When I think of growing up as a young man in Las Vegas, I have nothing but contempt for the people that I interacted with. As a white middle class male in an almost exclusively ethnic neighborhood, I didn't exactly fit in. It was a reverse discrimination of the worst kind. I got beat up everyday for about the first six months that I lived there, and had only a single friend. Just because your not of a stereotypical ethnicity, doesn't mean that you can't be a victim of racism. In an extremely ethnically diverse area, I was looked down upon simply for being different, not better or worse just different. Ethnicity can be defined as, relating to or of a culture or racial group. It is not specific to any one color or nationality, and by itself cannot cause harm, but when you enter a region that is ethnically diverse tensions begin to rise. .
For the purpose of this essay, I would like to define term ethnicity using the definition given in 1998 by the Sociology department of Hunter College:.
"The word ethnicity derives from the Greek ethnos, a people. Ethnic identity gives a sense of peoplehood to a unique human collectivity. In anthropology and in sociology, "ethnic group" is used to designate a culturally distinctive, autonomous group, but in the U.S. the more general application is to identify a distinct segment of the population also sharing common cultural features and social institutions as a group. An ethnic group may overlap with a political group and it may be thought racially distinct as happens in relatively more homogeneous societies. Nationalist movements have often appealed to ethnic sentiments and used evidence of ethnic distinctiveness as a justification for political claims.".
This definition sums up exactly what I believe is the heart of ethnic and cultural diversity.
Three Authors who have written about cultural ethnicity in America are Henry Gates, Arthur Schlesinger, and Judith Cofer.