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Race And Community

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Autor:  anton  06 May 2011
Tags:  Community
Words: 1639   |   Pages: 7
Views: 396

Final Project: Race and My Community

What defines a community? Is it a group of people that live in the same area? Or people that share the same culture? Or maybe is it a group of people that share the same religious beliefs? Economic status? Skin color? Well, I happen to think that a community can be any or all of these things. My community is just part of the larger community of Americans and that is something that we all need to remember. There are and have been issues, problems, and trials to overcome for every community, no matter which one you identify with. I’m going to give you an idea of what my community looks like and the problems that it faces when it comes to race relations.

The community that I belong to or associate with would be the White community. I think that White community actually sounds a bit boring, so I’d call myself part of the White American community. Many times people don’t consider “white” a race, mostly because minorities are usually associated with the word “race”. This, to me, is a very troubling attitude. Each and every one of us has our own race with its own cultures, religions, and traditions. White Americans are no different than African Americans, Asian Americans, or Hispanic Americans; we all have characteristics that distinguish ourselves.

When I look around my community, beyond the physical similarities such as skin color, I also see some other similarities like traditions, religions, customs and passions. An example is that a good majority of people in my community goes to church, work hard to make a living, and raise families. I’m not saying that these things are what distinguish us from other communities; I’m just saying that these are things that I’ve noticed of my own community. Along with the similarities there are also bound to be differences. Whenever you try to group a bunch of people together, stereotypes come into play. Now just because I said that my community goes to church does not mean that all of White America goes to a church. Stereotypes can be a very harmful tool used sometimes and I’m not wishing to use it here; I’m merely giving some observations about my community. At the end of the day, everyone has his or her own life and decisions to make, no one decides how I should live my life and I don’t decide how someone else should live theirs. We are all individuals capable of making free decisions and can never be lumped into a stereotype just because we are from the same race, religion, or geographical area.

In my community it seems that there are several leaders because I live in the community that happens to be the majority. Not all of the leaders represent what and who I am, which makes for frustration and anger sometimes. Thinking of a specific White America leader seems a bit more difficult because no one instantly comes to mind. When I think of African American leaders I immediately think of Dr. King, Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, and the more contemporary Bill Cosby. I’m not really sure why I can rattle off these names of African American leaders but struggle to think of leaders from my own community, maybe its because these people made an impression upon me when I studied them in school. I think that the leaders of my community do what they think is best for the good of everyone, but lots of times it conflicts with other people’s wants or actions. I do believe that there is a sense of fairness or at least the thought of a sense of fairness in my community as well as in other communities.

“The foundation on which all our constitution are built is the natural equality of man”

Thomas Jefferson

One area of trouble can be the treatment of people from other communities. In my community there hasn’t been a great track record of equal rights. From slavery, oppression, war, and conflict White America has done its fair share at playing the bully. Its such a shame that all of these things have happened, it really makes me sad sometimes to think that I belong to this community, but at the same time I know that those things were done long ago and I had no part in it. That’s one of the biggest problems that face my community; we’d like to forget, but everyone else wants to remind us. I’m not sure I know the answer to this question, but I do know that the status quo isn’t working towards a better future with equal treatment for everyone by everyone else. There are two sides to this issue though, I believe. As much as I am for equal rights, I don’t think that reverse discrimination is the same thing. One example of this might be affirmative action, which makes it mandatory for companies to higher people of other races regardless of their qualifications, which someone else might actually have. This to me isn’t equality. Another example, which is more recent, is the Don Imus situation. Let me first say that I don’t listen to Imus and I in no way agree with what he said. But I don’t think that people should have been as outraged as they were. Yes he said some derogatory statements about African American women, but doesn’t every hip hop and rap artist open the door for that? Don’t give me the “its okay for us, but not for you” line, that is the definition of inequality.

When it comes to the media my community seems to have a pretty solid hold on it. When you turn on the TV the majority of faces you see are White. This has gotten steadily better over the years however. There used to be nothing but White Americans on TV, now there is a much wider diversity represented. African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Americans have come very far in this country; it truly is a look at progress when you see other races in the newsrooms, sitcoms, movies, and music industries. One area that has been particularly beneficial for other races has been sports. When you watch the National Basketball Association, it seems that there are more African American players than White players; this would have been unheard of a couple decades ago. I’m really glad to see such diversity in sports because I am very passionate about them. My community really rallies behind players of different races just as much as White players. To me, this is the one area in life where color doesn’t matter; just a person’s hard work and talent can make them the most loved player. Some of the biggest stars in sports don’t come from my community, but my community treats them with the respect that they deserve.

I love my community, but there are a lot of things that I would change given the opportunity. My community is so obsessed with status, money, politics, and religion, while all of these things can be good, it seems that they have all turned into justifications to do terrible things. I also am getting pretty sick of political correctness in this country. There is such a fear of saying something that someone might not agree with that we’ve all become personality-less robots. Its not our job to govern what someone says, it’s our job to be able to discuss or debate what they say in a civil manner.

If you were to look at the interest of a minority group, they would probably be a lot different than my communities, but that’s mainly because of the place that we are at right now. A minority group might want a better immigration plan so friends and family members can have the same privileges they do. But my community isn’t fond of making it easier to get into this country, just the opposite, they want to make it harder to maybe discourage the amount of people legally or illegally entering the United States. My community wants these immigrants to assimilate into the U.S. population and abandon their cultures, but I don’t think that what this country was founded on. We left Great Britain over two hundred years ago because of the persecution and we wanted a country where we could live life the way we saw fit. So why now are we trying to make everyone in this country the same?

I can honestly say that I’m glad to live in the community that I live in and even more grateful that I live in the greater community that is the United States of America. There is so much promise and potential that no other country has, its up to each community to work together and develop meaningful ties to each other. I’m not naive about the world; I know that there are problems and hurts that run very deep which make it hard to reach that goal of equality or harmony. I also know that nothing gets better if you don’t work at it, just look at the progress over the past few decades, that alone should be enough to give every community whether African American, Hispanic American, Asian American, or White American hope.

Reference Page

Hitchcock, J. (1996). White Culture and the Interracial Community. Retrieved May 13, 2008, from http://www.euroamerican.org/editorials/speech.asp

Whitaker, M. (2008). Gut Check: Taking Stock of U.S. Race Relations. Retrieved May 13, 2008, from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23470919/



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