I have lived in the U.S for years, I love America, but I will always be annoyed when you ask me what my race is and all immigrants have felt this way before. Why? Because you aren't really asking me what race I am (most of the time).
I. What is Race?
The U.N has defined three races. Note that the ( ) are general examples.
- Caucasoid (White, Europeans, Western Asians)
- Negroid (Black, Central Africans, Southern Africans)
- Mongoloid (Yellow, Eastern Asians, Pacific Islanders)
You do not select you race, race is genetic, race is hereditary, it is in your DNA, not your mindset.
II. What is Ethnicity?
A social group. What is a social group? A group that shares common cultural traits such as religion, attire, language, and etc.
You 'must' be brought up as a member of an ethnicity. Think Tarzan.
III. What is Ethnic Race?
Do not let the name Ethnic Race throw you off. Ethnic Race is really just a sub race. For example...
-The majority Ethnic Race in Japan are the Yamato Ethnic Race, which are Mongoloid.
-The majority Ethnic Race in England are the Anglo Saxons (English), which are Caucasoid.
Normally this is what you're actually asking when you ask "Where are you from" or "What race are you". It sounds really, really, really, annoying. I mean yeah, we get it, you know we're immigrants, you don't know where were from it's nothing worth being offended over but, after being asked this all the time and having the same people ask it because they forgot, it's pretty annoying. Being specific really helps, the conversation is much more open when you use the correct terms because it shows that you authentically want to learn something about them.
IV. What is Nationality?
Your nationality is determined by which nation you hold citizenship in. In some cases people may be able to hold duel citizenship.
V. I don't ask people about their [ethnicity, race, ethnic race, and nationality] because I feel like I will offend them.
That's okay, we immigrants understand and we sometimes pick up when you want to ask but are holding back.
Just do some research, I hope that by providing a resource in which you can look at to ask are you this or that helps.
Using the proper terms really helps open up the conversation.
VI. Stereotypes and Misconceptions
They are normally offensive when said outright but there is normally truth behind them.
Asians have small eyes.
- Asians are decedents of the Mongols (Hence the name Mongoloid), the Mongols lived in a snowy place, snow in daylight is extremely shiny and hurts the eyes. As a result Mongols evolved with double eye lids which makes the eye smaller.
Africans are black.
- This is true, Africans are black but only IF you are referring to African as the Race (Negroid) and not the people living in the continent. Africa is a big place and clearly has people from all over. Negroids are also native to many Southern Asian islands. So please use the term black with proper context to support that you mean black as in Negroid and not people from Africa.
No! I'm not [Nation]ese.
- Most of the time you actually are. For example...
- French is a nationality, ethnic race, and language. You may not be a French Citizen but you are genetically French.
- The Primary Chinese ethnic race is Han. Han native to China have Chinese nationality, speak Chinese (family of languages), and live in a Han Chinese culture.
You're color washed.
- No, you just weren't brought up in the same ethnicity. No matter what someone else says your DNA will not change, if you are genetically this or that then there is no changing it.
- It is important to note though that it may be the individual's way of reaching out to you and saying, "let me show you what 'our' people are like". It should be noted that people don't like letting go, sometimes seeing a member of their group be completely different is hurtful to them, it's like watching a family member leave your family and joining another one.
Hispanic is a race.
- Hispanic is not race (it did not pass through the U.N). The Hispanic ethnic race was born from the mixing of Mongoloid (Native Americans are Asians that came from the land bridge) and Caucasoid.
- It is important to note that the Hispanic ethnic race can also be further divided into other groups (Mexicans are not the same as Salvadorians) which is also true for many other Ethnic Races.