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Minority Groups Self Determination In California - Essay Example

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Minority Groups Self Determination In California

The United States Government was a target of their dismay. In response to the 'Black experience' Huey Newton and Bobby Seale founded a group called the Black Panthers. The Black Panthers adopted a socialist agenda that included establishing community based programs that focused on Blacks helping Blacks. Membership in the Black Panthers was limited to African-Americans and purposely did not allow Whites or Hispanics entry to their group. The reason for not allowing membership to Whites was based on the premise that Whites changed how African-Americans behave and act. Their presence was considered a hindrance because the atmosphere, and what Blacks spoke about at meetings, was altered by their mere presence. The Black Panthers argued that if Whites were allowed membership society would assume that the Blacks can't do it alone and the group would fall prey to old stereotypes such as 'Blacks are dumb' and 'Blacks are not able to effectively run and organization without the help of the Whites. Also, Blacks argued that Whites do not understand the Black experience so therefore could not relate to the problems faced by Blacks. The Black Panthers focused on the struggle for "ethnic minority and working class emancipation." (USA History Archives).
The Bl
The Black Panthers were considered a threat to the U.S. Government and were monitored closely by the FBI. But, this did not hinder the party's attempts at social reform. The Blacks were successful in showing that they alone could run and organization successfully and create social programs that met the needs of the Black population. The Black Panthers were responsible for the creation of a feeding program that served breakfast every morning before school to 10,000 Black children across the United States. The Black Panthers also created a medical outreach program in California that conducted health screenings for sickle cell anemia and other diseases that disproportionally affect Black Americans.
If we fast forwarded and placed the Black Panthers in the California of today we might find that they would not be tolerated because of the recent history of terrorism. Much of what the Black Panthers did in the 1960's and 1970's would be classified as terrorism today. Their desire for a socialist reform of American society would be misinterpreted as terrorism rather than self-determination.
2. The American Indian Experience. In California history American Indians have a similar experience of discrimination and domination by their White counterparts. Indigenous populations in California have a history that is wrought with domination by outside forces - specifically by Spaniards and the French. Early California history consists of the Spaniards military domination and subjugation of the indigenous population. Although stories of Spanish missions include taking care of the Indians and converting them to Christianity, what's not included is the incarceration type environment that the Indians were held in. Their Anglo cousins took great pride in dominating and teaching these 'savages' to live and behave like 'normal' human beings. These labor camps benefited the conquerors more than the indigenous ...Show more

Summary

A big part of California's history consists of minority groups' dismay at their unequal treatment. Minority groups in this state have put much energy into self-determination. Two of these groups are African-Americans and Indigenous Indian Groups. Both groups have struggled with gaining equal treatment under the law and have focused on liberation without the help of their Anglo-American counterparts.
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Minority Groups Self Determination In California essay example
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