The experiences of African Americans

For a long time, the views of African Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans have shared many parallels. These classes of people have long faced discrimination and have consistently faced higher rates of unemployment, substandard accommodation, a lack of jobs, and other social injustices. However, the experiences of these classes of people have changed over time as a result of advancements in legal systems, the environment, globalization, and a variety of other factors. The aim of this paper is to compare and contrast the views of African Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans.
Racial discrimination
The African Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans have all been experiencing racial discrimination. Racial discrimination refers to differential treatment by one’s race (Perlmutter & Philip 1999). The African Americans have been treated differently by the white Americans. For instance, before the 1950s, African Americans in the army were not allowed to mingle with the white officers. There were barriers between the two groups and despite being physically separated, only the white officers held the top ranks (Perlmutter & Philip 1999). Before 1954 schools were separated into races and there were schools for the whites and schools for the blacks. In 1896 a law was passed for trains to have equal but separate sections. Hotels had different sections for whites and black people (Perlmutter & Philip 1999).

Latin Americans also have experienced racial segregation in one way or another. In the 1840s there was mass deportation of Latin Americans irrespective of their status (Franklin, John Hope, and Alfred & Moss 2000). All the exits were blocked, and Latinos were forced into vehicles by the police and deported back to Mexico. Moreover, Latinos were not given fair trial in the court. They were segregated with barriers and could only live in low-grade areas. They were branded as lazy, outcasts, and mentally incapacitated just because of their color (Franklin, John Hope, and Alfred & Moss 2000). Latinos provided cheap labor and were vital in the American economy, but they were not recognized as equal to the Americans. They could not be promoted to higher ranks even if they showed exemplary performance in their workplace. All these injustices were meted on them because they were termed as unequal and of a lower class (Franklin, John Hope, and Alfred & Moss 2000).

Native Americans and Asian Americans also have experienced racial discrimination. The Native Americans were not allowed up until the end of the 20th century (Trafzer & Clifford 2000. Although they wanted to participate in elections, some barriers were put in place to prevent them from taking part in the exercise. The American Natives were confined in reserves in 1868 after the Peace Policy was put in place (Trafzer & Clifford 2000. Their movement was also restricted, and they were forced out of their parcels of land into smaller unproductive pieces of land.

The Naturalization Act which took effect in 1790 stipulated that only “free white persons were considered American citizens. This act prevented the Asian Americans from having equal rights to the white Americans. The Asian Americans were not allowed to vote. They were considered second-class citizens because of their color despite some of them being born and raised in the U.S. the Asian Americans could not hold public offices and only di menial jobs (Trafzer & Clifford 2000. However, in 1923 the Supreme Court of America allowed Asian Americans who were born in America to be given American citizenship.

Currently, the African Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans and Asian Americans have gained much regarding equality. All American citizens have equal right despite their color, stature, origin, and language (Louie, Steve, and Glenn Omatsu 2014). However, these groups of people still experience some discrimination in employment, education, and much more. A significant portion of the African Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans and Asian Americans hardly go to college and get high paying jobs. Despite the struggle for equality, there are still white people who consider them as others or intruders who do not deserve to be in America. However, such as President Obama have shown that these groups of people can be the best they can (Louie, Steve, and Glenn Omatsu 2014).

Employment

Despite the gains achieved due to the struggle for equality in the American labor force, African Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans and Asian Americans experience difficulties when searching for jobs (Fernandez & Friedrich 2007). These groups of people are twice likely to lack employment compared to the white Americans. Although many of them have studied a lot and have multiple degrees, it is not as smooth for them to get employed as the whites. The reason for this disparity is historical injustices (Fernandez & Friedrich 2007). There are many stereotypes about these groups which impede them advancing. For instance, the Latinos are considered lazy whereas African Americans are viewed as criminals. All these assumptions make it difficult for them to be employed despite having gone to school (Fernandez & Friedrich 2007).

A study conducted by Bertrand & Mullainathan et. al. (2004) established that white Americans’ callback rate after an interview is 50% higher compared that of African Americans who have equal qualifications. Moreover, the study proved that if the qualifications of the applicants are increased, white Americans are more likely to be hired. According to Tomaskovic-Devey (2005), African Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans and Asian Americans spend more time in job hunt than the white Americans who are equally qualified. They also have higher rates of less work experience and fewer chances of getting permanent or stable employment compared to whites who are similarly experienced (Bertrand & Mullainathan 2004). All these factors show the struggles that African Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans and Asian Americans pass through and they stem back to many years ago.

Since a long time ago African Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans and Asian Americans received lesser wages than the white Americans. Currently, some employers offer different salaries according to race and the whites are mostly the benefactors (Tomaskovic-Devey, Thomas & Johnson 2006). Even in acting, some actors have complained about being paid lesser than their white counterparts despite being in the same rank. All these issues have been in existence for a long time, and these groups experience this because they have been considered less able than the dominant white Americans (Tomaskovic-Devey, Thomas & Johnson 2006). The disparities continue up to the possibility of being promoted. The African Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans and Asian Americans are less likely to hold high managerial positions than the white Americans. The treatment at work is also different because African Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans and Asian Americans are more likely to be fired from a job due to small mistakes whereas the whites can be quickly reinstated or forgiven.

