Racism and discrimination were highly prevalent even though most Americans came from other places. There is a common theme for immigrants and other minorities like gays, Jews, and African Americans. The experience most immigrants face is learning the customs of their new location. They also want to be comfortable, and do things that have been used in their previous cultures. They are many immigrants that have difficult lives and on top of that, still try to balance out the culture at home.
In The Woman Warrior, Maxine struggles to stand out and feel wanted by her family. She was well educated and always strived to succeed in life, and so, you only have one life to live and, what she did with hers was up to her and not others in her society. This freedom meant she could have dropped out of school or left the house. Although, she didn’t which tells us that she is a very strong woman.
Another case of connections regarding different groups immigrating to the U.S. regarded a motto of the United States which is E Pluribus Unum, meaning, out of one, many. It neatly shows although America may be a single nation, it is also one originally made up of immigrants who arrived not only from Europe and Asia but forcibly as slaves from Africa and Native Americans. Our population is the most racially and culturally diverse in the world but is also very prejudiced and has a lot of anti-immigration in the world.
Racial tensions in American culture reached a certain point where we hit the tip of the iceberg. New immigrants like Jews and Catholics had arrived in great numbers from South Eastern Europe. Together with Asians, Mexicans, and the Black population, these minorities suffered the most at the hands of those concerned with keeping the established W.A.S.P. values that were an integral part of American life. Prejudice and racism reared their ugly head in many areas of society. Racism and discrimination were highly prevalent even though most Americans emigrated from another place.
“The Japanese race is an enemy race and while many second and third-generation Japanese born on United States soil, possessed of United States citizenship, have become ‘Americanized,’ the racial strains are undiluted.” (Hayasaka, 215) Today might we consider Arabs to be an enemy race? It is created by the stereotypes in society. This enemy race is irrational but not illogical. Not all Arabs are terrorists or fundamentalists.
Although many terrorists and fundamentalists have been of Arab descent. Therefore, citizens are going to jump to conclusions about people without knowing who they are.
“I had a savings account that was left intact, but people who had their money in the Japanese bank in Seattle had their assets frozen from Pearl Harbor until the late 1960s when the funds were finally released. They received no interest.” (Hayasaka, 216) The Japanese who came here already had very negative ideas associated with them and were discriminated against. In reality, Americans are going to be upset with others who attack them. Although, when Americans are in fear, they often create stereotypes and think of the stereotypes they created.
“It was terrifying because we didn’t know what was going to happen to us. We didn’t know where we were going and we were just doing what we were told. No questions asked.
If you get an order, you go ahead and do it.” (Hayasaka, 217) The Americans were also not the only ones fearing others. The “others” also feared the Americans. When the immigrants showed up, Americans already had made assumptions about them that they didn’t agree with or thought were fair. In the end, many immigrants were already lowered down the class system when starting living and adapting to American culture.