Racism In America
Racism (n): the prejudice that members of one race are intrinsically superior to members of other race (Wordnet search, 1), a controversial topic in today’s society, a subject that many people try to sweep under the rug, but yet a detrimental problem that has been present in America since the colonial era. Will this dilemma come to a halt? Can all Americans see each other as equals despite their skin color and nationality; and what role has it played in past generations versus today’s generations and how will it affect our future? Has this on going way of thinking gotten better or worse? These are questions raised when many think about the subject; especially members of American ethnic groups and backgrounds, because most have dealt with racial discrimination in their life time.
Since the beginning of colonization, America has been controlled by religiously and ethically diverse whites. The most profound cases of racism in the “United” States of America have been felt by Native Americans, Asians, African Americans, Mexican Americans, and Muslims. Major racially structured institutions include; slavery, settlement, Indian reservations, segregation, residential schools, and internment camps (Racism in the U.S., 1). Racism has been felt and seen by many in housing, the educational system, places of employment, and the government. Discrimination was largely criminalized in the mid 20th century, and at the same time became socially unacceptable and morally repugnant (Racism in the U.S., 1). Although racism was
beginning to be looked down upon, and considered immoral ways of thinking, the inequalities between races continued to linger.
Long before the white man set foot on American soil, the American Indians, or rather the Native Americans had been living in America. When the Europeans came here, there were probably about 10 million Indians populating America north of present-day Mexico (American Indians, 1). During the Colonial and independent eras, Europeans were accustomed to owning land, and claimed the natives property because they considered the “Indians” to be nomads or savages not capable of owning or treating their own land. The conflicts led to the Indian Wars, the Indian Removal Act empowered by President Andrew Jackson in 1830 (American Indians, 1). During these wars Indian tribes were the underdog due to their disadvantages in numbers, weapons, technology, and defense. This led to hundreds of natives being slaughtered, massacred, put into forced displacement, having a restriction to food rights, and impositions of treaties. After their land was taken many Native Americans faced tons of hardships. In the Declaration of Independence the Natives were brought out to be “merciless Indian savages”. Due to the belief of Manifest Destiny Native Americans were forced to leave and put into their own...