Problems of race discrimination of the USA in the XX century
Race discriminations on ethnicity backgrounds. The Globalization and Racism in Media Age. African American writers about racism. Comparative analysis of the novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" Harper Lee and story "Going to Meet The Man" by James Baldwin.
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- Chapter I. About the Race and Racism concept
- I.1 Race discriminations on ethnicity backgrounds
- 1.a Racism against the Native Americans
- 1.b Racism against the African Americans
- 1.c Racism against the Asian Americans
- 1.d Racism against the Latinos
- 1.e Anti-Semitism and Anti-Islamic movements
- I.2 The Globalization and Racism in Media Age
- Chapter II. Racism reflections in literary works
- II.1 African American writers about racism
- II.2 Comparative analysis of the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird" Harper Lee and story “Going to Meet The Man" by James Baldwin
My Diploma Paper will discuss the topic “Problems of race discrimination of the USA in the 20th century”. It is considered that the United States of America is a nation of immigrants, where rich and multifarious cultures, different ethnical origins inhabit this land and represent the American diversity. The country has faced and still facing many racial issues from the Civil Right Movement till today. Racism has always been the most discussed topics when it comes to any society problems.
The term Racism includes both the belief in racial differences, as well as associated discrimination. Although the term racism usually denotes race-based prejudice, violence, dislike, discrimination, or oppression, the term can also have varying and contested definitions. Racialism is a related term, sometimes intended to avoid these negative meanings. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, racism is a belief or ideology that all members of each racial group possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially to distinguish it as being either superior or inferior to another racial group or racial groups.
Racism is the belief that the genetic factors which constitute race, ethnicity, or nationality are a primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that ethnic differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. Racism's effects are called "racial discrimination." In the case of institutional racism, certain racial groups may be denied rights or benefits, or receive preferential treatment.
Racial discrimination typically points out taxonomic differences between different groups of people, although anyone may be discriminated against on an ethnic or cultural basis, independently of their somatic differences. According to the United Nations conventions, there is no distinction between the term racial discrimination and ethnicity discrimination.
The topicality of my diploma paper deals with the racism and wrong prejudices on other races or ethnicities. In the past racism has been manifested openly and still is the major contributing factor in promoting terrorism.
The aim of my Diploma Paper is to discover the reasons and the consequences of racism problems in American society. To this day, racism exists because people still believe that power and supremacy should be distributed to only whites.
The object of this diploma paper is the idea of race and cultural identity that are important for all representatives of different nations.
The subject of the investigation in my diploma Paper is the books written by American writers focused on the racial factors influence in American society.
The novelty of my diploma paper is the investigation about this taboo subject in today's society, but yet remains a problem that has been present since the colonial era. It is a dilemma, while Americans treat the other people judging by their skin color and nationality; the affects of racism in past generations versus today's generation.
The theoretical value of my diploma paper is to understand this systematic and institutionalized mistreatment of one group of people by another on racial heritage. The theoretical sources can be used in The History of the United States, American Culture, American Literature, Modern Problems of America and other disciplines concerned on studies about America.
The practical value lies in the connection between the history, literature and the culture. American Diversity is not simply about cultural representations or identities, but also about the power dynamics and the ways in which African Americans are affected by institutional racism - the kind of racism written into laws, policies, and traditions. Still, the issues regarding to race discriminations have been observed in some cultures not openly though disguisingly.
The Structure of the Diploma paper contains Introduction, two chapters, Conclusion and Bibliography list.
Introduction describes the content of my diploma work and guides the discussion topics, also tells the topicality, aim, tasks, subject, novelty, theoretical value, and practical value of the diploma paper.
race discrimination racism writer
Chapter One provides the information about racism concept, the stereotypes regarding to the skin color or nationality towards the Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Latino Americans living in the United States, also touches upon the race discrimination issues in globalization age.
Chapter Two is focused on the connection of history, literature, culture of ethnicities and their reflections in American literature. As an example were taken the famous book “To Kill a Mockingbird" by H. Lee, the stories “Going to meet a Man" J. Baldwin, “Desiree's Baby” by K. Chopin.
Conclusion part gives the results of my investigation, observation and comparison done over this important topic.
The Reference List guides the names of books and resources, on-line materials that are applied in completing this paper.
