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How would you define "Race" and "Ethnicity"?
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23 / M / At The Moment & T...
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Posted 6/12/10
categorys or groups that people form ether with similar physical appearance or beliefs.
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25 / M / fading in the dar...
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Posted 6/18/10 , edited 6/18/10
an imaginary categorization made by humans to discriminate against humans i believe since we all came from one man and one woman we are all the same race and ethnicity our pigmentation just is different
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36 / F / Canada
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Posted 6/19/10 , edited 6/19/10
In school I was taught that race has to do with your physical characteristics with most everyone falling into four major races or a mix of the two:

Negroid -- blacks (no, I am not making a racial slur)
Mongoloid -- asians
Semitic -- jews and arabs
Caucasian -- whites

I personally think that separate races should be set up for Australian Aborigines, Native North and South Americans since they don't really fall into the categories of any of the other races.

To me, it seems like ethnicity has to do with the culture and customs of a given race, country or religion.
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Posted 6/19/10

meezermex wrote:

In school I was taught that race has to do with your physical characteristics with most everyone falling into four major races or a mix of the two:

Negroid -- blacks (no, I am not making a racial slur)
Mongoloid -- asians
Semitic -- jews and arabs
Caucasian -- whites

I personally think that separate races should be set up for Australian Aborigines, Native North and South Americans since they don't really fall into the categories of any of the other races.

To me, it seems like ethnicity has to do with the culture and customs of a given race, country or religion.


Gah!! our schools actually taught that?

I hope they do not any longer.

see my earlier post on this thread for why I think the term Race is broken and irrelevant and why I distrust ethnicity.

(in that post I mention the American civil war but since you are fellow Canadian you might find parallels with the Quebec question.)

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36 / F / Canada
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Posted 6/19/10 , edited 6/19/10



Gah!! our schools actually taught that?

I hope they do not any longer.

see my earlier post on this thread for why I think the term Race is broken and irrelevant and why I distrust ethnicity.

(in that post I mention the American civil war but since you are fellow Canadian you might find parallels with the Quebec question.)




Yep, the schools actually taught that. It was during the rise of political correctness before facts were totally engulfed and put through a filter.

I read your post, and it has the beginning of an interesting point. It would be good to see you flesh it out some more.

Germans aside, I think it would be better to say that the terms "race" and "ethnicity" are misused and thus misunderstood. They cannot yet be called broken since they have not yet gone the way of words such as "nice" which, by the way, was not a word originally meant to convey a compliment.

Just to let you know, I'm an American who has been living in Canada for many years.

There was one point that needs some clarification in your argument. It is based on a commonly taught misunderstanding of that particular period in history. Please understand, the Civil War was not about slavery or "ethnic nationalism" as you put it. The Civil War was about an individual state's constitutional rights. Southerners were not fighting to keep their slaves (they were not as a group made up of evil people who lived to dominate and humiliate others); they were fighting against a growing central government that was illegally (unconstitutionally) encroaching on their rights to make a decision -- slavery was just the issue used by the "winners" to justify their actions: kind of like WMD's. Don't misunderstand me; I'm not saying that slavery was anything other than a horrible breach of human rights and a crime against humanity -- it was. However, it was on the way out the door already thanks to agricultural and technological innovations and increasing social pressure. Northerners were fighting for a "cause," and Southerners were fighting for a "principle." Both had a certain level of moral high ground which is what made the Civil War such a bitter fight. It's repercussions can still be seen and felt today in the Southern US evidenced by the disdain for "Yankees, who walk around like they own the place," huge state militias (such as the National Guard), and the compulsory crazy racists (people, who for the sake of being contrary to what is shoved down their throats, take radical positions).

