Race and ethnicity Contemporary race and ethnic relations around the globe – Ethnic conflict – Economic divergence – The role of immigration Race and ethnic relations in the U.S. – Native Americans – Slavery and Race in North America – History of Immigration and Immigration law in U.S. Contemporary race and ethnic relations around the globe As we learned earlier, all people share the vast majority of their genetic material Since people left Africa, there has been small-scale evolution in traits such as skin color. This results in clusters of characteristics such as skin and hair color that we refer to as race. Race has a social reality, so for social scientists it is important to study. A racial group is a group of people who share certain phenotypical features and are deemed by others to constitute a “race” An ethnic group shares a common language and culture. Ethnic groups are typically endogamous – they preferentially marry others within the group Racial and ethnic conflict Race and ethnicity are the basis of much conflict in the world today. E.g. Rwandan genocide of 1994 In many societies, race and ethnicity is the basis of economic inequality as well. Immigration Different ethnic and racial groups are often introduced into a society through immigration. Often people in these groups fill jobs in the host country that no one else wants. E.g. in the Middle East, foreigners fill jobs as drivers, caregivers, butchers, or retail workers. Race and ethnic relations in the U.S. The U.S. is home to a great many racial and ethnic groups. Some are descendants of slaves Some came for better lives for themselves, both now and in the past Native Americans When Europeans first settled the east coast of the U.S. they found it heavily settled with groups of Native Americans. Native Americans were horticulturalists who were skilled in farming, hunting, gathering and fishing. No domesticated animals except dogs, no wheeled vehicles, and no writing. Early contacts Native Americans had something that Europeans wanted – furs- and this began the fur trade. Contact with whites brought alcohol and guns to Native Americans. Fueled intertribal warfare and created increased deaths from war Native Americans were not used to alcohol and quickly became addicted to it. Served to break down native culture. Native Americans also had no immunity to European diseases. Many got sick and died. Europeans often wanted Native American land. Sometimes settlers would “buy” the land from individual Native Americans, who did not have the authority to sell it since the land belonged to the community. Conflicts over land often occurred. Usual result was the signing of a treaty. Terms would be violated, and Native Americans were slowly pushed off their ancestral lands. Indian Removal The program of moving Indians west of the Mississippi began in 1825. Andrew Jackson made it a central policy – Indian Removal Act was passed in 1830. Cherokee of North Carolina tried to avoid being removed. The Cherokee had developed their own written language and had their own newspapers and schools. 1827 they formed the Cherokee republic Appealed the Indian Removal Act to the Supreme Court, which ruled in their favor Nevertheless, they were forcibly removed. The trail of tears Of the 15,000 Cherokee that started the trip west, nearly 4,000 died. Slavery in North America Europeans tried to use Native Americans as slaves, but it didn’t work Got sick and died, or ran away Africans were used instead First as indentured servants, then as slaves. Because of the threat of slave revolt, slaves were controlled in a number of ways Ratio of slaves to non-slaves was kept low Members of the same tribes were separated when first brought to America Illegal to teach a slave to read or write White slave patrols Slave trade was officially abolished in 1808, but slavery continued in the south Only 25% of whites families owned slaves, and only 12% of these owners had 20 or more slaves. Took the Civil War to end slavery in the south 19th century – First great immigrant stream 18201889 Mostly people from Ireland, Germany, UK, France and Scandinavia 1840s saw the arrival of about 1.7 million people, 1850s saw the arrival of 2.6 million people Most were Germans – largest single group of immigrants to U.S. West coast saw many Chinese immigrants (built railroads) Irish went to East coast cities Germans/Scandinavians went to rural areas in mid West Chinese settled in California Rise of Nativism Anti-Catholic on East coast (against Irish primarily) Anti-Asian on West coast (against Chinese primarily) Nativist movement: “Know-nothing Party” Dissolved in 1850s Chinese Exclusion Act 1882 Suspended immigration of Chinese laborers for 10 years 1882 act amended in 1884 to cover all Chinese regardless of country of origin Law was extended in 1892, 1902 and then extended indefinitely in 1904 Second Great Immigrant Stream 1890-1924 Italians, Jews, Bohemians, Bulgarians, Croatians, Greeks, Lithuanians, Moravians, Poles, Serbs, Slovaks and Slovenes Most settled in cities of eastern seaboard Worked as unskilled laborers on railroads or in factories Anit-immigrant sentiment 1917 illiterate people were ineligible to immigrate (response to the immigrants from SCE Europe, many of whom were illiterate) 1921 Quota law limited immigrants to 3% of the U.S. residents of that ancestry already in the country in 1910 1924 National Origins Act Quotas became permanent with this Act Quotas were 3% of each nationality residing in the U.S. as of the 1890 Census Intended to favor immigrants from northern and western Europe Anti-Asian Laws Gentleman’s Agreement (1907) restricted immigration from Japan 1917 – creation of an Asiatic barred zone, designed to exclude all Asians from immigration to the U.S. 1924 National Origins Act also prohbited immigration of those ineligble for U.S. citizenship – included all Japanese Third Great Immigrant Stream (after 1924) 1943 repeal of the Chinese exclusion act Many European immigrants were granted asylum in U.S. after WWII 1948 Displaced Persons Act McCarren Walter Act of 1952 kept quotas Mexican “repatriation” in 1950s 1965 Amendments Established preferences to – Reunite families – Permit skilled workers to enter country – Provide asylum for political refugees Priorities in 1965 Amendment 1. Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens 2. Spouses and unmarried sons and daughters of lawful resident aliens 3. Members of the professions and scientists of exceptional ability and their spouses and children 4. Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and their spouses and children 5. Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens and their spouses and children 6. Skilled and unskilled workers in occupations for which labor is in short supply 7. Refugees Numerical limits still imposed to limit annual restriction from each hemisphere. Result was to dramatically increase the numbers of immigrants of nonEuropean descent. Asia contributed about a third of immigrants, Mexico and Latin America about half.