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English1A-Critical Thinking and Writing

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Miss Sue could you read it one more time if it makes sense, I changed the part about someone being born with the preconceived notion, I meant they are raised by parents that way but I don't know how to make it make sense. And I did a conclusion so I'm hoping it makes sense with my essay.

Race and Culture

Society plays a big role on race and culture. Whether a person is black or white, Asian or Hispanic, there will always be that someone who attempts to identify and stereotype others based on their appearance. For many years until today, people continue to immigrate to the United States for freedom and opportunities, a chance to start a whole new life for them and their loved ones. Becoming an American was a gift that foreigners wanted, but came with a price when people of different races and cultures came together as one, and found that some could not mix well with those who seemed different. As America continues to fill itself with many different faces and colors, some people remain traditional to their own ethnic background. However, not everyone chooses to act or behave traditionally which surprises those who expect others to behave according to their traditional cultural role. While America continues to evolve becoming the "melting pot" of the world, people from different cultures tend to judge and stereotype others, and do not realize that all people are human like everyone else, regardless of race or ethnic background.

Race and ethnicity are two terms that are sometimes misunderstood. People tend to mix up the two, assuming they both generally mean the same. While race may refer to a specific species or breed, ethnicity can mean a common background or traditional cultural belief. Although two people may have the same cultural background, it does not necessarily mean they both derive from the same race. For example, even though someone might appear to be Asian, it is not enough information to identify one’s race. They could be Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, or Cambodian. In Sherman Alexie’s “Assimilation” Jeremiah states, “Don’t you hate it, when they have Chinese waiters in sushi joints or Korean dishwashers in a Thai noodle house? No, think about it, these restaurants, these Asian restaurants, they hire Asians discriminately because they think white people won’t be able to tell the difference. I can” (590). Also, just because two people are the same race, it does not mean that they both are from the same cultural background. Moreover, it is a difficult process for those who are of a non-American race but born and raised in America, to feel as they belong and fit in with the rest of the Americans. People of different cultures tend to view others for what they see instead of having any interest in getting to know each and one of them. If people take the time to care enough to treat others as a real person, they might see that these people who might appear to be different, are just as American as they are.

America has been known as the melting pot for over two hundred years. But despite the many years of foreigners and immigrants traveling and living in the U.S., America is still separated in many ways due to racism and prejudice. What is the difference between someone being racist and another who is prejudiced against another? Being racist means disliking someone solely because of their race no matter who they are or what they do. Prejudice is someone who dislikes someone or a group of people for who they are or what they do, before being aware of all the facts about them. For example, if someone is a Christian, most times they will be prejudice against other religious organizations without even knowing any information about them. However, some people express racism throughout their daily lives without even knowing it. Even people who are prejudice are raised as children by their parents with the preconceived notion that they feel negatively about a specific type of group of people, but not necessarily knowing why. In Vincent N. Parrillo “Causes of Prejudice” he states, “…individuals acquire the values, attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions of their culture or subculture, including religion, nationality, and social class. Generally, the child conforms to the parents’ expectations in acquiring an understanding of the world and its people” (514). Children grow up not knowing any alternative conceptions of the world, and usually accept these concepts with no questions. Even when certain values or beliefs are based upon false stereotypes, prejudices shape the way some people perceive others and influence their attitudes and actions toward particular groups. People should learn to be more open-minded and find out things for themselves rather than assuming or discriminating against others based on what they think or presume to know.

Stereotyping is another big issue in America. To stereotype someone means to identify and categorize someone based on their appearance. Stereotyping can lead to racism and prejudice and can cause people to prejudge others based on their looks, which sometimes can be a good thing, but other times, bad. In Studs Terkel’s “C.P. Ellis” C.P. states “I saw two young black people. I had the .32 revolver with me. I said: Nigger, you seen a little young white boy up here? I just got a call from him and was told that some niggers robbed him of fifteen cents. I pulled my pistol out and put it right at his head” (522). Just because someone is of a certain color or fits the profile of someone that one might dislike, it does not make that person bad in anyway. It just means that some people share common characteristics such as race, skin color, behavior, or attitudes. If people are willing to open their eyes and give people half the chance that they deserve, they will realize that people are human just like themselves regardless of what the person appears to be on the outside.

Because America is so caught up with the media and what is going on around them, they forget that everyone is human like themselves. Even though people talk about racism and prejudices, others should know the difference between the two and not only think before judging others but people should learn to communicate with each other so that everyone can understand who each other really is on the inside, instead of assuming one’s identity and offending someone for being wrong. Everyone deserves to be treated equal as a human being and as an individual rather being placed in a category that might not have anything to do with them. Everyone is their own person and regardless of who they are, how they dress, or what they do, people should be seen their true personality on the inside, regardless of skin color, race, or ethnic background. Once people are more knowledgeable about race, culture, and the stereotypes regarding these issues, society can come together as a whole and grow with each other, so this country can be bigger, better, and stronger.

  • English1A-Critical Thinking and Writing -

    I think your introduction needs a sentence telling one what is ahead. Your conclusion did a good job. An old rule is to tell em what you are going to say, say it, then tell em what you said.

    The term "melting pot" is not universally an agreed description of America, and you ought to be aware of that. Many liken the USA to a stew pot, where chunks of things remain intact.

    Your final sentence is argumentative: Once people have knowledge, they are cutsy and agreeable? Prisons are full of folks that are smart. Antisocial, mean, lowdown folks seldom change when they gain knowledge, contrary to what is taught in Psychology 101. I would state something like " If there is any hope on race....., society has the potential to come together by realizing that itself must be an agent of change to do so.

    By the way, this next year's Girl Scout Cookie Sale motto is ....Leap 2 Lead, be the agent of change.
    I like that motto.

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