Chapter I. About the Race and Racism concept
“Racism can `destroy the personality and scar the soul.” (Martin Luther King)/
The idea of race was invented to magnify the differences between people of European origin in the U. S. and those of African descent whose ancestors had been brought against their will to function as slaves in the American South. (Britannica Concise Encyclopedia)
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, racism is a belief or ideology that all members of each racial group possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially to distinguish it as being either superior or inferior to another racial group or racial groups, that a person's social and moral traits are predetermined by his or her inborn biological characteristics. It may be defined as the hatred of one person by another - or the belief that another person is less than human - because of skin color, language, customs, and place of birth or any factor that supposedly reveals the basic nature of that person.
The term Racism includes both the belief in racial differences, as well as associated discrimination. Although the term racism usually denotes race-based prejudice, violence, dislike, discrimination, or oppression, the term can also have varying and contested definitions. Racialism is a related term, sometimes intended to avoid these negative meanings. Racism's effects are called "racial discrimination." In the case of institutional racism, certain racial groups may be denied rights or benefits, or receive preferential treatment.
Racial discrimination typically points out taxonomic differences between different groups of people, although anyone may be discriminated against on an ethnic or cultural basis, independently of their somatic differences. According to the United Nations conventions, there is no distinction between the term racial discrimination and ethnicity discrimination.
Race discrimination is part of racism, and it can be said of racism that it uses race or ethnicity as criterion for judging inferiority or superiority of other people. Race discrimination may also be a legal term used to define ways in which people may or may not act. For instance the United Nations excludes “distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference” that can be based on “race, color, descent, or national or ethnic origin." Examples of racial discrimination include:
Harassment or discrimination on the basis of race or color, including offensive comments or jokes, or other statements or conduct based on race or color which creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, or interferes with the employee's work performance.
Classification of employees, such that employees of particular races, ethnicities or skin colors are isolated from other employees, from customer contact, or relegated to certain jobs or positions.
Assignment of employees of a particular race, color or ethnicity to particular establishments or geographic areas.
It's also quite clear that race discrimination does not merely apply to color. People can judge others based on shared religion, or ethnic background, and though in the US, white versus all other races racism might be most obvious, there is clear discrimination occurring between and among minority racial groups.
In other countries where few minority groups exist, the problem may be even more striking. In Japan, for instance, racial discrimination against Koreans exists in large amount. This filters even to Japanese media, and the art forms known as anime and manga, where the villains in some of these pieces may have overt Korean features.
Racism and prejudice have always existed in human history. Being a taboo subject and a controversial topic, many persons have tried to explain and find the reason to such human behavior towards another group of people. Such researches are the hope of many to see the racial discrimination ending.
Vincent N. Parillo, through his essay "Causes of Prejudice" tries to explain the reasons of racism and discrimination in the U. S. Parillo divides his essay in two parts, one for the psychological causes and one for the social reasons. In the first part, Parillo cites the main psychological causes as: levels of prejudices (cognitive, emotional and action-oriented), self-justification, personality and frustration. In the second part he deals with the social reasons which are: socialization, economic competition and social norms. For each cause he gives strong arguments based on historical facts or even actual facts and statistics which made his essay reliable.
Gloria Yamato, says that the main reason why we have racism is because people want to have a sense of power and privilege over another group. I think this is true not only in the human race but in most species. Everyone wants to be able to have power and in order to have power you must defeat or overpower others. This is why there is racism. “Racism is the systematic, institutionalized mistreatment of one group of people by another based on racial heritage. ”
In her article, the author starts out by saying that racism is difficult to eliminate, but some people think it can be dealt with in a workshop but she thinks that it will take many years to deal with since it took a few hundred years to grow. G. Yamoto talks about the oppressors and the oppressed.
Oppression is starting to be familiar in society and therefore it starts to feel comfortable and natural and also right. This is called internalized oppression. The reason why racism is so hard to beat is because, like a virus, when you come up with a cure or answer, it has a new problem or takes a new form.
Racism can be separated into four different types. The first type is aware/blatant racism. This is when racists just come out and say to a person that they are being prejudice on the basis of their skin color. The second type of racism is aware/covert racism, which is when racists are being racist but just not saying it. For example, having a “Now Hiring” sign up and then saying that the position was just filled when really they are just being racist. The next type of racism the author talks about is unaware/unintentional racism. This is when the racist tries to apologize for all the racism that has happened in the past and in doing so is being racist by feeling so guilty they never deal with it. Then the racism just continues to happen. The last type of racism is unaware/self-righteous racism. This is when the racist attempts to tell people of color what issues they have to deal with in their communities. This still leaves the people of color to deal with racism.
