The United States has always been branded as a land of opportunities and this has consequently attracted many immigrants to the country. Immigrants arrive in the U.S without expecting any kind of discrimination but they often end up in disappointment. Immigrants face different types of discrimination in the course of their stay in the U.S that make their assimilation into American society very difficult.
Discrimination against immigrants has been in existence from the colonial era and is still prevalent in the U.S (Lentin, 2011). The most common types of discrimination that the immigrants in the U.S encounter are language-based discrimination and racial discrimination.
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The major immigrant groups that are in most cases exposed to acts of discrimination include Italian Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans, and Hispanics (Lentin, 2011). Despite the efforts that have been put in place by the American government towards stopping discrimination, the most recent immigrants still complain of various forms of discrimination. This paper will highlight the different forms of discrimination that confront immigrants in the U.S.
The immigrants in the United States have a problem in finding employment because of their race and language (Lentin, 2011). The majority of companies in the U.S prefer hiring Native Americans compared to immigrants even in a situation where an immigrant is more qualified for a particular job than a native applicant. Statistics indicate that immigrants are the worst paid employees and yet they do the hardest jobs in America (Lentin, 2011).
This trend has been there since the 1800s and there are no signs of improvement. Most government policies favor Native Americans and this has been a great challenge for the ethnic minorities living in the U.S. The fear of losing their jobs to immigrants makes the Native Americans angry and full of resentment towards immigrants. The refusal by some immigrants to learn the local language makes the native people think that immigrants do not respect the established norms.
The negative stereotypes associated with certain ethnic groups increase the chances of discrimination in American society (Lentin, 2011). It is very easy to fuel antagonism if much focus is put on the negative stereotypes that are associated with a particular minority group. Cases of bias-motivated crime are on the increase with immigrants being the main targets of this type of crime.
The Latinos who live in California have over time been attacked as a result of the anti-immigrant sentiments in the U.S. Native Americans are inclined to the view that most of their economic and social problems have been generated by the influx of immigrants into their country. The recent increase in terror attacks has not made things better for Americans of Arabic descent (Lentin, 2011). The Arabs in the U.S have become victims of hate crimes just because they have the same national background as the perceived terrorists.
Language-based discrimination has become very prevalent in the U.S and the immigrants who refuse the idea of learning the native language face unfair treatment (Lentin, 2011). Immigrant groups encounter discrimination at their places of work where employers come up with policies that favor native English speakers.
Employers have always defended their actions by claiming that the policies are only meant to enhance efficiency and safety but this is not the case. Immigrant groups with high immigration rates are the most targeted because the natives fear that they might overturn their dominance (Lentin, 2011). The need to retain the hegemonic position of Native Americans is what motivates employers as they formulate policies that discriminate against immigrants.
An example of this type of discrimination happened in one healthcare organization where two Hispanic employees were dismissed for speaking Spanish at their place of work. According to the supervisor, the two employees went against the company policy (Lentin, 2011). The employees in this organization are not allowed to speak any other language at their place of work apart from English.
Language prejudices are a sign of hatred and mistrust and many immigrants suffer because of these injustices (Lentin, 2011). Communication problems should be the basis for language discrimination but this is not the case in the U.S. There are some schools in the U.S that do not allow the admission of immigrant students (Lentin, 2011).
There are many cases of open discrimination against immigrants but the authorities in America are not concerned about the suffering that immigrants go through. There have been some efforts towards accommodating the linguistic needs of immigrants but many of them still face language-based discrimination.
In conclusion, discrimination against immigrants is not a new thing in the U.S and is often motivated by the need for Native Americans to maintain their hegemony. Immigrant groups still encounter discrimination because of their linguistic and racial affiliation. Immigrants can not attend certain institutions or work in certain companies because of their identity (Lentin, 2011).
The American government and companies formulate policies that favor native citizens and pay little attention to the concerns of immigrants. American policies and ideologies should accommodate and tolerate the needs of immigrants as a way of protecting immigrants against discrimination (Lentin, 2011). Legal immigrants should be treated fairly without any kind of discrimination because they play the same role as native citizens when it comes to nation-building.
