What is your Ethnicity?

If you answer that with “white”, “African-American”, “Indian-American” or any other race that is not what I am asking. I am asking not for your race but what your ethnicity is. Let me help you with that answer as this is something I learned today as well.

Ethnicity is not a politically correct term for race, though many people use it that way. It is being part of and identifying with an ethnic group. Ethnic groups have shared values and beliefs, just like any culturally defined group. Just  because a person looks to be say a African-American does not mean they actually self identify with that ethnicity. I am blond and blue eyed with Dutch blood, but I self-identify more with my British blood than the Dutch or Irish as there really is very little of that in my veins. Just enough to physically show.

There are two types of race, which socially is un-talked about as a whole. There is the Social race that is perceived differences which has actually little to do with actual DNA and then there is Biological Race. Humans don’t actually have a subspecies any more. Dogs, cats, horses, cows, sheep and just about any animal you can think of however does. Humans are the only creatures on Earth that no longer has subspecies. We don’t talk about people’s race or even ethnicity because it has become a taboo subject; much like sex.

Although it shouldn’t be such a rude thing to talk about, a lot of people are proud of their race and their ethnicity (assuming the two aren’t one and the same, it can happen) and are more than willing to talk about it as long as you provide a safe place to do so. No one wants to be mocked or jeered at because of their race or ethnicity and really hating a person because of their ascribed status (that is what you are born with and can’t change or chose) is quite silly! Not to mention pointless, but that is generally what leads to hate crimes.

Genocide never stopped to make sure you were actually of the race they want to destroy, but if you looked the part you were thrown in with the rest of them no matter your real biological race. Quite sad as we all know and too true. Instead if you really need to despise or even hate (which really is a waste of time) a person, why not do so because of their achieved status (what comes from choices, actions, efforts and talents, like being a doctor, father, movie star or even friend), which we know happens more often than not.  I do believe that is called jealousy. And just so we are clear about what I’m referring to, jealousy is reflective of a person’s feelings or attitudes toward another person, whereas envy expresses a person’s feelings or attitudes toward another person’s advantages or accomplishments; jealousy pertains to emotional rivalry while envy is resentment of a more fortunate person.

Obviously Americans live in ethnic diversity with both peaceful coexistence and a little conflict. We used to strive to be that melting pot you may or may not remember hearing/learning about this in elementary school, I know I do but today we strive to be multicultural; the presence of diversity with ethnic neighborhoods and ethnic cuisine.

But there are still conflicts. Just take a good look at the events right after 9-11. How many times did you hear newscasters encourage Americans to tell on their neighbors if they think something “strange” is going on? There’s a story of a woman who was in Arby’s I think and she called the police to report a couple of guys sitting in the booth behind her because they were of colored skin (they were Hispanics) and they were talking funny (they were talking in Spanish) and just HAD to be terrorists. Well, a cop came (who also just happened to be Hispanic) and walked over to talk to the two guys. Apparently the guys were seriously freaked out by the white woman who kept looking over her shoulder at them as if they were talking about something frightening. After a few minutes of talking with the two men, the cop walked over to the woman and asked if he could speak to her outside (he didn’t tell the two men that the woman called them in) but she didn’t really want to go because the cop was Hispanic and obviously a terrorist as well. In the end the woman was arrested because she wouldn’t cooperate with the police because he was Hispanic and she seriously believed him to be “one of them”.

Another little story I heard was of a women who looked middle eastern but was really from India who lives in New York getting spit in the face and cursed at for months after 9-11 because of what she looked like. But that is how it was all over after 9-11. Sometimes still is. Attitudinal conflict and institutional conflict is alive and well. Attitudinal being the verbal abuse, physical abuse (a guy who had the name Mohammad was beaten so badly he died from his wounds–BECAUSE OF HIS NAME), genocide and institutional is laws and policies that deny equal rights. Don’t believe those exist? One word: Homosexuals.

My ethnicity? I say British. It is what runs through my veins the most, I have the tendency to slip into British Slang (to which reminds me I should supply a link to a British Slang dictionary should I ever write something you do not totally understand or find odd) and when I am nervous or uncomfortable a accent comes out (I’ve been told it is British and once even Scottish, I don’t know 100% as I don’t really notice it while it is happening), I don’t do a lot of tea, but I do enjoy a cuppa every now and again (big Starbucks fan–born in Seattle, so in the blood!), I however are not overly familiar with their customs or complete culture as I’ve never been. But I relate to British more than any other part of my biological race. Perhaps I’m more of a mutt with British tendencies, but what exactly is the defined ethnicity for that I wonder.

There are other things on my mind that I do wish to get down in writing about body images, debates (Presidential of course) and fashion to name a few topics, but seeing as it is late (11pm) and I need to be knocked up (British slang twisted in American meaning, look it up at The Very Best of British; it is one of my FAVORITE slang terms to use on unsuspecting Americans) quite early in the morning. Although a good snog in the morning isn’t bad either.

Quick news: I am now on Tumblr due to peer pressure. You can find me at cheshirequinn.tumblr.com and feel free to follow me if you wish. There isn’t really anything there at the moment, but I am sure I can come up with something.

Until next time, watch out for slang slinging cheshire cats; I hear they’re about, although good luck finding them. They are quite good at disappearing.

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Categories: Archaeology, Cultural | Leave a comment

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