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"We declare our rights to be a man, to be a human being, to be given the rights of a human being, to be respected as a human being, in this society, on this earth, in this day which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary." By Malcolm X (Le, 2010).
The world we are living today is very big. Scientists divided the world into many continents. In the different continents, there are many different people with different nationalities or races. They have different tradition, different cultures, speak different language, believe in different things, and so on. At the same time, people in the same area tend to have same tradition, culture, same language, and believe in the same things. However, there are so many cultures in one country or area and in two or more areas might speak the same language. Therefore, there are many differences in any society which is characterized by common interest and may have distinctive culture. Broadly, a society is social or industrial infrastructure and made up of a varied multitude of individuals. Likewise, there are diversities of people. And, People, normally, are defined in terms of personal characteristics such as age, gender, race, skin color, education, religion, mental and physical ability, and so on.
Today, we are living in the United States of America. This country is in North America continent. United States of America is a developed country. USA is one of the members of United Nations. United Nations is an international organization. Their purposes are help support the economic development, international law, international security, social progress, human rights, and the attain the world peace. As a member of United Nations organization, many people believe that United States of America is a land of freedom and opportunities. Due to the freedom and opportunities, many people want to come and live in United States of America. Therefore, USA contains with many people in the different nationality that be able to come and live here. These people are Asians, Hispanic or Latino, African American, European, and etc.
We all know that United States of America is a land of opportunities and freedom, but other place or country also have these opportunities and freedom too. So, why people just want to come to United States of America. To find out the answer for this question, I talked to many Asian people that cannot come to live in United States of America, but they still want to come to this country just to visit or work. They all said the same things, which is "Their country does not have freedom and opportunities like the United States of America, which has the most equal in opportunities and freedom." For instance, Vietnam is rule by communist. So people do not have real freedom to do what they want to do. They do not have opportunities to make their life better. Therefore, they believe that if they can come to United States of America, then they might have a chance to find a job and make their life better. At the same time, in Thailand, the political is democracy, but people do not get an equal in freedom and opportunities. The government or many workplaces choose their people to work with them instead of hiring employees with skill. There are some communisms inside the democracy system, which create unequal freedom and opportunities. These kinds of systems in Asian countries are more likely to be a culture that people get used to it. Some people might not care, but some people do. To be able to stay in the culture like these, sometime people have to pretend and flattering their boss, which some people do not like to do. This kind of culture is in many countries in Asia. So, these make many people like the culture in United States of America and come to work here.
Since, many people believe that United States of America has an equal in opportunities and freedom, but in fact, many people in this country do not get absolute equity. They are so many people that have not accepted by the societies yet. We can say that the value of people in this country is not yet equal. Another word for this action is discriminated. The main groups that effect from the discriminate in USA are African -American, Hispanic or Latino, and Asian people. However, this paper will focus on African - American and Asian groups.
The reason that I chose African - American and Asian groups as my ethic groups because I am one person that lives in USA. I am an Asian. I look at USA as the land of freedom and opportunities. However, the freedom in USA still not equal. I think that there are some people that think they are in the upper class and are above the African - American and Asian people. I have met so many people from Asian. Some are refugees, some are illegal, and some are citizen of USA. There are so many stories that I have heard from them and how hard to live here. I also watch a movie named American History X. This movie shows me some aspects of white people that have about black and Asian people. Its storyline is
Derek Vineyard is paroled after serving 3 years in prison for killing three thugs who tried to break into/steal his truck. Through his brother, Danny Vineyard's narration, we learn that before going to prison, Derek was a skinhead and the leader of a violent white supremacist gang that committed acts of racial crime throughout L.A. and his actions greatly influenced Danny. Reformed and fresh out of prison, Derek severs contact with the gang and becomes determined to keep Danny from going down the same violent path as he did. (The Internet Movies Database, 1998).
From knowing these people, listen to their stories, and watched American History X movie. It makes me asking myself that why? Why the color discriminates happened. To find the answer for my question became to be this research paper.
In USA, we can say that American people are white, African-American people are black, and Asian people are yellow. The majority people in USA today are white people. However, the statistic shows that there are around 38 million immigrants in USA today or around 12.5 percent of the total population in the USA (Terrazas, 2009). There are so many ways and many different reasons that these groups of people came to this country. African and Asian people are different because they came from the different place and they came to this country with the different reasons.
First, we learned that the groups of people that live in United States of America today before Britain came are Native Americans or Indians. At the same time, America.gov Engaging the World claims that the first group of people that settle in the land that become the United States today was European. They state that "The first Europeans to arrive in North America were Norse. They traveled west from Greenland, where Erik the Red had founded a settlement around the year 985" (America.gov Engaging the World, 2008). After that the land was discovered again by the most famous explorers, Christopher Columbus of Genoa. "His trips were finance by Queen Isabella of Spain. Columbus landed on islands in the Caribbean Sea in 1492, but he never saw the mainland of the future United States" (America.gov Engaging the World, 2008). On the other hand, the establishment of Spanish was not the creation of the United States. But "The first permanent European settlement in what was to become the United States was established by the Spanish in the middle 1500s at St. Augustine in Florida" (America.gov Engaging the World, 2008).
