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The Hypocrisy of Racial Equality in the US During & After WWII

2019-05-16 来源: 51due教员组 类别: Essay范文

下面为大家整理一篇优秀的essay代写范文- The Hypocrisy of Racial Equality in the US During & After WWII,供大家参考学习,这篇论文讨论了美国种族平等的虚伪。美国是一个以文化和民族多样性而闻名的国家。然而,多元文化主义走向主流的过程是一个充满斗争的过程。即使在今天的美国社会,种族歧视仍然是最深刻的社会问题之一。虽然促进平等权利是国家的基本价值观念,但基于种族的歧视阻碍了平等。由于美国土地上最早的定居者大多来自欧洲,他们形成了本土主义的所有权意识,并在几代人之后以不同的方式对待来自不同地方的移民。以欧洲为中心的意识形态是美国歧视的主要来源,阻碍了人们获得平等的权利。

Racial Equality,美国种族平等,essay代写,作业代写,代写

The United States is a country known for the diversity of culture and ethnic groups. The immigrant culture has become an important part of the American identity. However, the process of the multi-culturalism to go to mainstream is one full of struggles. Even in the US society nowadays, racial discrimination remains one of the most profound social problems. While the promotion of equal rights is the fundamental values of the country, the equality has been hindered by discrimination based on race. Traditionally perceived as a country of melting pot of different cultures and races, the problem of racism in the country is also serious, especially in the past centuries. Since most of the earliest settlers in the land of American were from Europe, they developed a sense of nativist ownership and treated immigrants from different places differently after generations. Immigrants from outside the European continent, in general, were considered inferior to the European immigrants. They had to earn a living in the US society with established social and wealth classes, while enduring the discrimination from the white Americans. The Europe-centered ideology is the major source of discrimination in the United States, that hindered people from obtaining equal rights. in this paper, two examples of unfair treatment will be discussed, against the Mexican, Japanese and Black immigrants in the United States, through the form of poems.

In So Mexicans Are Taking Jobs from Americans, Jimmy Santiago Baca has adopted a sarcastic approach to depict the attitude of “Americans” towards Mexican immigrants. Obviously, the Americans in the poem refers to the white Americans who discriminate against the new comers to the country. The title of the poem sounds familiar to many, as it has almost become a slogan for people to reject the immigrants. Politicians have used it to win over voters, but mostly, this is a phrase used by racists to spread fear of the immigrants. One of the most common ways of spreading fear is by vilifying the immigrants, as shown in the poem. The language and cultural barrier made it much easier for the Mexican culture to be rejected and alienated by mainstream. Although most of the immigrants are harmless, the fact that they are unemployed made it easier for them to be treated like criminals, as if their existence is a mistake. This impression makes it even harder for the Mexicans to find jobs in the United States, making them vulnerable to unethical employers who exploite them with lower than minimum wage. Phrases such as and “sneak into town at night” and “mug you, a knife at your throat” (Santiago Baca) are used to demonstrate the vilifying of Mexican immigrants as criminals. Due to the language barrier and the different culture, undocumented Mexican immigrants are commonly perceived as criminals (Schryer 25). However, the Mexican immigrants look no different than the first group of Europeans to set foot on the land of America. Both are seeking to survive in the new environment. Instead of finding the jobs that help them survive, the Mexican workers are met with racial hatred. Some of the hatred has been fabricated by the public leaders, as a way of manipulation by fear. Blinded by such fear, the discrimination against the Mexicans, or any other ethnic minority, has become much worse in the mid-20th century.

