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The Nations History of Immigration and Conquest - Article Example

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The paper “The Nation’s History of Immigration and Conquest” analyzes the ethnic and racial stereotypes through which Americans see and understand the `other’. The first arrivals, the white Anglo-Saxon Protestants, dominate and are regarded as the superior race…
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The Nations History of Immigration and Conquest
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Download file to see previous pages That the WASP should dominate, be regarded as the superior race, is a direct outcome of the fact that, to a large degree, they shaped the land, created the nation and framed its culture. Irrespective of the fact, or myth, that America is a melting pot, it is ultimately a nation created in the image of the WASP culture, religion, and world view. Indeed, the capitalist system which is so distinctly American is the product of the Protestant work ethic. Democracy, which is as American as is capitalism, was born of the historic encounter between these early immigrants and the British. Added to that, the country's founding fathers, its first president and most of those which played such a seminal role in the formation of the United States of America, are WASP. The perception of superiority, therefore, is rooted in the making of America.
Similarly, the American Indian's occupation of the bottom tier and the persistent perception of them as an inferior race emanates from the historical circumstances surrounding the encounter of the races. As noted in Chapter 6, not only did the American Indian emerge as defeated but was decimated, virtually purged off the land. The conquered, the defeated, is always perceived as the weaker, the less capable and, indeed, the inferior. Cultural disparities, especially when viewed from an ethnocentric perspective, only provided fodder for the superiority and inferiority argument. Popular perceptions of American Indians as the inferior race and their occupation of the bottom tier of the ethnic hierarchy is a byproduct of history.
On the basis of the above stated, and in accordance with the information presented in both chapters 5 and 6, it is amply evident that the prevalent ethnic hierarchy is both an outcome of historical circumstances and a stubborn refusal to regard the other' from anything except an ethnocentric lens. A rejection of the very concept of co-existence instigated the white man's massacre of the American Indian. Were one, however, to objectively evaluate the basis upon which the inferiority versus superiority conceptualization, is founded, one would realize that it is wholly informed by stereotypes and not facts. There is no inferior versus superior race and there is no inferior versus superior culture. There are, however, stereotypes and prejudices as which preclude understanding and tolerance. To step beyond these erroneous stereotypes is to realize a capacity for racial tolerance and understanding. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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