How African Americans in Baseball Affected the Civil Rights Movement

Segregation was the main core of what prevented African Americans from pursuing their dreams of being baseball players, up until a few very recognizable players influenced others to step in and help win freedom for playing baseball. All American baseball teams were consisting of mainly whites but some teams allowed African Americans into their teams up until 1890 when the National Association of Baseball rejected blacks from playing. This caused an uproar in the black community and lead to the creations of all black teams that would travel and play other all black teams and sometimes an all white team, like in 1888 when the Cuban Giants defeated the all white New Yorks 4 games of of a five game series. After many years of overwhelming segregation in the south many blacks moved up into the North where they sought the opportunity of creating their own league. In 1920, Rube Foster the owner of the Chicago American Giants brought other midwest teams together and created the first all black league called the Negro Leagues.( Feature African-American Baseball.” PBS. PBS, 2003. Web. 21 Apr. 2014.)

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The Negro Leagues had a very significant impact in the the entrance of blacks into the majors. After the first all black team was organized and the league was set up this opened up an opportunity for players to really show what they got. Before teams knew it they were winning championships. The first all African American league was starting to piece together. And with all this going on, one player had a goal set and that was to be the first black player in a white league. And that player is Jackie Robinson. In 1945 Jackie was the first black player to sign a formal contract with a white team. He took a big step into what led to the allowance of any black player to be in the majors. With the civil rights movement going on he endured hardships that no person could imagine, according to Duke Snider, “He (Jackie Robinson) knew that the future of blacks in baseball depended on it. The pressure was enormous, overwhelming, and unbearable at times. I don’t know how he held up. I know I never could have.” By the end of his rookie career as a Dodger he was named rookie of the year, and as time went on all of his success of breaking the color barrier and becoming the first African American to get into the majors and accomplish many records. Even though Jackie is not around to see how the hardships he faced have made life on people today more easy, he is still remembered as the player who paved a path for our nation. The impact of not only Robinson but also Doby and Campy gave inspiration to Martin Luther King Jr. About a week before King died he stated, “You’ll never know how easy you and Jackie and Doby and Campy made it for me to do my job by what you did on the baseball field.” Baseball was integrated before the army, before schools, and before many other things. It all happened without Jackie but someone had to be the first to step up and take a chance, and that was just what he did. (Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.”)
A few years before World War II, Max Manning had been pitching for the Newark Eagles as a phenomenal side armer. He never thought there would be a chance for him to go and become a pitcher on a white team. His thoughts change for a while when he was approached by an unfamiliar face, the coach of the Detroit Tigers. They were offering a tryout spot for pitching, but that changed when the rest of the team found out he was black. His Negro leagues career was interrupted as he was called into service during World War II. He then returned to pitch the final Negro Leagues World series where his team won. With all this going on Max never gave up and never really cared about what people cared about his color, he only cared about playing ball. After his baseball life was over he went back to school and decided to become a sixth grade teacher up until his death in in June of 2003. “Feature African-American Baseball.” PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.)
Before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, ball players in Oklahoma had been playing in sandlot leagues and excelling in the sport. Willie Wells played in the sandlot “blackball” leagues all the way through his teen years in highschool as a shortstop. When he finally came up to the Negro leagues he became the best shortstop in the league. In 1997 he joined the Baseball hall of Fame. Along with Willie there were many other black players that had showed they were worthy of being in Baseball’s Hall of Fame. In all there are about 18 players from the Negro Leagues in the Hall of Fame, and most had not been recognized till the 80s, all the way up to about 2002. The reason it took so long is because nobody really cared about blacks in baseball because they “never compared” to whites. After many years of segregation many white people started to gain respect for him, As Mickey Mantle said after one of the games
“BASEBALL, AFRICAN AMERICAN.” BASEBALL, AFRICAN AMERICAN. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2014 :

“After the game, Jackie Robinson came into our clubhouse and shook my hand. He said, ‘You’re a helluva ballplayer and you’ve got a great future.’ I thought that was a classy gesture, one I wasn’t then capable of making. I was a bad loser. What meant even more was what Jackie told the press, ‘ Mantle beat us. He was the difference between the two teams. They didn’t miss DiMaggio .’ I have to admit, I became a Jackie Robinson fan on the spot. And when I think of that world Series, his gesture is what comes to mind. Here was a player who had without doubt suffered more abuse and more taunts and more hatred than any player in the history of the game. And he had made a special effort to compliment and encourage a young white kid from Oklahoma.”(“Jackie Robinson Quotes.” Jackie Robinson Quotes. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2014.)

As time progressed more and more people started to show respect for Jackie and others that helped integrate baseball and this gave a boost too other players, according to a statement by Hank Aaron

“In baseball, there is something electrifying about the big leagues. I had read so much about (Stan) Musial,(Ted) Williams and (Jackie) Robinson. I had put those guys on a pedestal. They were something special. I really thought they put their pants on different, rather than one leg at a time.”(“Hank Aaron Quotes.” Hank Aaron Quotes. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 May 2014.)

Near the end of World War II the attendance at Negro leagues took a major decline as the best players were called up into interleague which is the step right below major. With that happening the Negro leagues took a dip and fell apart. This lead to integration of blacks into baseball. What caused this greater decline was the focus of the fans only on the major players like Robinson and Doby. To gain more support teams called female players to stand at the gates just to attract more fans but in the end the players just kept on going to white teams. (Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 05 May 2014.)
When people think about integration of baseball, they think Jackie Robinson, but thats not all of it. It took a whole community, a whole league just to earn a chance on an all white team. This was a team effort, the biggest step in baseball history started with one big contract to Jackie and the rest took off. Baseball was never the same, and today it isnt a struggle. Without this happening, today baseball probably wouldn’t be what it is.
 

Japanese Americans Cultural Report Assessment

 Japanese immigrants came to America beginning in the 1880s (Daniels, 2011). The first large-scale journey of Japanese immigrants from Japan began in Hawaii (Daniels, 2011). Many Japanese immigrants came to Hawaii to work on the sugar plantations (Daniels, 2011). These first Japanese immigrants were known as Issei, which is the Japanese term for “first generation” (Bryan, 2004). The Issei formed communities in many cities on the West Coast (Bryan, 2004). Later on, the West Coast became the primary hub for Japanese America, especially the state of California (Daniels, 2011). By 1920, 67 percent of Japanese Americans lived in California (Daniels, 2011). Over half of the Japanese males in the West Coast states worked in agriculture, forestry, and fishing (Daniels, 2011). Due to the large number of Japanese immigrants, Americans became afraid of losing jobs to the newcomers and passed laws outlawing Japanese immigration in 1924 (Bryan, 2004). Restrictions on Japanese immigrants in America did not stop there, however. Many states forbid Japanese people from owning land or becoming citizens of the U.S. (Bryan, 2004). Many Issei, however, had children in the U.S. who were born there and as such, were citizens and could own land (Bryan, 2004). The children of the Issei are known as Nisei, which is the Japanese term for “second generation” (Bryan, 2004).

The Effects of World War II

 World War II had a very destructive effect on the Japanese American community. Following the events of Pearl Harbor, many Americans were afraid that the Japanese people living in the U.S. would be allies to Japan (Edelson, 2013). Despite the suspicions of many Americans, a large number of Japanese Americans enlisted in the U.S. military, highlighting the fact that the suspicions were based on unjustified fear (Edelson, 2013). Many Americans at the time saw any Japanese person as an enemy. Following the Executive Order 9066 on March 2, 1942, all Japanese people in areas of California, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona were relocated to internment camps (Edelson, 2013). Even though these internment camps were cruel, Japanese Americans still sought to join the U.S. military during World War II in hopes that their service would prove their loyalty and win back their rights (Bryan, 2004). This was somewhat successful, as many Japanese American soldiers set records for bravery and achievement (Bryan, 2004). Following the war, the Japanese people who were unlucky enough to be gathered in internment camps were allowed to leave and faced the task of rebuilding their lives (Bryan, 2004). In 1988, the U.S. Government formally apologized to Japanese Americans and agreed to compensate families affected by the internment camps (Bryan, 2004). In 1952, Japanese immigrants were finally allowed to become U.S. citizens (Bryan, 2004).

The Manzanar Relocation Center

 According to the account of Helen Watanabe who was a child who was taken to the Manzanar Relocation Center in 1942, Japanese Americans taken to internment camps could only take what they are able to carry (Bailey, 2014). Some Japanese people were instead arrested and accused of being a threat to national defense and kept in prison for months before being sent to internment camps, as was the case of the father of a Japanese American soldier named Mas Yubu (Bailey, 2014). The U.S. military police gave the residents of these internment camps numbered tags that would serve as identification tags, with Helen’s family being identified as merely ‘35456’ (Bailey, 2014). While the staff described Manzanar as a miniature city, the internment center was surrounded by barbed wires and guarded by armed guards, making it resemble a prison (Bailey, 2014). The apartments in Manzanar were very small, about the size of a living room despite being shared between families, and did not have bathrooms which were instead located in another barracks (Bailey, 2014). According to Helen’s account, a riot in Manzanar resulted in two internees being killed by military police and ten being injured (Bailey, 2014). The riot began when a group of internees attacked a leader of the Japanese American Citizens League, which is a group that seeks to protect the rights of Japanese Americans (Bailey, 2014). When three of the internees involved in the attack were arrested, over 1,000 people gathered in front of the camp administration in protest (Bailey, 2014). Work in the internment camp did not pay very much for Japanese Americans. According to Grace Jones who worked as a teacher in Manzanar, Japanese American teachers were paid only $192 a year, while all other teachers in Manzanar made $2000 a year (Bailey, 2014).