The author then talks about what racism is and then goes on to say what white people have to do and what people color must do to try and end racism. I think that the author is correct about what racism is. I also believe that she has the right approach to ending racism, but I think that it is impossible to completely put an end to racism because there will always be someone who is prejudice or wants to have power. As the author says some whites want to be allies to people of color and no matter what we do we can't change their mind. All we can do is try and lower the amount of racism that happens and also try and educate people more about life. If we do this we might be able to change some people's views on the matter. The reason I think why there is racism is because it is human nature to try and better than another person for the mere fact of self-pleasure. Racism I think over time will become less and less of a problem and someday we as a nation will be able to get along in a peaceful, tranquil way.
Studs Terkel's essay "C. P. Ellis" is another kind of writing that can help us to understand the causes of prejudices. Terkel tells us the story of C. P. Ellis, a former Klansmen who claims he is no longer racist. C. P. Ellis is a white guy from a low-income class. The numerous misfortunes of his life will lead him to become a Ku Klux Klan member. But after some events will happen in his life, he will realize that races do not make a person that different from another. This thought will progressively get him out of racism. Ellis will even accept to work with Ann Atwater, a black woman, on a grant project. This kind of real life story can help us understand why people become racist or have prejudice against another group of people.
C. P. Ellis's story allows us to look at the reasons in his life that make him become a Ku Klux Klan member and leader. Based on Parillo's essay we will try to see in Ellis' story if the reasons of his racism fit Parillo's ideas of what causes prejudice. In other words, we will see if the psychological and social causes of racism will give us all the solutions to racial discrimination behavior. Looking at Parillo's essay, the psychological causes of prejudices which are frustration and low self esteem, and a social cause such as economic competition, can explain C. P. Ellis' racist behavior.
Parillo's essay explains the main psychological and social points that can lead somebody or a group to discriminate against another group. C. P. Ellis' essay illustrates and confirms in some part the ideas of Parillo which are that frustration, low self esteem, and economic competition cause prejudices and racial behavior. However, more than just image Parillo's causes of prejudices, Ellis' story opens a new vision of what can be a main cause of the racial problem in today's society: the social classes.
Both Parillo's essay and Ellis story tells us that there are various causes that make humans being racist. The main solution to get rid of the racial discrimination will be to make everyone happy: if everybody is happy, there will be no psychological or social reasons to be racist, and people would not care anymore about social classes if everyone lives well. We can immediately see that such solutions seem for now impossible. First because even though you will try to make people happy and care about their well-being, they will anyways find a way to be unhappy and not totally satisfied, because this is the so sad human condition. And, if we had a way to get everybody to live comfortably, to be successful and have power, we would already be living that way. The truth is that this kind of society does not yet exist. These are the simple reasons why racism or prejudices will still exist.
I.1 Race discriminations on ethnicity backgrounds
Racism in the United States has been a major issue ever since the colonial era and the slave era. Legally sanctioned racism imposed a heavy burden on Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Mexican Americans, European Americans were privileged by law in matters of literacy, immigration, voting rights, citizenship, land acquisition, and criminal procedure over periods of time extending from the 17th century to the 1960s. Many European ethnic groups, particularly American Jews, Irish Americans, and Eastern European and Southern European immigrants, as well as immigrants from elsewhere, suffered xenophobic exclusion and other forms of racism in American society.
Major racially structured institutions included slavery, Indian Wars, Native American reservations, segregation, residential schools (for Native Americans), and internment camps. Formal racial discrimination was largely banned in the mid-20th century, and came to be perceived as socially unacceptable and/or morally repugnant as well, yet racial politics remain a major phenomenon. Historical racism continues to be reflected in socio-economic inequality. Racial stratification continues to occur in employment, housing, education, lending, and government.
As in most countries, many people in the U. S. continue to have some prejudices against other races. In the view of a network of scores of US civil rights and human rights organizations, "Discrimination permeates all aspects of life in the United States, and extends to all communities of color". Discrimination against African Americans, Latin Americans, and Muslims is widely acknowledged. Members of every major American ethnic minority have perceived racism in their dealings with other minority groups.
