Discrimination In America
’s Past Essay, Research Paper
In our countries past, many minorities have faced discrimination. Native Americans have faced brutal, deadly discrimination; now they are all but extinct. African Americans have also faced deadly discrimination, merely because of the color of their skin. And Japanese-Americans faced inhumane discrimination due to World War II.
Firstly, the Native Americans in this countries history have faced unrelenting discrimination because of their ethnic background. At Wounded Knee, the Minneconjou Indian tribe was massacred brutally. The cavalry had orders to escort the tribe to a camp on Wounded Knee Creek. There, Chief Big Foot and over 300 women and children faced their brutal death at the hands of the soldiers. Comparably, Chief White Antelope of the Cheyenne faced a bloody death. He had made a standing peace treaty with the white people. This didn’t seem to
matter to the white soldiers, however. As troops approached the Cherokee and Arapaho came, the Indians had a U.S. flag raised high to signify the treaty; the troops fired anyway killing over 400 warriors, women, and children. And finally, there’s the Cherokee Trail of Tears. At the time, the white people were constantly moving westward, and pushing the Indians out of their way. The Supreme Court ruled this unconstitutional, however as Andrew Jackson moved them anyway. He forced them to endure a long and grueling walk in which many women
and children died. All of this violence against was committed merely because they were Indians.
Secondly, up until the 1960’s, the African Americans faced considerable discrimination because of the color of their skin. Previously, African Americans were expected to do the labor of white people. In the summer, they often worked long and laborious hours in the fields. Many women worked in the kitchen for white families. Most of the time, they didn’t even have time to take care of their own families, as they were always caring for white families. In 1968, Malcolm X was assassinated. He was a leader of a movement to unite black people throughout the world. Many of his followers believed his death as a sacrifice for the “black revolution”, and he quickly became a hero of that movement. And then there was Martin Luther King Jr. He dedicated his life to ensuring equal rights for all blacks. He fought against such things as bus, school, voting, and bathroom segregation. In the end, however, he was assassinated by a racist who shot and killed him in 1968. Once again, all this was done merely because of the color of their skin.
And thirdly, many Japanese-Americans during the 1940’s were segregated because of their ethnic background. It was during the time of World War II, after Pearl Harbor, and people lived in constant fear of another Japanese attack. Many people believed that if they did attack, many of the Japanese citizens in the country would become sympathetic to their cause, and join the fight against the Americans. Simply because of their ethnic background, people did not trust them to be faithful to the U.S., even though over 90% were American-born citizens
who were simply trying to make an honest living. As a result, the government interned all Japanese-Americans into what they euphemistically called government “Assembly Center’s.” Realistically, though, it was a prison camp. People slept in horse stables and showered in horse paddocks, and overall lived in cramped, unbearable conditions. Also, many people reacted in different ways. Some people just lived through it and dreamed of recovering their professional careers afterwards. Other’s tried to show their U.S. citizenship by displaying U.S.
flags and banners and fighting for the nation. And still others died as a result of the internment. All this was done, once again, because nobody trusted the Japanese.
In conclusion, in America’s past, Americans have discriminated against those who did not share their ethnic background. For one reason or another, they always found some sort of reason to treat them as inferior human beings. And still in the end, those prejudiced against all became American citizens.