Race and Your Community

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In what ways do they look the same or different? o How do leaders within your community treat people who are like you? How do they treat people who are different? o How do other members of your community treat people who are like you? How do they treat people who are different? o Do your texts or work manuals contain information by or about people like you? o Do the local media represent people like you? If so, in what ways? o What are some similarities and differences between you and the people who are in leadership positions in your community?

Do you think minority group interests are represented within your community? o If you could resolve any inequities within your community, what do you change? How and why? o Which main concepts from the text relate to race? Apply some of these concepts to your project. • Include the following elements in your paper: o The thesis addresses racial issues in your local community. o Three sources are used, and one source is a community member, leader, or representative from a local community organization. o The paper is written in first-person point of view, with an autobiographical approach. Text concepts are applied to your observations. • Post your completed research as a Microsoft® Word attachment. Final Project: Race and Community YOUR NAME HERE ETH/125 Axia College of University of Phoenix YOUR DATE HERE Race and my Community I look Caucasian, with white skin, green eyes, and dark hair. When I go to the supermarket, the people take me for another middle-class white American. As such, I have little risk of being stopped by the police for arbitrary reasons, being denied opportunities at work, or being discriminated against in terms of access to housing, fair lending, etc.

However, I harbor a dirty little secret: I’m not a typical white American; I’m a Hispanic American who had the benefit that at some point in time during his naturalization process, my father changed his last name. Since I look Caucasian and speak perfect English, members of dominant groups embrace me as an equal and extend me the same respect and consideration they extend other members of their group. Being able to interact with them closely, I have also seen what they think about minorities, including Hispanics. I have been a witness to their prejudice, and to the gratuitous pain they inflict on members of subordinate groups.

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I tears me inside. In this paper, I will describe race in my community, including how it is like to be an identifiable, targetable minority. What color is your skin? Members of my community look like me: white, Caucasian, middle class. Most people where I live have high educational levels, stable employment histories, wear nice cloths, and take good care of their personal appearance. Very few people in this part of town are either African American or Indian American. Most of the Hispanic-looking people I see labor as ground keepers: they cut the grass, manicure the bushes, and do other menial jobs around to earn a living.

I spoke with one of them about a week ago: he and his family are having financial problems. They bought some furniture in the Buy on Time store, but got a rotten deal. By the time they finish paying for their furniture, they will have forked more than double the actual price of the items. At work, it is striking how much alike everybody is. There is little diversity, except for a few counted people who are minorities: two Chinese-born women, a Hispanic woman, and a Chinese American man. You know where to find them because they were conspicuously placed in the same area, away from everybody else.

How are people treated by leaders? I wish this were part of a literary composition, a work of fiction, but it is not. Let me tell you what the hiring manager at my place of employment said when the Hispanic and one of the Chinese women were hired sometime back… He told a few of his trusted employees that he was hiring these people because the Human Resources department had instructed him to hire minorities, so that there would be diversity in the workforce. Immediately, this had the effect of antagonizing other employees against the new hires.

People thought these new hires were incompetent workers who were receiving a hand-out to keep appearances of diversity. Some employees even talked about it within the hearing distance of the Hispanic woman, just to enjoy inflicting untold humiliation. It was kind of “how dare you come to work here, with us? ” I talked to the Hispanic woman in confidence; she told me a manager even came in to her cubicle and told her: “My name is Mike. I’m director of engineering here. I want you to go home and think hard what do you think you’re doing working for our company. When I heard this, I felt nausea; I was trembling with anger and fear, both emotions at the same time. I remember the situation vividly because around the same time, a Caucasian guy had been hired to do basically the same tasks. The Hispanic person performed much better than the Caucasian guy, but the leaders deliberately continued to portray the Hispanic woman as an incompetent. Not only so, when it became clear that this Hispanic employee knew how to do her job very well, the leaders spread the rumor that she was “arrogant. You see, if you are a minority and know how to do your job, you are arrogant. It is nothing but a witch hunt: if you don’t drown, you’re a witch. Do texts contain information about people like me? Yes, textbooks in sociology have plenty of information about people like me. Hispanics are the second largest minority group (U. S. Census Bureau, 2010). Due to their numbers, Hispanics have been the focus of much research. I must say that thanks to this course I came to fully comprehend there are many different sub-groups inside the Hispanic community. Those groups are a reflection of the national heritage.

For example, Mexican Americans have traditions, economic characteristics, and believes that are proper of Mexico. Those characteristics are significantly different from, say, Cuban Americans or Puerto Ricans. Each sub-group has an economic and political status due to the history of their immigration or absorption into the country (Cuellar. ) Cuban Americans came here due to political persecution in Cuba, and so they received better treatment and conditions than, say, Dominican Americans (Buffington. ) Representation in the local media Hispanics are generally portrayed in a negative way in the local media.

