Ethnic Groups and Discrimination

Caucasian is a term invented by German physician Johann Blumenbach in 1795 to describe light-skinned natives from Europe (and, formerly, from western Asia and North Africa as well) whom Blumenbach prejudiced to be from Caucasus Mountains. The term is currently synonymous with "white."

The history of the use of the word Caucasian traces back to the late 18th and 19th century. To understand its meaning, the word white has to be understood. It was the early scientists from north Europe who described themselves as white because of the lightness of the skin; scientific racism. This categorization classified Caucasians to refer to all Europeans excluding mongoloids of East Asia.

Between late 1800 and early 1900, there was immigration of people from East to the United States. This immigration involved both the Europeans and the Jews. The migration involved quite a large number because the easterners were fleeing political killings as well as seeking opportunities.

Discriminatory policies put in place in 1920s restricted an influx of immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe. United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind of 1923 was a case that showed discrimination against the Caucasians. It denied citizineship to the south Asian Indians, and it also stripped some of their acquired citizenship (Fernandez, 2008). The Caucasians became segregated from other Europeans.

President John F. Kennedy signed an Executive Order which established Affirmative Action. Affirmative action targeted assisting in assurance of zero discrimination against employees by employers whether because of race, color, nationality, or creed. The white Caucasians benefitted from the order because it reduced the grievances of the Asians Americans, Africans and Hispanics.  Though later, the affirmative action received criticism that it contributed to quotas, it helped Caucasians from getting absorbed to the working field.

Dual labor market exists in American economy. It started after the states in the U.S. tried to implement affirmative action back in the 1960s. The economy can be divided into primary labor market and secondary labor market. Conflict occurred between blacks and the white Caucasians because of competition for jobs in the secondary labor market. The economy can, therefore, be seen as a contributory factor to the intolerance amongst ethnic communities (Velez, 1998).

Initially, programs such as affirmative actions encouraged equality in the United States.  However, such initiatives received criticism and challenge from people who discriminated against whites. On job places where the whites managed, the interaction with the blacks resulted in reverse discrimination. This unique type of discrimination arises in the workplaces where the historically a dominant groups get discriminated allegedly by minorities who imply unfairness from dominant group. The Caucasians did not have to bear much discrimination and favors. Today, the situation is rare.

The whites in the United States did not suffer institutional discrimination. The African-Americans instead suffered discrimination. Arguably, the Caucasians may have gotten involved in perpetuating this type of discrimination. It involves the denial to use certain restaurants and beaches where the whites used. In addition, it segregates the blacks from living in the same neighborhood.

The Caucasians helped in effecting the redlining discrimination. This segregation activity involved either denying or increasing services cost for services such as access to jobs or banking. The banks redlined the black people by not investing in the locales occupied by them (Momeni, 1987).

In conclusion, it is evident that the early interaction of Caucasians in the United States was not easy. However, they rose in terms of business and social status to competitive heights with the American native. Perhaps this explains why there was transition and development. The amendments to the law created a better avenue for Caucasians immigrant’s way above the blacks Americans. 

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