Important Questions About Ethnic Identity

I wonder why it is so important for so many people to identify and associate with a “racial” or ethnic category?

Is it fear?

Is it ignorance?

Is it a need to identify with someone?

And why is the skin color determination the most important identifier, rather than hair color, eye color, something else?

I don’t really know the answers. Of course it is obvious that people want things to be simple, and judging people by obvious physical differences is one easy way to distinguish. And of course I know that it is more than just skin color, it is also culture. But culturally, especially when we get to third generations of say Americans, who share economic, religious and educational standards, there is often more divergence within ethnic groups than between people of different cultures. So that doesn’t entirely explain it either.

Just interesting thoughts. Sometimes the questions are more important than the answers.

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