The deep roots of colonialism still poison the institutions and lived realities of marginalized individuals across the globe. In North America, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade contributed to unfathomable violence and horror against Indigenous groups and Africans enslaved. The United States speaks highly of the notion of the so-called “American Dream.” We’ve all heard it before; “you work hard, you put the effort in, and you live a pleasant life. You get what you work for.” However, this myth is toxic. This country is built on the backs of black people and their labor, and the genocide of Indigenous people.
As a result of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade that occurred during the Colonial Era to further Western interests, the same colonial ideas regarding the worth of black people continue today, contributing to targeted ethnic violence and support for said violence against black people today. State and societal violence against African descent in America’s settler-colonial state remain prevalent today, centuries after the initial colonization and enslavement of black people from Africa to America. The consequence of this issue regarding police violence against black people is that it normalizes civilians to perpetuate violence against African origin people, which is rooted in colonial-era misconceptions about black people. The systems of racial segregation in society could not perpetuate without the complacency of the white population.
Mexicans share a similar history to those of African origin in the United States, as they had their land and their inhabitants annexed by United States forces in 1848. Besides having their treaties violated and forced into segregation, many racist vigilantes targeted them. The perpetuation of state oppression is contingent upon the race or ethnicity in power to further pre-existing prejudices. The repackaging of colonial-era racist and prejudiced notions about black people and the Latino community can be demonstrated by the police killing of George Floyd and Former President Donald Trump’s racist policies against Latinos. Despite the protests condemning police violence and supporting the Black Lives Matter Movement, there was an equal response by white supremacists supporting the unjust use of force by police. Former President Donald Trump referred to all Latinos as “Mexicans” and implemented racist immigration policies that targeted Latino immigrants.
Are Multicultural Policies The Key To Ending Oppression?
It is paramount that all countries adopt a standard of multicultural policies. After all, it would work to prevent dangerous populist assertions that immigrants and people of color contribute to more insufficient opportunities and maintenance of cultural identity because it would uplift multiculturalism as opposed to denouncing it. Leaders often assert that the issues of the day are a consequence of foreign invasion in the form of immigrants. Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary presents Muslim immigrants as a threat to Hungarian nationalism, Christian identity and sentiments. The idea that immigrants from different cultural or religious backgrounds wish to destroy and dismantle long-standing institutions serves as an excuse instead of addressing the fact that those same institutions are killing themselves. Instead of admitting defeat and the need for change, immigrants are blamed. They often blame immigrants for the loss of employment for blue-collar workers, and rhetoric surrounding how “immigrants are stealing our jobs” is rampant among discourse covering decreasing blue-collar jobs. However, the actual cause for the said issue is a natural consequence of late-stage capitalism. The same jobs which were initially based in the West are taken to the Global South, where environmental and worker exploitation is easier.
By implementing multicultural policies, states can alleviate pre-existing issues pertaining to racial prejudice. However, the multicultural approach is a short-term solution to a problem that requires the reworking of institutions.