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Reflection Paper for Race, Ethnicity and Identity



Institutional Affiliation
Reflection Paper for Race, Ethnicity and Identity

The race, ethnicity and identity are both intensive and extensive issues in the society.

Racism is on the basis of negative presumptions and subjugations that have been socially

constructed by society members (Massey, 2009). It is interesting to note that identities of race

and ethnicity are not the same in diverse societies. In the United States, I identify myself as white

however I identify myself differently when I am in another part of the nation. I do not always

have to worry about issues of race since I belong to a part of the majority group in the United

States. As a result, I am learning that this is a principal issue within itself. In fact, pursuing this

course has been a great eye opener.

I constantly watch movies and shows on diverse issues of race and ethnicity that leave me

with sad emotions. It was tricky living in such a conservative environment since I felt that I had

to live by some certain stringent rules that had been forcefully imposed on me as a white

individual. I had been raised in an exclusively white neighborhood where I really never

understood the race concept until I started working in a clothing store. It became a reality when I

saw African American individuals working extra hard to provide for their families. Additionally,

it had never crossed my mind what it felt like to be a child from a different race in a

predominantly white neighborhood. I had never even thought how left that child would feel. I

can clearly reminisce how difficult it was to sail through different stages of school yet I was an

average white student. I cannot compares issues that I went through to what children of other

races had to deal with.

This greatly saddened me that I did not have the opportunity to live in a state which

embraced diversity but grew up oblivious of other races around me. I now acknowledge that I

need to visit other places to be more knowledgeable regarding race and ethnicity. I also always
felt unlucky since most of my friends were from wealthy families and their education was

guaranteed without much struggle. However, I now realize that I am very lucky since I have

come face to face with the struggles that other diverse races have to go through in the society.

Additionally, I realized that I am a lucky individual since the White race has more privileges as

compared to other races worldwide. This course has made me go out of the stringent rules as a

conservative white in my neighborhood.

Besides, I remained dumbfounded after I watched a recent documentary regarding

racism. I could not believe that this was a 20th century documentary but that was nonetheless the

reality. Living in a white neighborhood completely prevented me from experiencing this.

However a lot at my workplace has opened my perceptions of race where we have hundreds of

customers flocking in and out of the store daily. It has taught me to love individuals from very

diverse cultures.

I also never knew the difficulty that comes with becoming a United States citizen with all

the hurdles that one has to go through. It is really an emotional subject since I work with lots of

African migrants whom I consider very good friends of mine. Majority of these friends start from

the very bottom like wiping shelves and sweeping floors. Furthermore, they have to work harder

than the rest of us but still get paid peanuts. Just recently at a church function, I was assigned to

sweep a part of the stadium. It was very tiring and I swore I will never take sweeping as a job

since my back hurt so bad. Now I really understand what it feels like for all these individuals at

the workplace. One of the principal reasons against blacks as discoursed in class was that blacks

are an inferior race. This came as a surprise to me because from my interaction at the workplace,

there is no distinct difference between the white and black race. We are all driven by passion to

make it in life. In fact some of them have been forced to live their families behind in such of
greener pastures and a better life. Therefore, it is very wrong to depict other humans as inferior

or lesser than us and only want to associate with individuals that we deem are at the same level

with us. Personally I do not think that is the right attitude as a United States citizen yet there are

many African migrants that have remarkably excelled to become big names in our country.

Additionally, I do not think it is accurate for individuals in the United States to carry with them

the feeling of stigmatization that they are illegal immigrants. I hold the belief that every

individual has the right to make his/her life better. Moreover, becoming a legal citizen in

America should be made easier.

I was lucky to become friends with an exchange student from Mexico. I had not actually

had the best experience from the Mexican people when I was at my workplace. During my

interaction with the student, various aspects came into play for me. My bond with the Mexican

student became stronger each passing day. In fact, my family fully embraced and loved him. I am

glad that these exchange sessions helped me become more open minded and understanding in

getting to familiarize with him more. Since I was learning a lot about diverse world cultures, I

became even more interested in learning about where he came from and who he was.

Overall, I have never opened my mind to the issues of race, ethnicity and identity. One of

the most vital things I have learned in this course is to grab the opportunity of exploring the

world and also explore the various points of views regarding these racial, and ethnicity concepts.

I believe that every individual should receive the same treatment since our diverse physical looks

are not of much significance because it is not an accurate definition of our personalities but our

inner souls do. I hold the belief that individuals are filled with a lot of hate thus will make awful

comments with the selfish knowledge that they will definitely get away with it. I am very certain

that people do not like other people solely because they have their own internal issues and are
searching for a landing to put blames on their own predicaments. I must confess that this race

and ethnicity lessons have really been an eye opener and opened my brain wide. The lessons

changed my perceptions and ways of thinking. Without a doubt I believe that I dealt with racial

concepts around me very naively. Nonetheless, I am certain that I am becoming more

knowledgeable on the actual meaning of race, ethnicity and identity from these lessons and also

the need for change as asserted by Pager and Shepherd (2008) so that people can perceive other

people around them with accuracy and avoid prejudice.


Massey, D. S. (2009). Racial formation in theory and practice: The case of Mexicans in the

United States. Race and social problems, 1(1), 12-26.

Pager, D., & Shepherd, H. (2008). The sociology of discrimination: Racial discrimination in

employment, housing, credit, and consumer markets. Annu. Rev. Sociol, 34, 181-209.