I recently visited the States, and now you could say that their is a growing ethnic nationalism. One of the strangest things that happened to me was dealing with a new kind of racism. I'm white, but I've never cared about anyone else's skin colour -- I married outside of my race for pity's sake. Yet, on numerous occassions while I was by myself at different stores, African-American employees were unhelpful and down-right unfriendly towards me. The first time it happened, I thought nothing of it -- maybe the lady was having a bad day. The second time it happened I thought it odd, but didn't take it to heart when the lady who had just had a cheerful conversation with the black customer in front of me only answered my friendly questions and attempts at conversation with emotionless, monosyllable answers. My alarm grew with each experience; they were not all like that, but the majority were. I had never experienced anything like that in my own country before. When I told my friends about it, they said that that kind of attitude had started after Obama was elected. Isn't it strange how people who have complained of real and perceived prejudice for years have no problem "dishing" it out to others?

Anyway, sorry to go on and on. Thanks for your comment.
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Posted 6/19/10

meezermex wrote:



Anyway, sorry to go on and on. Thanks for your comment.


That's okay, It's fun to have true discussion. and Long posts I'm to lazy to edit for specific quotes are what spoilers are for.

Re: The US Civil War.(1861-1865)

I should have said "it could be described from a certain point of view", or "one author framed the conflict as" somewhere in my post, if I didn't. I apologise. A two paragraph summary tangential to the point of a post cannot possibly fully describe the complexity of that conflict.

I am well aware that the legal point of contention was the right to secede from the federation or Union as the northerners called it. And that at least some legal scholars argue that the southerners were right. However, to say that slavery was irrelevant or manufactured as an issue is disingenuous. Laws restricting the expansion of Slavery proposed by a party elected mostly by northern anti-slavery states were the laws being "Crammed down the South's throat" so that they desired to secede. However my point wasn't really about slavery. It was about how the propaganda of both the antebellum and war periods attempted to identify a southern 'nationality", "identity", or "Ethnicity" distinct from that of the encroaching Northerners. No where did I impute, nor intend to impute, that the south was inherently evil or even that the north was free of bigotry and racism. Anyone who has read of the history of black troops weather the popularised 54th, or the less well known Battle of The Crater, would know that neither North nor South had clean hands on black-white relations. None of that was really my point. I guess I failed at making that clear. To be honest I was basically summarizing and parroting an author who compared antebellum USA with the current situation between Quebec and the rest of Canada. The last time a vote of separation was before the polls one pro-separation speaker (Etienne Bouchard) basically said that Canada could be divided but Quebec could not because Quebec, unlike Canada, was a People.

My own sardonic thought was "Ein Volk Ein Quebec Ein Bouchard"

What you describe has happened to me in Quebec, fortunately people have to walk up and talk to you before they decide they hate you so it's not as bad.

Another example on the same vein: When some of the more radical Native Canadian activists speak they say things that can make one uncomfortable. Such as "There's been 400 years of Injustice, it will take 400 years of healing to correct" where from the context of the full discussion "healing" can be inferred to mean crippling compensation. Or put another way, 400 years of special favouritism.

I work in a female dominated profession in a city with an extremely large and diverse immigrant population. As male who could be described as "whjte" (actually my heritage is more complex and deeply rooted in Canada, but I'm pale) trust me I KNOW that sexism and racism are NOT one way streets.



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Posted 6/19/10
Well i guess i have the same opinion as a lot of others where race is based on physical features and pigmentation and ethnicity is more the cultural background and heritage and beliefs one holds. Though not all people can be categorized in an ethnicity as it's a really vague term, it essentially takes a culture or a belief system and puts a generic label on it which is wrong, and is a big part of what leads to prejudice born from not understanding how deep and complex these cultures can be.

Also to the people who were saying how we don't need a categorization system for race or ethnicity you are just being naive, human being naturally distinguish them selves from what is different. So saying "that person is white and that person is black" is only giving them a clearer indication of the separating line between where they came from. People are going to be racist and prejudice either way so giving people a label such as ethnicity or race isn't changing peoples attitudes towards others. On the contrary it is people who take them selves as being superior to others that abuse these labels to create a following for their own twisted satisfaction. That's what creates conflicts difference of opinion, and although everyone has a right to their own opinion it's when they try to force their values on others that conflict is born. But that's just human nature
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Posted 6/19/10 , edited 6/19/10

meezermex wrote:



I read your post, and it has the beginning of an interesting point. It would be good to see you flesh it out some more.

