WEEK 4 REPLIES

REPLIES 1

 The racial and ethnic demographics of where I grew up was definitely not as diverse as most people. I grew up in a small town in Alabama, the percentage of people who identify as white is 92.2%, the percentage of people who identify as African American is 1.3%, and the percentage of people who identify as Hispanic is 2.6% in a town of almost 20,000 (Bureau). The conversation happening about the town I grew up in unfortunately happened outside of town. I learned as an adult what everyone else’s opinions on my town were, after learning this I stopped telling people where I was from. We were once described as the “most racist town in Alabama”. I was working an outside of my town my first nursing job, and I had an Asian doctor and an African American nurse both tell me that they were told not to visit my town. I tried to convince them that what they heard was our town’s past and not present view. I feel my town had grown away from a place that was known for its racist past to a more accepting and open view.  I do feel that my town is slowly growing and becoming more diverse, like pluralism each group is maintaining their own culture but helping add to the culture of the environment. I never experienced a moment in my 26 years there where there was an act of being intolerant to different members of our community. I do think the older generation, my grandparents included, needed some time to grow and adjust and I feel my hometown is working towards losing its horrible reputation and being known as a great place to live and raise a family. 

REPLIES 2

   How has U.S. society’s understanding of race and ethnicity evolved over time? Why do the cultural explanations for race and ethnicity exceed the biological ones? What impact does constantly evolving terminology related to race and ethnicity have on racial and ethnic relations in the U.S.? The understanding of race and ethnicity in U.S. society to me has evolved significantly over time, marked by historical shifts, social movements, and changes in legal and cultural perspectives. Cultural explanations for race and ethnicity often surpass biological ones because race and ethnicity are complex social constructs shaped by historical, cultural, and societal factors. While there is minimal genetic basis for racial distinctions, the impact of historical events, power dynamics, and cultural practices significantly influences how societies perceive and categorize people based on race and ethnicity. In essence, the social and cultural dimensions play a more substantial role in shaping our understanding of race and ethnicity compared to biological factors. The constantly evolving terminology related to race and ethnicity in the U.S. can impact racial and ethnic relations by influencing language usage, fostering awareness, and shaping societal perceptions. It reflects the dynamic nature of identity, promoting inclusivity and challenging outdated. It may also lead to confusion or debates over language, highlighting the complexity of navigating discussions around race and ethnicity. 

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