Japanese Americans: Effects of WWII Internment Camps

 The ethnic targeting of the incarceration of Japanese Americans in internment camps can be defined by cultural trauma theory, which describes cultural trauma as occurring when members of a group feel they have experienced a traumatic event leaving marks on their group consciousness, forever marking their memories and changing their identities (Nagata, Kim, & Nguyen, 2015). Although these events perfectly represent cultural trauma, the impacts on Japanese Americans were largely on an individual trauma level (Nagata et al., 2015). Many Nisei, who were teens and young adults at the time of their incarceration, fell into depression, blaming themselves for what their trusted government had done to them (Nagata et al., 2015). The Nisei’s sense of self-blame has been compared to the feelings of self-blame reported by rape victims (Nagata et al., 2015). To add to their trauma, many Nisei were not allowed to return to the states they called home and faced the anxiety of moving to new areas with unknown levels of anti-Japanese prejudice (Nagata et al., 2015). Many Nisei believed the answer to their struggles was to distance themselves from their Japanese roots and instead attempt to blend in with American culture, which psychologists describe as identification with the aggressor (Nagata et al., 2015). Being forced to leave everything behind, the loss of farmlands had severe negative economic impacts on Nisei and their Sansei children (Nagata et al., 2015).  Japanese Americans were largely silent following their incarceration and focused mainly on proving themselves to be loyal Americans, which according to research may have had negative effects on their physical health (Nagata et al., 2015). In a survey of Sansei Japanese Americans, fathers who were incarcerated were twice as likely to die before the age of 60 (Nagata et al., 2015). Nisei parents were reluctant to talk about the internment camps which resulted in a gap in the Sansei generation’s personal history and identity development (Nagata et al., 2015). This reluctancy to talk about the events of their incarceration and avoidance of their Japanese culture led to the Sansei losing their connection with the Japanese languages and other cultural practices, effectively creating a weakened ethnic community (Nagata et al., 2015). A writer named David Mura states that the Sansei generation inherited a sense of shame, rather than their parents’ Japanese culture (Nagata et al., 2015). These effects led many Sansei to drug abuse, suicide, and gang activities (Nagata et al., 2015).

Japanese Americans: Academic Success

 Second-generation Japanese Americans, or Nisei, were very successful in white collar and skilled trade jobs (Caudill & De Vos, 1956). In fact, white employers were very enthusiastic when praising them (Caudill & De Vos, 1956). On average, Japanese Americans had a very high level of education (Caudill & De Vos, 1956). Due to this, they achieved far more than other ethnic groups in their areas (Caudill & De Vos, 1956). It is hypothesized that the success of second-generation Japanese Americans is due to compatibility between values of Japanese culture and the values of American middle-class culture (Caudill & De Vos, 1956). That is, both cultures value politeness, authority, cleanliness, and personal achievements. As such, they were able to emulate the American middle-class and fit in within their neighborhoods.

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 Academic success among Japanese Americans has continued since the second generation (Byun & Park, 2012). This academic success can be traced back to Japan, where education is important in obtaining prestigious jobs (Byun & Park, 2012). This competitive nature is thought to have created a culture with a very high standard of education in many East Asian countries (Byun & Park, 2012). As such, Japanese culture plays a significant role in the continued academic success of Japanese Americans.

Japanese Americans: Today

 Japanese people continue to journey to America even today. Japanese Americans play a big part in America’s culture and possess jobs in a large variety of fields, such as art, science, business, and politics (Bryan, 2004). Due to the Japanese American culture’s respect for education, the second and third generations of Japanese Americans, Nisei and Sansei, often work as highly educated professionals (Bryan, 2004). New Japanese immigrants also have success in the U.S., largely because high school graduates in Japan have six years of English education, so there is no language barrier (Bryan, 2004). While the traditional Japanese religion is Shinto and many Japanese people in Japan practice Buddhism, Japanese Americans are more likely to be Christians, although some still practice Buddhism and Shintoism (Bryan, 2004). When Japanese immigrants came to America, they also brought along aspects of their culture, including food. Japanese food is very popular in the United States, including sushi (Bryan, 2004).

References

Bailey, R. A. (2014). The Japanese Internment Camps : A History Perspectives Book. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Cherry Lake Publishing. Retrieved from http://bakerezproxy.palnet.info/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=990164&site=eds-live

Bryan, N. (2004). Japanese Americans. Edina, Minn: Abdo Publishing. Retrieved from http://bakerezproxy.palnet.info/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=140217&site=eds-live

Byun, S., & Park, H. (2012). The Academic Success of East Asian American Youth: The Role of Shadow Education. Sociology of Education, 85(1), 40–60. http://doi.org/10.1177/0038040711417009

Caudill, W., & De Vos, G. (1956). Achievement, Culture and Personality: The Case of the Japanese Americans. Retrieved from https://anthrosource.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1525/aa.1956.58.6.02a00100

Daniels, R. (2011). Asian America: Chinese and Japanese in the United States Since 1850. [N.p.]: University of Washington Press. Retrieved from http://bakerezproxy.palnet.info/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=1109211&site=eds-live

Edelson, C. (2013). Emergency Presidential Power: From the Drafting of the Constitution to the War on Terror. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.bakerezproxy.palnet.info/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=657006&site=ehost-live&authtype=ip,url,uid

Nagata, D. K., Kim, J. H. J., & Nguyen, T. U. (2015). Processing Cultural Trauma: Intergenerational Effects of the Japanese American Incarceration. Journal of Social Issues, 71(2), 356–370. https://doi.org/10.1111/josi.12115
 

Rights of Transgender Americans: Religion and the State

The Rights of Transgender Americans: An Examination of the
Conflict between Religion and the State
Research question: How and to what extent do
religiously conservative actors influence state policies that discriminate
against the rights of transgender people in the United States today?
In the
United States, most trans people face discrimination in the workplace, courts,
schools, military, and other public spaces. While secular society and religious
groups alike are polarized in this public debate, the discrimination against
the rights of trans people that does exist today is decidedly due to the
interaction of two crucial factors: the first factor is a lack of adequate
policies which specifically protect the civil and human rights of trans people
on local and federal levels; the second factor is civil society’s virulent
anti-trans rhetoric in public discourse, which often strongly influences the
first factor. What both factors have in common is an inextricable connection to
secular and religious conservatism. Today, conservative religious actors,
predominantly Christians, are able to effectively lobby right-wing political
officials and representatives to litigate against the rights of trans people on
local and federal levels. Between the religiously conservative beliefs of both
lobbyists and government officials themselves, the state is rendered biased
when forming laws that affect the rights of trans people. Therefore, the notion
of separation of church and state is not continuous in reality and, without
secularization of the state, the anti-trans rhetoric of religious conservatives
continues to effectually discriminate against the rights of trans people in policymaking.
Additionally, a vast portion of civil society publicly disseminates a
one-dimensional rhetoric against trans people when discussing how trans people
should be treated in state policy and society. This anti-trans discourse in
civil society bears a significant correlation with the values that religious
and secular conservatives openly express, and oftentimes has virtually no basis
in the reality of the lived experiences and oppression of trans people. The
consequence of this interaction between conservative religion, conservative
civil society, and a non-secular, right-wing state is that the majority of laws
in the United States discriminate against the rights of trans people.
Meanwhile, in this ongoing public debate, trans people are experiencing real,
profound psychological turmoil due to victimization and suffer: today, trans
people face an intense struggle to acquire total validation of their identity
and equal rights as citizens of the state and members of civil society, in both
religious and secular spaces across the United States.