Germans aside, I think it would be better to say that the terms "race" and "ethnicity" are misused and thus misunderstood. They cannot yet be called broken since they have not yet gone the way of words such as "nice" which, by the way, was not a word originally meant to convey a compliment.

.


Part of my problem, at least when I was younger was that I was too nice and too open minded and even before the term existed too politically correct. I was a male feminist. As a security guard I tended to try and describe things such as exact hair colour and skin tone to avoid the presumptions about drunkeness and random violence that I was sure superiors would make if I described someone as 'native'

Being a male nurse cured me of my 'feminism' I got tired of being told that my plumbing dictated that I was a knuckle dragger only good for opening jars, restraining unruly patients, and replacing a broken person-crane when it was time to lift people into bed. In nursing school I was on the academic honour roll and most comments about my personal ability to care or have a good heart have been glowingly positive.

Being a security cured me of political correctness, EVERYONE has some reason why they're special and the rules don't apply to them. Everyone takes offense at you doing your job when your job consists of enforcing the rules of a property or removing violators from same.
For Natives it was always the race "you're doing this to me because I'm native". No I was doing it because 0300 in a hotel hallway is not the appropriate time or place for a loud beer bottle tossing knock-down-drag-out fight and I don't care who was banging whose wife.

When Obama got elected many of my co-workers were eagerly watching the TV. As as it was pretty clear he was in one of them stood up and said "WE WON". All I could think was "Who is this WE kemo-sabe? Aren't you Canadian like me?"

Any how, I still distrust any labeling based on "Race" or "Ethnicity" you'll notice it's absent from my profile. I wish I had better, less loaded terms to replace them with because there are aspects of a person that can be succincintly described using racial or ethnic terminology. Unfortunately such words come with too much baggage.


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Posted 6/19/10 , edited 6/19/10




Thanks for the comment.

To anyone out there I DO NOT think that slavery was irrelevant to the Civil War nor a manufactured problem. If my comparison was too far-fetched I apologize. I tend to use extreme examples to make a point which is why I made the note about people from the South not being evil, etc. People tend to think that it's about good guys and bad guys. No pun intended, but the Civil War was not a black and white issue. I find it ironic that the rebel army used gray cloth for their uniforms considering how gray the issues were on both sides -- at least they were unconsciously honest.

Oh, come now. I know the people of Quebec are annoying (and maniacs behind the wheel), but to compare them to Nazi Germany is a bit much. LOL

I've heard of the more radical proposals from the First Nations peoples, and honestly I'm of two minds about it. One -- they DO have a point; however, they are asking for too much. Two -- if they were to get their way it will set a precedent that will cause the US trouble because Mexicans can easily make the same claims as descendents of the native inhabitants of the continental US -- many of them already do which is why illegal immigration is not frowned upon in their culture or by their government. Did you know the Mexican government even has a flyer telling illegals how to survive and their rights in the US?! http://cryptome.quintessenz.at/mirror/mx/mx-migrants.htm I've actually seen several of these!

Anyway, talk about a rabbit trail! Weren't we supposed to be giving our opinion on what "race" and "ethnicity" are? Gotta love it! Thanks for a pleasant and intelligent conversation!
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Posted 6/19/10 , edited 6/19/10

meezermex wrote:

Oh, come now. I know the people of Quebec are annoying (and maniacs behind the wheel), but to compare them to Nazi Germany is a bit much. LOL


Don't get me wrong, I was born in Quebec and think it and it's sometimes fractious populace (including my dear sister) are an essential part of this wonderful country. As a bit of a war buff, especially WWII, and ( I hope) an open minded thinker willing to see past the propaganda I've paid a lot of attention to the moral quagmire that is any war.

When people start using racialist terms to justify arguments however, My mind tends to take down that slippery slope to the nadir of such logic.

Combined with the my own tendency to bleed little maple leaves and the heightened tensions of the time. I hope you'll understand why I amused myself with that thought at the time.

"Ethnics" ie NOT "vrai Quebequois" (True Quebeccers) were blamed for the narrow loss Quebec Nationalism suffered on the day of that crucial vote.

I'm more forgiving perhaps now. but I stand by my thinking of the time.
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