Issue of Race and Ethnicity Classification in America

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Race and ethnicity has always been a phenomenon and controversial topic that has been going on over time. When talk about race or ethnicity, people tended to think of America as a country that is a melting pot that contain many cultures from come all over the world. But, often, people still look at physical appearance of one-self to come up with the false assumption about another race. People often forget that race is not a biological fact and they are using the term call phenotype to classify people based on their physical characteristics, like skin, eyes color, dress, or language. In the New York Time article “Best of Friends, Worlds Apart,” by Mirta Ojito depicts the idea of how American racism and judgement had shaped that way people react to other and the effect that come with it.

Mirta Ojito attempts to unfold how misjudgment of American about race affects other by telling the compassionate story that focused on the friendship of two Cuban men, Achmed Valdes and Joel Ruiz. They was met on the bus and their friendship was built across the racial line in Cuba, where skin color is not the mater. The two friends then travel to America for better life. Instead of better life, one of them have to face discrimination and ending up separating from one of the other because of their skin color. They are both never realized or prepared for the way Americans discriminate against culture and race that will change their life, such as Mr. Ruiz who is considered as a black Cuban, while Mr. Valdés who is known as a white Cuban, even though they are came from the same place.

According to American bias, Mr. Valdés is considered as “standard white,” for his skin color, and because of that his transition into the new country was a pleasant that he did not even seem to feel like an immigrant. Mr. Valdés and Mr. Ruiz arrived to Miami, a city that is run by white Cubans. Only Mr. Valdés was able to instantly fit in while Mr. Ruiz is struggling with the transition. “He often finds himself caught between two worlds. Whites see him simply as black. African-Americans dismiss him as Cuban. ‘They tell me I’m Hispanic. I tell them to look at my face, my hair, my skin,’ he says.

‘I am black, too. I may speak different, but we all come from the same place.’” Ojito illustrates the image of Mr. Ruiz has not been equally greeted with ease because of the difference in appearance. Mr. Ruiz had entered a new world that nothing he had been nuance about by media. Mr. Ruiz had realized that in American eyes Cubans were not all the same. He was being feared by the society that he choose to enter. He began to be categorized by his skin color. Correspondingly to National Geographic article “There’s No Scientific Basis for Race—It’s a Made-Up Label,” Elizabeth Kolbert portrays that human was all came from African and shared similar genes.

Furthermore, in her article she states that skin color is not what should be used to determined people race. In fact, “the concept of race has no genetic or scientific basis.” Kolbert explains that people from different region will developed a little tweak in genes and skin color what been most affected. People who live near the equator will have darker skin compare with people live toward the poles, they will developed lighter skin because they do not get much sunlight like people near the equator. Therefore, the way that society view race through skin color is a misconception and the consequence of that is leading to segregation among human beings. The world nowadays tended to forgot that all human are equal and shared similar DNA with African. Due to the idea “all people alive today are Africans,” it will favorite the conceived of Mr. Ruiz began to refer himself as Afro-Cuban.

Mr. Ruiz refer himself as dual identity of Afro-Cuban because he was caught between two races that were never his. He felt that he was not belong to any groups. White folks view him differently to his friend, Mr. Valdes. All African Americans dismiss him because in their eyes they did not see a black man in him, and due to that they come up with the misconception of him is Hispanic man. Thus, Mr. Ruiz did not see the world that way. In his eyes he is the same regardless to the language he speak. It is like ethnicity, people shared the same background, language or even religious. In like manner, in the reading “Ethnicity as a variable in epidemiological research,” Peter A Senior and Raj Bhopal demonstrates the concept of ethnicity is similar to the idea of race.

Ethnicity is a controversy conversation that the society often misunderstand. According to Senior and Bhopal, they both believed “Ethnicity should not be differentiated from race because it mean differentiated by physical appearance.” The two authors depicts that ethnicity and race cannot be determined by “physical appearance,” such as skin color, eyes color or dresses. But rather than by the common religious traditions and language of one’s individual. People should be viewing and treated the same despite about skin color.

Skin color should not be the trait to define people race or ethnicity. Difference in appearance does not mean they belong to certain group or not belong. The society should change the way their view people to prevent phenotype and stereotype people just because they look different or speak different language. America is known as the melting pot of culture, then the American should stop categorize people by appearance. Race is not a biological factors that can be determined. Ethnicity is not much of different from race. Moreover, American view of race and ethnicity by skin color had started the segregation between human beings, and it had a huge affects in the society and people with dark skin.


Cite this paper

Issue of Race and Ethnicity Classification in America. (2021, Apr 08). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/issue-of-race-and-ethnicity-classification-in-america/

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