Race and Ethnicity
Race is said to be the divisions of human beings according to their physical characteristics. It involves the classification of people according to their history, geographical distribution and nationality. Most of the common physical characteristic includes the skin colour. Race is more of the genetics of the human race than the physical inclination.
Ethnicity on the other hand means belonging to a given social group that have the same cultural practices or national traditions. They share the same values and norms. They have similar history and heritage; it all boils down to the shared language and a common ideology. The people of the same ethnic background share an ancestral history. Mainly these people live in the same geographic location and have the same preference.
Ethnicity is all about celebrating our different traditions, customs and ideology that is believed by people living in the same geographical location. Ethnicity cannot be classified according to the physical features; it is more of the practices. It is about what people of the same place like to do. It is easy for a person to reject their own ethnicity and claim to belong to another ethnic community because we cannot actually tell if that is where they belong. People can actually move from one place to another and learn the way of life of the different ethnic community and end up identifying with the new beliefs. Race is all about biological orientation like skin colour, colour of the eyes, hair colour. (Epifanio 2007)
Unlike ethnicity, race cannot be disguised. As much as a people of a certain race can be brought up in a very different upbringing; they still possess the same biological genes of their race. Race is due to nature, and ethnicity is due to the nurturing of the environment.
As much as race is said to be biological, this fact is now being challenged. This is because research done on the genetics of people of different races indicates that there is a very little difference in the genetic inclination of people. There are about 99% similarities in the genetics of both white and black. The only difference is the skin pigmentation of the two races. It is only a slight difference.
It is evident that, people create their own identities and they choose where they want to belong. Race and ethnicity are just constructs of history and cultural practices of identification. Ethnicity is mainly associated with Africans. This is because of their cultural diversity and their different beliefs and customs yet, they are all in the same country. For example in Africa, a country like Kenya has 42 ethnic communities yet they are in one country. These ethnic communities have their own language, their own customs, religions, beliefs and traditions. (Garcia 2001)
Ethnicity at many times has led to violence and hatred. This is so because one of the ethnic group feel like they are the best and are worthy than the other ethnic group. The other group feels intimidated thus leading to violence. Ethnicity governs the socio political mood in any country with such diversity. Every leader rises and appeals to there people by trying to identify with their communities. As a result, they are able to win support from the people on the basis of their ethnic background.
The same case was also witnessed in the American political scenario. It is divided in the lines of race. There are three distinct races in America; Whites, Caucasians and African Americans. This became a very big point of contention in every decision making. This is however, gradually changing due to globalization. People are realizing that ethnicity and race do not matter as such, what matters is what is inside the person. The capacity an ability of the person is the one which matters. The human race is realizing that we are all equal in the eyes of our maker. We were all created in God’s own image and we are bound to respect one another, despite our biological and physical orientation.
It has been realized that the few individual that want to take advantage of such situations for their own good, construct social phenomenon’s that divide people. They ensure that there is a division among people of the same region, but with different distinct behaviours so that they can come up and pretend to be the link between the people. They are therefore, seen as the heroes and thus given position of leadership so govern the others. Such people take advantage of other peoples ignorance. (Stone 2003)
However, the world is much interesting with such controversies because it makes people be more creative and innovative. It makes the world busy and lively. It is due to such challenges that people are subjected to research more on the existence of the human race and its ways of life. They end up finding more hidden issues that the entire beings would not have known. The world would have been boring if there were no such differences. All people would be the same, with the same language, same traditions, same customs, same beliefs and same practices.
The concept of race and ethnicity has however, brought about discrimination, prejudice and stereotypes. People of another race view the other race as remote and ignorant, and they believe that they do not have the capacity to do things of intellectual ability. This brings about social status in the society. The ones who view themselves highly than the others misuse them and give them work that belittles them. This in return leads to bitterness and hatred on the belittled group. Others like the whites do not want to be associated with the backs because they are seen as people of a lower class yet they are all equal. People are discriminated to the extent that they have their own places that they can hold social gathering and people of the other race cannot be invited.
It is therefore, our duty as the informed population of the earth that we work towards abolishing such beliefs and fostering peace love and unity in the world. We should make people understand that there is more to unity than race and ethnicity. Race and ethnicity are just human creations, and they are not to the benefit of the entire universe rather than the minority few. We have a duty to advocate for unity and love in the world as the most paramount thing. We have to let people know that God is the creator of human beings and he has good plans for all of us regardless of our race and ethnic background.