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Optional Ethnicities

Ethnicity has changed considerably over time because of many factors like intermarriage and social changes over time except among the whites of the United States of America whereby there is no much about identifying themselves ethnically because they are the majority and due to the social power they hold which has been affected by the continued assimilation of immigrants and social mobility from Europe as a whole. However, ethnicity takes two dimensions that are symbolic and oppositional ethnicities.

Symbolic ethnicity for whites in America has no any social cost but it is voluntary, enjoyable and it is only meant to identify them to and with their traditions and other social activities. Symbolic ethnicity has not influenced the lives of whites at all, unless they make it their choice. In connection with symbolic ethnicity, other ethnic groups like black Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans and many others feel sidelined and their success in society may depend on whom one marries or their ancestry or origins and their place of residence.

In the other hand this means the living of minority groups is influenced by race even though they do not want to identify themselves. However, there is the cost of symbolic ethnicity in society and which does not affect the white Americans but it does affect the minorities like black, Hispanic and Asian Americans. Symbolic ethnicity has one important factor which is; it treats all people as individuals but equal and encourages people to cherish their backgrounds and origins or ancestries.

Oppositional ethnicity has been practiced by the blacks because of the nasty experiences they face in their daily operations in college or university, public libraries and many other places. This is a way to defend themselves from extreme racial discrimination which they feel is undermining them. Extreme means more than just asking about the hair of black people. But if the blacks ignore these questions and answer them as usual or naturally, then ethnicity or racial groupings will not carry the weight it does.

Furthermore other negative behaviors from the white directed to the black counterparts should be regarded as normal and as a way of identifying the origins of the others. Moreover, racial tensions between the whites and the other minorities especially the blacks is ignited by the fact that the blacks know more about the whites but the whites do not know about the blacks and when whites need to know more, the blacks tend to feel it is racial and a bother.

Nevertheless, the entire society should be treated equally and the discrimination based on race must be discarded in this society of this modern pluralism. Many other people and writers strongly attach racial discrimination or ethnicity to ancestry or their parents and grand parents by believing and or saying it was simply passed down to them and it will continue for the reason that it will still be passed down to generations to come. Many did not encourage intermarriage because they feared the demise of their identity in a new country.

Many people also wanted to whiten themselves through bleaching and other means like eating and dressing so as to integrate with the white race. Some other people of the minority races were advised to assimilate themselves to the American culture. The assumption is that with time the racial gap will diminish through assimilation which is related and associated with intermarriage. A belief of some immigrants is that getting Americanized will change the ethnic or racial stigma directed at the minorities. Eating habits i. e. their food, style and cooking and many others is a process of Americanization.

These authors imply that racial discrimination or ethnicity may take many forms such as through dressing, eating, speech accent or tone of voice and not necessarily the color of the skin. Some regret abandoning their ancestor’s traditions or culture in the guise of trying to avoid being ethnicized by others, but in the long run they regret abandoning their precious heritage. Hence assimilation and the abandoning of one’s ancestral cultural practices become or are regarded as a big loss and are referred to as a mutiny against history.

Other authors have focused or confined racial discrimination or and ethnicity among the whites of the European origin unlike Waters who is more specific and consistent on the epicenter of racial discrimination or ethnicity, that is between the blacks and the whites. These other authors have evidently struggled to define themselves in connection with the episode of ethnicity but they have not complicated Waters position at all but tumbled over and over. Nevertheless, they have tried to express their many experiences as non Americans in America.

All other authors have given different occurrences and experiences of racial discrimination by whites that are associated with the culture of their ancestry for instance Italians were known as hardworking and they sweated a lot but the whites discriminated them by using smelling sweat to identify them and the virtue of hardworking was not at all used to identify them. Others used to discriminate Latinos as good workers in hotels and inns but the good services which they offered were not given credit.

Moreover, these authors have not succeeded in using Waters’ framework to define their identity even tough they touch over the surface. These other authors have focused their experiences while in junior schools and high schools but some have shallowly expressed their experiences in college level and university. Their approach is very contrary to Waters for the reason that Waters’ reasoning has given a very standard approach to the whole matter subject of ethnicity or racial discrimination. Waters has exposed the roots of this ethnicity, how it has affected the entire American society which depicts that there is no winner or loser.

As other authors struggle to give us an idea about racial discrimination by mostly featuring white Europeans and yet at the end they do not offer a solution for eradicating this vice, Waters is able to define exactly the main problem of racialism and which is between blacks and whites. At the end waters gives a better solution to overcome his negative ethnicity. Negative ethnicity because it degrades and it will only be positive ethnicity when people respect others, their origins, culture regardless of their skin and status.

The best among the many remedies water offers is that all heritages or peoples to be treated equally and try to decline unnecessary sensitivities which may be associated with racial discrimination. In the guise of conclusion, Waters approach is the best to be used to define, understand and eradicate this vice of racial discrimination and negative ethnicity in the United States of America. And as a sign of positive ethnicity, it is good to cherish the origins of others because everybody has roots and this will be a way of combating negative ethnicity and oppositional ethnicity.

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