The United States is one of the most racially diverse nations in the world. The last two centuries have been characterized by high levels of immigration. The country has attracted many people from different parts of the world. The historical developments associated with this wave of immigration presents numerous ideas that can be used to understand the issue of race and ethnicity much better. For very many years, the race is something that has been widely misinterpreted or misunderstood (Luhman 349). While that has been the case, issues of race have always aroused different emotions such as prejudice, hate, loyalty, nationalism, and anger.
Throughout the last two centuries, the issue of race has defined human relations in the United States. For very many years, the infamous slave trade led to an increase in the number of African Americans in the country. The 19th century was also characterized by an increased level of immigration. More Europeans came to the country because of the challenges affecting their continent (Luhman 350). Many immigrants came to America in an attempt to find new fortunes and opportunities.
However, such historical developments transformed the nature and diversity of race in the country. The outstanding observation from this development is that immigration catalyzed race relationship. Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, more African Americans began to fight for equality. However, the uprising led to the Civil Rights Movement thereby redefining the issue of race in the country.
Consequently, the race issues experienced in the country have led to discrimination and prejudice. The whites aroused emotions of anger and hatred against different minority groups. These concerns forced more minority groups to stand up and fight for their rights.
Ethnic hierarchies emerged while at the same time dictating the political, economic, social, and religious aspects embraced in different parts of the country. The emergence of oppressive policies, land-use laws, and economic initiatives resulted in new disagreements. The economic aspects of the nation continued to dictate various social functions (Marger 203). As a result, race relations were strained further.
During the same period, more people from different regions across the globe immigrated to the country in an attempt to have better lives. Such immigrants continued to transform the cultural attributes of different ethnic groups. These changes have resulted in new race relations (Marger 204). New laws and policies have emerged in an attempt to address the prejudices and inequalities that have emerged because of these race issues. A good example is the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As more people from diverse backgrounds continue to settle in the United States, the nature of race and ethnic hierarchy is something that is expected to change in the future (Luhman 343).
The history of immigration in the country also shows clearly that new confusions will be encountered as scholars continue to classify the American population in terms of ethnicity and race (Luhman 343). Scholars have shown clearly that many Americans are always misinformed about the ethnic characteristics and make-ups of their respective societies. It also becomes quite clear that analysts and sociologists will never be able to describe the ethnic groups of America accurately.
Studies have also indicated that the number of ethnic minorities and their respective sizes has been exaggerated (Luhman 343). Some analysts have argued that the estimates of minority groups in the country might even be higher. This is true because immigration has been an ongoing process over the years. The country today accepts immigrants from different countries every year.
The distorted picture of the country’s diverse ethnicity is something that will continue to influence the attitudes, views, and actions of many citizens. Consequently, lawmakers and politicians will be influenced by these issues. As a result, the decisions made in the nation regarding issues such as affirmative action, multiculturalism, and immigration will, therefore, be influenced by the notions of race in the country (Luhman 350). This situation should compel sociologists to promote better policies that can help more people conceptualize the racial boundaries characterizing the nation.
The concept of continued ethnic diversity, therefore, summarizes the history of immigration in the United States. The confusion arising from attempts to quantify and classify the country’s diverse populations cannot change the experiences of many American citizens. The agreeable fact is that the US will continue to change in terms of ethnic diversity. According to many analysts and experts, the United States’ ethnic factor will become more physically and culturally diverse than it has been throughout the past three centuries. At the same time, sociologists have agreed that “the current trend towards fading ethnic and racial lines will continue to take center-stage in the country” (Luhman 350).
This understanding should, therefore, be embraced by more Americans to deal with the prejudices that have defined race relations in the country. By so doing, the existing racial lines will be minimized and eventually avail new opportunities to every American citizen. Such measures will make the US one of the best places to live in (Luhman 352).
Luhman, Reid. Race and Ethnicity in the United States: Our Differences and Our Roots. New York, NY: Thomson, 2002. Print.
Marger, Martin. Race and Ethnic Relations: American and Global Perspectives. Mason, MA: Cengage Learning, 2009. Print.