Racism, itself, has created borders and divides in our country called hyphenated-Americanism. Simply enough, the term Anglo-American, African-American, Native-American, Hispanic-, or Mexican-American are all examples of hyphenated-Americanism. These terms are politically correct, but they can separate us from what we truly are - Americans. The Democratically created terms of African, Anglo, and Hispanic-American have done nothing but divide the American public into even smaller sub-divisions. In America today there are several groups that would have you believe that America is the most racist country on Earth. When the European settlers came to North America, they came with a promise of peace, yet time soon revealed differently. They took the children of the inhabitants (like the Indians and natives) and separated them from their family and people. They were beaten and punished like dogs when they showed signs of their culture (language) and were harassed (raped). They were looked down for their ethnic backgrounds, skin color, language and traditions.
It is hard to believe that things could get any worse as time went by, but it did. In the 1900' African Americans were looked as servants, maids, factory workers and other low class jobs. This continued for awhile and became o big that it was finally recognized. This was when the African Americans were separated from the whites, in school, work places and society. They did not have the same rights as the whites did. In Canada natives weren't given any rights to vote until not long ago.
1.a Racism against the Native Americans
Native Americans, who have lived on the North American continent for at least 20,000 years, had an enormously complex impact on American history and racial relations. During the colonial and independent periods, a long series of conflicts were waged, with the primary objective of obtaining resources of Native Americans. Through wars, massacres, forced massacres, forced displacement and the imposition of treaties, land was taken and numerous hardships imposed.
In 1540 AD, the first racial strife was with Spaniard Hernando de Soto's expedition who enslaved and murdered in many New World communities. In the early 18th century, the English had enslaved nearly 800 Choctaws. After the creation of the United States, the idea of Indian Removal gained momentum. However, some Native Americans chose or were allowed to remain and avoided removal where after they were subjected to racist institutions in their ancestral homeland. The Choctaws in Mississippi described their situation in 1849, "we have had our habitations torn down and burned, our fences destroyed, cattle turned into our fields and we ourselves have been scourged, manacled, fettered and otherwise personally abused, until by such treatment some of our best men have died. "
Joseph B. Cobb, who moved to Mississippi from Georgia, described Choctaws as having "no nobility or virtue at all," and in some respect he found blacks, especially native Africans, more interesting and admirable, the red man's superior in every way. The Choctaw and Chickasaw, the tribes he knew best, were beneath contempt, that is, even worse than black slaves.
Ideological expansionist justification (Manifest Destiny) included stereotyped perceptions of all Native Americans as "merciless Indian savages" (as described in the United States Declaration of Independence despite successful American efforts at civilization as proven with the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek, and Choctaw. An egregious attempt occurred with the California gold rush, the first two years of which saw the deaths of thousands of Native Americans. Under Mexican rule in Californian Indians were subjected to de facto enslavement under a system of peonage by the white elite. While in 1850, California formally entered the Union as a free state, with respect to the issue of slavery, the practice of Indian indentured servitude was not outlawed by the California Legislature until 1863.
Military and civil resistance by Native Americans has been a constant feature of American history. So too have a variety of debates around issues of sovereignty, the upholding of treaty provisions, and the civil rights of Native Americans under U. S. law.
Once their territories were incorporated into the United States, surviving Native Americans were denied equality before the law and often treated as wards of the state. Many Native Americans were relegated to reservations-constituting just 4% of U. S. territory-and the treaties signed with them violated. Tens of thousands of American Indians and Alaska Natives were forced to attend a residential school system which sought to reeducate them in white settler American values, culture and economy, to "kill the Indian, save the man. "
First, the U. S.government created policies to remove and concentrate the Native Americans somewhere else. With the transcontinental railroad being finished in 1869, it gave more white settlers the opportunity to get land in the frontier. There was a problem because “they asked how two cultures so different from each other could live side by side”. The Indians knew that if they did not fight, they would lose their land.
One plan was concentration. The attempted to keep the Indians in one specific area in the West. The Native Americans could live as normal, but within those borders. Hopefully this would decrease the fighting between the Native Americans and the whites. After the Civil War, the government policy was modified. They now moved the Indians onto reservations. “Most reservations were too small to support the hunting way of life. Therefore, the Indians were supposed to get food through… farm [ing], although reservations were located on the poorest land” (Todd 491). The Indians were swindled by the whites. The Americans did things like mix flour and sawdust or steal goods and then sell them instead of handing the out to the Indians like they were supposed to do (Jordan, Americans 415). The Indians were just trying to cooperate with the treaties they signed; however, they were being cheated.
