Ethnicity Problems in United States

Introduction

The United States is a host to many varied cultures and is considered the world’s super power with developments that are envied all over the globe. The country’s democracy has undergone various changes over the years. It has also made several steps towards peace, and equity, among other principles of its foundation. However, this was not achieved in a day; in fact, it took several decades of civil wars and conflicts, among other problems to realize the American dream.

The country boasts of varied culture that arises from immigration. Every year, it receives people from other countries as immigrants. This has improved its credibility in the world. Some of the ethnicities that live in the United States include, Native Americans, African Americans, Chicanos, Asian Americans, among others. These ethnicities did not find it easy settling in the country.

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They went through various obstacles such as discrimination, among others. This led to conflicts that spurred acts of atrocities. The strategies employed to fight against racial discrimination included political participation, armed resistance, legal system, and economic participation, among others. This paper will therefore explore each of these ethnicities, their most effective along with the least effective strategies employed in fighting against racial discrimination, as well as the evidence (Baugh 133-146).

Native Americans

These were indigenous people found in North America by the European colonialists. They lived in areas such as Alaska, Hawaii, among others parts. The community was composed of various tribes, ethnic groups and States. In most cases, these communities are referred to as Indians or American Indians.

The largest of these tribes included Apache, Iroquois, Navajo, Sioux, Cherokee, among others. In the last 500 years, the community encountered discrimination and wars with European populations. These were mainly because they had encroached on their Native lands and also tried to displace them. In the process, most were killed; some assimilated, and others removed. In the 19th century, the communities were granted citizenship after several treaties and wars.

During United States’ fight, for independence against British, Native Americans sided with the latter hoping that they would help them avoid land seizure. This later backfired as the British handed over their land to Europeans. They also sided with Southern States during the civil war. George Washington later helped in restoring them as citizens with rights to vote even though they were not given the opportunity to govern themselves (Colin 34).

African American

These are black Americans who were largely from the African continent during slavery. They were also known as American Negroes. It is quite important to note that this term is usually employed when refereeing to people with African ancestry (sub Saharan Africa). The majority of these communities were descendants of victims and survivors of slavery era.

They faced several problems as they fought for freedom, these included slavery, racial segregation, reconstruction and civil rights movement, among others. This community forms the second largest racial community in United States, only second to Whites. They formed part of the American military conflicts during civil wars. In addition, the community has been active in politics ranging from Martin Luther to Rice and the country’s current president Obama, among others (Baugh 133-146).

Chicanos

These are United States citizens of Mexican descent. This term was used widely during Mexican movements and was aimed at fighting against racism in the 1960s. The community is said to have lived in the United States as early as 1848, even though they are sometimes considered as the latest of immigrants, to arrive.

This is mainly because some of them crossed over and joined with indigenous American Mexicans. The war against mainstream whites between 1846 and1848 in New Mexico among other parts, left many casualties on Mexicans and attributed to their bitterness towards federal government. Their movement was also formed to help fight for affirmative action, immigration rights, globalization, among other issues (Toro 1).

Asian Americans

These are American citizens with origins from peoples of Asia. They were first referred to as Orientals and this displeased them as they considered it a colonialist term. In this regard, they adopted the term Asian Americans, as a way of identification. They benefited from elimination of the Hart-Celler Act, which had restricted them from moving into the United States.

This development led to increased influx from Asia. Asian Americans are now estimated to have the highest attainment of education in United States. Moreover, they also form some of the best-paid employees in the country. Their fight against racial discrimination was also difficult as they fought against acts instituted to exclude them. These included among others, Asian as well as Chinese exclusion acts (History World International 1).

Areas in which they have been most effective when fighting against racial discrimination

These communities faced several challenges in their quest for equality and citizenship as well as acceptance in the American society by mainstream whites. This was achieved through many ways that included political participation, armed resistance, legal system, and economic participation, among others.

Native Americans

Native Americans fought for their rights to own ancestral land in the United States. However, this failed as they lost the battle to retain that land. In this regard, the most effective way of fighting against racial discrimination was through political participation.

African Americans

African Americans have had a long history of civil rights activists, conflicts as well as politics. In this regard, the most effective way of fighting against racial discrimination was through political participation.