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As the visibility, acceptance, and inclusion of trans people rises in religious and secular spaces across civil society, trans people and their allies lobby the state to be included in and protected by policies at local and federal levels, since the majority of legislation excludes and disenfranchises trans people. On a federal level, trans people do not have legal protections from discrimination because the Equal Protection Clause of the constitution neglects to explicitly and consistently include trans people in its prohibition of unjust and prejudicial treatment based on sex and gender (Oakes 298). Likewise, no federal law designating trans people as a protected class or specifically requiring equal treatment for them exists, and all states except one deny legal recognition of non-binary and gender non-conforming people (O’Hara, The Daily Dot). In public discourse, the existence of trans people tends to clash with the traditional, conventional beliefs of religious conservatives, particularly Christians, who base their cisnormative conception of gender and sex in a fundamentalist interpretation of the creation story within holy scriptures. By exercising the right of religious freedom, many conservative Christians vocalize their anti-trans rhetoric in order to sway the state to form policies that uphold their religious beliefs. For instance, as recent as August 2017, prominent members of the Trump-Pence Administration’s Evangelical Advisory Board participated in the national conference of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission that released “The Nashville Statement”: “We affirm that self-conception as a male or female should be defined by God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption as revealed in Scripture. We deny that adopting a homosexual or transgender self-conception is consistent with God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption… We deny any obligation to speak in such ways that dishonor God’s design of his image-bearers as male and female” (www.cbmw.org). While the alliance between conservative Christian advisors and the executive branch of government violates separation of church and state, the conspicuous dissemination of this explicitly religious manifesto denies the sheer existence of trans people by referencing the biblical verses as evidence of a male-female sex and gender binary. Moreover, the majority of the state legislation that currently regulates public spaces favors and reflects this anti-trans rhetoric from Christian conservatives in this national discourse, causing trans people to be further victimized due to marginalization and disenfranchisement in civil society.
Inextricably linked, religious and secular conservatives alike inform the way civil society views gender as a non-traversable binary, which in turn exacerbates discrimination against trans people in state policies. In the United States, dominating Christian beliefs have enabled courts to rule that “God created a man that neither the law nor the medical community could turn into a woman” and vice versa (Greenberg 66). Numerous jurisdictions and states have passed so-called bathroom bills to restrict the use of transgender people’s access to public restrooms, forcing them to use ones that match their sex assigned at birth (Gerstenfeld 65). For example, North Carolina’s bathroom bills revokes the right to sue under a state antidiscrimination law and Mississippi allows institutions to deny services to trans people on the basis of religious beliefs (Green, The Atlantic). In the public debate on this controversial issue of bathroom bills, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who self-identifies as Christian, announced, “Now I wish that someone told me that when I was in high school that I could have felt like a woman when it came time to take showers in P.E. I’m pretty sure that I would have found my feminine side and said, ‘Coach, I think I’d rather shower with the girls today’” (Bradner, CNN). Although there is no evidence that trans-inclusive and gender-neutral public spaces pose any threats to cisgender people, trans people are physically and psychologically traumatized and victimized by bathroom bills. This legislation reveals how anti-trans rhetoric from religious conservatives and secular actors almost always centers around the discriminatory over-sexualization of trans people, and this bigotry renders the existence of trans people as inherently inappropriate and perverse due to their unconventional and non-conforming sexuality and gender identity. By tapping into civil society’s ignorant anxieties that trans people spawn gender chaos and ungrounded fears that vulnerable children and women are at risk of sexual assault, religious conservatives are able to effectively shape state policies that deny trans people access to a variety of public spaces. Far from an issue of privacy or a security risk, these bathroom bills systematically erase trans people’s identities from public spaces, which prevents trans people from getting the support, resources, and services they need to fully exist and thrive as equal members of civil society and citizens of the state.
As a
systemically oppressed minority, trans people are reduced to vulnerable
citizens of the United States, but their marginalization enables religious
conservatives to freely deny the rights of trans people in the name of
protecting their religion. In public discourse, American pastor Neil
Cazares-Thomas understands “the foundations of evangelical Christianity in the
United States as a deliberate strategic attempt to ensure that Christians were
at every level of government. To that end, they have been extremely successful.
But also because of that, the church has become a representation of the culture
and not a representation of Jesus… Isn’t there separation of church and state
here? And if it was true, why would you have a Christian minister or any
minister open a state event? There is this blurry line between the separation
of church and state and the importance of God and religion in civic life” (Dart,
The Guardian). As conservative Christians hold the most influence on the
current administration, their beliefs are significantly relevant in the
formation of policies that discriminate against trans people. In contrast to
this stance in public debate, the Texas Pastor Council claimed, “It’s really is
a moral issue… It’s a public decency issues, it’s a public safety issue… It’s
not overtly religious at all. Unfortunately, it seems like the only significant
voice left that has any framework of opposing such an ordinance has come from
the church” (Caballero, Christian Daily). Because of this anti-trans rhetoric,
there have been cases in which a trans parent’s child custody and visitation
rights are sometimes relinquished because their gender identity is presumed to
be inherently unfit for a child’s well-being in the eyes of conservative
Christianity (Cooper 9). Silenced by a secular society that pressures them to
tolerate trans people, conservative Christians seek to lobby policymakers with
an anti-trans rhetoric that appeals to national, American morality rather than
strictly Christian principles regarding gender and sexuality. From this angle,
the public discourse on laws that discriminate against the rights of trans
people emerges from the way secular and religious conservatives perceive a
growing erosion of traditional values in American life, which, in turn,
effectually appeals to the way right-wing officials in the state perceive
trans-inclusive policies as an attack on American liberty.
Additionally,
Trump’s administration has rolled back guidelines for protecting trans students
under Title IX, so trans identities and non-binary gender expressions are not
consistently recognized and protected in schools. In states like Maryland,
there exists discriminations bans on the basis of gender identity, except for
religious organizations, private clubs, and educational institutions (Kunkle,
The Washington Post). Likewise, “Texas lawmakers introduced a bill that would
allow conversion therapy practitioners to continue the so-called treatment
under the guise of religious freedom, which helps trans people find either
deliverance from their sinful desires in Christ or strength to resist those
urges by obedience to His will and not their own” (Rodriguez, Business Insider).
Christian conservatives oppose trans-inclusive policies to defend
constitutional rights, yet they appear to seek legal recognition of their
religiously moral authority. In this public debate, David French claims that
emerging legal protection for trans people represents “the destruction of the
civil rights of the faithful for the sake of the convenience of the radicals”
(French, National Review). Complaining of a war on religion, religious
conservatives appear to seek exemptions from laws. In the wake of grappling
with political power, Christian conservatives display a trend of implementing
policies that utilize the coercion of law to promote their religious beliefs of
genders identity, yet in the face of backlash they invoke their constitutional
right to religious freedom. However, the overarching inequality in this public
debate over trans-inclusive policies remains unchanged: gender identity and
expression are not protected on a federal level by the constitution whereas
religion is. Therefore, trans people still face disenfranchisement on a federal
level.
To a
significant extent, religiously conservative actors influence state policies
that discriminate against the rights of trans people in the United States
today. The anti-trans rhetoric that fuels right-wing legislators’ formation of
policies stems from the struggle of conservative Christians to assert their
freedom of religion in political power as well as conservative civil society’s
grapple with preserving traditional American values that explicitly discriminate
against trans people as valid and equal citizens and human beings. Undoubtedly,
the absence of trans-inclusive policy on a federal level causes many trans
people to feel that their identities are illegitimate, unequal, and unworthy of
respect and dignity in the eyes of the law. Without effective and comprehensive
protection in policies, anti-trans groups in civil society like religious and
secular conservatives are able to successfully oppress and victimize trans
people in private and public spaces alike, which marginalizes trans people to
the point that their lives and holistic wellbeing are gravely endangered.
Through this complex interaction between religion, civil society, and the
state, trans people are denied the basic human dignity and right of having
their gender identity be recognized as uniquely immutable and deserving of
equal protection in state legislation.
Bibliography
Bradner, Eric. “Huckabee: I wish I could’ve identities as female in high school gym.” CNN. 3 June 2015.Caballero, Lorraine. “Texas Christians divided over transgender ‘bathroom bill’.” Christian Daily. 8 August 2017.CBMW.ORG. “The Nashville Statement: A Coalition for Biblical Sexuality.” August 2017. Cooper, Leslie. “Protecting the Rights of Transgender Parents and their Children: A Guide for Parents and Lawyers.” American Civil Liberties Union. March 2013.Dart, Tom. “Transgender ‘bathroom bill’ leaves Texas Christians deeply divided.” The Guardian. 6 August 2017. French, David. “Turning American Law Upside Down for the Transgendered.” National Review. 19 April 2016.Gerstenfeld, Phyllis. Hate Crimes: Causes, Controls, and Controversies. Sage Publications: 2017.Green, Emma. “When Doctors Refuse to Treat LGBT Patients.” The Atlantic. 19 April 2016.Greenberg, Julie. Transgender Rights. University of Minnesota Press, 2006.Kunkle, Fredrick. “Maryland Senate passes bill banning discrimination against transgender          people.” The Washington Post. 4 March 2014. Oakes, Anne. Controversies in Equal Protection Cases in America: Race, Gender and Sexual      Orientation. Routledge, 2016. O’Hara, Mary. “‘Nonbinary’ is now a legal gender, Oregon court rules.” The Daily Dot. 10 June 2016. Rodriguez, Mathew. “Conservatives push to rebrand conversion therapy as ‘Christian       counseling’.” Business Insider. 2 May 2017.
 

Stereotyping of Native Americans in the Media

     The word stereotype is defined as an oversimplified idea of an image or thing.  A stereotype is simple and usually does not require facts, but is mainly something people believe in.  When people think of a Native American, they imagine an Indian on horseback wearing a feather headdress or attacking white people and trying to scalp them.  The many misconceptions that people may have of Native Americans has a lot to do with how the media has portrayed them in movies, books, and television shows.  In order to understand how this has happened, we must learn about the Native American history, the media effect on who they are, and how they have evolved and how people have changed their thinking.