Most of the Native Americans “were nomadic and nonagricultural, and all depended for survival on hunting the …buffalo”. Their everyday lives “revolved around the buffalo hunt” (Jordan, United 420). The settlers had realized that the buffalo hide could be made into leather. They also saw buffalo hunting as a fun pastime. The whites killed an estimated three million buffalo each year over a three year period, and it hurt the Indians because they were forced to change much of their daily lives (Jordan, United 425).
Additionally, most of the Native Americans either starved while living in the reservations or were killed in fighting. The government's plan collapsed for two reasons. First, the Indians needed to buffalo to survive, so they had to leave the reservation to get buffalo. Second, because of the gold found in Colorado in 1858, many people traveled Westward and did not care for the Indian's rights (DiBacco 306). Unhappy with the land they received, the Indians had no choice but to revolt. They would have died from starvation otherwise. The Indians were also agitated by the Americans because the Americans were not holding up their part of the deal. Also, some groups refused to leave their homeland. The government tried to move the Indians out of the way, but it was not effective.
Second, the government then tried just to exterminate the Native Americans. There were many battles between Indians and Americans. The leaders were the Sioux and the Cheyenne (Jordan, Americans 415). At one point, Chief Black Kettle of the Cheyenne had agreed to cease fire. He hung the American flag and the white flag of surrender. However, Colonel Chivington did not know about the armistice and attacked the Cheyenne, killing 450 Native Americans (DiBacco 306). It was called the Sand Creek Massacre. The Sioux Indians also had many battles with white settlers. After invading a white settlement in 1862-1863, the Sioux Indians lost their leader, Little Crow. The Sioux War finally came to an end in 1868 (DiBacco 306).
Although the Indians were technologically at a disadvantage, they had “resistance [that] was remarkable” (Todd 493). The Sioux were finally guaranteed land in Black Hills South Dakota. However, in 1876 gold was discovered there, and the Sioux were instructed to be moved again. The removal was under the control of General George Custer, a well-known Indian warrior. In June of 1876, he struck a Sioux and Cheyenne camp. This group of “warriors had two outstanding leaders. One was Sitting Bull, able, honest, and idealistic. The other was Crazy Horse, uncompromising, reckless, a military genius, and the most honored hero of the Sioux" (Todd 493). Custer and all 264 of his troops were killed. This was the last big loss of the Americans, and created quite a discomfort for the United States government (Todd 493). “In 1889 the Sioux made one more attempt to keep their way of life” (Jordan, Americans 418). The troops engaged in one more “battle" even though it was truly a massacre. The Battle of Wounded Knee took place in 1890 (Jordan, United 425). This battle was the final fight of the Indians against the United States military. In the end approximately 200 Native American men, women, and children had been killed (DiBacco 308). This extermination policy set up by the government was successful; however, thousands of Native Americans died.
Last, the government thought that the Indian's needed to be assimilated with the American culture. The Indian's way of life was completely destroyed. Most of the Americans did not accept or respect the Indian cultures. Most people believed that if the Indians were to survive any longer in the United States, they would have to have the same habits and traditions of the Americans. The Native Americans had to be absorbed into the white culture. The government funded churches and schools for the Native Americans. They wanted to educate the Indian children how to talk, dress, work, and think like whites. The American government passes the Dawes Act in 1887 (Jordan, United 425).
The act basically divided up the reservations and each family was given their own land to cultivate. After 25 years, the family would own the land and have citizenship in the United States. The Dawes Act really did not help out the Indians at all, because the quality of the land was very poor and they were untrained and didn't have any tools. Disease and malnutrition was very common and many people died. The badly trained and uncharitable teachers taught the Indian children that being an Indian was a bad thing, and that they are worthless. Despite the fact that it sounded like a good deal, assimilation failed.
