The Native Americans
The Native Americans originally inhabited the coastal and near-coastal areas of continental America before the period of massive expeditions led by the European superpowers of the old and new world (Howard, 2005). Due to cultural preferences, Native Americans would rather be called American Indians rather than such. Some experts believe that the reason behind such cultural preference lies behind the stereotypical definition of the term “Native American” which encompasses every tribal group that inhabited the continental America plus the other areas that were first inhabited by Americans like Hawaii and some parts of Alaska (Johansen, 2011).
It is important to remember that the term “American Indian” cannot be applied to indigenous Americans who did not inhabit continental America because Christopher Columbus did not really mistakenly identify Alaska and Hawaii as India on one of the largest leaps of the European civilization during the Age of Exploration (Morgan, 1907).
Native Americans are the original settlers of the entire continental America and other historical American settlements such as Alaska and Hawaii. Meaning, they did not need to colonize to join in an existing Native American settlement or start a new one during that time because they basically were the original people who owned that place. That was the case until European superpowers started exploring deeper portions of the unknown world, hence the discovery of the Americans and their introduction to the new world.
During the entire period that they were colonized by different European conquerors, the Native Americans suffered from different forms of abuse and maltreatments. Their rights were violated and neglected and any people belonging to the Native American race were considered inferior to the colonizers’. Racism, prejudice and the exercise of capital punishment were some of the most significant socio-cultural issues that the Native Americans have encountered during the period where the European Super Powers have conquered almost every vital and strategic territory in the known world.
Definition of Terms
Dual Labor Market
The Dual Labor Market was actually a theory that was partially implemented during the period (Scott, 2000) where African slaves were forced to migrate by their European masters to one of their newly conquered lands which turned out to be continental America. It was suggested in this theory that the labor economy could be subdivided into two sectors: the primary and the secondary labor sectors. Simply put, the primary sector is where the skilled, elite, and long-term employment workers belong. The secondary sector on the other hand is where the low unskilled jobs, and short-term employment workers, regardless whether they are white or blue-collar jobs, belong. Native Americans generally have the chance to be considered a member of the primary labor market during that time. In most cases, African Americans or those Africans who were forced to migrate to continental American due to economic and political reasons were automatically classified as members of the secondary sector (Oyer & Schaefer, 2011).
Environmental Justice Issues
Environmental Justice is a concept that has been present in the U.S. Native American people for so many years. It deals with the fair use and distribution of all natural resources that can be found, tapped, and extracted in the continental U.S. It is also concerned with the planning, development, and overall governance of the environmental resources in the U.S. It is not only concerned with the gains. It is also about the different environmental burdens and man-made environmental issues (Robert, n.d.).
Affirmative action is a policy or a group of policies that take into consideration factors such as color, race, religion, gender and sexual orientation, and other socio-cultural factors. These policies were originally codified to benefit those people who are well below the borderlines of the societal ladder because of the aforementioned socio-cultural factors. Some affirmative actions were actually applied during period of colonization of Native American settlements by European Superpowers such as Spain, England, and France. They were forced to codify laws and bills that would be intended to govern and regulate the behaviors of the people from the colonizers’ side and people from the indigenous natives’ side (Perdue, 2003). As a result, the relationship between the Native Americans and their colonizers experienced a slight but still significant improvement. The use of capital punishment, maltreatment and discrimination has been prohibited thanks to the codifications of such laws.
Redlining is the term used to describe the practice of denying a wide range of services to a particular group of population because of factors like skin color and racial profile (Tignor et al., 2000). People who are the target of the redlining usually have denied access to social services such as banking, insurance, and health services.
Institutional Discrimination refers to the often racially-predetermined treatment of a person belonging to a particular institution. Institutional treatments to such individuals are usually unfair and are committed in an indirect manner (Garrett, 2008).
Reverse discrimination is the term used to describe the practice of discriminating an individual or more often than not, a group of individuals belonging to a more dominant majority group (Warburton, 2004).
Glass Ceiling, Glass Walls, or Glass Escalator
A glass ceiling is a term often applied to in an organization. It is used to describe a limit or a boundary to the career promotion or progress of an individual or a group of individuals. A Glass Wall is practically an imaginary wall that serves as a barrier between an individual and another individual usually to prevent bias or to filter or isolate particular members of an organization. Lastly, a glass escalator refers to the fast track career promotion or progress that may be granted to an individual upon satisfying requirements set by the most influential people in the organization.
Garrett J. (2008). Discrimination and Affirmative Action. Western Kentucky University.
Howard, Z. (2005). A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present. Harper Perennial Modern Classics.
Johansen, B. (2011). The Native Peoples of North America. Rutgers University Press.
Morgan, L. (1907). Ancient Society. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr & Company.
Oyer, P., & Schaefer, S. (2011). Personnel Economics: Hiring and Incentives. Handbook of Labor Economics.
Perdue, T. (2003). Mixed Blood Indians: Racial Construction in the Early South. The University of Georgia Press.
Robert, B. (n.d.). Environmental Justice: Grassroots Activism and its Impact on Public Policy Decision Making. N.Pag.
Scott, H. (2000). The Impact of International Capital Mobility on the Volatility of Labor Income. Annals of Regional Science.
Tignor, R., Adelman, J., Aron, S., Kotkin, S., Marchand, S. Prakash, G., Tsin, M. (2000). Worlds together, Worlds Apart. W.W. Norton and Company.
Warburton, N. (2004). Reverse Discrimination. Philosophy: The Basics. Routledge.