Second, we also learned that American brought African-American came to USA to be their slaves. Rickie Lazzerini states that "in 1619, twenty Africans were brought to Jamestown as indentured servants. More were brought to Boston in 1639." He also argues that these people were the first 10,000 Africans that British Colonies brought during the 17th century. "Although they were the first Africans in the British Colonies, they were not the first brought to North America" (Lazzerini, 2006). After that there were more and more Africans brought to North America. African were trade slaves by the British colonies. Slaves were expanded throughout North America. Lazzerini claims that "as more servants arrived in the colonies, plantation owners feared they might lose control. This fear led to the institutionalized slavery of Africans that would last until the Civil War." After the civil war J claims that
For the next hundred years, blacks were constantly the target of discrimination, and it took a civil rights movement under the leadership of a well respected man for blacks to finally gain equality. However, during the years from the end of Reconstruction to 1900, African Americans faced discrimination as they tried to work their way up the social ladder, and the government did little to help them. (J, 2008).
Finally, Le C. N. states that "first large-scale immigration of Asians into the U.S. didn't happen until 1848. Around that time gold was discovered in America." Gold Rush was the main factor that brought Asians especially Chinese to United States to discover their wealth and go back home rich. After that there was another factor that brought Chinese to United States. That factor was the economics of the British that control over China, after China defeated by Britain in the Opium War of 1839-1842. Another factor that Asians moved to United States was the World War II. Many people were moving to United States of America as refugees. (Le, 2010).
According to the information above, we can see that many people from around the world had moved to United States with different reasons. However, after they moved and lived in United States they are tend to live within the groups. People from the same country, same race, and speak the same language are staying together. We can see that In United States has China town in big cities; Korean town in Atlanta, Georgia; Thai town in L.A., California. We can also see that African - American people are stay within the same areas or areas that are close to each other. In school, students divide into many groups. There are very distinct that most these groups of student are dividing by races. These shows that people with the same culture, language, believe, or race tend to stay together.
Although, they moved to USA, so they have to communicate. Therefore, one relationship that is the same between these two groups is language. They have to learn English language because English is the main language in United States of America. So, people from around have to use English as the language to communicate while they are here. The language and culture are relating to each other. According to Eller, Jack David, Cultural anthropology is "the study of the diversity of human behavior in the present" and the linguistic anthropology is "the study of the diversity of human language in the past and present, and its relationship to social groups, practice, and values."
At the same time, the relevance of studying language in culture is relating language to other aspects of culture and society, investigating the cross-cultural variation and commonality in language, and discovering how language helps construct, perform, and perpetuate social relations. The study of human language is called linguistic. Language is medium of human communication and interaction. Language is also a classification of symbols for predetermine and interpret information. Humans use language through social interaction. The use of language is strongly established in human culture. It uses to communicate and share information. Difference areas have difference language; however two or more areas can speak the same language. At the same time language can define the characteristic of the societies. For example, the good meaning of some words in one language could be bad in another, such as the word "porn" in Thai language means blessing, which is a good meaning. However, this is not a good word in English language. Although, different culture might have the same meaning in gesture, such as thumbs up means "okay" in many societies. (Eller, 2009).
However, due to the different in the origin language, race, and culture, so they are making some boundaries between them. Also when there are different, then the comparisons happen. These comparisons brings the discriminate and relation between these groups of people. According to Oxford English Dictionary (2008). "The discriminate is unfair treatment of a person or group on the basis of prejudice."
Since, the majority people in USA are white people and they are in the upper class, so African and Asian was discriminate for a long period of time. However, color discriminate today is a lot less than in the history. Even it happen less, but it still happen in some way. Many workplaces have to deal with the discriminate between their workers because there are so many people from different places, culture, and races. And when many people from different places, culture, and races have to come work together, then these create the diversity in the company or at that place. Therefore, The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission put the Civil Right Act, which brings equality to every people that live and work in USA. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that
It is unlawful to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race or color in regard to hiring, termination, promotion, compensation, job training, or any other term, condition, or privilege of employment. Title VII also prohibits employment decisions based on stereotypes and assumptions about abilities, traits, or the performance of individuals of certain racial groups. (The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (2008).
This civil right act shows that American government sees the important of discriminate in the workplaces. Every workplace in USA today is trying to manage the diversity of the workers in their company. However, some employees are still discriminating other workers. The discriminate does not happen only in the workplace, but it can happen everywhere. For example, it can happen in the restaurant. The servers might not want to serve African- American and Asian people because they are African-American and Asian. These can be one of the similarities between African- American and Asian that were discriminate by servers.
Another aspect that shows that American government gives the attention to the discrimination is that there are information about affirmative action and managerial diversity teaching in Organizational Management and Behavior class. Managerial diversity is legislated mandates to hold a business viewpoint that sees differences as positive. It is a process of especially, human resource management firstly focusing on understanding, accepting and learning that each individual is unique and different. Diversity management provides an opportunity to manage a workforce or manpower which emphasizes individual and organizational performance in order to effectively achieve an organization's goals. In short, managerial diversity is when you implement the ideas and procedures where people of different cultures; races, gender and ethnicity can effectively work together in order to benefit the business under the legislated mandate.