Native American owned slaves
Before removal and "under white influence", some Southern Native American tribes owned African American slaves. The Cherokee, Choctaw, and Chickasaw were known to have had slaves. However, "unlike white slaveholders, they encouraged the young black slaves to attend the schools opened for the Indian children. The children they had with black women and men were raised in practical equality with their full blooded offspring." Unlike the United States before Emansipation, African Americans (and European Americans) were allowed to become citizens of their respective Native American nations; however, it was rare for African Americans to become citizens of Native American nations. For example, a small number of "Free People of Color" lived in many Native American nations as Cherokee, Choctaw, or Creek citizens.
1.b Racism against the African Americans
Perhaps the most prominent and notable form of American racism (other than imperialism against Native Americans) began with the institution of slavery, during which Africans were enslaved and treated as property. Prior to the institution of slavery, early African and non-white immigrants to the Colonies had been regarded with equal status, serving as sharecroppers alongside whites. After the institution of slavery the status of Africans was stigmatized, and this stigma was the basis for the more virulent anti-African racism that persisted until the present.
In colonial America, before slavery became completely based on racial lines, thousands of African slaves served European colonists, alongside other Europeans serving a term of eternal servitude. In some cases for African slaves, a term of service meant freedom and a land grant afterward, but these were rarely awarded, and few former slaves became landowners this way.
Slaves were primarily used for agricultural labor, notably in the production of cotton and tobacco. Black slavery in the Northeast was common until the early 19th century, when many Northeastern states abolished slavery. Slaves were used as a labor force in agricultural production, shipyards, docks, and as domestic servants. In both regions, only the wealthiest Americans owned slaves. In contrast, poor whites recognized that slavery devalued their own labor. The social rift along color lines soon became ingrained in every aspect of colonial American culture. Approximately one Southern family in four held slaves prior to war. According to the 1860 U. S. census, there were about 385,000 slave owners out of approximately 1.5 million white families.
In the early part of the 19th century, a variety of organizations were established advocating the movement of black people from the United States to locations where they would enjoy greater freedom; some endorsed colonization, while others advocated emigration. During the 1820s and 1830s the American Colonization Society (A. C. S) was the primary vehicle for proposals to return black Americans to greater freedom and equality in Africa, and in 1821 the A. C. S. established the colony of Liberia, assisting thousands of former African-American slaves and free black people (with legislated limits) to move there from the United States. The colonization effort resulted from a mixture of motives with its founder Henry Clay stating; "unconquerable prejudice resulting from their color, they never could amalgamate with the free whites of this country. It was desirable, therefore, as it respected them, and the residue of the population of the country, to drain them off".
“Our definition of a nigger, no matter what color they are, is a dirty, lowdown person who takes and takes and takes from society and does not give anything back," stated a Klansman when asked his opinion about blacks (Ku Klux Klan).
Thousands of Americans do not judge people by race, yet the “KKK” still has problems dealing with race. The Ku Klux Klan is a hate group that committed and demonstrated terrible crimes.
The Ku Klux Klan began in the South after the civil War. Poor whites resented the freeing of Negro slaves and were determined to keep them in their place, i. e. inferior. Negroes who were considered "uppity" were tarred and feathered or even lynched. There was strict segregation on buses and in cinemas Negroes had to sit in their own areas, which were not as comfortable. They were not even allowed to sit in the same restaurant or go to the same schools as whites.
By 1925 there were 5 million members of the Ku Klux Klan and it was spreading to the north-eastern cities, e. g. Chicago, Cleveland, New York. This was because Negroes were moving there to find jobs and a better standard of living than in the South. There was a strong misconception “the blacks should live in poverty, should work for low salary and should have no equal rights, as the whites do have”.
They found them, but still encountered widespread discrimination, though obviously not as bad as 'it had been in the South.
The New Century period is sometimes referred to as the worse race relations because racism in the United States was worse during this time than at any period before or since. Segregation, racial discrimination, and expressions of white supremacy all increased. So did anti-black violence, including lynchings and race riots.
In addition, racism which had been viewed primarily as a problem in the Southern states, burst onto the national consciousness following the Great Migration, the relocation of millions of African Americans from their roots in the Southern states to the industrial centers of the North after World War I, particularly in cities such as Boston, Chicago, and New York (Harlem). In northern cities, racial tensions exploded, most violently in Chicago, and lynchings - mob-directed hangings, usually racially motivated-increased dramatically in the 1920s. In 1946 Einstein called racism America's "worst disease".