Example #2 – Racial Discrimination and Prejudice
Racism and prejudice have gradually become one of the major impacts and burdens all over the world. They have existed for thousands of years and have been transmitted from generation to generation. However, racism has not always been the same, it has changed through history, and every day it has become more sophisticated.
People suffer through discrimination because they have differences amongst one another: different beliefs, different cultures, and different skin color cause discrimination as a spreading poison that has changed many peoples’ lives.
Although racial discrimination is evidently decreasing now, it has become a potential motivation for war, a symbol of terrorism, and even an excuse for neglecting others. I think it is necessary for us to find the solution by studying the precedent, to catch and correct ourselves so we can live in harmony and peace with others.
In the 18th century, the issue of slavery was becoming a hot political issue as well in the United State. Although some people favored the abolition slavery, however, the Ku Klux Klan, a group made up of former Confederates, sprang up almost as soon as the slaves were free. The Members of Ku Klux Klan secretly met at night, dress in pointed white hoods and capes, and sought to punish blacks, whether they were innocent or guilty of a crime.
They would do such things as violent threats to make them leave their town and even such things as shootings and hangings just because they had a different skin color. Most of this was going on in the south, the north didn’t like what they were doing, and they thought the slaves should be free. Soon this resulted in a civil war and many people died because of this hate some men had toward African Americans.
Eventually, the civil war ended in 1865, it was lead by the greatest mankind in the United State. He deeply believes that the discrimination of slavery and racism are the moral and social evils. His nomination speech included these insightful words: A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half-slave, and half-free.
I do not expect the Union to be dissolved; I do not expect the house to fall. But I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one a thing, or all the other. (Sloate 155) His great contribution was to restore the North and South into a united nation again. Beyond that, he tried to correct flaws in the constitutions by declaring the Emancipation Proclamation. By the time, he had done his best to see that people of all races living in the United States would be entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This man was our President Lincoln; unfortunately, he was killed by assassination but the dramatic and tragic death did not overshadow the achievements of his life.
Many people died in the civil war because of racism but not as many as in World War 2. This war was started when Germany’s dictator Adolph Hitler invaded Poland. He became the leader of the Nazi party in 1933; the party was against communism and believes in a strong national government. They enslaved and murdered Jews, gypsies, and other minorities, whom they blamed for all Germany’s problems, form defeat in World War I to unemployment and inflation. However, his plan was not effective other countries saw what he was doing, after a bloody war; Germany’s economy still suffers for his mistakes. Nevertheless, even this wasn’t enough for people to learn from his mistakes and see that racism only weakens a power because it still goes on today.
From a psychological point of view, many people believe that discrimination was caused by frustration and aggression. It indicated the person who was frustrated in his goal desired and tends to respond with a pattern of aggression. The substitute target is a scapegoat, a person or group who were weak and powerless. As the articles mention: When we suffer some kind of frustration, we are sometimes inclined to strike out at substitute targets such as our spouses and children.
As the 21st century nears, we face the challenge of living in an increasingly multicultural society. Humans have to overpass the equality issue. Much suffering and deaths have taken place and it’s time to change it. Many forget that discrimination still exists in all parts of the world. I hope to understand why this discrimination exists and I especially want the reader to realize that it’s not only a black vs. white conflict, it s all the races of the world that suffer.
There is great racial and ethnic diversity in the world we live in. Races, religion, sex, and age, are all factors that identify us, humans. Many countries of the world are heavily populated by people of different cultures and countries. The United States of America is an example of such a country. The melting pot as they call it is populated from people all over the world.
This melting pot has not been exactly great since it has caused various conflicts. Since early times, there has always been a constant conflict among people of different social class, race, or sex. This negative behavior reflects discrimination. Blacks and Latinos have been discriminated in this great country for hundreds of years.
People s prejudices concern their perceptions of other individuals and groups, and their attitudes and behavior towards them. Prejudice can be one of the most destructive aspects of human social behavior, often producing chilling acts of violence.
