As a kid up until recently I always felt that race was the color of ones’ skin. However after taking an ISS Social Inequality Class I really feel race isn’t defined by the color of ones skin. From a biological standpoint we all belong to the same race, the human race. Race is more than a skin color, it’s refers to a to the concept of dividing people into populations or groups on the basis of various sets of physical characteristics (which usually result from genetic ancestry). Even if we have varying colors of melanin in our skin we are the same. Socially we have developed races to discriminate and group people together.
What is the relationship between ethnicity and health ? Well we often hear things like African Americans are more prone to high blood pressure. This isn’t actually do to the fact that they are African American but, more to do with things like genetic predisposition, cultural influences, and socioeconomic status. Instead of just saying an entire race is prone to a disease we should take the time to understand this isn’t due to just a race. There are so many other factors . For example an African American family of a low socioeconomic status often can’t afford to buy healthier food such as fruits or veggies. It could also be possible that the family lives in a “food desert” where there are no grocery stores nearby. This leaves them with only access to convenience store highly processed foods. Another thing to take into consideration is the fact that some African American traditional foods come from their southern roots. Many southern foods such as grits, fried foods, and mashed potatoes, are high in fat, carbs, and salt. Of course there is also genetic predisposition which causes some people to be affected more than others. Therefore, it is impossible to just say that one race is prone to a disease without considering the other factors that weigh in. Overall I feel that race is a way to discriminate against other groups of people who may have different skin, eye, or hair colors. It has allowed us to be racist without even realizing it and for the past 300-400 years we have been. The lectures said that the English discriminated against other whites (The Irish). They claimed the Irish had monkey- like features and they were the first slaves before the African Americans arrived.
“Ethnicity vs. Race.” Accessed July 8, 2016. http://www.diffen.com/difference/Ethnicity_vs_Race