1.c Racism against the Asian Americans
In the Pacific States, racism was primarily directed against the resident Asian immigrants. Several immigration laws discriminated against the Asians, and at different points the ethnic Chinese or other groups were banned from entering the United States Nonwhites were prohibited from testifying against whites, a prohibition extended to the Chinese People Hall. The Chinese were often subject to harder labor on the First Transcontinental Railroad and often performed the more dangerous tasks such as using dynamite to make pathways through the mountains. The San Francisco Vigilance Movement, although ostensibly a response to crime and corruption, also systematically victimized Irish immigrants, and later this was transformed into mob violence against Chinese immigrants. Anti-Chinese sentiment was also rife in early Los Angeles, culminating in a notorious 1871 riot in which a mob comprising every other nationality then resident in the city.
In the ensuing inquests and trials, all the perpetrators either were acquitted, or received only light punishments for lesser offenses, because the testimony of Chinese witnesses was either completely inadmissible, or else considered less credible than that of others. Legal discrimination of Asian minorities was furthered with the passages of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which banned the entrance of virtually all ethnic Chinese immigrants into the United States until 1943.
During World War II, the United States created internment camps for Japanese American citizens in fear that they would be used as spies for the Japanese. Currently implemented immigration laws are still largely plagued with national origin-based quotas that is unfavorable to Asian countries due to large populations and historically low U. S. immigration rates.
1.d Racism against the Latinos
Americans of Latin American ancestry (often categorized as “Hispanic”) come from a wide variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds. Latinos are not all distinguishable as a racial minority.
After the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), the U. S. annexed much of the current Southwestern region from Mexico. Mexicans residing in that territory found themselves subject to discrimination. It is estimated that at least 597 Mexicans were lynched between 1848 and 1928 (this is a conservative estimate due to lack of records in many reported lynchings). Mexicans were lynched at a rate of 27.4 per 100,000 of population between 1880 and 1930. This statistic is second only to that of the African American community during that period, which suffered an average of 37.1 per 100,000 populations. Between 1848 to 1879, Mexicans were lynched at an unprecedented rate of 473 per 100,000 of population.
During The Great Depression, the U.S. government sponsored a Mexican Repatriation program which was intended to encourage Mexican immigrants to voluntarily return to Mexico, however, many were forcibly removed against their will. In total, up to one million persons of Mexican ancestry were deported, approximately 60 percent those individuals were actually U. S. citizens.
The Zoot Suit Riots were vivid incidents of racial violence against Latinos, Mexican-Americans, in Los-Angeles in 1943. Naval servicemen stationed in a Latino neighborhood conflicted with youth in the dense neighborhood. Frequent confrontations between small groups and individuals had intensified into several days of non-stop rioting. Large mobs of servicemen would enter civilian quarters looking to attack Mexican American youths, some of whom were wearing zoot suits,a distinctive exaggerated fashion popular among that group. The disturbances continued unchecked, and even assisted, by the local police for several days before base commanders declared downtown Los Angeles and Mexican American neighborhoods off-limits to servicemen.
Many public institutions, businesses, and homeowners associations had official policies to exclude Mexican Americans. School children of Mexican American descent were subject to racial segregation in the public school system. In many counties, Mexican Americans were excluded from serving as jurors in court cases, especially in those that involved a Mexican American defendant. In many areas across the Southwest, they lived in separate residential areas, due to laws and real estate company policies.
During the 1960s, Mexican American youth rallied behind civil rights causes and launched the Chicano Movement.
1.e Anti-Semitism and Anti-Islamic movements
Anti-Semitism has also played a role in America. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, hundreds of thousands of Ashkenazi Jews were escaping the actions of Russia and Eastern Europe. They boarded boats from ports on the Baltic Sea and in Northern Germany, and legally arrived at Ellis Island, New York. It is thought by Leo Rosten, in his book, “The Joys of Yiddish”, that as soon as they left the boat, they were subject to racism from the port immigration authorities. The derogatory term “kike" was adopted when referring to Jews (because they often could not write so they may have signed their immigration papers with circles - or kikel in Yiddish).
From the 1910s, the Southern Jewish communities were attacked by the Ku Klux Klan, who objected to Jewish immigration, and often used 'The Jewish Banker' in their propaganda. In 1915, Texas-born, York Jew Leo Frank was lynched by the newly re-formed Klan, after being convicted of rape and sentenced to death (his punishment was commuted to life imprisonment).
