The Continued Oppression of Native American Communities

1295 Words6 Pages
The United States Government was founded on the basis that it would protect the rights and liberties of every American citizen. The Equal Protection Clause, a part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, provides that “no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”. Yet for hundreds of years, the US government and society have distressed the Native American people through broken treaties, removal policies, and attempts of assimilation. From the Trail of Tears in the 1830s to the Termination Policy in 1953, the continued oppression of American Indian communities produced an atmosphere of heightened tension and gave the native peoples a reason to fight back. In 1968, Clyde Bellecourt, Dennis Banks, and Russell Means founded the American Indian Movement to address issues concerning the Native American community and tackle the situation and position of Native Americans in society. Over the next few decades, the movement led to a series of radical protests, which were designed to raise awareness to the American Indians’ issues and to pressure the federal government to act on their behalf. After all of the unfair and unjust policies enacted by the U.S. government and society, all of the American Indian Movement’s actions can be justified as legitimate reactions to the United States’ democratic society that had promised to respect and protect their people and had failed to do so.
In the early 1830s, “nearly 125,000 Native Americans lived on millions of acres of land in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, and Florida” . These were areas of land that the American Indian people and their ancestors had occupied and cultivated for generations. However, to many White Americ...

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...er from the U.S. government and society. Even though their rights hadn’t been protected, their land taken forcibly away, and their culture disrespected, the American Indian Movement still managed to protest and fight for their deserved rights in very reasonable and non-extreme ways. Their land and property were wrongfully taken away, but they did not steal other property in vengeance. Violence was used against them, but they did not retaliate violently. They were pressured to give up their culture and religious beliefs and conform to those of another ethno-cultural community, but they did not force their own views and ideas onto others. The American Indian Movement was an organization whose actions can be justified as perfectly legitimate reactions to the United States’ democratic society that had promised to respect and protect their people and had failed to do so.
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