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     Native Americans were first called “Indians” by the Europeans who first came in contact with them.  Prior to that, the Native American people were not Indians, but members of their own socio-political and cultural groups.  After the Europeans arrived, they were lumped together into a group under one single defining word.  Many federal laws and regulations define “Indian” as an individual who is a member of an Indian tribe, band, or community that is “recognized by the federal government as one who lives on or near a reservation.  Another thing to remember that not all Native Americans are Indians.  Per Jack Utter, the term “Native American” is widely recognized as meaning a person who is of a tribe or people indigenous to the United States (14).  Alaskan Eskimos and Aleuts and even Native Hawaiians are also known as Native Americans.
     There are many misconceptions about Native Americans.  One of the first misconceptions is that all Native Americans live on reservations.   As of the census of 2010, there are 324 federally recognized Indian reservations and 567 federally recognized Indian tribes and Alaskan natives (History.com).  Only about 20% of Native Americans actually live on the reservations.  American Indians receive special education benefits from the government.  Yes, Native Americans receive educational benefits like reduced tuition and Pell Grants, but do other disadvantaged people such as disabled and veterans.  Another misconception is that they do not have to pay taxes.  In some states, if they are living and working on the reservation, then they are exempt from paying taxes.  However, tribal government employees and members all must pay federal income and state taxes as long as they are citizens of the U.S.  The Indians medicine was considered primitive.  This is not necessarily true.  Native Americans chose to use herbal remedies to cure small health issues which was actually effective and pray to their Mother Earth.  Many drugs were discovered only after scientists decided to take the plants used in the herbal remedies and test them.  Even nowadays, with so many chemicals used in current drugs, many people are going back to the old ways of using herbal remedies to take care of themselves instead of paying many to the big drug corporations.
    Native Americans were hostile to the Europeans in pre-colonial times and even worse after the government decided to take their land and move them to reservations.  Native Americans were first seen in the media on January 16, 1869 in a cartoon in Harper’s Weekly.  The cartoon’s title was called, “A School for Savages; or Teaching the Young Idea not to Shoot”.  Big Injun says, “White man hold on; we want to Big Talkee.”  General Sheridan (holding on to Indian’s collar while prepared to hit him) says, “No, no.  I’ll Whip you first, then you can Big Talkee afterward.” (Bellow).  Artist Frank Bellow drew this cartoon to criticize the harsh treatment of Native Americans by General Sheridan, who was in charge of gathering Cheyenne Indians and move them to reservations.  The hostility of their treatment became a platform for moviemakers not only during that time, but present time as well.  The film industry played an important role in using the Europeans perception toward the Indians.  Since the beginning of the film industry in 1894, it has been shown that the reaction toward the Native Americans has been negative and damaging throughout history.  This stereotyping was not only in films, but by other types of media, such as books and art.  Many considered that stereotyping of the Native Americans was a type of entertainment that people enjoyed.  By showing the images and films of the Indians, they were certain it would create and intended image for the audience and the impact remained strong in the audience’s minds.  They did not consider the consequences in how the Native Americans felt about it.  The films represented the Indians as savages and primitive beings.  They are shown raping women, robbing and killing people.  The cowboys were portrayed as the good people who rescue the victims from these savages.  These films ended up alienating the Native Americans.
     As the years went on, it became important to improve the image of the Native Americans and break the bad stereotype cycle.  Filmmakers decided to change the theme of their films and make the audience more sympathetic to the Native Americans.  One of those movies was called, “Broken Arrow,” released in 1950.  The movie is about a former soldier who saves an Apache teen and learns the Apache way of life.  It is the first movie to be favorable and portray the Indians sympathetically.  One of my favorite Indian movies is “Dances with Wolves,” released in 1900.  It is about a Union Army Lieutenant staying at a secluded military post alone and his dealings with the Lakota Sioux Indians.  In 2007, Dances with Wolves was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” (Aleiss).  Even in children’s movies, did Native Americans have an impact.  In the movie classic, Pocahontas, the major conflict of the movie happens when the English and the Powhatan Indians prepare to fight each other.  Pocahontas comes to the rescue when she intervenes between the two groups and requests her people to being food to the English people to make sure they can survive, and the two groups end up having good relations with each other.  Another stereotype to be shown by Hollywood films, is that Native Americans are found living “off the land” in the wilderness close to nature and on the reservations.  In reality, more non-Indians are the ones who live “close to nature” than do most Indians.  Considerable numbers of Native Americans live off the reservation and in many major U.S.  Approximately 60% of the Native American population lives in cities (Nittle).  In 2016, the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation protesting against the Dakota Access Pipeline was in the spotlight.  A member of the Kiowa tribe decided to take this chance to change the media’s handling of how the Native Americans were portrayed.  This was the first major protest since the 1973 Wounded Knee incident in South Dakota.  During that incident, the Native American protestors were stereotyped as warriors, victims, or magical creatures.  It was actually recommended that people be identified by their specific tribes, nations, or communities instead of being called “Native American group” or “Native American tribe.”  There is no such thing as a typical Native American just as there is no such thing as a typical American.  Many do not grow up on reservations.  About 80% of those Native Americans live outside the reservations in mostly urban areas and in the cities.  It was also noted that mainstream media should be accountable for the lack of interest in covering Native American issues on a regular basis.  Most of this is because they do not hire reporters or editors who are Native American and have the interest in them.  “If you want to embrace technology, you can also embrace diversity,” Ahtone said. “I’d like to see a newsroom that is representative of the United States, and I’d like to see media organizations committed to cover indigenous people’s struggles and contributions” (Mineo).
     Stereotypes of Native Americans in movies by American filmmakers was the worst portrayal that anyone has ever seen.  They portrayed Native Americans as hostile savages with no remorse for the people they killed or women they raped.  These movies had the greatest audience, but in the end became the worst for stereotyping.  When the first movie that filmmakers created portraying the Native American in a good sense won the Association of the American Indian Affairs Award, it was then they decided to improve the image of the Native American by producing more movies with Native Americans being brave, friendly to the white people, and close to nature.  The best way to represent the Native American culture or any culture is to respect them and not make a mockery them.  Learn their history and traditions so when they are portrayed in movies, or on television, or in a book, it is more accurate than made up.
Works Cited

Aleiss, Angela. “Brief Descriptions and Expanded Essays of National Film Registry Titles: Dances With Wolves (1990).” The Library of Congress, 2016, www.loc.gov/programs/national-film-preservation-board/film-registry/descriptions-and-essays/.
Bellow, Frank. “Cartoon of the Day.” HarpWeek, Harper’s Weekly, 16 Jan. 1869, www.harpweek.com/09Cartoon/BrowseByDateCartoon.asp?Month=January&Date=16.
History.com Editors. “Indian Reservations.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 8 Dec. 2017, www.history.com/topics/native-american-history/indian-reservations.
Mineo, Liz. “Nieman Fellow Battles Media Stereotypes of Native Americans.” Harvard Gazette, The Harvard Gazette, 20 Mar. 2019, news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2018/03/nieman-fellow-battles-media-stereotypes-of-native-americans/.
Nittle, Nadra Kareem. “5 Common Native American Stereotypes in Film and Television.” ThoughtCo, Jan. 29, 2020, thoughtco.com/native-american-stereotypes-in-film-television-2834655.
Utter, Jack. American Indians: Answers to Today’s Questions. First ed., National Woodlands Publishing Company, 1993.

 

Cultural Analysis of African Americans

Culture is a shared way of living, and it also include our beliefs, values and behaviors. All cultures have their own system of health beliefs to explain what causes illness, how it can be cured, treated and who should be involved in the process. In this paper I will be focusing on African American. African Americans who are also called Black Americans. They are one of the largest ethnic group that reside in the USA. Also, they were brought to the U.S from different part of the World such as West Indies and South America. They are primarily of African descent, but many of them have non-black ancestors. In July 2017, 41.4 million individuals within the United States were black alone, which represents 12.7 percent of the whole populace. African Americans are the second biggest minority population, taking after the Hispanic/Latino populace. In 2017, most blacks lived within the South (58 percent of the Black Americans in U.S. populace), whereas 27 percent of the white populace lived within the South. The ten states with the biggest dark populace in 2017 were Texas, Georgia, Florida, Modern York, North Carolina, California, Illinois, Modern Shirt, Virginia, Louisiana. Combined, these 10 states represent 58% of the entire black communities (African American Profile, 2018).

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           To begin with, in African American culture, the father is the one that make most of the decisions while the mother ruled the house. Perhaps, there is a great interaction and strong bonding amongst the families. Also, they support each other by visiting and helping in terms of needs and trouble. In addition, the Black culture belief that titles such as Ms., Mrs. or Miss are used as a sign of respect. Elderly are highly respected in the African American communities, they turn to belief they are too closer to their ancestors. People in the African American community view illnesses as a sign of their bad doing and turn to blame themselves.
            The African American diet influences their health and well-being. Black Americans have a higher risk of hypertension and stroke in light of their “southern” diet. A “southern” diet comprises of a lot of deep fry food, processed meats, eggs, high-fat dairy, sugary treats and breads. Other things that lead to hypertension is due to the lack of fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich grains, healthy fats, poor diet and many other foods that promote health blood and heart health (Norton, 2018). Due to their poor diet, African Americans are genetically inclined to certain medical conditions including heart disease, strokes, cancer, asthma, influenzas, and HIV/AIDS (African American Profile, 2018). These medical conditions when combined with their diets increment the chance that they will ended up very sick. With information of their inclined therapeutic conditions, this group of individuals ought to have better access to health care. In 2015, as it were 54.4 percent of African Americans were enlisted beneath a private health insurance arrange, 43.6 percent were enrolled in Medicaid open health protections, and 11 percent of the populace was uninsured (African American Profile, 2018). Without government programs such as Medicaid, these numbers would be much lower. Such programs point to grow get to health care to all citizens. It fell brief of that objective, but it did grow health care to numerous more than some time recently. African Americans tend to neglect medical appointment because they belief it is not as important as family and friend. African American patient feel offended when you smell their hair and they always like to be included in decision making about their health. Moreover, open ended questions are most preferable when interviewing them about their health. African American due to their poor diet typical have higher issues of hypertension and diabetes.
            More so, Black Americans believe strongly in Christianity although some of them are Islam and others. They recognize prayer as a mode of communication to God. They believe that praying for one’s health does not required a certain period. Most Of them usually serve God more by going to church every Sunday in times of trouble. Religion belief have a huge impact on health care as most of them usually deny going to the hospital in time of illness due to their strong belief that God is the healer of everything and how good their faith is. In addition, most of them believe that a good physician ought to talk more to them about their faith, spirituality instead of their biological hospital. Also, they turn to mistrust their physician if they don’t acknowledge their religious aspect.  African Americans have a huge perspective or a religious orientation that’s grounded within the cultural and social history which may affirm the all-encompassing approach to health and healthcare in general. For the black, religion could be a dependable source of enormous emotional support. There’s a high probability of religious and medical perspectives that are distinctive and might struggle. Although, Religious beliefs and practices may vary significantly even among people from the same religion and group, Christian groups or churches show a sense of belonging to the blacks. During the early times when they worked as slaves, churches played a huge part because that’s the only place they would meet openly and interact. Most of the movements started in churches as well; hence the attachment of the blacks and affiliation with churches started long ago (Noonan, 2016).
      In conclusion, The African American culture may be a wide subject. This paper has fair highlighted a few of the element such as religion, and healthcare beliefs. From these focuses, we see that the African American culture is special and has a few compelling components to other societies, particularly when it comes to health. This research paper has also made me understand most African American fail to receive medical treatment since they beliefs strongly in their culture.
References

Norton, A. (2018, October 02).Study Blames ‘Southern’ Diet for Black Health Woes. (2018, October 2). https://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20181002/study-blames-southern-diet-for-black-health-woes#1
African American Profile. (2018). (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=3&lvlid=61
Noonan, A. S., Velasco-Mondragon, H. E., & Wagner, F. A. (2016, October 3). Improving the health of African Americans in the USA: an overdue opportunity for social justice. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5810013/
Religion, Health Medicine in African Implications for … (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Linda_Chatters/publication/8019983_Religion_Health_and_Medicine_in_African_Americans_Implications_for_Physicians/links/02bfe5111366daf340000000/Religion-Health-and-Medicine-in-African-Americans-Implications-for-Physicians.pdf

 

Why Do Most Americans Prefer Working from Home Rather than the Workplace?

