Racial ideas play a crucial role in assessing reactions to the situation on a day-to-day basis. Racial ideas stemmed from the history when people were assessed according to their skin color, nation, and other characteristics. Prevailing racism dictated the norms and abnormalities, causing people to protect the convenient races and eliminate those perceived as dangerous or inconvenient.
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This problem remains eternal since not a lot of things have changed. People tend to be biased and have different reactions according to the characteristics of a person. For example, depending on the skin color, people might assume that a person of color is dangerous or a criminal. Another example that corroborates the previous example is the news. The news sheds light on the racism which prevails in modern society, with murders happening based on racial hatred. According to Omi and Winant, racial formation is the process in which racial identities are “created, lived out, transformed, and destroyed” (Omi & Winant, 2014, p.109). This facilitates the idea of convenience and inconvenience for different cultures and races.
Racial formation distorts the idea of equality and reinforces the concept of convenient and inconvenient races. Society has been the main force driving the chain for centuries. Therefore the race which will be superior is set according to societal opinion.
The discovery of America in 1492 was a disaster for Indian societies and turned European history upside down. The New World was almost another planet to newcomers. This territory that no one knew about before, was a land ready for settlement, with minimal efforts needed for the conquest.
While some of the Indian communities were not severely harmed by the first Europeans, most of the communities experienced detrimental effects from colonizers. Native Americans were forced to adapt to new conditions and were deprived of their culture. If Europeans had respected the culture and rights of Native Americans, the latter could keep their religion, language, and settlements. The absence of oppression and embracement of another nation could lead to the beneficial amalgam of two cultures.
Thus, the culture of Native Americans could have a chance for thriving and further continue their traditions while being introduced to modern discoveries. Instead of starting a new world, Europeans could communicate with Native Americans and find a way to live in symbiosis. Since the former utilized modern discoveries and the latter had resources, there was a foundation for beneficial cooperation with no use of violence.
The American Indian Movement was fighting for treaty rights and land, which for a long time belonged to their ancestors. Moreover, native Americans refused to be content with inequality, resulting in high unemployment, poverty, and racism. I think the civil disobedience of AIM was justified since they were fighting for equality and justice.
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Civil disobedience differs from illegal actions since civil disobedience focuses on conveying a message to society, such as demanding fundamental rights. The responsibility of every oppressed person is to stand up for their beliefs, freedom, and justice. The oppressors will never give the oppressed people their freedom and rights based on goodwill. These things must be demanded, and the silence must be broken. There will be no perfect timing, and therefore people need to join the battle and demand what is right.
Thus, unjust laws are intended to discriminate and punish those who need help the most. Minorities do not have to reconcile with such laws. Civil disobedience is a chance to convey a message without violence.
Omi, M., & Winant, H. (2014). Racial formation in the United States. Taylor & Francis. Web.