Racial Segregation – Essay
Racial Segregation Introduction The great nation of America is one of the most racially diverse countries in the world today. Practically all races in America can trace their roots from different parts of the country. From the African-American to the Korean- Americans, and the Hispanic to the Irish people, all these represent the different faces of American people.
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However, the co-existence of these different races has not been smooth sailing.
They have experienced racial discrimination, mostly from white Americans, who felt threatened by the increasing influx of the ‘foreigners’ in America. Following Ronald Takaki view in his book ‘A different mirror’, this essay tries to explain the nature of discrimination the slaves, Mexicans and the Irish experienced from the white American people. It captures events that happened before the civil war in relation to racial discrimination, and how the affected groups responded to such actions. Discussion The African American race was first introduced in America as servants.
They were remarkably few in number and served the white masters who were the Anglo Americans “…rather, like most of the white laborers, they were probably indentured servants” (Tikaki, 2008). Later on as their numbers increased, most of them were transformed to slaves. It is not clear though how and when this transition took place Nonetheless, in the nineteenth century, there was uproar by the citizens over the abolishment of slavery. It is this uproar that resulted to future civil rights movements and affirmative action that has been associated by the African American people.
They have been the biggest minority group in the United States and have been on the forefront in spearheading the civil rights movement, with African American leaders such as Martin Luther King Junior leading the pack. The Mexican immigrants were mostly dominated by the Chinacos, a group among the Hispanic people. Their population in America supersedes that of the African Americans by far, and has lived in the United States for a longer time too. Their immigration into America was catalyzed by the Mexican- American war of 1846.
The subsequent conquer of part of Northern Mexico by the Americans implied that some Mexicans were locked out their native country and became foreigners in their own land. However, a sizable number of immigrants walked to El Norte in search of greener pastures in America. As usual, they were treated with hostility by Anglo Americans and resorted to doing blue collar jobs. Their settlement in El Norte, however, has enabled them to transform the culture to date due to the large number of Mexican settlers in that city. The Irish people arrived in large numbers than most immigrants in the states.
Their immigration was fueled by neighboring England’s conquest of their territory, which occurred before the colonization of America. It is for this reason that they migrated to America in search of greener pastures. Their reception, however, was not so welcoming, despite their similar complexion to the Anglo Americans. This was many because their catholic belief was not welcome since most Americans came from protestant backgrounds. The Americans believed that the Irish were trying to spread their catholic practices to the Americans.
As such, they were segregated and mainly did casual jobs like construction. It was only after passing the naturalization law that the Irish got some reprieve. Their near complexion to the Anglo Americans enabled them to get blue collar jobs to the disadvantage of African Americans and the Chinese. They took advantage of this opportunity to promote their ethnic background, and also to secure political power. Conclusion Racial discrimination by the Anglo Americans was spread across all races as described in the discussion above.
The Anglo Americans were keen to protect their ethnicity and culture, and as such did not provide avenues for the other races to prosper as they did. Instead, they strived hard to show their superiority over the other races. They believed that increased immigration of the other races would dilute their culture as seen by their resistance to the Irish community. However, pertinent to note is that these immigrants brought with them positive change to the American people. The African Americans, for instance, have made America be known for its commitment to the principle of liberty.
This, as we have seen, was brought about by the civil movement during the cold war. The Hispanians also managed to introduce a new culture that continues to be accepted and has spread widely all over the nation. In conclusion, most immigrants moving into the United States during the nineteenth century faced racial discrimination at different levels as they strived to settle in a foreign land. Bibliography Takaki, Ronald T. A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America. New York: Back Bay Books/Little, Brown, and Co, 2008. Print