I belong to the White ethnic group which was responsible for the colonization of North America. While I am part of the White ethnic group, my family immigrated to the United States from Germany quite some time after the major colonization of North America. When most people think about the colonization of North America they think of White people on the Mayflower landing on Plymouth Rock.
While the pilgrims did colonize what is now referred to as New England, the Spanish were actually the first to colonize North America. No matter who first colonized North America, this colonization caused an influx of immigrants that asserted their dominance over the native people.
This colonization was also the root cause of slavery being introduced to this “New World”. Pilgrims are most notably identified as coming to North America to escape religious persecution. The ironic part of the colonization is that the pilgrims forced their religion on those native to North America. It is important to note that this may be one of the first indications of future ethnic and racial problems that would caused by the colonization of North America.
I don’t think people normally think about racism happening to Caucasians. Unfortunately it is very common for racism to happen to all ethnic groups in the U.S. Caucasian racism and prejudice against other ethnic and racial groups always seem to get the most publicity. It would be better to broaden our view of prejudice and racism so that we could get the whole story.
I think that the Caucasian group had brought most of this negative attention on itself. Historically the U.S. has been dominated by Caucasians, which means this group doesn’t have as much to worry about restrictions due to ethnicity or racial group. If we break down the Caucasian group even further we can see that this is even truer for the males, which I am, of this group. Male Caucasians have long been the dominant force in U.S. society.
The majority of restrictions placed on females and ethnic groups have been enforced by Male Caucasians. The most notable Caucasian discrimination has been against African Americans. African Americans were largely used for slave labor during the beginning of the U.S. Going from slave to equal isn’t easy, in both occurrence and acceptance from the former dominant or controlling group.
This dominant position can be seen as a major reason why the view of discrimination is still focused on Caucasians. Since the Caucasian males of the past have put restrictions on most other ethnic groups, this wrong was attempted to be “undone” by Affirmative Action laws (Fullinwider, Robert). While most people see Affirmative Action as being helpful, it has also caused discrimination against Caucasian males. Some government agencies require a quota on hiring certain ethnic groups (this included female Caucasians).
This can cause a job candidate that has hirer qualifications to be passed over just to fulfill a quota. I have seen this happen to my father while he was applying for a firefighter/EMT position. You can easily see the Caucasian male dominance by noticing the “dual labor market” effect.
I see it more as a “multiple labor market” since I would also include female Caucasians as another labor market. Immigrants from Mexico often enter into a portion of this multiple labor market, most notably the farming community. Whether it is farming, manual labor, or the lower-end service sector it seems that it seems more acceptable to Caucasians for other ethnic groups to occupy these types of jobs. When the other ethnic groups occupy positions normally held by Caucasian males, we often see a limitation in their ability to progress in that profession (“glass ceiling”).
If you look at the breakdown of people who run companies you will see this is dominated by Caucasians males, followed by males of the other ethnic groups, then females of all ethnic groups. Discrimination isn’t only apparent in the job market, but in how companies invest in certain areas. It is seen in our response to what is happening in other areas of cities or areas of the country. We have slums and “ghettos” that don’t get investment monies to fix them up due to the lower class segregation. We have other areas occupied by a high number of non-Caucasians that don’t get investments just because of their ethnicity. New Orleans is a perfect example of all of these inequalities. It was a city segregated by race, ethnicity, and social class standing.
The devastation caused by hurricane Katrina happened to people who couldn’t afford to get out on their own, and was compounded by the predominantly Caucasian government’s lack of response (arguably due to the racial differences between U.S. leaders and with the people effected by the disaster). I don’t feel that I fit in with the standard culture for my Caucasian ethnic group or the U.S. mainstream culture. I don’t participate in any religions, as I believe in myself and science that can be proved.
I don’t feel that I am or need to be “better” than any other ethnic group. I couldn’t care less about what style is popular or what haircuts are “in”. I just try to be myself and try to ignore things that try to sway my opinions. Instead of taking someone’s word for something I would rather research and come to my own decision (almost to a fault). I think it is better to be different than a lemming following the crowd running off the cliff.
Fullinwider, Robert (2005). Affirmative Action. Retrieved February 1, 2006 from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/affirmative-action/