The issue of racism has existed since the 19th when immigration was actively taking place. People from different continents and countries migrated to new countries where they could encounter good job opportunities that could lead to better lives. Others were forcefully moved to foreign countries as slaves. As such, the United States became consolidated with people from different continents and countries including Asians, Spanish, Mexicans, and even Africa. Due to the increased number of people in the United States, the issue of racism arose, and some of the immigrants were subjected to ill-treatment. Those who came from minor were subjected to unequal opportunities compared to those of the majority races. In that case, they were subjected to discrimination, slavery, denial of privileges, poor schooling,housing segregation, imprisonment, and racial profiling among other forms of suffering.
First of all, minority races have been subjected to racial discrimination since the 19th century. In the article, How Race is Made in America, Natalia Molina explains how Mexicans were discriminated while attempting to live on the American soils. American purposefully allowed Mexicans into their state so that they can subject them to ill-treatment such as hard labor. Since most of the Mexicans were from low social classes, they could no fight for their rights in a foreign state. Molina (p. 3) says; “Mexicans attended segregated schools, lived in marginalized households, and labored in dead-end jobs.” Although Mexicans are counted among the white race, the discrimination meant that racism in the United was not based on the origin or the skin color; instead, it was based on social construction and perception. In this case, it was the majority races who chose which race to discriminate, and Mexicans were among the discriminated ones.
Another ill-treatment directed towards minority races in the United States is slavery. Minor races such as African-Americans and Mexicans were subjected to slavery in the 19th century. They had to provide labor in American farms despite the low wages and brutal beatings in case they disobeyed the set rules. In the article, How Race is Made in America, Molina explains how Mexican slaves were forced to work in fuel mass production factories and in the large agricultural fields (Molina 6). This practice showed clearly that Americans had racialized Mexicans based on political, social, and economic comparisons. They did not base on the color or origin. Besides, African-Americans were also forced into slavery because they consisted of a marginalized race which the majority races viewed as useless. Therefore, they could not be allowed to live normal lives, but to work as slaves in the large American agricultural fields while being subjected to brutal beating and low wages.
Besides, the minority races in the United States are denied privileges as those given to Americans and other majority races. For instance, Mexicans who had migrated to the United States were denied privileges to apply for American citizenship. However, people from other countries such as Japanese and Asians were allowed to do so. Based on this view, Americans were just proving their racial ideologies towards Mexicans. They could not accept them due to social and cultural differences that they had identified through racial comparison. Molisa explains in the article that racial formation was based on comparisons in social, economic, and political aspects. Literally, Mexicans comprised of the white race but Americans denied them that privilege due to differences in social, economic, and political aspects.
Furthermore, racism has also been exposed through segregation of the minor races. Segregation involves denial to access certain premises that are meant for a major race in the country. Those who do come from undermined races are not allowed to access such premises. Instead, they are given pathetic premises that are below the standards of normal lives. During the slavery period in the United States, African-Americans and Mexicans among other minority races were not allowed to attend American schools. They were only allowed to attend those schools put aside for them. Such schools were of low standards and children could not acquire the same knowledge as the whites. Another area of segregation was in the living sector whereby people from minority races lived in slums whereas Americans lived in clean apartments. Due to the poor living conditions, the minorities acquired diseases which led to poor hospitalization, and some even died from the diseases.
Lastly, people from minority races have been associated with any crimes that happen in the United States (Talusan 46). For example, cases involve drug trafficking, and robbery have been associated with minority races. Since such races cannot fight for their freedom, they end up facing the court of laws even when they are being accused falsely. To make it worse, they end up being imprisoned so that they be subjected to more suffering.
In conclusion, racism is a common practice in many countries including the United States. Those who are classified into minority races are denied many opportunities. Instead, they are subjected to discrimination, slavery, denial of privileges, and even imprisonment. Before Mexicans became independent, they underwent all the sufferings discussed above. Other races such as African-Americans also experienced such treatment due to the low social, economic, and political standards.
Molina, Natalia, Daniel Martinez HoSang, and Ramón A. Gutiérrez, eds. Relational Formations of Race: Theory, Method, and Practice. University of California Press, 2019.
Talusan, Liza. “My Responsibility to Change.” Privilege Through the Looking-Glass. SensePublishers, Rotterdam, 2017. 43-48; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vX_Vzl-r8NY
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