Native American Racial Tensions

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Native American Civil Rights Since the Age of Discovery, the United States of America has failed to make great strides in civil rights concerning Native Americans. Since the Europeans first landed in the Americas, there has been racial, ethnic, and religious tension with the native people. The tensions and the issues that arose from them are still a major issue in present times. Examples of these racial tensions can be seen in literary works throughout United States history. It will be interesting to see what the far future holds, as well as the near future. Many Native Americans still do not receive the same opportunities as other citizens, even though we have struggled with these issues for centuries. One of the very first examples…show more content…
Throughout this book, a derogatory word is used to label Native Americans. The term “injun” is slang for the other, equally racist term, “Indian”, used to make reference to Native Americans. When Columbus first arrived in the Americas, he thought he was in India, so naturally he referred to the natives as Indians. After they realized they were not in India, they did not try to learn the real names of the tribes. Up to 300 years later, the degrading term “injun” was still being used. At another point in the book, Tom Sawyer writes a letter to try and blame the stealing of Jim on “a desperate gang of cutthroats from over in the Indian Territory”. This is another example of racism, as it sounds like he assumes that the Native Americans were…show more content…
The book tells the story of a young boy who lived on a reservation. It explains what his life was like and what challenges he faced. In the chapter “How to Fight Monsters”, Alexie tells the story of his first few days at a school off of the “rez”. Racism is blatantly obvious throughout the school. First of all, the students stared at him like he was “bigfoot” or a “UFO”. There are many examples of students calling him racist names and telling him racist jokes. Another point worth mentioning is the fact that the school’s mascot was a Native American. In my opinion, this is extremely racially insensitive (Alexie, “How to Fight
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