In the following section of the poem, the living conditions of the non-white immigrants are described: the sound of the rifles, when white farmers were shooting the black and brown people is the demonstration of the white supremacy ideology in the country. In a way, the Mexicans were not treated as equal human beings, but as animals that can be shot with no condemnations. A contrast is then made between the “white farmers” and the Mexican workers. “The poor marching for a little work” and “the clean-suited farmers living in New York” are completely different states of living. While the Mexicans were starving and in desperate need to work and survive, the American that wore fancy suits in New York could not care less about them. The problem of social segregation is revealed, with a small group of people controlling the majority of the social wealth. This gap has continued to the present day. In the United States nowadays, the racial wealth gap has become increasingly wide. Despite all the efforts for equality, the white still stand on a higher starting point than the other races, especially the Black and Hispanic. Large amounts of wealth are easily obtained through inheritance, while many don’t even have enough to pay for college (Shapiro 43). The situation described in the poem continues after decades, as the Black and Mexican immigrants remain the poorest racial groups. Through the spread of fear and hatred, the one who became rich first wanted the social wealth segregation to keep. In the last parts of the poem, the tone changed from sarcastic to criticizing, as the Americans payed no attention to the suffering of immigrants. While the Mexicans were struggling to work the lowest jobs to feed their children, the mass media should be ashamed to spread racism and fear. These actions are no different from murder, as commented by Santiago Baca: “let them die, and the children too.” It may be easy for one to write a slogan and promote animosity against a specific race. However, the poem of Santiago Baca asks people to think about the basis and logic of such slogans, to realize how inhumane it is to stripe a race from their basic rights to survive.

In the second poem to be analyzed, the Japanese Americans during WWII are featured. After Pearl Harbor, the government of the United States decided to put the hundreds of thousands of Japanese Americans living in the Pacific coast into camps. In 1942, Executive Order 9066 was carried out under the command of president Roosevelt (America in WWII: Japanese-American Internment). The Japanese Americans were treated differently in all of the country. Despite over half of the Japanese on American soil were American citizens, most of them were not released from the camp until the end of the war. During the relocation into the camp, only 150 pounds of personal possessions were allowed for each person, and 75 pounds for children (Yamaguchi 39). Other valuable possessions were not allowed. Through the tournament, the Japanese in America had lost almost all of their possessions, estimated to be hundreds of millions of dollars. The living conditions in the camps, according to the memories of the survivors, were no better than prison. Multiple families had to share a single laundry and bathroom. The food in the camps were hard to swallow. To make it worse, many of the Japanese were questioned for being Japanese spies for months. Despite the unfair treatment, the Japanese American showed great spirit. Many actively learned English and American history in the camps, some even volunteered to work for the army without any payment. Such large scale of unfair treatment targeting a certain race is rare even in human history. While Germany was also on the opposing side of the war, the Germans in the United States were treated a lot better than the Japanese. Apparently, the basic human rights of the European immigrants were much better respected than the ones of Asian immigrants.

During the WWII, over 127,000 citizens of the United States were imprisoned only for being Japanese (America in WWII: Japanese-American Internment). To many Americans in the modern day, it is confusing how the Japanese Americans did not “put up a fight” before being imprisoned. They even blame the nature of the Japanese to be submissive without looking more closely into historical facts. In the poem To the Lady by Mitsuye Yamada, a common yet ignorant question is being answered: “Why did the Japanese Americans let the government put them in those camps without protest?” (Yamada). The problem with discrimination in the United States was that the discriminated group did not have a voice to be heard by the public. Due to the cultural and language barrier, the immigrants were still trying to fit in to the mainstream US society. In return, however, little effort by the mainstream white American society was shown to embrace these new immigrants. The sudden change of political weather after Pearl Harbor left them no choice other than to submit to the unfair treatment by the authorities. The lack of voice made the Japanese Americans more vulnerable than other ethnic groups, such as the Germans. If the US government was to put the German Americans into camps, it would be considered no less than Nazism and raise huge opposition from the public, both home and abroad. In contrast, no voice was raised from the Japanese, because they did not have a voice. Voice of opposition did not appear, either, as people were immerged in the hatred and vengeful feelings after Pearl Harbor attack, and nobody dared to raise a public objection to the Executive Order, nor did anyone care. The “ethical values” of the public became a hypocrisy, as the “come to my aid in shining armor” scenario was only the imagination of the poet and would never happen in reality. The voice of the majority was lost, when they witnessed unfair treatment of another ethnic group: “YOU let’m, I let’m, all are punished (Yamada).” The majority may not be blamed for their silence, and the victims are definitely not to blame.

