Native American Synthesis Essay

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Black Americans, segregation, and slavery. Most of the people who have studied American history recognize the inhumane actions towards people of color during the 1960’s and 1980’s. Yet, people often are not aware of the similar acts perpetrated on the Native Americans during the same period of time. The Native Americans had to suffer their past of external shame imposed on their culture and tradition by the White American society, followed by a coercion of White American culture due to the government proposal of the “Indian problem.” Nevertheless, the Native Americans maintained their pride in their identity and culture internally, within their tribes, and carried out such acts as Ghost Dance, valuing their own tradition. While it may seem paradoxical, both shame and pride of culture and identity simultaneously resonate in Native Americans today as a means of letting go of the unpleasant past and moving on to the future with a new hope. “Who’s your favorite Indian? …Nobody, nobody, nobody…” as Victor, the pessimistic protagonist of a movie “Smoke Signals”, set in the 1970’s asserts, revealing indignity towards his own nation when his drunken father asks him who his favorite Indian is. The Native American population, having been discriminated against and vexed by the White American society, underwent great stress and prejudice, and therefore was locked in a vicious cycle of the discrimination towards their nation and the consumption of alcohol. Just as Victor was ashamed of his father’s alcoholism, the nation itself was similarly ashamed of this social issue. “ The last successful chapter in any genocide is when the oppressor can remove his hands my god what is this people doing to themselves, their killing each other and then it becomes a situations where they can blame them” (TED talk). Apart from the internal factors that induced shame on this nation by the nation itself, there were also other external factors that mortified the Native Americans with their...
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