Indians in the 19th Century vs. Gay’s Struggle Today Essay
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Updated: Feb 27th, 2021
The plight of American Indians in 19thcentury
The present plight of the gay struggle for acceptance
The Dewes Severalty Act of 1887 was passed on February 8th, 1887, with an intention to allot lands to individuals (Nichols 125). It was perceived that by allocating lands to Native Americans, the government would not have to oversee the transformation of Indians. The government was convinced that empowering American Indians through land adjudication would make them drop the Indian lifestyle, subsequently being assimilated into the general American population.
The Indian Trade and Intercourse Act of 1834 created Indian Territory and protected Indian land against outside aggression. Trade was also regulated by the federal government, and any injury inflicted on Indians by the non-Indians was considered a federal crime. In addition, the Act allowed Indians to choose how they will run their own affairs without external influence.
Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 was signed into law, and it extended Federal hate crimes to cover attacks on individuals based on actual or perceived sexual orientation as well as gender.
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010 was signed into law to allow both men and women who are gay to serve without discrimination in the U.S military (“WGBH Educational Foundation: Timeline: Milestones in the American Gay Rights Movement” par.40).
Trail of Tears: Following the successful passing of the Removal Act in 1830, over 70,000 American Indians were forced to move out to other areas. During the resettlement exercise, many American Indians were massacred prior to accepting to relocate. Others died from disease, infection, and starvation.
Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890: Ghost Dance had been banned on Lakota reservations, but Indians did not heed the directive. Instead, they continued with the rites, which attracted troops. The presence of troops in the area created a tense environment. On the morning of December 29, 1890, white troops attempted to disarm Indians, which resulted in a fight where more than 150 Indians were killed, including women, men, and children.
California Proposition 8 of 2008 saw the passing of same-sex marriages in California. The passing of the vote was an override on the court decision that the same-sex-marriage was legal. During this period, Arizona and Florida also banned same-sex marriage. 27 other states rejected legalizing same-sex marriage
In 1993, President Bill Clinton enacted the Don’t ask, don’t tell policy, which prevented homosexual acts or declaring homosexual orientation within the military.
Tecumseh: He lived among the Shawnee Indians from 1768 to1813. Forcing Shawnee Indians to relocate was an injustice committed on the people. This inspired Tecumseh to act fast in a bid to rescue his people. He pressed for a confederation of Indian tribes in order to prevent the haphazard sale of Indian land to the whites. This was not received well by the U.S government.
Wovoko: Was the leader of the Ghost dance. His belief was that dancing, prayers, and faith were a gateway to restoring the old way of life. This was perceived by the US government as a threat. The subsequent effect was the Wounded Knee Massacre.
Harvey Milk was a gay rights activist. He fought for equality, which he believed, would be achieved if a gay person succeeded in occupying an elective office. His election as a supervisor of San Francisco city in 1977 provided a platform to press for gay rights (Leitsinger par. 7).
Stephen Donaldson pioneered activism in LGBT rights. He played a critical role in New York bisexual movement during the ’70s. He was particularly vocal on the issue of male victimization targeted at male prisoners.
Leitsinger, Miranda. Gay rights timeline: Key dates in the fight for equality. 2013. Web.
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