Housing

Race profoundly influences the contemporary residential patterns in America. Residential segregation which took place a long time ago has continued to have effects even up to today. Moreover, the residence patterns are determined by the economic stability of a person and the living standards of Americans have been profoundly influenced by one’s race (Calem, Gillen & Wachter 2004). For instance, the black Americans who were once slaves have persistently been living in low standard areas because they face challenges in educating their children, getting employed and much more. These factors have made the African Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans and Asian Americans to be more likely to live in low-class residential areas (Calem, Gillen & Wachter 2004). Because most of them lack permanent employment which can make them able to access pay for a mortgage, they are forced to stay in areas where rent is friendly to their pocket. Residential segregation was abolished but still, people live the way they used to live, and not much has changed.

Although there are many similarities between African Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans and Asian Americans, they still have differences amongst themselves. Each group has a difference in living standards due to different incomes (Campbell, Lori Ann., and Robert Kaufman 2006). Amongst these groups, the Asian Americans have the highest average annual income, followed by Latin Americans, Native Americans and then the Black Americans. In recent years there has been increased immigration by Asians into America who are searching for greener pastures.

Most of the Asian immigrants are very wealthy considering that they are doing well in their homes, but they migrate to achieve the American dream (Louie, Steve, and Glenn Omatsu 2014). Therefore, there are differences now in the living standards of the Asians, black Americans and Latin Americans. There are Black Americans who are wealthier than Latinos and Asians too hence there are differences amongst individuals despite the grouping. Additionally, the Asian Americans are less compared to the other groups hence their high average annual income (Louie, Steve, and Glenn Omatsu 2014). There is a large number of Asian Americans who are poor.

American Asians are also better placed in terms of service and blue-collar jobs than Latinos, Black Americans, and Native Americans. Latinos and Black Americans are mostly concentrated in less-skilled employment because most of them are not highly educated (Fernandez & Friedrich 2007). These disparities are brought about by their cultures. Asians are more principled and conservative compared to the Latin Americans and Black Americans. The Asian culture of becoming the best despite what they pass through makes them more likely to succeed. Latin Americans and black Americans, on the other hand, are very open-minded and do not like struggling a lot (Fernandez & Friedrich 2007). These factors have made them not to be aggressive as their counterparts in achieving a lot in life. The culture does not affect everybody in the group, but most of them.

The differences in economic abilities make their experiences different too. Being wealthy reduces the likelihood of being discriminated against in America. The rich are treated with high esteem and respect because of their capability (Castilla 2008). Therefore, the disparities in income amongst African Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans and Asian Americans influence their experiences.

Conclusion

African Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans and Asian Americans are groups of people who share a lot of characteristics. One major character is their origin not being America. Their experiences have historically been similar because the white Americans considered them as outsiders. Moreover, the way they came to America has influenced their identity for an extended period. For instance, the black Americans came as slaves, and they were treated like animals. Their human rights were violated, and they were considered as people with lower thinking capacity. The same applies to the other immigrants. However, there are also differences amongst African Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans and Asian Americans. One significant disparity is their financial capability which influences their day to day experiences.

References

Bertrand M, Mullainathan S. Are Emily and Greg more employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A field experiment on labor market discrimination. Am. Econ. Rev. 2004; 94:991–1013.

Calem PS, Gillen K, Wachter S. The neighborhood distribution of subprime mortgage lending. J. Real Estate Finance. Econ. 2004; 29:393–410.

Campbell, Lori Ann., and Robert L. Kaufman. Racial differences in household wealth: beyond black and white. Elsevier, 2006.

Castilla E. Gender, race, and meritocracy in organizational careers. Am. J. Sociol. 2008 In press.

Fernandez RM, Friedrich C. Job queues: gender and race at the application interface; Work. Pap. MIT Sloan Sch. Manag..2007.

Franklin, John Hope, and Alfred A. Moss. From slavery to freedom: a history of African Americans. McGraw-Hill, 2000.

Louie, Steve, and Glenn Omatsu. Asian Americans: the movement and the moment. UCLA Asian American Studies Center Press, 2014.

Perlmutter, Philip. Legacy of hate: a short history of ethnic, religious, and racial prejudice in America. M.E. Sharpe, 1999.

Tomaskovic-Devey D, Thomas M, Johnson K. Race and the accumulation of human capital across the career: a theoretical model and fixed-effects application. Am. J. Sociol. 2005; 111:58–89.

Trafzer, Clifford E. As long as the grass shall grow and rivers flow: a history of Native Americans. Harcourt College Publishers, 2000.

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