Why do most Americans prefer working from home rather than the workplace? Is it the commute? The dress code? What if I told you it was neither. The workplace environment impacts workers morale, efficiency and commitment, both positively and negatively. The workplace conditions in most companies is unhealthy mentally and physically for humans. These cooperations are ineffectively structured, poor furnishings, absence of ventilation, unseemly lighting, unnecessary clamor, and absence of a support system for the individual . Individuals working in such condition are inclined to occupational disease and it impacts the worker’s progress. Subsequently profitability is diminished because of the working environment condition. It is the nature of the employees work environment that most effects on their degree of inspiration and resulting execution. How well they draw in with the association, particularly with their quick condition, impacts, all things considered, their blunder rate, level of development and joint effort with different workers, non-attendance and at last, to what extent they remain focused. Designing a workplace in which representatives are beneficial is pivotal to expanded profits for the company, regardless of the size of the cooperation.  The connection between work and the workplace environment is centered between two concepts, self motivation and the framework of the workplace environment.

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 Material motivators, for example, advancement and compensation increment, are unmistakable and physical, while profound impetuses persuade individuals from inner sides including “love and belonging” and “self-growth”. These motivating forces are equivalent to those referenced by Pink, for example, “self-growth”, which means developing laborers’ self-impetuses, which originate from the laborers themselves as opposed to from outer forced conditions. The advancement of the organization needs a blend of the two motivations to animate their workers’ potential so as to improve efficiency and make more advantages. Individuals have numerous requirements that are persistently contending one with another. Every individual has an alternate blend and quality of necessities, as certain individuals are driven by accomplishment while others are concentrating on security. On the off chance that the administrators can comprehend, anticipate and control representative conduct, they should recognize what the workers need from their occupations. In this way, it is imperative for a boss to comprehend what true aspirations the employees desire, without making only an assumption.

 While the most evident motivator for expanding worker profitability is frequently thought to be founded on compensation and advancements, this isn’t generally the situation. As indicated by what Ariely referenced, “making work important makes us feel great at work”, it calls attention to how essentially meaning and enthusiastic motivators rouse individuals to work vigorously. A propelling workplace must be designed where representatives within are treated with decency. Regardless of what level or job title an employee is yielding, it is fundamental for a boss to give every representative a feeling of playing a dynamic, vital job in something a lot bigger. Even Ariely said, “By making individuals work more enthusiastically, they really make them like what they are doing.” Surely, inciting reliability is a key component of inspiring laborers and along these lines expanding the general profitability of activities.

 One significant tool for persuading representatives is recognition. Effective supervisors must figure out how to develop this incredible technique for employee inspiration. While regularly to a great extent disregarded by supervisors in the work environment, this can be an immense tool that leads to incredible profits and increased efficiency.  Humans naturally need to feel like they are moving forward and avoiding remaining stagnant. Dead end jobs lead to the decline of motivation, thus making it imperative to have stages in the employees tenure to ensure a steady inspiration pull.  The rise of these stages drives individuals to do incredible things for alleged consideration, similar to the individuals who spotlight on close to home picture as opposed to their own improvement referenced by Zweig’s “Invisibles”, who are impacted by this sort of condition from around and assessment from others. Considering overspecialization prompts redundancy and low degrees of inspiration, it may be beneficial to broaden employees occupations (advancement). As it were, the number or the assortment of assignments should be expanded for the workers, as this will likewise build their degree of execution. Supervisors should know about the contrasts among inspiration and fulfillment. From one perspective, inspiration is affected by future promises of recognitions about the connection among execution and quality, while then again, fulfillment is the result of past assignments and alludes to individuals’ emotions about remunerations they have gotten. In this manner, this qualification is significant when attempting to improve the hierarchical exhibition, as they have to concentrate on all the potential way to upgrade inspiration.

 Extra motivators for work should be joined by self-improvement on the grounds that various individuals have their very own motivations. With the approach of globalization, the world has turned out to be joined together and there is a closer association between every nation. Affected by globalization, organizations are looked with different issues. The improvement of ventures additionally goes past the limits of the nation, prompting a differentiated workplace, while presenting an assortment of laborers with various skin identities, dialects and societies. Organizations should try to create with a similar thought for their self-awareness and figure material motivators to address the issues of all, yet regarding corporate profound impetuses, they should likewise assess the individual circumstance. Various societies or convictions can give representatives various motivating forces to work fulfillment. A few people focus on their exhibition so as to understand their own worth, and others can be known by others. The last gives more consideration to the person’s social picture, as Zweig’s “Invisibles” referenced, numerous individuals like to have a decent notoriety, since notoriety means more luxuries such as riches, status and rights.

 At the point when individual clashes do emerge in the workplace, the company should have an arrangement for settling them. Give intercession and advising chances to workers, and ensure they feel great utilizing them. On the off chance that a contention ends up genuine enough to undermine the concordance and effectiveness of the working environment, the company should require intervention for the gatherings included. Supervisors and bosses should be inspired to work with the entire array of working environment factors that impact representative inspiration. Skills required to incorporate the capacity to connect with employees in a common objective setting explain job desires and give ordinary execution back. The main point here is it is beneficial for all sides when human-to-human association is expressed through giving individualized help and support to every single worker.

 Inspiration is available in each life work. A typical spot that we see the need to apply inspiration is in the work place. In the work power, we can see inspiration assume a key job in initiative achievement. An individual incapable to get a handle on inspiration and apply it won’t become or remain a pioneer.

Works Cited

Pink, Daniel H. 2009. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us-—Chapter 1: The Rise and Fall of Motivation 2.0 and Chapter 6: Purpose. New York: Riverhead Books, 2009, 132.

David Zweig. 2014. Invisibles: The Power of Anonymous Work in an Age of Relentless Self Promotion- Chapter 5: “Fame, Success, and the Myth of Self-Promotion: Why Attention Doesn’t Satisfy Us and Won’t Help Your Business Prospects”.  New York: Penguin, 2014, 111.

Video1: “What makes us Feel Good at Work” TED talk given by Dan Ariely, 2016.

 

Culture of Hispanic Latino Americans

One of the fastest growing and the most interesting of origins come from is Hispanic/Latino Americans. I preferred this ethnic group as it the biggest growing populations in the US so I can healthier relate to them. Additionally, my attention upon achieving my Paralegal degree is inside Human Trafficking as well as Sex Trade which engage this Hispanic/Latino Americans in the midst of others. Furthermore, my son-in-law is Hispanic American also for that reason I would like to know more concerning his culture.