Under the context of racial discrimination and injustice, the lives of immigrants in the United States, especially from regions out of Europe, were extremely difficult. As a country of immigration, the United States is compared to a melting pot by many. However, this melting pot can be selective of race when it comes to the ingredients. Dudley Randall’s The Melting Pot vividly describes how the pot granted the new American identity to people from different parts of the world. By entering the pot, different people let go of their original identity and embrace their new one, as Americans. However, in “Step in Czech or Greek or Scot, step out American (Randall)”, the three places listed are all in Europe, which is a precise account of the reality: there existed a priority based on race, or place of origin, and the white from Europe was considered the rightful receiver of the rights of American citizenship. It was as if the Africans, Asians and Mexicans were not part of the picture at all. The “weird” feeling brought by a mixture of “John” and “Jiro” precisely demonstrates how difficult it is for immigrants of western and non-western backgrounds to be melted together. The American melting pot served to strip away the original culture of the immigrants as well: “step in and then step out again, all freshly christened John.” The original variation of names was replaced by a single John, which symbolizes the loss of the original ethnic cultures of the different peoples. Dominated by the nativist feelings, the immigrants were not often welcome by the majority (Saverino). Therefore, the most effective way of minimizing the animosity of the “natives”, was to look and act like Americans as quickly as possible, and abandoning their own cultural habits. As a result, the origins and traditions of the ancestors no longer matters, which leads to the birth of generations of culturally dislocated immigrants.

Despite being a large melting pot, it is also highly selective of the color of the people being blended in it. Among the Europeans, the earlier settlers in the land of America always felts superior to the late comers. While some of the black Americans can be traced back far earlier than some European settlers, the European supremacy has determined that they were socially inferiors than those who came later. The Europeans would say, “keep out, this is a private pot, we don’t want your black stain (Randall)” to the blacks who try to become part of the mainstream America. These may not refer to literal words, but actions and unwritten rules to alienate the African Americans. Meanwhile, the Europeans open their arms and embrace other immigrants from the European countries, and praised how open and free the United States was. It seems that there was an exclusiveness to the pot, undeclared yet unbreakable. The ethnic minorities had to go through countless struggles, only to find themselves rejected by the pot every time. “Thrown out a thousand times,” the black Americans finally stopped trying, and decided to “be just what I am (Randall).” However, they are even more culturally dislocated than the whites trying to blend in, since most of their ancestors were slaves and were only able to pass fragments of ethnic culture onto them. The black Americans thus become rootless, neither accepted by the mainstream United States society, nor are they able to trace back to their own culture in Africa. The fate and struggles of the Black Americans once again demonstrated the hypocrisy of the “melting pot.”

In conclusion, the three poems have shown the struggles of the Mexican, Japanese and Black American under the unfair treatment due to racial discrimination. The nativism of the first comers, the European supremacy, as well as the social wealth segregation were the main reason for the racial inequality in the United States. While the country is often portrayed as a country of openness, equality and freedom, it obviously has more than one standard based on race. As a result of the discrimination, immigrants had little choice but to be Americanized to blend in and survive, even if it means being culturally dislocated.

Works Cited

Randall, Dudley. “The Melting Pot”

Santiago Baca, Jimmy. “So Mexicans Are Taking Jobs from Americans”

Saverino, Joan. “The Americanization of Immigrants” [Web]. Retrieved on 18 July 2017 from: http://hsp.org/sites/default/files/legacy_files/migrated/reading2.1.pdf

Schryer, Frans J. “They never come back: a story of undocumented workers from Mexico” Cornell University Press. 2014.

Shapiro, Thomas M. “The Racial Wealth Gap” The State of Black America, 2005. pp. 41-48

USHistory.org “America in WWII: Japanese-American Internment” [Web]. Retrieved on 18 July 2017 from: http://www.ushistory.org/us/51e.asp

Yamada, Mitsuye. “To the Lady”

Yamaguchi, Precious. Experiences of Japanese American Women during and After World War II: Living in Internment Camps and Rebuilding Life Afterwards. Lexington Books, Lanham, 2014.

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