On the other hand, affirmative action is the special efforts to recruit and hire qualified members of groups that have been discriminated against in the past, such as African American people. This action is an effort to promote equal employment opportunity and to eliminate discrimination to ensure fair treatment in the workforce. Affirmative action results in fairness and equality concerning about hiring process, training, employment opportunities and rewards for organizational effectiveness with the concept that everyone should have a chance for success in society. It also refers to measures of achieving non-discrimination.
From the interview, Mrs. Veerayar Kijbumrung, she is an Asian woman that moved here 10 years ago. She came here to work. First, I asked her about the discrimination. She said she knows a little bit about color discrimination. She knows that it's about white people and black people long time ago. After that I asked her about the boundaries that she thinks she has with African- American people. She said she does not discriminate African American and she is kind of scare African more than create boundaries. I found that the boundary that she is talking about is from the news. She said she always sees African American in the news and these people have done something bad. Also, the place that she is working is an area that has a lot of African American. And these people are talking and turn on the song very loud and make that place dirty. Her house was breaking in by African American people. These things happened to her. This is her experience that met these African- American people, which make she scare and does not like African -American people. However, she said that she also has African American friends and they are very nice. So, she does not sure that her felling is created the boundaries or not.
I also interviewed Mr. Thira Ratanachetchuta. He has been in United States of America for thirty-five years. He said it was a lot of color discrimination when he was here long time ago. He also said that it was very hard to live here on that time. He also told me that when he was in University here thirty years ago, some professor did not grade fairy. Also, American and African -American people did not treat him like they do today. However, he said that was long time ago. He did not see any color discrimination that much in United States today. Today, he is an owner of a restaurant in Greenville. He said that next door is barber shop. The owner is African American. The owner of the barber shop always put the trash in his restaurant trashcan, which he has to pay for it because it is the private trashcan. First, they help him pay for the trashcan every month. After, they decided that they do not want to pay, but they still want to put the trash in his trashcan. He said that one time his employee met the person that took the trash to put in his trash can. His employee told that person that they cannot put the trash in this trash can because it is private trash can. However, that person does not care this employee said and still put the trash in his trash can. He also talked about his house and his restaurant that both of them were broke in by African-American people. He also had a house for rent. It was rented by African-American people. One day they just left, did not pay rent for three months, and made the house dirty. So, he had to clean up and fixed many things in this house. He also had some African -American employee that stole his money and food, such as seafood from his restaurant. These actions make him does not like African-American people. However, he said he did not hate them, but he just does not like some of them because he also met a lot of nice African-American people.
At the same time, I interviewed Mrs. Chi Tram. She is a Vietnamese woman. She moved here twenty years ago as a refugee. Today, she worked at a Chinese restaurant. She complains that some of the African- American customers do not give tip and do not nice to her. And sometimes act like she does not understand English language, which she does not like that. She said some African American customers are laughing when she speak English language. She said she knows that she does not speak English fluently and does not pronounce it good, but she is able to understand and speak.
So, from the overall information I got from the interviewed, I found out that the boundaries that Asian people have created to African-American are from their action that some of them did to Asian people, such as stolen and do not respect them. The results of these boundaries are that Asian people do not like and some of them do not even to associate with African American people. And some of African - American people do not want to talk or speak with Asian people because they think they will not understand what they are saying. At the same time, some actions of teenagers in American are not acceptable in Asian culture while it is fine in America, which means the different in culture can create boundaries. Anthropologists state that "we cannot use our own cultural norms or values to understand and judge another culture." Because many cultures in the world have its own concepts of good, normal, moral, etc. (Eller, 2009) However, people often use one's own believe judge others. Which make them even harder to get along be3cause they have different culture, believe in the different thing, and the origin language is different.
Simply say that no two persons are similar. To overcome the diversity mentioned before, trying to accept the unique of each individual, changing the equality based on similarity to the equality based on difference and managing human resources for organizational effectiveness are challenges of Managers. Because, actually, to reverse historical discrimination can be clearly planned and systematized, but when it is implemented, the plan is not easily successful. Cultural diversion is not without problems. It might be because of cultural bias; the phenomenon of interpreting and judging objects into one's own culture, managerial diversity concept or including employees working together are quite difficult to perform. It is difficult to attract talented people from distinct cultural backgrounds who want to preserve their identity and keep their distinct perspectives and knowledge. Also, people always believe in their own judging and what they were naturally cultured by their own ethnic groups. And, it is not intended to guarantee the assimilation of minorities into a dominant culture, so it challenges Managers to eliminate discrimination and manage human resources into one direction. The Managers are also challenged to decrease group integration and communication barriers.
Finally, my view of the future relationship between these groups is that there will be clear that everybody in this country have an absolute equity and have a good relationship without care about races or nationality. And everybody will give opportunities to people by looking at abilities, skills, and good of people more than races. And I think that an absolute equity or value of people will definitely happen in USA soon. And lastly, Audre Lorde said that "It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences." (Le, 2010).