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The Social and Biological Construction of Race in the USA

Construction of Race in the USA

Race is a word that describes the difference between people of different origins, skin pigmentation, and language. People from different continents have diverse skin color and speak various languages that differentiate them from others. Living in distinct continental climates for long periods also affects people biologically, changes their lifestyle, and makes them different. Race has made people look at each other differently. The paper will discuss the way history and historical events have contributed towards the social and biological construction of race in the United States.

Race has a big social and biological construction in the United States leading to untold ramifications that stretch from instances of job discrimination to discrimination on social amenities. For instance, use of buses where whites do not entertain the blacks and cannot trust them on the same bus (Healey, 2012). The perception of superiority levels among Americans and Europeans is high unlike among other races that are believed to be inferior. Racial misunderstandings have been witnessed in the United States. The effects of racism are hurting. People are hurt through race in different ways. People in different areas in the United States of America have a style of coming up with different racial classes. The combination of different racial backgrounds makes the United States unique.

America has many different people in terms of race. The White Americans are people from the United States who consider themselves to be white. They have their origins in Europe, Middle East or North Africa. The German, Irish, English, Italian, Mexican, French, Polish, and Scottish Americans are just a few of the races found in America that historically form the white population of the US. The white population migrated and settled in the United States more than six centuries ago and has since then formed the white race of the United States (Gaines et al., 2010).

African Americans are also well-known as Black Americans or Afro-Americans. They are people with full or partial origin from any native populaces of Sub-Saharan Africa. It means that they are descendants of the African slaves. The African-Americans are the major cultural and ethnic group in America. Many of the African Americans came from West and Central Africa. Some of them came from Caribbean, Central American, and South American states. African American history dates back to those days in the sixteenth century when Africans were forcibly taken to English and Spanish colonies in North America as slaves. The Africans continued to be treated badly even after the founding of the United States. Later slavery altered, reformed, and grew into the current black community. The racial segregation has since been eliminated, and African leadership is currently seen in America.

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The indigenous people of America are the pre-Colombian residents of North and South America and their descendants. The indigenous people of America are commonly known as Aboriginal people in Canada, the Native Americans, American Indians, and Alaska natives. Americans used to be called by the term West Indies as given by Christopher Columbus who discovered the American continent while looking for East Indies.

Asian Americans are progenies of Americans who descend from Asians. Asian implies to people with origin from Far East or countries such as China, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, India, the Philippines, and many other Asian countries. Before the 1960s, the Asian individuals were referred to as Asiatic, Oriental, and Mongoloid. The new settlers of African American or Asian-Americans have a different settlement mode and economical, educational, and other characteristics.

Native Hawaiians are people who originally come from the Hawaiian isles. Their origin goes back to the Polynesian pioneers of Hawaii. Native Hawaiians reside in California, Washington, Nevada, and the state of Hawaii. Americans from the Pacific isles are referred to as Oceania Americans. These are people who have cultural ancestry of indigenous populace of Oceania. Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia make up the three main oceanic sub-regions.

Race is a social rather than a biological factor. The existence of human beings that differ in the proportions of alleles does not support the fact of ‘race’. There exists a difference in proportions of alleles in the representatives of western nations, but it does not correspond to any difference biologically (Kukla, 2000). The genetic characteristics of human beings are the same, which proves that human beings have a biological similarity. The main underlying statement is, therefore, that human populations differ in the frequency of alleles. Many differences in genetic characteristics of human beings can be explained by population structure.

When all the categories of the abovementioned people are put together, there are defining factors that aid people to create the social stratification in terms of race. Language spoken by some people and the accent of a particular language is another distinguishing feature of a race. People who speak English are said to speak a language that is racially English, while African language speakers are categorized to speak languages that are racially African. This creates a demarcation of racial identity despite inter-racial language learning and speaking capabilities. Skin color is also used to differentiate people in terms of race (Gergen, 2009). White skinned people are said to be European Americans while African-Americans have dark skin. It is said a person born of a white and a black parent is multicolored and multicultural. Culture and tradition are also defining in terms of race. Many people have culture and traditions that they follow in life. A given race classification is portrayed through the application of a given combination of cultural practices. Most people easily pick out the African culture from the Native American culture. The hair type and color of eyes also indicate racial origin of a person. Most European American have long, curly, soft, and colored hair, while Indian Americans have long black hair, and most Africans have hard and short hair. African Americans always have black eyes, while the European Americans may have black, brown, or blue eyes.

There exists another thought that the social fabric can be ideally constructed or disintegrated by use of the racial barrier to segregate or classify people in the United States of America (Kukla, 2000). Racial origin is also linked to health, mortality, and disease. It is highly presumed that some races are genetically strong to resist diseases because they have good health. By contrast, other races have poor health and suffer from the highest mortality rates despite enjoying the highest fertility. Race and mental health are also very important to mention in matters of social and biological construction of race in the US. The department of health in the US documented some disparities in the underlying knowledge base.

Race and intelligence quotient is also a big issue in the circles of popular science and academic research in the United States. Whites are supposed to be more intelligent. This assumption is based on a number of tests passed by the US Army. East Asian people tend to have the highest scores compared to the whites. There are still many tests being undertaken to quantify the conclusions. It is well-known that members of racial and sexual minorities are targets for prejudice. There is also presumed athletic superiority of the blacks due to having superior inborn physical characteristics and environmental factors that allow them to excel other races in athletic competitions. The extent of critical consciousness and color blindness will help the entire humanity to appreciate each other and recognize that race is not fixed but fluid (Torres & Ong, 2010).

To sum up, the self-consciousness of individuals about their difference in terms of skin color, color of eyes, language, continental location, group characteristics, and adaptability is not a new phenomenon. Race is an issue that is troubling the United States, and any developed country has a biological reflection of it that can, however, be silenced through the social humbleness. The greatest problems that create social imbalance can be easily sorted out with great understanding that our little biological difference is not sound enough to create social disparities. Race should be taken towards positive development of a nation since every ethnic group has its strengths that differentiate them from each other. Americans should come together and eliminate racial discrimination to develop together as a nation. Humans should understand that they have the same biological formation, which is the main factor that unites them. Therefore, they should be proud of having different races since it is a factor that guarantees a wide source of ideologies. America is a cosmopolitan state where people are from different races. It implies that the level of development is relatively high compared to states that have a single or a small number of ethnic groups.