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Being a fast growing community, one way or another, we as Anglo-Non Hispanic Americans have an association with them. For my part, my son-in-law is a Hispanic American, and I want to learn more of his very rich culture. Also, we can observe that a lot of actions are being undertaken to make their presence more pronounced in the community. It would no longer come as a surprise then, if the status and acknowledgment of their presence would significantly change in the future. Thus, their culture is worth studying. In retrospect, I can say that my reasons for wanting to study this group and their culture are not just for these reasons. I am interested in a more specific are, which is the involvement of ethnic groups in Human Trafficking and Sex Trade. It can be observed that these unlawful activities primarily targets individuals from the minority group, and in obtaining my Paralegal degree, I have more than a passing fancy for these concerns.
Language and Population: we should first have a basic understanding and appreciation of their culture before going into detail about the concerns that are currently being faced by the people with Hispanic origin. This will then be our reference in the kind of life they are generally living. It was mentioned before that the Hispanic population is the fastest growing community in the United States. They constitute 11% of the country’s population, and surveys have shown that there are approximately 31 million people who have Hispanic origins (Clutter and Nieto). If most races are being identified primarily because of their physical attributes, the Hispanic Americans have a different reason that bind them together. Japanese, Koreans, and Vietnamese, among others, and basicaly Asians are being identified because of their eyes and physical appearance. Africans are distinguished because of the color of their skin. For the Latinos, it is different. They cannot trace their origins in just one country (Garcia). When we combine a Cuban, an Argentine and an Argentine, we will see various cultures that do not necessarily coincide. One thing binds them together, and that is their language (Arana). Admittedly, like most other communities who are adapting to new cultures, this is increasingly becoming forgotten. However, it cannot be denied that they are being bound by one language, and this is Spanish (Arana). This is the point of reference for the mixed and diverse cultures that the Hispanos have.
Even so, there had been a steady decline in the fluency of speaking Spanish among the Latinos. This is because of their continuous and increasing interaction with non-Hispanics, which made their practice of their native tongue very limited. At this point, it is very helpful to note the evolution of way the Hispanic Americans see themselves. Increasingly, they are becoming determined to be called in a manner they think befit them. For one, less and less of them have been refer to themselves as Americans (Englekirk and Marin). Most of them are more comfortable in still referring to themselves as Mexicans. Being Hispanic or Latino, seems to be more acceptable to them, than be identified to be the Americans.
Differences and similarities between Anglo-Non Hispanic Americans and Hispanics/ Latino American are not several sometimes people attribute who and what they are today to where they came from, and what kind of family brought them up. Many studies have tried to link one’s behavior, health, and other things with family history and genetics. There still exist the debates and discussions about nature as opposed to nurture. In all these things, family history, including one’s family tree, becomes prominent. Indeed, in my own case as an Anglo-Non Hispanic American, my family became very influential in the person that I have become.
Raised as a Methodist, celebrations of Christian holidays such as Christmas and Easter happen in our homes as Anglo-Non Hispanic Americans, Perhaps this added joy to childhood, as I cannot imagine one without the festivities which brought simple joys to me then. Admittedly, ours was not a very religious family, and I can say that it is more so now than then, as we stopped going to church as a family while I was still in high school.
As far as working is concerned, I can honestly say that the work ethic in my family is indeed very strong as Anglo-Non Hispanic Americans. This seems to be the natural tendency for the women in the family. Proof to show, all the women in our family worked outside the home. This is in addition to the responsibility of taking care of the children and of the homes themselves. My adoptive father and mother, although the latter is not very close to me, were teachers/administrators. My stepmother was employed in the same profession as my adoptive parents. Even my grandmothers on both sides worked as well. This is not to say, though, that ours has broken away from the traditional way of living that has been in existence during our time. While I was growing up, girls were not groomed for college. They were not encouraged to pursue higher education in order to have careers of their own. We have not been set to conquer the world, as the boys in the family do. What came about in my life was the trend during those days. I started working while I was still in high school, married afterwards, and raised my own children. At this day and age, women no longer do that. Careers are being established as much by men as by women.
The closest similarity between Anglo-Non Hispanic Americans and Hispanics/ Latino American is probably the feeling of not being accepted in addition to often being rejected. I have felt that way as an Anglo-Non Hispanic American at times, being adopted but I am sure it does not compare to the degree of their circumstances. It is like salsa and ketchup, which are two very different condiments but both have their own significant and striking features. For their part, the Latinos have distinct family values that are very admirable indeed. Family is the very essence of their living, and this importance and respect that is being accorded to the concept of familial usually extends to more than the immediate family. They go by the conventional norm regarding the father as the head of the family. The mother then, is in charge of everything that is concerned with matters of the home. They feel a strong sense of responsibility for familiar concerns that include, but are not limited to, financial problems, health issues, and such other concerns that affect the state of living at home.
Also, they have certain etiquettes and beliefs that distinguish the Anglo-Non Hispanic Americans and Hispanics/ Latino American from most cultures is the way they talk to each other is one, as they tend to treat each other with formality. If we are to compare this with the American way, which is usually informal and casual in nature, there is indeed a significant difference. It is to be noted that Latinos speak in a loud, fast and animated manner when the conversation is informal in nature. When that is not the case, each conversation is then punctuated in the beginning and in the end, of firm handshakes. Body language and gestures like a peck in the cheek signifies how close a Hispanic individual is to the person one is talking to. Most notable also is the particular attention given by Latinos to their looks and appearance. This, for them, is very much in connection with honor, pride and dignity (Clutter and Nieto). Thus, it is common to see well-groomed and impeccably dressed Hispanic people during social gatherings, church events, and in work. This code of etiquette relaxes during informal events, and tennis shoes and jeans are becoming the popular choice of the people also. In terms of time management though, they are more flexible and less conscious of punctuality than most Americans. Being late is a socially acceptable behavior for the Hispanic people, because that is the kind of culture that they are used to. Also, we have discussed earlier that what binds the people is their language. They remain connected, despite the cultural and historical differences, because of this factor. Considering this, it would be understood then, if they try to lessen their public speaking. It was noted that generally, most Latinos are reserved in public speaking, and this is because of their heavy accent (Clutter and Nieto). Although this may still be true until now, we can say that this is rapidly changing, as most of the younger generations who are immersed in the American culture, have the tendency to be less fluent of their native language, than of English.
Religion is aspect of their culture that is worth noting is the religion of the Hispanic community. Most of them are Roman Catholics, constituting more than 90% of the population, and this somehow influences the other cultural traditions, practices, and beliefs of said individuals. The core of the Hispanic culture, thus, does not just mean music and food. There is a spiritual foundation in most of the things that they do and believe in. For instance, these people are known for the creativity and hype that is present in their festivities and celebrations. What we do not realize is that they put more weight and significance to the celebrations that is related with religion, like patron saints’ days, rather than birthdays and personal festivities.
The same goes true for the situation that the community in question, and my own. Despite being an adopted child, I believe that I lived a privileged life, and I think the same cannot be said for the Latinos. Everything that they have, they have to work for-from the acceptance, trust and respect of the people around them, the food that they place in the table and to the status that they have in society, socially and economically.
Employment
There is one very common misconception for Hispanic Americans, and this is their seeming simple-mindedness (Englekirk and Marin). This is mainly due to the initial impression for those who have first settled in the country. This perception was somehow a root, or a trace for that matter, of the low impression and general distrust for the Hispanic Americans. They were thought to be of inferior class than the natives.
This view aids in the initial labor and employment opportunities for most Hispanic Americans. They have been involved in agriculture, mining and transportation, nature of work that requires physical, rather than mental abilities. They had more opportunities as compared with the Japanese and other Asians who were banned from working in and migrating in the United States. Thus, it was the Mexicans who had the most opportunities. They were the ideal candidates to work on these manual labors at a lesser cost. During these times, Mexicans flock states like Texas and California, as these are the places where those jobs were in demand. This was during the 1930s. Their employment opportunities improved along with the change in the perception of people of their abilities and skills. Especially with the Equal Employment Opportunity in effect, their rights in the working environment have changed dramatically and brought immense economic and financial security. These new opportunities, the better treatment, and generally the improved situation, was brought about by the after effects of World War II. All aspects of the Hispanic Americans living dramatically improved after said event.
Political Situation and Immigration Concerns
Hispanics/ Latino American political standing and voice as a people is not handed-in in a silver platter. Latinos still are struggling for representation politically, although this would seem to take more time because their bet in the gubernatorial election against Arnold Schwarzenegger has lost (Masci). This is the very person who held the torch in this aspect of recognizance for Latinos all over the United States. On a lighter note, their campaign for more participation in the political arena seems to continue, as the Democratic candidate in New York is most likely going to hold a position in the House of Representatives (Griffin). With these events and circumstances in mind, we can see that their campaigns and advocacies to make their standing in society better are getting results, albeit being small and seemingly insignificant at first.
This advocacy for better representation in government seems to have stemmed from several reasons. Leaders of the Hispanic communities claim that they are underrepresented in virtually all aspects. In jobs, they are short-listed, and this results from their limited access to job training programs (Griffin). We cannot say that just because there had been a significant development in the economic and political situation of the Latinos, that the situation no longer needs analysis. If we are to look into the lives of the majority of the Latinos, we will see that there are various flaws that really need attention. One of these would again be the limited access of these people to many of the social programs of the government (Griffin).
There is also the aspect of civil rights implementation and effect on the Hispanic communities in the United States. “Federal enforcement of civil rights in education, for example, relies on victims of discrimination to file complaints” (Griffin). This remains to be an unexploited avenue for the Latinos, as there are many of them who are hesitant to file complaints against people who slighted them. There are several reasons for this, and one of the major ones would be the consequences that it would bring. No Latino in his right mind would prefer the ill will of the members of the community, and this would cause such person to just keep quiet. Also, there are instances, and many of them for that matter, when the Hispanics do not complain simply because they are not familiar or are unaware of the grievance process. What more, there are many who cannot complain because they, themselves are not eligible to. This is when Human Trafficking and other abuses would come into play. There had been many instances in the past when the news carried reports on illegal immigrants. These people have not entered the country through the approved and legal process of the American Embassy. This concern has been one of the primary concerns of the Hispanics then. Many of them entered the country unlawfully and are residing in the United States without proper documents. This makes them prone to abuses, as they would not be able to complain, and neither do they really have the legal backing of the government to protect them from abuses. This immigration concern of the Latinos brought legislators to propose that there be more rigid immigration laws to implement (Griffin). This would certainly affect the chances of many Hispanics who want to enter the country, for their own chance for success. This is one of the issues that are being faced by the community. Along with the social concerns that have been discussed early in this paper, it would no longer come as a surprise if there would be health concerns that the Latin communities in the United States face. Because the majority still faces financial difficulties, health issues are prevalent. This is to be expected because these families would not concern themselves much about basic nutrition and regular check-ups. These are basic factors that make good health, and these basic standards are not being met by these families. Health concerns take the back seat, and survival becomes the priority.
Works Cited
Arana, Marie. “The Elusive Hisapanic / Latino Identity.” Nieman Repeorts Volume 55.Issue 2 (2002): 8.
Clutter, Anne W. and Ruben D. Nieto. “Understanding the Hispanic Culture.” The Ohio State University Extension. 23 July 2009 .
Englekirk, Allan and Marguerite Marin. Mexican Americans. RoohIt!. 28 July 2009
Garcia, Jorge J.E. Hispanic/Latino Identity. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers Limited, 2000.
Griffin, Rodman D. “Hispanic Americans: Can they find economic prosperity and political power?” CQ Researcher Volume 2.Issue 40 (1992).
Masci, David. “Latinos’ Future.” CQ Researcher Volume 13.Issue 36 (2003).
 

Native Americans Cultural Appreciation

Culture is a system of beliefs, values, traditions, and behaviors that are passed through generation to generation from a particular group of individuals. The culture of a group of people is strongly treasured, whereas ignorance is not. Christopher Columbus first discovered America in 1492 and called upon the first people he laid eyes on as “Indians”, thinking he was in India. These so called “Indians” make up the history of America today, however as much as they have been through with the coming of Europeans and colonization, one would think their culture would be valued and appreciated. This is not the case. Two elements of Native American culture in today’s society that have been abused and misinterpreted are appreciation and appropriation. Cultural appreciation deals with the understanding and acceptance of an ethnic group’s differences and history, whereas cultural appropriation is the adoption of a culture’s traditions, symbols, or other artifact by another culture.

