Ruinous Impacts That Racism and Discrimination in 1930th

Montana 1948 a novella by Larry Watson published in 1993, focuses on the life of 12-year-old David Hayden who is 52 at the time recounting his events of the summer in 1948, his family which is torn between loyalty and justice and also their town of Brentrock which portrays the abuse of power of white Americans against the native Americans. In addition to this, Rabbit-Proof Fence, a film directed by Phillip Noyce in 2002, is about three indigenous half-caste girls who have been brutally pulled away from their mother and sent to a camp as part of the government policy to forcibly make them adapt into a ‘white society’. The themes explored throughout the text are family, culture, identity, loss and dispossession. Both the text and the film show the ruinous impacts that racism and discrimination had on certain individuals during the 1930s. Those with power and control will always be deceitful and disparaging towards those with no power, this is conveyed through how being indigenous results in a loss of power in a society dominated by of white supremacy, where women are at the mercy of violence due to the discrimination against their colour and both texts reveal that influence the power and control can lead to assimilation.

Firstly both texts portray how being indigenous results in the loss of power in a society dominated by of white supremacy; this is shown in Montana 1948 by Ronnie tall bear, who was not accepted into college as it states in the book “college was not for Indians, good enough for the army but not for college.” In addition to that Rabbit proof fence, the white supremacy was aimed toward the indigenous kids making sure the indigenous Australian children lose their identity as they “were placed in an overcrowded dormitory” and forced to change everything that was not accepted by the white people including their tribal languages. Miss Jessop stated that they couldn’t use that ‘jabber here’ and they must ‘speak English. The texts demonstrate how not having power can result in a loss of career opportunities and the need for changing your identity. Adding on Mr A.O Neville questions on whether they should allow a ‘creation of an unwanted third race’? This further outlines the amount of power in which the white people have as the ‘white settlers were protected by those who had their laws and had police and soldiers issue these rules’. Wesley labels Native Americans as “ignorant, lazy, superstitious and irresponsible”, this shows how the native Americans were degraded. These texts highlight how being indigenous/native or having a different complexion of the skin can lead to mistreatment of opportunities, stereotypes, not being protected by the and identity loss.

Furthermore, both texts also reveal that violence is subject to those with little power. Watson conveys this through Frank and his abusive character towards the women of colour and the system fails as Frank was able to get away with it because “They couldn’t arrest us-we are the law!”, with this being said Frank was able to do many extremely disturbing things while disturbing while at the same time things but he still managing managed to exercise power over the over have more rights and more power than the Native Americans could ever receive even with a clean record. In relation to this in Rabbit proof fence, women were also beaten whilst the authorities were brutally removing their children from them, “No! this is my kids” - “it's the law, Maude.” Violence played such a huge part in white authority they had the power of being able to do what they pleased as long as they removed the indigenous children from their homes and being seen as harmless to one another but dangerous to the indigenous. The police would brutally remove the children from their homes with force and take them to concentration camps. Using violence was a huge part of the 1930s for the people of colour.

Finally, As a final point, the two texts reveal that manipulation of power and control leads to cultural assimilation, this is portrayed through Ollie Young Bear as he is seen as a ‘perfect’ role model for the other Indians according to the white authority “All of the accomplishments made Ollie the perfect choice for white people to point to as an example of what Indians could be”. Ollie was co easily converted into the morals of white people as he felt he needed to be accepted and feel a sense of belonging in where he lives. “If only they would understand what we are trying to do for them”. “We must help them”, the indigenous children were getting lied to as they were manipulated into thinking they were getting the life they deserved. These children's lives took a turn for the worse. On the windows, there were no colourful curtains, just wire screens and iron bars. It looked more like a prison than a ‘residential school’ for Aboriginal children. The propaganda knew nothing of this but knew that they were helping these children for the better of their white society. Cultural Assimilations were evident throughout these texts, the minorities were forced to resemble a dominant group and resemble their ways of life. The whites had set their minds on complexion making a person's worth, showing that life is exceptionally hard when the law is against you.

In summary, those with power and control will always be deceitful and disparaging to those with now power, this was shown throughout both texts, Noyce wanted to show what life was like for these individuals during the times of hardship and Watson wanted to show how the law can protect someone when the law is literally in the hands. The inconsistency between The whites and Indigenous/natives was always predominant and seemed like there was never an end. Those with control will always use their power to commit the worst kind of abuse and violence against those who have little power.

07 July 2022
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