Discrimination of ethnic groups is not unusual, especially in a case whereby migration of a minority group may be involved. Demographically, white non-Hispanics may be the largest ethnic group in the United States, yet they have witnessed one form of discrimination or another (Hernandez, 2008). As such, this minority group, to which this writer is affiliated, and which migrated to the United States from such countries as Cuba and Haiti among others, encountered prejudice and racism upon migrating to the United States on the basis of their social and physical orientations.
There is a need also to recognize that the white non-Hispanic population could also be faced with discrimination that could lead to such unpleasant consequences as emanating reverse discrimination (Cynthia & Suchan, 2001). Nevertheless, individuals belonging to one form of a disadvantaged group of the other have time and again uncounted economic and social discriminations (Adams, & Adams, 2001). For this reason, while we may not be in a position to disqualify a reverse discrimination possibility, it is important also to note that other minority races such as the Filipinos and the African Americans have historically been subjected to various forms and levels of discrimination on the basis of their ethnicity, in comparison to the non-Hispanic whites.
Migration is a term that refers to the movement of certain ethnic groups to a new country, in which they are dominated by larger groups (Sandra et al, 2001). Such a minority group then tends to be set apart on the basis of their cultural as well as physical traits, not to mention their religious inclinations. In the case of the non-Hispanic whites, these migrated to the United States from such countries as Cuba and Haiti. The term is often applied to distinguish those whites who trace their origins to non-Spanish countries.
Demographically the non-Hispanic whites in the United State make up about 65.83 percent of the entire population (Cynthia & Suchan, 2001). From this perspective then, it may not be proper to refer to them as a minority group. However, the definition of minority transcends demographic characteristics. In fact, the most pronounced characteristics of a minority group include receiving unequal treatment, possession of distinctive cultural and physical traits, spontaneous memberships, subordination consciousness, and marriages within the group.
In terms of redlining, the rate of poverty amongst white non-Hispanics is recorded as being substantially lower than that established for the ethnic and racial minorities (Hernandez, 2008). While a majority of the disparities with regard to rates of poverty could be explained based on a variation of such factors as the structure of a family, distribution in age, and the attainment of education, nevertheless considerable disparities continue even amongst persons who possess characteristics that are alike.
Some 1997 statistics indicate that at the time, 8.6 percent of the white-non Hispanics were shown to be living under poverty, in comparison with the African Americans, who stood at 26.5 percent, while the Puerto Ricans were at 34.2 percent (Cynthia & Suchan, 2001). In exploring the issue of ‘double jeopardy’, children of African American and Latino families have a higher probability of living under conditions of ‘double jeopardy, in comparison to their white non-Hispanics counterparts (Sandra ET AL, 2001). What this means is that the African American and Latinos families reside in poor neighborhoods and families.
The discrimination of ethnic groups is a historical occurrence in the United States. For this reason, such minority ethnic groups like the white non-Hispanics have been subordinated to both privilege and power, in favor of the majority and dominant groups (Hernandez, 2008).
Although this minority group may not have been enslaved like the African Americans were, nevertheless they have had their fair share of economic and social discrimination.
The group has also had to grapple with the issue of double jeopardy, albeit at a more tolerable level in comparison to the Puerto Ricans and the African Americans. In addition, poverty levels amongst this group in comparison to the African Americans or the Latinos is nearer to the average rates in the United States.
Adams, J.Q & Adams, P. S. (2001). Dealing with diversity. Chicago, IL: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company
Cynthia, B & Suchan, T. (2001). Census 2000, the geography of US diversity. Redlands, CA: ESRI Press.
Hernandez, R. (2008). “Decline of the white non-Hispanic no big deal”. Web.
Sandra, L., Mountain, J., Barbara, J & Koening, A. (2001). The meanings of race in the new genomics: implications for health disparities research. Yale J Health.