Race and ethnicity
Race and ethnicity are two terms that are often used interchangeably, though the two slightly differ in their meanings. Race categorizes people on the basis of physical differences whereas ethnicity categorizes people on the basis of their geographical differences. Both words are commonly used to refer to the minority or subordinate groups. In a society, there is usually a majority of the indigenous population who shares the same race and ethnicity. They have a common culture and share similar beliefs and values.
When an individual or a group of individuals from a different race and ethnicity immigrate to their land, the immigrants become a minority or a subordinate group and are likely to experience several negative emotions including unequal treatment, racial oppression, second class citizenship and awareness of subordination. The issues of race and ethnicity have become more widespread as the society has become increasingly multicultural. These issues can partly be attributed to the xenophobia of the indigenous population.
Issues of race and ethnicity are particularly significant in the US not only because the American society is constantly diversifying with respect to race and ethnicity but also because the minority groups have seen a history of oppression. While the US has been offering immigration to people of all races and ethnic origins, the indigenous people have not been quite as welcoming. The history of racial oppression in the US “goes well beyond a mayor