Racism against Native Americans and African Americans Sometimes I imagine that racial diversity would be a boon to human kind if there was no such thing called “racial hatred”. Now if you tell me that if there was only one kind of race then I will tell you that if all roses were red then what you would have given for a funeral? My point is that diversity is what makes this world keep going amusingly and these notions of race and ethnicities as big and small, upper class and lower class, superior and inferior are just mere perspectives.
In my opinion there is only one kind of race and that is “Human Kind” and we all are doing these buzzes because we lack unity in diversity. There are no race-specific DNA traits which demonstrate my view that racism is social but not biological. From the Roman Empire to today’s ultra modern age, from Hitler to Osama Bin Laden, and from Thomas Jefferson to Rev. Jeremiah Wright; people never forget to show this acquired sense of racism. Why I called it acquired? Because a white man is not born to hate black or a black man is not born to hate white.
But we are the mere appointee of this prejudiced perspective we have been taught by our family, neighborhood, and society for years and years. Society has never been able to get away from this prejudice but we pretend like we don’t care about it calling ourselves trans-racial society but I doubt the truthfulness of our intention. Why? Because the ghosts of our bitter experience of racism either towards Native Americans or towards African Americans keep on haunting us with the events like one in Rosebud and Pine Ridge counties in South Dakota or even worse event like “Jena 6” in Louisiana.
It looks like this thing will go on and on unless the elimination of social prejudice to “judge people by color but not the content of character” they have as MLK used to say. But I have to be optimistic that we have been able to institutionalize this racial discrimination by creating Civil Rights Act which prohibits the discriminatory treatment in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. You have posed a very important question in the lecture that- How is that so much discrimination exists, when there are laws to protect it? The Jena 6” incident answers this query because a person who is obliged to protect the juveniles start treating them on the basis of their skin color clearly demonstrates that the laws are very weak and vague to protect one as a free citizen. I think that race is not a problem here but racism is the problem. When we use the terms race and color why it does directly applies to blacks and browns which makes me think that whites are the “status quo” of all races.
As you have mentioned in the lecture that the history of the Native Americans often gets overlooked is true because the act of ethnic cleansing by the white European settlers was kind of victory to them but I actually consider it an inhumane act. And the act of Americanizing the Native Americans is an invasion of culture and norms which is the true color of a colonist. The racist images and stereotypes by the European Americans against the Native Americans as explained by the authors in chapter 6 clearly proves the “Dominant Rules” slogan. Recently, the whole world seemed obsessed talking about president Obama.
Why? Because he gained astonishing success in his short political career or he is a very skilled orator or he is a very intelligent man who was also the president of prestigious Harvard Law Review. I think these are superficial reasons but the real reason is that he is the first black president in the history of United States. Anybody who runs for president should be a good orator, intelligent, and smart but Obama gained much more buzz than usual because he broke the “status-quo” as I have mentioned earlier. The black neighborhoods are generally considered poor and the white neighborhoods rich.
These patters of thinking have the general consequence of institutionalizing racism in terms of poverty. The stereotype that young black men are criminals and drug abusers has further ghettoized the African- American community and has destroyed any possibility for normal family and community relations. As a result it has contributed in the disruption of the family, prevalence of more single parents, children raised without a father in the ghetto. Inability of these people to get jobs has further complicated the living standard of the people.
If you are from the Boston area, it’s no surprise that there are more shootings and stabbings in Dorchester and Roxbury than Newton and Beacon Hill. So, it sends a wrong message that young black men are violent and hostile. The place where I was born and raised never had racial problem but immense ethnic and caste problem. The south Asian countries are in great turmoil of caste exploitation and ethnic exploitation which I think is new to most Americans. So, it’s very interesting for me to draw the comparisons in between racial and ethnic exploitation in terms of power.
Usually, the higher castes dominate the lower castes and virtually enslave them for their benefits. The lower castes are regarded “Untouchables” which I think is an evil and the ugliest form of humanity. In case of race, I think discrimination and privilege portrays the power. At the individual level someone who is an advantaged member of a disadvantaged group could discriminate against someone less privileged than him/her or against someone with less power from a privileged group and at the institutional level that cannot happen because it is the groups in power who do the discrimination.