Oppresion In America Essay, Research Paper
Who s country does this really belong to? Since the beginning of the colonization ofAmerica it has been known as the“ melting pot combining different races and cultures. Only one has always been in power and dominated this country. One of the main ideasthat comes across to other nations is the diversity of races and cultures within thiscountry. Even though that is this the idea that our government is trying to portray itseems that the constitution has only included one of these races, the white American. Wehave to keep in mind that when our fore fathers wrote the constitution their intentionswere to protect all people living within the United States and grant them their God givenrights. This is the image that America wanted the rest of the world to see. As historytells us we have seen that many different races have been suppressed by this hypercriticalgovernment. Even as we are taught history today we are only focusing on the whiteman s point of view and how he is the one to thank for our great country today. Threeexamples of this unjust government can be shown by the suppressing of NativeAmericans, African Americans, Mexican Americans. The United States Government has been trying unsuccessfully to register Native American Indians for over a hundred years. The Dawes Act of 1887 was the first sucheffort on a large-scale. The main purpose of the Act was to protect Indian property rightsduring the Oklahoma Land Rush. By registering, Indians were told, they would begranted 160 acres of land per family. The purpose of the Dawes Act, supposedly toprotect Indian welfare, was viewed with suspicion by many Indians hurt by government’sclumsy relocation efforts of the past. Indians who had refused to submit to previousrelocations refused to register on the Dawes Rolls for fear that they would be caught andpunished.To get on the Dawes Rolls, Native Americans had to “anglicize” their names. RollingThunder thus became Ron Thomas and so forth. This bit of “melting pot” chicaneryallowed agents of the government, sent to the frontier to administer the Act, to slip thenames of their relatives and friends onto the Dawes Rolls and thus took millions of acresof land for their friends and relatives. This act was a failure because it abused, the landwas never going to be owned by the Indians because its purpose was to make the landproductive and at the same time help Americanize Indians. The Native Americans wereto farm the land for twenty-five years inorder to actually become citizens of this country. As we can clearly see this was just one way of making sure that Native Americans wouldnever succeed in this country which was stolen from them. African Americans were another group of people being suppressed here in theUnited States. Ever since they were forced into slavery, the white people never changed
their attitudes towards these people and were continued to be considered inferior becauseof their skin color. One question that comes into mind is that how could the white peopleactually accept the idea of owning another person and still think that God would acceptthese ideas. To this day no man can justify this idea without using the same poor andpathetic excuse that color determines a man s intelligence and competence. The mostpopular answer given to this is that God is white and because he is this color then thismust mean that those who are white are God s chosen people. Even after the CivilWar, which was mainly fought for the primary reason that the north and the south werehaving disputes about slavery, African Americans continued to be oppressed. They weredenied a proper education, voting rights, and any descent opportunity to prosper andsucceed in this country. In 1865 and early 1866 laws known as the black codes weredesigned to go around the 13th amendment, which abolished slavery, inorder to reestablish planter control over black workers. These laws mainly forced black people togo back to plantations because these laws enforced that blacks should have jobs and ifnot they were going to be fined. Inorder to pay the fines given to them, they were put towork with private employers. These laws prohibited for blacks to own or lease their ownfarms, meaning that even if they were free they still had no rights and could still notprosper. The final group discussed was the Mexican Americans which like the AfricanAmericans were also denied a proper education, good jobs, and basically any chance ofsurpassing the standards of society at the time. An example of how they weresuppressed was given in the movie :Salt of the earth where the Mexican workers werenot given equal wages and better working conditions compared to the white workers. Another example would have to be in the court case of Hernandez vs. Texas whichhappened in 1950, a Mexican was not given a fair trial because the jury was all white.One of the outcomes which was actually good was that after this trial MexicanAmericans were allowed to serve jury duty. Like any other minority that has come to theUnited States, Mexican American s opportunities have been limited by the governmentand its leaders inorder to avoid any of these groups to gain too much power, and thismaybe one of the main reasons that there has only been white presidents here in theUnited States. History has shown us that the government looks out for the Caucasian men. Through history we have seen that the government uses minorities to keep power in thehands of the white men, by making the laws which suppress the capabilities of NativeAmericans, African Americans, Mexican Americans. The Dawes act, black codes, andunjust jury system are specific examples of how the U.S. government has abused theirpower.
Brinkley, Alan. American History. New York: McGraw Hil, Inc. 1995.