In TV shows, Hispanics are caricaturized into lazy, poorly educated individuals that live in crowded houses, and who constantly engage in petty theft. I recent these stereotypes: they contribute to perpetuating prejudice. They plant in young children the idea that “watch out if you see a Mexican-looking person: he/she is going to rob you or whatever you have, and don’t give him/her any job because they’re lazy. ” Something that hurts me is to see some Mexican Americans willfully participate in these shows, doing a great disservice to their own people.

Similarities with people in leadership The community I live in has no minorities in positions of leadership. At work, minorities are systematically discriminated and kept in their place, which is as low as the leadership can get away with. I remember when one of the Vice-Presidents in the organization narrated to me how things used to be in his University, when he was a student back in the early 1990s. He said the university (a small private university in Stockton, California) kept all the foreign students housed in a single dormitory, so they would not live together with Americans.

Then he said “they really knew how to handle the situation. ” What can you say about somebody who is considers desirable to keep peoples apart based on national origin? Clearly, the interests of minority groups can’t be represented or protected if those groups lack power and are not represented in positions of leadership. It is part of a vicious cycle: your interests are not protected because you do not have power, and you do not have power because you have no one in a position of leadership advancing your interests. Solving inequities

If I had the power to, the most important inequity I would resolve is how people are discriminated at work because they are members of certain minorities. We live in a society in which you are your career. Your job determines your salary level, from where you derive where you live, where your children study, the health services you afford, and for the most part the future of your family. By denying people fairness in the workplace, the dominant groups are ensuring that members of several subordinate groups remain down.

Not only so, it also ensures that their daily lives are a reminder of their status and the misery that goes with it (Blumrosen & at. 1999). Changing equity conditions at work is easier said than done. It will not change in several generations. It will not change in my lifetime. How can you change prejudice? It is impossible. The only venue is to give teeth to laws and modify them so that people can gather evidence to successfully suit abusers. I was reading the other day about how the government is now using greed as a weapon against crimes of greed in Wall Street. How?

Simple: if you have information about a scam taking place and you blow the whistle, you will receive a portion of the fines, etc. the government finally assesses against those perpetrating the crime. You squeal on crocks and you make money out of it (Shepherd, Smith, Edwards, & Kantas, 2010). Something similar should be done to protect minorities: if people come forward and provide evidence of how a co-worker is being discriminated against, they will receive a portion of the fines charged against the employer. If a law like that is enacted, you will see discrimination at work go down fast.

Textbook concepts related to race The textbook explains many concepts related to race including how race is a reason to include individuals in different subordinate groups. Other reasons can be related to ethnicity, gender, etc. For example, Hispanics are an ethnic group and not a racial group (Schaefer, 2006. ) The textbook also explains how racial groups such as African Americans have endured all sorts of abuses, discrimination and even slavery in our country. The conditions of African Americans have improved over the years, but that has happened very slowly.

The path to equality has included different tactics and strategies; there was peaceful civil disobedience, and also open confrontation (Schaefer, 2006). Perhaps the tactic that worked best was civil disobedience, because it moved the minds and hearts of people in leadership positions. In many places, the white population understood that it is wrong to discriminate against another human being. Putting this in the context of Hispanics, I would say that we as a group still have to organize and call to attention the suffering of our people. The fact that we have so many different sub-groups, with such different characteristics, akes it more difficult for us to unify our cause. I would like to see Hispanics fighting not for the right to stay here when you come illegally, but for the right to be given equal opportunity and be treated fairly at work. In my mind, that is most important for us as a group. References Buffington, S. (n. d. ) Cuban Americans: Education. Retrieved from http://www. everyculture. com/multi/Bu-Dr/Cuban-Americans. html Cuellar, J. (n. d. ) Contacto: Cuban Americans, Profile of a Community. Retrieved from http://www. contactomagazine. com/cubanamericans. htm Blumrosen, A. t. al. (1999). Intentional job discrimination in metropolitan America. Retrieved from http://ee01. com. Schaefer, R. (2006). Racial and Ethnic Groups, Tenth Ed. Pearson Education, Inc. Shepherd Smith Edwards & Kantas. (2010). Wall Street Whistleblowers May Be Eligible to Collect 10 – 30% of Money that the Government Recovers. Retrieved from http://www. stockbrokerfraudblog. com/2010/07/wall_street_whistleblowers_may_1. html U. S. Census Bureau, (2010). Census 2000 Demographic Profile Highlights. Selected Population Group: Hispanics. Retrieved from http://factfinder. census. gov