and culture. There is no diversity, and people live in their own segregated neighborhoods. In most places, it’s easy to finger on when race/ethnicity is around it. We moved here two years ago, and I am having difficulty adjusting to the cultural/old fashion society. I feel that it should not be that way. Many historical events cause this separation in the area and many cultures that built with the years.
Due to the lack of diversity, I feel that there is a lack of nutrition here. Cultural unhealthy lifestyle is very common and noticeable. There is a “different” language and usage of words. I found a church that provides support for more of the lifestyle I am looking for, and it helps with diversity as well as educating my children. I used to live in Austin, TX, which the difference between lifestyle and diversity is huge. Needless to say, once people adjust to a certain lifestyle, they are getting used to it, and it’s hard to change it if they don’t find the balance in their life.
I believe that a change can happen. We become who we are based on the way we were raised. If we can educate each other and pass it on to our children from a very young age, people will learn that race/ ethnicity does not make human beings better or less valuable. If each person encourages and educates people in their own environment, it will impact the entire society. I always teach my kids that all human beings are unique in their own way, and therefore every person is unique in a different way. As I mentioned before, the place is living in is very cultural and racist in different ways. One way I deal with it is by taking my kids to various events and diverse activities. Also, the choice of school is critical. I always make sure that they explore all human beings as much as possible, so they will grow to make their decisions in life based on actions and personalities, not based on race/ethnicity.
Fortunately, or unfortunately for me, I am of mixed descent. On my mother’s side of the family, my grandfather was of East Indian descent and my grandmother was of Spanish descent. On my father’s side, however, both grandparents were of Spanish descent, but they had some traces of the African race in them as well, so I’m properly mixed. As a result, I have not been affected in terms of racial or ethnic identity. Although in many spheres of life I will be described as African, however, because of my skin tone I am not exposed to racism. I live in a multi-ethnic society. According to the Trinidad and Tobago population and housing census demographic report 2011, the population of my Country is made up of approximately 35.4 percent East Indians and 34.2 percent Africans and there is 22.8 percent of mixed descent, along with other races with much smaller percentages. (pg 15) As such, there have been several issues related to race and racism and the politicians who belong to the two main political parties, one strongly associated with the East Indians and the other with the Africans, adds fuel to an already fiery situation.
A few years ago when I worked at a wholesale establishment, there was a young African man who although bright, was never promoted, he was hired as a cleaner and remained in that position for years, even though many persons who joined the organization after him was promoted. He never experienced how it felt to be elevated. Deep down I knew he was being unfairly treated and it affected me because it was an injustice being delivered on this young man and I often wondered how he felt, although I asked and he always said it didn’t bother him. I never believed that.
The history of my Country has a lot to do with racism and prejudice. The two major ethnic groups were brought into the Country in entirely different ways. The Africans were victims of the slave trade and were forced to work without payment, their working conditions were poor and punishment was the order of the day if they refused to work or performed poorly, they were separated from their families and forced to follow the religious beliefs of their owners, whilst the East Indians came as indentured laborers when slavery was abolished in 1938. They were paid for the work they performed, provided with housing so that the family unit remained intact, and were able to practice their own culture and religious beliefs. As such, this created a false belief that the East Indians were a better and more efficient race than the Africans and this thought process exists even today. Stefano Harney in his book, Nationalism and Identity, Culture and the Imagination of a Caribbean Diaspora, quoted Bridget Brereton, and she said that when the East Indians arrived during the period 1845 to 1917, many different classes of people, including “creoles” did not approve of the introduction of the East Indians into the population. (pg 13)
Racism is present all around us, we live in a society that follows what we have learned in the past. We tend to close our eyes to the ills of society, we allow the evil to continue without saying a word and when things get bad, then we seek to have an input. However, there is a saying that “bad things happen only when good people do nothing.” We tend to look at the way we look, our physical appearance and, group ourselves with people of similar physic. Martin Marger expounds that we use race to divide us as a people, we attach meaning to our physical appearance and how we think of each other, thereby affecting how we relate to each other. (pg 15) It is the way of many in the modern world, however, we need to address how these issues have affected our fellow human beings, many have been advantaged in terms of labor and unjust payments, unfair opportunities, and even unfair treatment. We need to seriously look at how we treat each other and how society as a whole behaves when we interact with people who do not look as we do
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