Equal Society in the United States

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Updated: Mar 14, 2023
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Racism has been a part of American culture since the birth of our country. Whites have always oppressed people of other races and their methods are still evolving till this day. America is a country that claims to have equality for all but has not successfully achieved it yet. People with racist thoughts still make up a large portion of government in the United States including all three branches.

When the British came to America, they were quick to oppress the Native Americans and force them out of their land.

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The people who colonized America harassed the Natives into switching their religion to Christianity. Later, Andrew Jackson put the Indian Removal Act into play and the Natives had to move onto small reservations. This was called the Trail of Tears and many people were killed off on the long troop to Oklahoma.

Slavery was what stimulated the American economy. There was in increasing need for cash crops and, enslaving African Americans was the solution that the citizens came up with. With so many workers that didn’t need payed, plantation owners were able to mass produce cash crops and pocket the money for themselves. Without slavery, large plantations would not have existed. This is why southern plantation owners fought so hard to keep slavery. Andrew Jackson was the seventh president and a strong supporter of slavery. He owned a plantation that had around 150 slaves (thehermitage.com). His plantation was called The Hermitage and is how he rose to the presidency. Jackson eventually brought his slaves into the White House with him. Andrew Jackson is the man who is represented on the twenty-dollar bill and honored by our current president.

After the bombing at Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt decided to take things into his own hands and relocate anyone with Japanese heritage. Nearly 117,000 citizens of the United States were relocated into ten camps. These inhabitation centers had striking resemblances to Nazi concentration camps, they had little space and unhabitable conditions. Even after the internment was lifted, people were severely racist towards the Japanese citizens and would throw racial slurs at them.

President Donald Trump was sworn into Presidency on January 20th, 2017 and has continued to cause an uprising amongst the United States ever since. Trump appears to take the oppression of minorities lightly as he constantly makes jokes about serious topics such as the Trail of Tears and poverty within the Black community. When a Native American woman announced that she was running for the Presidency, Trump ended a tweet aimed towards her by saying “See you on the campaign TRAIL, Liz!” (@realDonaldTrump), this is a clear allusion towards the Trail of Tears. There is now a portrait of Andrew Jackson hanging in the oval office which shows that Trump idealizes him.

Many citizens, mainly in the south, continue to glorify racist leaders by keeping their statues up in memory of their ‘achievements’. Most confederate statues were built during the time many of the Jim Crow laws were created. There is a direct link between when the confederate statues were built and when the Jim Crow laws were enacted, according to a study done by the Southern Poverty Law Center. It is believed that these statues were put up in order to intimidate African Americans in the Confederacy. James Grossman stated that “These statues were meant to create legitimate garb for white supremacy, why would you put a statue of Robert E. Lee or Stonewall Jackson in 1948 in Baltimore?”. There have been movements and protests against these statues in many cities including Louisville where 150 people gathered in attempts to get a statue of John B. Castleman taken down. People have also started protests against taking down these statues. Many groups such as neo-Nazis and white supremacists have been protesting against the removal of the statues and even the President, Donald Trump, has called these groups “very fine people” in a press briefing that was broadcasted on CNBC on August 15th, 2017.

The Equal Protection Clause or 14th amendment in the constitution states “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Because of the 14th amendment, are we all equal no matter the color of our skin? Sadly, skin color still plays a huge role in the courtroom. There is a lack of diversity within judges and the majority of them are White. It has been found that only 20 percent of state judges are African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, or Mixed, as reported by the American Constitution society. The remaining percent of judges are white. It is highly unlikely that rulings will be fair for minorities when they are barely represented by the judges themselves. But that’s okay, the jury can help to make up for the bias of the judge, right?

According to the IPA, Black men are incarcerated seven times as much as White men (Innovations for Poverty Action). It is hard for citizens to believe that they are being treated equally when the statistics show that they are not. African American drivers are 20 percent more likely, and Hispanics are 30 percent more likely to get tickets than Whites after being pulled over by a police officer (The Stanford Open Policing Project). The relationship between skin color and getting in trouble with the law is very distinct.

While congress is more diverse than ever, the United States still has a long way to go before it sees true equality among races. Around 22 percent of congress is made up of minorities, as reported by the Pew Research Center. Four races combined make up only about a fourth of Americas lawmakers. The lack of equality in Congress in the past lead to many racist laws that have withheld colored citizens in the past. Just a few of these include the Jim Crow laws, the Japanese-American Internment of 1942, and the Mexican Repatriation.

Awareness about the lack of equality caused by our racist roots has been increasing throughout the years. The Black Lives Matter movement has sprouted in attempt to bring attention to the inequality in the Judicial system mainly dealing with police shootings. The NAACP or the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s mission is to “secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well being of all persons” (NAACP). There are many smaller groups that serve similar purposes as these two. The United States is more diverse than ever and we are slowly working towards an equal society. Although the country has come a very long way since its beginning, we still have not escaped the racism that is rooted so deeply into the government.

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Equal Society in the United States. (2021, Jun 03). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/equal-society-in-the-united-states/