The holocaust was an event that began with a single person's hatred for the Jews that erupted into a conflict, which involved the world to the II World War. Adolf Hitler was a man who took the word racism to the ultimate level both metaphorically and literally. He believed that the Arians were superior to not only the Jews but also the rest of the world. He even consider those with the same skin color and similar cultured background to be less superior, so this means that he is racist to even those that are similar to him. This wasn't the worse part however; Hitler soon turned his attention to the literal meaning of racism and dealt with it in a dreadful way. He killed the Jews, thousands upon thousands in concentration camps, or even in their homes. They didn't kill for money or land, but for reasons based on racism. This was the Holocaust and throughout history this act of racism killed the most and is looked at even today, with terror.
The events in Nazi Germany also attracted attention from America. Jewish lobbying for intervention in Europe drew opposition from the isolations, amongst whom was Father Charles Coughlin, a well known radio priest, who was known to be critical of Jews, believing that they were leading America into the war. He preached in weekly, overtly anti-semitic sermons and, from 1936, began publication of a newspaper, Social Justice, in which he printed anti-Semitic accusations such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
A number of Jewish organizations, Christian organizations, Muslim organizations, and academics consider the Nation of Islam to be anti-Semitic. Specifically, they claim that the Nation of Islam has engaged in revisionist and antisemitic interpretations of the Holocaust and exaggerates the role of Jews in the African slave trade. The Jewish Anti-Defamation League (ADL) alleges that NOI Health Minister, Abdul Alim Muhammad, has accused Jewish doctors of injecting blacks with the AIDS virus, an allegation that Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad has denied.
After September,11, 2001 terror acts in the US, the word Muslim is closely associated with terrorism for medium Americans. Again wrong prejudices and judgements cause wrong perceptions. However, it is not reasonable to judge someone by his/her race. After all, you can't judge a book by its cover, so why should we try to judge a person by his or her color. Racism is the major contributing factor in promoting terrorism.
I.2 The Globalization and Racism in Media Age
During French and British Imperial days, racial bias was ingrained within the culture itself. However, an element of this is also seen in today's period of globalization, with the increasing “xenophobic culture of globalization" seen in some parts of the world.
Racism has always been both an instrument of discrimination and a tool of exploitation. But it manifests itself as a cultural phenomenon, susceptible to cultural solutions, such as multicultural education and the promotion of ethnic identities. Tackling the problem of cultural inequality, however, does not by itself redress the problem of economic inequality. Racism is conditioned by economic imperatives, but negotiated through culture: religion, literature, art, science and the media.
…Once, they demonized the blacks to justify slavery. Then they demonized the “colored's" to justify colonialism. Today, they demonize asylum seekers to justify the ways of globalism. And, in the age of the media, of spin, demonization sets out the parameters of popular culture within which such exclusion finds its own rationale - usually under the guise of xenophobia, the fear of strangers. (A. Sivanandan, Poverty is the new black, The Guardian, August 17, 2001)
With expanding globalization, the demands for more skilled workers, especially in North America, Europe and elsewhere has led to increased efforts to attract foreign workers - but filtered, based on skill. At the same time, this increases resentment by those in those nations who are not benefitting from globalization.
Additionally, those trying to escape authoritarian regimes are finding it harder and harder to get into these countries, due to tighter immigration policies. Hence it is harder to immigrate to the wealthier nations unless, says Liz Fekete, “these citizens are part of the chosen few: highly-skilled computer wizards, doctors and nurses trained at Third World expense and sought after by the West. Global migration management strategy saps the Third World and the former Soviet bloc of its economic lifeblood, by creaming off their most skilled and educated workforces.” From the perspective of globalization, “the skills pool, not the genes pool, is key.”
Immigrants face numerous criticisms and challenges; It is difficult enough often, to get into another nation as mentioned above. If one succeeds, then additional struggles are faced.
Living in a new country can be daunting, especially when the cultural differences are great. As a result it can be expected that an immigrant would try to maintain some semblance of their own culture in their new country of stay. Or, due to fears of racism or due to the culture shock it would be expected that immigrant communities would form as a way to deal with this and as a means to help each other through.
By doing this, sometimes they face criticism of not integrating and of “sticking with their own kind”; on the other hand, if they do integrate in some way, they face critique from certain types of environmentalists and others of contributing to environmental degradation by increasing their consumption to the high levels typical of the host nation.
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