Change: Racial Tensions Since Obama’s Presidency

2229 words - 9 pages

Racial tensions are a prominent issue in today’s society. Barack Obama being the first elected African American president has led America to a cultural evolution. As our country grows in diversity everyday it is important for citizens to recognize the change in racial tensions across the nation. Racial tension has always existed, especially here in the South, but it has changed particularly during Obama’s presidency. Racial tensions have changed in both positive and negative ways that affect everyone in the United States. I will illustrate this by explaining the origins of racial tension, the positive changes of racial tension, and the negative changes of racial tension.
Racial tensions have always been present in America and the origins of racial tensions can be depicted all the back when English colonists came over to America in 1607. Colonists first came over to America to find gold, but later on decided to stay and build settlements. They were not skilled at farming and surviving in an unfamiliar area such as North America, and many of their people died quickly after arriving to America. The Native American tribe, Powhatan, empathized for the newcomers, so they assisted them by letting them live in some of the villages and also by feeding them (Tacay, Schupman). These passive relations did not last very long because after the Powhatan tribe let them into their lives the English colonists took advantage of them and started to take over their land. They ransacked the villages for food and started to occupy more and more of the Indian land, they even killed the women and children for it as well (Tacay, Schupman). This caused much grief and hostility between the Native Americans and “white men.” It began damaging relations such as much war for future endeavors and westward expansion.
The second major origin of racial tensions exists between whites and African Americans, pertaining to slavery. Slavery began early in the seventeenth century when the first African Americans were brought to North America for forced labor, which assisted in the new nation’s economic foundation ("Slavery in America"). African Americans were sold and bought like property, and most the time were treated very poorly on various plantations. In slavery, their families were separated and they had to do what they were told by their masters. If they did not the slaves would be beaten almost to death or sold to live in even worse conditions with evil masters. Slavery was a huge part of our history that was very gruesome, and started racial tensions between races that would last for decades.
Another group that was impacted by racial tensions originated in 1850 with the Hispanic migrant farm workers. This program started when the U.S. was in need of foreign manual labor because of the developments of cattle ranches in the Southwest and the rise of fruit production in California. By 1880 over fifty-five thousand Hispanic migrant workers had immigrated to the U.S. to work in...

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