Chicanos

The Chicanos fought to govern themselves but lost to the federal government. In this regard, the most effective way of fighting against racial discrimination was through political participation.

Asian Americans

Most Asian communities immigrated for jobs in the 19th century. This helped empower them economically. In this regard, the most effective way of fighting against racial discrimination was through economic participation.

Areas in which they have been least effective when fighting against racial discrimination

These communities used various means to fight against racial discrimination, some of which caused many casualties and was least effective. These were:

Native Americans

Native Americans had their own culture, which was anti-western. Therefore, in their quest for recognition, they fought against mainstream whites and lost. This was therefore the least effective method of fighting against racial discrimination.

African Americans

African American used several means to fight for freedom and racial discrimination. The least effective way of fighting against racial discrimination was through legal system.

Chicanos

Chicanos believed that they had the right to govern themselves; the least effective way of fighting against racial discrimination was through armed resistance.

Asian Americans

Asian Americans came as laborers at the coast. The least effective way of fighting against racial discrimination was through the legal system.

Evidence

Throughout the history of fight against racial discrimination, various occurrences ranging from conflicts to political participation proved to be either the least or most effective way of fighting racism. These were as follows:

Native Americans

These were the indigenous people found in North America by the European colonialists. They suffered from racial discrimination in the 1700s when slavery was a racial caste. This led to various wars in response to this, as they tried to protect their land and culture. Infightings also led to their downfall as some groups were assimilated.

This proves why use of armed resistance was the least effective. On the other hand, their ways of governing was widely adopted by United States Presidents like Benjamin Franklin, among others. In addition, wider political participation allowed them to reduce racial discrimination through George Washington. Political participation was therefore the most effective (Colin 34).

African Americans

These black Americans were largely from the African continent during slavery. They faced several problems as they fought for freedom, these included slavery, racial segregation, reconstruction and civil rights movement, among others. Like Native Americans, the law was against freedom to African Americans who were racial castes.

The least effective method was through legal system since their position as slaves was in law until reconstruction period and civil right s movements. The most effective way was through political participation, which has enabled them to improve in leadership (Baugh 133-146).

Chicanos

This community lived in the United States as early as 1848, even though they are sometimes considered as the latest immigrants. This is mainly because some of them crossed over and joined with indigenous American Mexicans.

Their least effective method of fighting racism was through armed resistance as they were excluded and displaced from their land. This was also witnessed in Texas. On the other hand, their most effective method was through political participation in the Chicano movement that kept pushing for equality since 1960s (Toro 1).

Asian Americans

The Asian community benefited from the elimination of Hart-Celler Act, which had restricted immigrations from Asia. This led to more influx of Asians. Currently they are estimated to have the highest attainment of education in United States.

Their attempts to mitigate racism through legal system were least effective as the acts defended Asian and Chinese exclusion (Wong 25). The most effective method of mitigating racial discrimination was through economic participation, which made them superior in education and pay (History World International 1).

Conclusion

United States is a home to various cultures of the world. This is due to influx of different communities, which started over 500 years ago. Among the communities that live in United States include, Native Americans, African Americans, Chicanos, Asian Americans, among others. These communities did not find it easy settling in the country. They went through various racial subjections in the hands of mainstream whites. This led to several conflicts that caused high numbers of casualties.

The strategies employed in fighting against racial discrimination included political participation, armed resistance, legal system, and economic participation, among others. Most of these communities realized their dreams through political and economic participation, while those that opted for armed resistance lost in many occasions as was seen in Native Americans and Chicanos, as well as African Americans (Toro 1).

Works Cited

Baugh, John. “The Politicization of Changing Terms of Self Reference among American Slave Descendants”. American Speech. Vol. 66, No. 2, 1991, pp. 133-146.

Colin, Calloway. “Native Americans First View Whites from the Shore”. American Heritage. Spring 2009.

History World International. “ASIAN AMERICANS”. World History center. 19.07.2011.19.07.2011. http://history-world.org/asian_americans.htm

Toro, Luis. “Chicanos as a Racialized Minority”. The University of Dayton School of Law. 31.12.2010.19.07.2011. http://academic.udayton.edu/race/01race/ hispanic01.htm

Wong, Sau-ling. “Asian America.Net: Essays in Ethnicity.” Nationalism and Cyberspace. Routledge University Press

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