Respecting Cultural Diversity

The 1800s events in North America brought agony and misery to the Native Americans. The Whites from Europe committed atrocities to the Red Indians who had originally inhabited America. The forceful repression, removal and massive killings, which pushed the minorities to reservations, are infamously referred to as” The Trail of Tears”. In 1838, The Federal government instituted the removal of these tribes on the ground that they were violent and their several years of demanding their land back from white Americans. The tension ended in 1890 in a great massacre at Wounded Knee and, therefore, most moved 800 miles from their homeland to what today is called “Indian Territory” (Yenne, 1986).

The Columbus Day, though to many whites is celebrated as the dawn to their present progress and “civilization” to the Natives it is a reminder of a repression undermining them and the start of their present day misery, ongoing isolation, and desperation. Ignorance and stereotypes held about their cultures as “primitive” or “savage” have ensued their problems resulting to alcoholism, adolescent suicide, unemployment, poverty and low life expectancy. Living conditions are poor; reservations separate them from proximity to better health, transport and education services in the urban center.

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Knowledge determines how the stakeholders are to take a stand. Americans support and concern of human right of expression should not be denied, and, in fact, support of such will enhance awareness of the problem which can be diagnosed to enable an implementation of resolving such woes. Since the Mayor represents the economic, social and cultural heritage of the people, allowing such an occasion for the native to express their point of view shows his respect for cultural diversity, equity, as opposed to arrogance that would restrict them out of ignorance.

In conclusion, justice delayed is justice denied. People’s rights are the greatest push of the 21st century. Let the Natives air out what they hear, see, feel and, think. The values, aspirations, and attitudes must be safeguarded if we are to talk of holistic wellbeing.

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