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Media and pop culture today consists of a mixture of diversity, because America is known as the melting pot, but the problem with today’s society is that they do not understand the history and culture of Native Americans. It is not wrong to incorporate Native American culture in movies or fashion, however when the traditions, beliefs, and history are portrayed incorrectly with many misconceptions, then issues will arise. There should be a large line between cultural appreciation and appropriation in mainstream media and pop culture.
Ever since the beginning of Hollywood cinema, the culture of Native Americans has been portrayed stereotypically as two types of people: independent and honorable or as savages. The lack of understanding of Indian identity and the perspective of their history has been overlooked by Hollywood for many decades. Of course, many Native Americans feel underrepresented as they see themselves depicted as inferior to others in western films. Media has either created unflattering images of the Native American culture and history or has given up their hopes of making a living in the area of acting (Webb, 2009).
The Native News Network is a website created by a group of Native Americans whose mission it is to provide factual news regarding their culture. The focus group discuss the effect that media has on Native American culture and the label that has been created from the aftermath of western films. They say that mainstream media does not “capture the true essence of who American Indians are in contemporary times” (Rickert, 2011). Tribal Chairman Matt Wesaw, one of the participants in the focus group says, “For too many years, we have let other people talk about who we are, what we need and what we want. That’s why we are still a mystery. Now is the time for us to tell our story…without us telling, it will never be told properly” (Rickert, 2011).
Native Americans are a group of people just like everybody else, therefore they should be treated fairly and should be portrayed the way they really are. The problem with Hollywood and Native Americans is not that they are not being put into films without their history being incorporated, it is the fact that Native Americans feel their culture is being incorrectly interpreted and displayed along with the fact that many Native American films contain non-Natives playing the role of Natives as opposed to Natives playing the role of Natives. For example, in Stolen Women Captured Hearts (1997), there is a lack of Natives on screen. During the time of the making, many pro-Native American groups protested against the use of non-Natives, particularly Caucasians, playing Native Americans, such as a Cheyenne being portrayed by actor Trevor Howard (Webb, 2009).
This makes it seem that Hollywood has no faith in the talent of Native Americans. Native Americans are usually seen as savages, wearing barely any clothes and getting shot by Caucasian heroes during warfare. Native Americans are seen as sensitive people in Heart of an Indian (1912), but as blood thirsty savages in The Battle of Elderbrush Gulch (1914). Native American women are princesses or squaws, which is an offensive term towards Native American women. The males are usually Caucasian, dressed as Native Americans with makeup and braided hair wigs, whereas the women, being Caucasian as well, are usually Indian princesses (Padgett). Some Native Americans have worked on set as extras or consultants, but have been paid less than the Caucasian males doing the same job, such as the Navajos on the set of The Searchers (1956). Along with less pay, the Navajo people were not allowed to leave the reservation unless granted permission from the government (Padgett).
Native Americans have not always been treated and depicted inferiorly. In the movie Little Big Man (1970) with Dustin Hoffman, Native Americans are portrayed more authentically in the story line. In this movie, emotions fill the screen with laughter and tears as opposed to the stereotypical savages and unemotional beings. It shows Native Americans as real humans. There is a balance in this movie with some Natives being good and others being bad (Padgett). The Lone Ranger (1949-1957), a television series starring Native American Jay Silverheels as Tonto, has had an incredible impact on Native American characterizations. “Tonto is the one who started it all. He was the first really mainstream pop culture Indian figure, the monosyllabic stoic Indian stereotype”, says Native writer Sherman Alexie. Films, comic books and even toys have been created as a result of Tonto, having fused the West with American culture (Hoffman, 5).
Although there have been films in past decades to have acknowledged Indian identity, this is not the case for movies in the 21st century. X-men Origins: Wolverine (2009) contains the popular character Silver Fox. Silver Fox is supposed to be a Native Canadian Black Foot, according to the original comics, however in the movie, the character is played by Lynn Collins, a Caucasian actress. Along with the choice for a non-Native as Silver Fox, the actual name of the character is changed to Kayla Silverfox to make it sound more American. (Webb, 2009). The fact that Hollywood changed the name of the original character to make it mainstream is ignorant. It is no wonder why Native Americans feel they are being oppressed still today.
The month of November is a time to celebrate Native American history and culture, however other headlines involving inappropriate appropriation over-powers the point of Native American Heritage month. Earlier in November of 2012, singer Gwen Stefani came under the spotlight after her music group, No Doubt, came out with a Wild West-theme music video called “Looking Hot”. It featured Gwen Stefani on horseback, a feather surrounding her head and blond braids, fire dances and teepees. According to Gwen Stefani, this music video was “never to offend, hurt or trivialize Native American people, their culture or their history.” Native Americans felt that this video was created only for the band to make a profit, and that there is no understanding of the Native American culture in this video (Rogers, 2012).
Native American women have been highly sexualized throughout pop culture and history. This is not a good thing giving that 1 in 3 Native women will be raped in their lifetime and that 70% of sexual violence against Native women is committed by non-Natives (K., 2012). Take the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show for instance. Supermodel Karli Kloss walks down the runway in a feather headdress that is floor-length long with a tiny leopard print bikini and turquoise jewelry. When the show aired in December, the model had to be edited out of the hour long show. The outfit worn by the model is misleading and inappropriate, because Native American women did not wear bikinis as traditional garments. It gives off the impression that is this is what their culture is like, that all women barely wear clothing (K., 2012).
Halloween is also a time of year where people enjoy dressing up as Native Americans. There is no problem with dressing up as an Indian, but the fact that some outfits are skimpy and inappropriate is disrespectful. Also, most of the women and men who dress up as Indians have no knowledge about the outfits they are wearing, the headdresses they have on their heads or the symbolism of the paint on their faces. According to certain Indians, as long as one is aware of the culture and history of the ethnic group they are pretending to be, then it is alright (K., 2012).
Retail stores, such as Urban Outfitters, are under fire with the manufacturing of hipster clothing, using the Navajo name and their motifs in the apparel without permission. Yes, permission is required according to the Indian Arts and Crafts Act. This acts states it is illegal to misrepresent Native American tribal names on any products that have not been manufactured by the Native Americans themselves, because this falsely suggests that these items are authentic (United States Cong. Bill). According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Native Americans lose up to half a billion dollars due to these incidents of fabrication and counterfeiting. Not only do the Navajo lose money from these products, they also lose a sense of their culture, because the American culture is creating this stereotypical representation of the Navajo (Siek, 2012). Sasha Houston Brown, a member of the Santee Sioux Nation of Nebraska says, “Despite what dominant society and mainstream media say, Native culture is a vibrant and living culture. We are not a relic of the past, a theme or a trend, we are not a style or costume, we are not mascots or noble savages.” Brown also explains that collaboration is essential in keeping the values and dignity of Native Americans through pop culture. “Collaborations can work as long as the dynamics at hand are empowering Native artists and designers so they are actually able to participate in an equitable manner,” says Brown (Grinberg, 2012). Collaborations allows Native Americans to work with non-Natives in order to achieve a sense of understanding of their culture while at the same time incorporating their culture in products as a way to get rid of the modern stereotypical perceptions created from media and pop culture.
A line should be drawn between cultural appreciation and appropriation in mainstream media and pop culture to the point where there is a true understanding of Native American culture: the history, beliefs, values, traditions and behaviors. Ever since colonization of Europeans, Native Americans have been oppressed and treated inferiorly. Since the beginning of Hollywood cinema, many stereotypes have been exposed to the public, making it difficult for Native Americans to be appreciated by the people who take advantage of their symbols and traditions without respect for their history. By incorporating Native Americans in movies based on their culture would be appropriate and would allow them to show how they really are, as opposed to non-Natives pretending to be them.
When it comes to fashion, many productions have come under fire, such as Victoria’s Secret and Urban Outfitters for either promoting Native American women as highly sexualized or gaining profit by fabricating the authenticity of apparel and such products. In order to be justified, collaboration is vital between Native Americans and non-Natives. As long as there is a learning aspect while making products as well as an understanding and respect towards Native American culture from the public, then there should be no controversy or lines drawn. Native Americans have a long history of oppression, betrayal, and suffering, yet they still believe in their culture after hundreds of years of pain, therefore they should be appreciated and respected, especially since we are technically on their territory.
 

How the Media Causes Americans to Fear Immigration

Over the past decades it’s no surprise that fear of immigration has risen to an alarming rate. But has it even actually been at a low? No it hasn’t, but you might say at times it’s not as much talked about. Then at other times it seems to be the only thing were discussing. A big portion of this concern comes from what minority is deemed a threat to our nation and you can count on journalism to make us question if we should be so welcoming. This goes back to the treatment of Italian immigrants during World War II, Middle Eastern immigrants following September 11th, or the current treatment of Hispanic immigrants during the trump administration. A big role in how these people are treated is in connection in what we see on the news or read about in articles.

