In the book “Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Class” by Joseph F. Healey, inequality was the term that made me think deeply regarding what I’ve been reading about a minority group, race, discrimination, and institutional discrimination. Nowadays social inequality is one of the biggest issues faced by the American community. Many people do not realize that even though things are improving with time, inequality still exists. In the second topic “What is a Minority group?” the author describes five characteristics of the minority group, but in my opinion, a minority group is a group socially disadvantaged where the equality does not exist.
I believe that the fact we have a different ethnic group does not mean that we are less than the rest, but in one way to another, we are the ones that accept and support prejudices about our own group instead of demonstrating ourselves the biggest thing we can achieve as a group. For example, a friend of mine who recently came from the Dominican Republic was saying that getting a degree in the United State was only for rich people.
I asked him, who told you that? And he was like “well… my uncle told me that this is only for people with money and Gringos”. Then, I told him that he can be whoever he wants to be because this country opens doors for anyone who wants to succeed in life. After that, I asked myself why people keep telling others what to do with their lives instead of pushing them to escape poverty and show great social mobility? Are we going to be able to get an achieved status as a minority group?
On the other hand, we have the term discrimination which is an action toward people, in this case, I would like to take African Americans as an example “…blacks have the most negative view of racial equality…”.
Historically, being black is synonymous of disadvantaged. For example, in the 1930s when President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the New Deal with the purpose to facilitate the life of the American nation after the great depression, black where not favored on any of the programs. A case history is the introduction of the social security act were government implicitly set limits to blacks. The social security program benefited ‘everyone’ except agricultural workers and maids when more than 80% of the agricultural workers in the southern states were black and 90% of maids were black women. Although racial discrimination was made illegal in 1964, racism has remained.
Racial discrimination reflects in all aspects of life in the United States, especially in the institutional environment. I can see how whites are predominant in places such as universities, corporations, and governmental organization. Although in the last few years America has been experiencing institutional integration, it is not a secret that whites have more opportunities than another racial group in terms of advancement and job placement. I believe that one way of amending old and current injustices against black and minorities groups is by truly implementing an affirmative action plan. Diversity and equal opportunity in all levels of jobs will eradicate workplace discrimination, opening doors for the American people, not only for whites but disadvantaged minorities, such as Blacks, Latinos, and Women.