Racism and Segregation in the United States Essay
History is the recorded instances in time that describe events and the major actors are people. The way they treat each other reflects on everything that surrounds them and causes changes in the world and how future generations turn out. Racism and segregation of many different peoples have been known to exist for a long time.
It is especially noticeable when a land is being colonized and the local population is alienated and exterminated. This was the case with Native Americans and thus, has been reordered as a sad chapter in the history books.
The laws and relationships between the modern day Native People of America and citizens of the United States have not always been the way they are now. The treatment of Natives was changing throughout the history of the US and it has shaped the life as it is now. The whole population of residents of the North America was disgracefully and unreasonably slaughtered and moved out from the land that belonged to them in the first place.
As soon as colonists arrived, they proclaimed themselves owners of the land and took away any freedom or rights that Natives rightfully deserved. They were not asked for land, it was not bought but simply taken. The traditions that the original population of America had were long standing cultural and well established system of beliefs and balance with nature. Right away, Native People were placed under “The Indian Act” which the reality made even harsher.
The Act meant that Natives were stripped of their land ownership, their freedoms were limited to what the colonizers thought was best for them and the rule of land or governance of affairs, now was in the hands of new comers. There is no doubt that the Act was a very discriminatory measure that went against a whole nation. As if this was not enough, Native People were treated with extreme violence and inequality.
The segregation that took place happened on several levels. One was moral where people were degraded and even the name they were called “Indians” was politically incorrect. The fact that no one took care to realize that this was not India and even after, it was not changed, shows how much people did not care.
Politically, the land was divided into reservations and people were placed into specific area where they could reside. They could not choose their land by law and could not participate in any policy making. The ability and right to move was taken away, as well and all the available resources were taken for the needs of colonizers. A cultural and social division was another great part of the discriminatory treatment of the Natives. Their status of a Native American would be lost in case a Native woman married a white man.
When compared to other races, this sort of atrocity never took place, so it is obvious how disrespectfully Native People were treated. Culture was not the only part of the life of Natives that was much changed. Because of the hardships that people experienced, they would often be living in poor conditions with little access to water, food and other much needed items. Others were completely homeless and this forced the government to change several things.
The Natives were always demanding their rights acknowledged and finally, the time came when any more delay would be catastrophic. The government has set up the Department of Housing and Urban Development that would specifically resolve the problem of lack of housing for Native People. Very slowly, the life began to change with demonstrations and outrage of the Native population. In the past decade there was an outbreak of protests and indigenous people forcing the government to change policies.
The fight for the preservation of culture and ways of life is very important to the present and future generations, so International Indian Treaty Council has been one of the organizations that actively fight for the rights of Native people. Because this is the age of changes and all people battle for rights and freedoms, Native Americans have finally received the respect they deserved.
The legislature that came into force recognizes the many tribes that exist on the territory of the United States and they are considered rightful citizens and at the same time, distinct peoples. They have the right to form own government, produce and enforce laws and other legal rights that are enjoyed by Americans. Unfortunately, there are still regulations that must be changed because the laws are somewhat ambiguous, in relation to the land and the treatment of ownership as relating to the Native People.
But things have changed to the better for certain, as Natives are now called in a way that is politically and culturally correct. They have the ability to practice traditions and maintain original way of life. And remembering that Native People have had a long fight for their rights is critical to better Native-American relations.
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