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As beloved as Italian cuisine, sports cars, and fashion is in today’s society, things were different during WWII. During this time 600, 000 Italian immigrants were forced to carry “enemy alien” identity papers. These are a requirement similar to the system of the Star of David that the Jews had to wear in Germany. Italian immigrants helped provide the labor for American factories and mines and helped build roads, dams, tunnels, and other infrastructure. Although in the 1950s and 1960s, Italians encountered prejudice and negative stereotypes. Much of that was related to the Mafia. Often victimized by organized crime, Italian Americans also found their collective reputation tarnished by organized crime, even as they climbed the socioeconomic ladder. A lot of this blame can also be put on stories such as the god father. The news played big rolls in this by reporting news from the immigrant’s home countries back here in the United States. It made as a target on the backs of these new comers. Organized crime followed those not even involved and made them a victim to discrimination.
Another time in history where we see an agenda pushed on immigration is following the acts of terrorism that happened on September 11th. As someone a Middle Eastern American who lived through this I can speak first hand on what I saw in the news. Not only was the agenda against immigration but also current residents. The news following 9/11 was constant coverage of Arabic countries and videos of al-Qaida soldiers training and sending threats to the United States. According to the data provided by the Office of Immigration Statistics,36 the category of Muslim immigration most dramatically impacted by 9/11 and its aftermath has been that of temporary visitors – “nonimmigrants.” From a high in FY 2001 of over 710,000 business and personal visitors from Muslim countries tracked by the American government, the number dropped to only 465,000 the following year. “The largest numerical drop between 2000 and 2004 has been in the number of tourist and business visas issued to individuals from Gulf countries, which include Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Oman.”37
While part of this drop mirrored the broad slowdown in international travel caused by 9/11, these Gulf countries were also specifically (although not exclusively) singled out on the list of twenty-six predominately Muslim countries that became the focus of many of the Bush Administration’s more aggressive immigration enforcement policies and more rigorous visa application screening procedures. With an interview with Muhammed El Dosugi a Sudanese neighbor who was taken into questioning after the 9/11 events, he told me he was simply taken in because his name was Muhammed. This was the same first name as one of the hijackers. He was traumatized for life and he blames in on the news repetition for days nonstop of his first name. He also stated how he hadn’t been able to see his brother for 16 years after he was denied a visitation visa to the states from 2001 up till recently being approved in 2017. Prior to this Mr.El Dosugi’s family had been issued visa frequently to visit there family here in New Jersey.
The last minority and most recent is happening today and that is with Hispanics, mostly Mexican immigrants. With President Trumps administration discrimination against Mexican immigrants and Hispanics overall are at an all-time high. With stories of drug cartels and senseless crime happening in other countries the news is pushed to us. With figures like El Chapo and the Mexican cartel news outlets drill in to the minds of Americans that our countries issues are caused by them. Being shown one sided narratives of crime being committed here in the states by Hispanics also pushes a narrative of fear.  Some consider Mexican Americans similar to European Americans of a century ago that arrived in the United States with modest backgrounds but were eventually able to participate fully in society. Others argue that Mexican Americans have been racialized throughout U.S. history and this limits their participation in society. An example of how Hispanics are being crucified is the deportation camps where undocumented and some documented people are being held after being brought in through raids or at the borders. Some news articles and officials have even called them concentration camps. Esquire Mag and PS Mag have compared them and in fact said these are exactly what the detention centers are. Consistent pressure and threats of tariffs from the Trump administration have spurred the government of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, better known as AMLO, to crack down on migration routes. The effect can be felt especially on the Mexican-Guatemalan border, where 6,000 Mexican National Guard troops have been dispatched to curtail illegal immigration.
Thousands of migrants are spending months in limbo in border towns near the United States, as they wait for asylum applications to be processed. While many Mexicans are still working to assist and comfort the travelers, the poll showed that 60% of responders said they believe these migrants add a burden to the country’s already stretched services.(Cnn.com). Although the media has the power to make us fear immigration it also has the power to make us side with it. As much as Hispanics are being discriminated against in immigration I believe because of the attitude towards our current president history is starting a new chapter. It is now an equal two sided debate. As much hate as they receive people are now advocating to the need for equality and fair treatment. The debate on whether we need a boarder wall has its pros and cons and is not being pushed to what we fear. The fear of immigration will always be an issue in our country , but whether that is an issue we are in fear of or favor of naturally all comes down to what agenda the media is pushing on us.  They are the gatekeepers and they hold the power to steer the public in a specific direction.
References

 

Rights and Status of Women and African Americans in the Cold War Era

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man on a city bus, and was arrested for disobeying a law that regarded African Americans inferior to whites. This was the start of something big, and a period of nonviolence, mass activism, and civil disobedience represented not only by African Americans, but women and other minorities as well. This was a time when activists sought to change the status quo all in the name of freedom and equality. They faced intense resistance from both white protestors, legislatures, and police officers, who were happy with what America embodied at the time. Starting in the 1960’s there was an era of great accomplishment and struggle that helped African Americans and women to advance within society, gain the same rights as their white counterparts, and bring recognition to their struggles.

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America has been symbolized as the land of the free ever since we split apart from Great Britain 250 years ago, but we know that history doesn’t exactly resonate with that idea. Even today we are still struggling with the injustices and inequalities that some members of society are still facing. But we have gained the most progress towards absolute equality over the past fifty to sixty years. The start of this progression happened in 1963 when congress passed the Equal Pay Act, which banned discrimination of wages based on sex. Then in 1964 the Equal Rights Act banned discrimination based on sex, race, and religion. Foner further states that, “the sixties came to be blamed for every ill, real, and imagined, of American society, from crime, drug abuse, and teenage pregnancy to a decline of respect for authority.” (Foner 305)
One of the major struggles that the African American community is still facing today is the criminalization that law makers set upon them. After the War many people started to leave urban city centers and towns and after that there was quite a decline in economic investment. As time went on these cities became distressed with inescapable poverty, but these communities were made up of mostly African Americans. This is because most of the whites had moved to the suburbs through the use of the G.I. Bill, which gave veterans low interest rates and mortgage rates so they could buy houses. This bill did almost nothing for African Americans and was almost exclusively for whites. Since they were unable to attain these mortgages they had to remain in the city and continue to live in poverty. Since many of these African Americans lived in such dangerous and harsh neighborhoods they would use drugs to cope. And leading up to the 1970’s drug use was beginning to become a serious problem in the U.S. and that’s when Nixon formally announced the War on Drugs. This was when these urban spaces started to be criminalized by the government.
African Americans started to face a real threat to their lives once Nixon imposed these strict measures, such as mandatory prison sentencing for drug related crimes. Heather Thompson explain in The Journal of American History that African Americans, “became subject to a grow- ing number of laws that not only regulated bodies and communities in thoroughly new ways but also subjected violators to unprecedented time behind bars.” This led to police officers and drug enforcement agencies to discriminate against black communities by unfairly targeting them and harassing them. This painted the picture that all African Americans were criminals and that whites weren’t. In the documentary The 13th, a statistic came up on the screen and it said, “In 1970 the prison population was 357,292. In 2014 the prison population was was 2,306,200.”(13th, 15:13) The majority of the people in prison are African Americans from inner cities arrested for drug related crimes or some sort of violation. Even though Marijuana has been legalized both recreationally and medically in some of the states, there are still people serving life sentences for selling it in those states.
African Americans aren’t the only ones who have faced struggles in the past fifty years, women have made huge advancements in regards to sexual, economic, and body rights. All the way up until 1973, when Roe v. Wade was ruled, one of the biggest fights that second wave feminism was fighting was the right to access a safe a legal abortion. Many women across the country were resorting to unsafe abortion methods, like using a sharp object, to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. In the book All in the Family, by Robert O. Self, he mentioned that, “In New York, one study of low-income women found that as many as one in ten had attempted a self-induced abortion and more than one-third knew someone who had.”(O. Self 140) The biggest opponent of the reform and repeal of abortion rights was the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church saw abortion as the murder of an infant and fought it at every turn. Up until that point women had been arguing from the standpoint of a woman body is caring the baby, so its her choice if she wanted to keep it. They started to realize that this wasn’t really gaining momentum with legislatures, but it also didn’t help that the people who were arguing for them were men. They switched to a different argument centered around the negative right of privacy, which was the most influential legal argument that they could give. Then in 1969 when the California Supreme Court ruled, in People v. Belous, that the states preform abortion law was unconstitutionally vague, and that a right of privacy included a woman’s fundamental right to choose whether or not to bear children( O. Self 147) and thus lead to the Supreme Court’s ruling in 1973. The right to privacy was the connection that they drew to the struggle for reproductive rights.
Abortion wasn’t the only thing that women had to fight for control of their fertility. In the late 1860’s a devout Christian by the name of Anthony Comstock, began to see advertisements for contraception devices. He was afraid that contraception devices promoted sex and he decided to target them. He came up with legislation that banned the mailing of any “obscene, lewd, or lascivious” books, including contraception information and devices, and took it to Washington.
(Paluzzi 397) From the Comstock Laws went into affect and they lasted all the way until 1965. As they got into the era of fighting for reproductive rights, women began to take on these laws, and were tired of being the ones responsible for pregnancy. But once again the Catholic Church opposed all forms of artificial contraception and saw it as a sin, even though a majority of Catholic women didn’t agree. Many states barred the sale of contraception, even to married couples. But in 1960’s, they used the right to privacy to gain access to contraceptives, and in 1970 they expanded the right to underage women.(Paluzzi 398) Even then they were still struggling with the fact that a lot of low income families and underage women were still having unwanted pregnancies. This pushed them deeper into poverty and made them rely more on government assistance. A solution was created when Nixon signed Title X into law, which prevented millions of unwanted child births through funding of reproductive health services. The history of the United States has been chock-full of struggles that mainly African Americans and women have faced. The cause is mainly from the disparities of the white men that have been in power for decades, and their refusal to give others a say. To this day we are still dealing with the certain class disparities, but we have came a long way over that past fifty or so years. The American Dream wasn’t always given as promised, and many people have first hand experience of the dark side of that dream.
Works Cited
DuVernay, Ava, director. 13th. Netflix, 7 Oct. 2016, https://www.netflix.com/watch/ 80091741?source=35.
Foner, Eric. The Story of American Freedom. Media Production Services Unit, Manitoba Education, 2012.
Paluzzi, Patricia. “Reproductive Rights: A Call to Action.” Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health, vol. 51, no. 6, Dec. 2006, pp. 397–401., doi:10.1016/j.jmwh.2006.07.004.
Self, Robert O. All in the Family: the Realignment of American Democracy since the 1960s. Hill and Wang, 2013.