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Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the United States: Census and Census. August 12, The Census data underlying this visualization are available in the Redistricting . 18 rows · 1 By race and ethnicity 2 By detailed races Asian Americans Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander American Indian and Alaska Native 3 Detailed ancestry 4 . The list on the left shows states (or state equivalents) ranked by the percentage for the selected group out of the total population, Hispanic or Latino population, or not Hispanic or Latino .
 
 

 

Major ethnicities in the united states –

 

Probably the best way to begin to understand racial and ethnic inequality in the United States is to read first-hand accounts by such great writers of color as Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Piri Thomas, Richard Wright, and Malcolm X, all of whom wrote moving, autobiographical accounts of the bigotry and discrimination they faced while growing up. Sociologists and urban ethnographers have written their own accounts of the daily lives of people of color, and these, too, are well worth reading.

Statistics also give a picture of racial and ethnic inequality in the United States. We can begin to get a picture of this inequality by examining racial and ethnic differences in such life chances as income, education, and health.

Table Sources: Data from U. Census Bureau. Statistical abstract of the United States: Washington, DC: U. Government Printing Office. Recent trends in infant mortality in the United States. Census Bureau; U. Historical income tables: Families. The data are clear: U. Compared to whites, for example, African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans have much lower family incomes and much higher rates of poverty; they are also much less likely to have college degrees.

In addition, African Americans and Native Americans have much higher infant mortality rates than whites: black infants, for example, are more than twice as likely as white infants to die. These comparisons obscure some differences within some of the groups just mentioned. Similarly, among Asians, people with Chinese and Japanese backgrounds have fared better than those from Cambodia, Korea, and Vietnam.

Asian Americans have higher family incomes than whites on the average. Although Table Compared to whites, Asian Americans have higher family incomes and are more likely to hold college degrees, but they also have a higher poverty rate. Thus many Asian Americans do relatively well, while others fare relatively worse, as just noted. Even the overall success rate of Asian Americans obscures the fact that their occupations and incomes are often lower than would be expected from their educational attainment.

Why do racial and ethnic inequality exist? In answering these questions, many people have some very strong opinions. One long-standing explanation is that blacks and other people of color are biologically inferior : they are naturally less intelligent and have other innate flaws that keep them from getting a good education and otherwise doing what needs to be done to achieve the American Dream.

As discussed earlier, this racist view is no longer common today. However, whites historically used this belief to justify slavery, lynchings, the harsh treatment of Native Americans in the s, and lesser forms of discrimination.

In , Richard J. Another explanation of racial and ethnic inequality focuses on supposed cultural deficiencies of African Americans and other people of color Murray, These deficiencies include a failure to value hard work and, for African Americans, a lack of strong family ties, and are said to account for the poverty and other problems facing these minorities. If that is true, these scholars say, then the lack of success of other people of color stems from the failure of their own cultures to value these attributes.

How accurate is the cultural deficiency argument? Many social scientists find little or no evidence of cultural problems in minority communities and say that the belief in cultural deficiencies is an example of symbolic racism that blames the victim.

Yet other social scientists, including those sympathetic to the structural problems facing people of color, believe that certain cultural problems do exist, but they are careful to say that these cultural problems arise out of the structural problems. Thus even if cultural problems do exist, they should not obscure the fact that structural problems are responsible for the cultural ones.

A third explanation for U. This view attributes racial and ethnic inequality to institutional and individual discrimination and a lack of opportunity in education and other spheres of life Feagin, Segregated housing, for example, prevents African Americans from escaping the inner city and from moving to areas with greater employment opportunities.

Employment discrimination keeps the salaries of people of color much lower than they would be otherwise. The schools that many children of color attend every day are typically overcrowded and underfunded. As these problems continue from one generation to the next, it becomes very difficult for people already at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder to climb up it because of their race and ethnicity.

American whites enjoy certain privileges merely because they are white. For example, they usually do not have to fear that a police officer will stop them simply because they are white, and they can count on being able to move into any neighborhood they desire as long as they can afford the rent or mortgage.

They also generally do not have to worry about being the victims of hate crimes based on their race and to be mistaken for a bellhop, parking valet, or maid. Before we leave this section on racial and ethnic inequality, it is important to discuss the advantages that U. Social scientists term these advantages white privilege and say that whites benefit from being white whether or not they are aware of their advantages McIntosh, For example, whites can usually drive a car at night or walk down a street without having to fear that a police officer will stop them simply because they are white.

They can count on being able to move into any neighborhood they desire to as long as they can afford the rent or mortgage. They generally do not have to fear being passed up for promotion simply because of their race.

College students who are white can live in dorms without having to worry that racial slurs will be directed their way. White people in general do not have to worry about being the victims of hate crimes based on their race. They can be seated in a restaurant without having to worry that they will be served more slowly or not at all because of their skin color. If they are in a hotel, they do not have to think that someone will mistake them for a bellhop, parking valet, or maid.

If they are trying to hail a taxi, they do not have to worry about the taxi driver ignoring them because the driver fears he or she will be robbed. Social scientist Robert W. Terry , p. For people of color in the United States, it is not an exaggeration to say that race and ethnicity is a daily fact of their existence. Yet whites do not generally have to think about being white.

As all of us go about our daily lives, this basic difference is one of the most important manifestations of racial and ethnic inequality in the United States. Anderson, E. Code of the street: Decency, violence, and the moral life of the inner city.

New York, NY: W. Bonilla-Silva, E. Racism without racists: Color-blind racism and the persistence of racial inequality in the United States 2nd ed. Chou, R. The myth of the model minority: Asian Americans facing racism. Boulder, CO: Paradigm. Feagin, J. Systematic racism: A theory of oppression. New York, NY: Routledge. Fong, T. The contemporary Asian American experience: Beyond the model minority 3rd ed. Herrnstein, R. The bell curve: Intelligence and class structure in American life.

Hurh, W. Martin Eds. Los Angeles, CA: Roxbury. McIntosh, P. Collins Eds. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Min, P. Asian Americans: Contemporary trends and issues 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Murray, C. Losing ground: American social policy, — Terry, R. The negative impact on white values.

Hunt Eds. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Skip to content Learning Objectives Describe three explanations for why racial and ethnic inequality exist in the United States. Provide two examples of white privilege. Explaining Racial and Ethnic Inequality Why do racial and ethnic inequality exist?

The Benefits of Being White American whites enjoy certain privileges merely because they are white. Key Takeaways Three explanations for racial and ethnic inequality in the United States are that a people of color are biologically inferior, now considered a racist explanation; b people of color have cultural deficiencies; and c people of color face many structural obstacles, lack of opportunity, and discriminatory practices. Whites benefit from being white, whether or not they realize it.

This benefit is called white privilege. For Your Review Which of the three explanations of racial and ethnic inequality makes the most sense to you? If you are white, describe a time when you benefited from white privilege, whether or not you realized it at the time.

 
 

– Mapped: Visualizing the U.S. Population by Race

 
 
Multiple Races: %. American Indian/Alaska Native: %.

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