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The Role of White Supremacy and Colonialism in Issues Related to Cultural Adversity in the United States of America

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CLVD 101

Prof. Anderson

5/14/05

The Role of White Supremacy and Colonialism in Issues Related to Cultural Adversity in the United States of America

Introduction:

"Here is not merely a nation, but a teeming nation of nations". These famous words, which were spoken, by the famed author and poet Walt Whitman is a perfect way to describe our ever changing melting pot society, which we call America. Something's that will be covered in this paper is different peoples and why they came to the U.S. white Supremacist Groups in the United States, which is how whites treated anything non white. Institutionalized Racism in relation to the cultural Universals which is still some ways non whites are treated poorly today. And last my insights in relation to cultural diversity

Multiculturalism in the United States:

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free". Engraved on the base of the Statue of Liberty are the words from Emma Lazarus' poem ColossiÐ'...readily come to my mind when thinking about immigration. Through out history there have been many reasons for people to migrate to America, and among the top of these reasons are political freedom, and economic opportunities, which consist of people wanting more money and better jobs for a better life. One main source of immigration to America was the British, even though a large amount of them were already here from the colonial days, the number of immigrants increased during the mid 1800s. Mostly because of better opportunities offered here, although, all were not completely impoverished. Some were educated and many were professionals, independent farmers and skilled workers who came as well. The British were quickly able to find work because of their (white) background and because of their transferable skills. Many of these immigrants settled in places like Virginia, which led to many more farmers. The British farmers were in high population throughout the tobacco cropping areas which were very popular throughout Europe. However, none of the immigrants that came to America form Europe came close to the immigration of the Africans.

Slavery was the largest form of immigration to this country, which was meant for economic help. Unlike the British who came to this country on their own free will, the Africans were captured and forced to come to America. Once here they were deprived of the rights which white Americans had. The slaves mostly lived in the south on huge plantations where they harvested crops, especially cotton and tobacco. These slaves were degraded in every manor, they were not allowed to have any form of schooling, since slave owners thought that an education would empower the slaves to upraise against their bondage. For the Africans there was no such thing as the American dream . If fact owners of enormous plantations could just buy or sell slaves at an auction, like a material item and the slaves were thought of as just property. Many slaves became self-taught in spite of adversity, reading and writing. There are many African American slaves who became famous writers and other prominent figures. Like Frederick Douglass who was born into slavery in Virginia. Even though this stopped him from achieving many things he was gifted a well spoken an orator and writer.

Another group of people which immigrated to America was the Chinese they were the first Asian immigrants to enter the United States. For them large scale immigration began in the 1880's as well as others due to the California Gold Rush and the construction of the transcontinental railroad. The Central Pacific railroad undertook part of the construction of the railroad and decided to employ Chinese immigrants because they felt that the people who built the Great Wall of China could most defiantly build a railroad. But for the Chinese the railroad was a curse as much as a blessing, accidents; avalanches and explosions were the cause of many Chinese deaths while working on the railroad. The Chinese however were not always widely received by the Americans. It was a much larger group of Chinese coolies, or unskilled laborers, who migrated to the United States which made the American attitudes change. These Chinese clustered into groups working hard and living meagerly. As their population in the United States grew they formed into large Chinese cities called Chinatowns all over the country. These cities were often over crowded slum areas infested with crime.

In the first decade after the discovery of gold many had taken jobs no one else wanted or that were considered too dirty to work. Non-Asians spurred sentiments that the "rice eaters" were to blame for the lack of well paying jobs. Acts of violence against the Chinese was the response, mob violence began to increase against the Chinese, even employers were at risk. Eventually laws, such as the Chinese exclusion act of 1882 restricted immigration of Chinese immigrants into the U.S.

The next were the Japanese and by the 1900's the majority of half of all Japanese immigrants in the world living in the U.S., lived in Hawaii. Most were farmers and farm laborers immigrating for a temporary stay. The Japanese relations with the larger society were to some extent shaped by the fact that they followed in the wake of the Chinese. The Japanese began in the same fashion, and were initially welcomed as substitutes for the Chinese as coolie labor. Their rising advancement and success, however, soon lumped them together with the Chinese as the "yellow peril" that threatened the living standard of American workers, businessmen, and American society in general. When they first arrived, the Japanese gained their initial foothold in agriculture by working as agriculture laborers for lower wages than whites, and then acquiring farms by paying more than whites for land. On December 7, 1941, Japan's attack on pearl harbor set the stage for a troubling landmark in the history of Japanese Americans. Anti Japanese feelings ran high, especially on America's mainland. In February 1942, Americans began to urge the evacuation of all Japanese American citizens. They felt Japanese were the enemy and whether they had been assimilated or not. A series of civilian exclusion orders were put into play, which directed the exclusion of all people of Japanese ancestry. Other were placed into interment camps, the justification for the relocation of Japanese Americans into these camps was the fear of espionage or sabotage from enemy aliens. It was allegedly more difficult to distinguish

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