Racial prejudice against blacks by whites has been perhaps the most severe and tenacious social problem faced by the United States. It dates back at least as far as the earliest contact between English travelers and Africans. The English perceived Africans as apes and as engaging in savage and uncivilized behavior. Some of these stereotypes are still common today. Some whites still perceive blacks as inferior
Baldwin refers to various issues in his essay Notes of a Native Son. The most important issue is that of racial discrimination. During that time the United States was struggling to fight the violence caused by the prejudice against blacks. Everything seemed to be a racial issue. Blacks were not permitted to assist certain places and did not have the same opportunities as whites. Blacks were not accepted to enter certain restaurants and hotels and some buses did not accept blacks as passengers.
This also caused many conflicts in cities. It was clear to see whites in good jobs and nice places to live while the blacks were not given this opportunity. All this discrimination produced severe racial tension between whites and blacks. Baldwin emphasizes the number of policemen that had to be out on the streets to control any violent act that could arouse.
The violence got out of control in many major cities like Detroit and New York. Baldwin describes the horrible riot that broke out in Harlem. It was common to see many dangerous riots breaking out. Violence increased dramatically because of this social conflict. Some blacks thought that the solution to this social conflict would be to resist with violence. The fact that black soldiers were being sent abroad to fight also caused major conflict. Black Americans resisted that decision by the government.
African Americans are not the only minority group subjected to prejudice. Many of the nearly 20 million Latinos living in the United States are relatively disadvantaged, with low educational achievement, low paying jobs, and high poverty rates. I have suffered from this prejudice in the United States. Since I am from Colombia, many people have treated me unfairly in some parts of the country.
One time I was in a summer camp at Pennsylvania and the other kids from the camp treated me differently because of my origin. It was easy to notice how they looked at me and would not involve me in group activities. I decided to accept it instead of fighting for a change. Sometimes it isn’t worth the effort to confront people.
I have also been discriminated against here in Florida various times. Some people have asked me where I am from and my response has not been of the greatest pleasure for them. They always relate my country with drugs and violence. It bothers me to see that some people think of Colombia in this way. We do have some problems of our own but who are they to judge me for this. It is also common to see Latinos being discriminated against in Texas and California where there are a great number of immigrants from Mexico and other Latin American countries.
For the good of the country and its citizens, some of these problems have been solved with much effort. After many years of struggle and fighting, blacks have achieved their goal. Racial discrimination is not a big issue as it was before. Today, little discrimination is seen, but it still exists. We are finally equal to each other in a sense. Baldwin s issues presented in his essay Notes of a Native Son are relevant to us now, but not to the same extent as before.
There is no longer violence caused by racial discrimination. That racial tension ceased years ago. Harlem is no longer the nightmare it used to be during those times. Now, blacks live in the same neighborhoods that whites live in and go to the same schools. There is no segregation against blacks anymore. We can see black kids having white friends and black men meeting white women.
Now, blacks don t argue anymore when their soldiers are sent to fight for their country. America has overcome these conflicts that once hurt it so badly. It is common to see blacks in good jobs and important government positions. It is still not perfect but much has been done to stop the injustice.
Americans have little alternative but to accept the possibility that race will continue to divide us. It is clear that that society is now more hospitable to minorities like Blacks and Latinos than it was a few generations ago. We have to ask the question: Do we have any idea of how to create a society that is truly race-neutral? The short answer is no. But we all must try to live in harmony with each other.
We must stop expecting time to solve the problem for us. Our racial problems belong to us, not to our descendants. Americans must stop blaming each other and instead find the solution to the problem. Humans must become serious about fighting discrimination.
Many Americans believe that discrimination has ended but they are wrong. We must keep the conversation going. Conversations as opposed to confrontations are better and can lead to change. People must seize opportunities for interracial collaboration. To break racial barriers it is necessary to work along with people from other races. We must stop looking for one solution to all our racial problems. The reality is that the problem has no single or simple solution but I hope that we try hard to end it.