Ethnic Groups Essay

927 words - 4 pages

Ethnic Groups and Discrimination

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The United States of America is the land of opportunity for many who come to her beautiful shores. Many are in search of the American dream as told by generations; they come for a chance to live in a place that welcomes all nationalities with open arms. This may be the case now, but during the 19th century that land of opportunity was not available to all. Racism and discrimination would take the place of the American dream for a race of people in search of their fare share.

Ethnic Groups and Discrimination

From today’s perspective, it is difficult to believe that once upon a time in ...view middle of the document...

In spite of their indispensable role in the development of the American West, the Chinese suffered severe exploitation. They were discriminated against in terms of pay and forced to work under abysmal conditions. White workers viewed them as economic competitors and racial inferiors, thereby stimulating the passage of discriminatory laws and the commission of widespread acts of violence against the Chinese. The Chinese initially chose the jobs the normal workers would refuse, once proven that the work can be done despite how grueling; many white Europeans decide to attack the Chinese in ways beyond physical harm.
In the 1880s, the federal government passes legislation that removes the equal protection under the law provided by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Racial discrimination and violent attacks intensify throughout the next decades, and community members face the challenge of organizing to fight for basic human rights. When laws that was in place to provide protection and combat racial discrimination are removed, the Chinese have a long road ahead of them.
Under the racist slogan, "Chinese must go!" an anti-Chinese movement emerged that worked assiduously to deprive the Chinese of a means of making a living in the general economy. The movement’s goal was to drive them out of the country. Chinese workers were prevented from immigrating to America by the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Its passage was a watershed event in American history. Besides identifying for the first time a specific group of people by name as undesirable for immigration to the United States, the act also marked a fateful departure from the traditional American policy of unrestricted immigration.
This hostility hindered efforts by the Chinese to become American. It forced them to flee to the Chinatowns on the coasts, where they found safety and support. In these ghettos, they managed to eke out a meager...

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