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Western Nebraska Social Nebraska heralded as the cradle of humanity is a landlocked American state located between the Great Plains and the Mid USA. With over 1.9 million in a 200,000km2 acre of land, Nebraska State is known for a vast majority of things. Famous for its state motto, “equality before the law” the state has helped inculcate the free thought and innovation in the minds of the residence. This essay seeks to discover the right side of the social life of the humans of Nebraska and the drawback (racism) associated with this social setting.
More than a century ago, the state of Nebraska formerly inhabited by Native Americans hosts a diverse number of people with different ethnic backgrounds. With the white population peaking social life of Nebraska residents is a friendly one although the diversity in race. Specific social celebrations unify the people of Nebraska despite their contrasting cultures, origins, and beliefs. The powwow celebration, for instance, is one celebration that fosters a positive relationship between citizens. Others include Czech festival that reminds the people of their differences but at the same time making them cognizant of their unity. With 56.50% of Nebraska people being religious- the majority being Catholics the social life is woven tightly further by this religious spectra. No annals of religious upheavals have been recorded in the last couple of years, and consequently, social interaction remains to be cordial and positively orientated. It is not uncommon to see new people from other religious domains attending a different church. Ranked amongst the top hospitable states in the United States, Nebraska residents have the propensity to welcome tourists or immigrants with the much needed accord (Matusevich, 2013).
Racism has reared its ugly head amongst the Nebraska people over the years. Population complexity and rapid rate of change have stirred social tensions over time which consequently led to violence since the 1880s in Nebraska. In 1890, Joe Coe, a black worker was attacked by a hundred white inmates allegedly accusing him of abduction a five-year-old girl. The man died before the actual lynch. In another convolution of events, 800 students in south Omaha school luridly protested against their Japanese schoolmates by boycotting classes and locking out adults of the school building. The issue at hand was that their japan schoolmates were children of strikebreakers ushered in by stockyards the year before (Deegan, 2016). February 1909 saw a Greek immigrant charged with loitering and engaging in sexual acts with a white woman. Amidst the arrest, an Irish police sustained gun injuries, and the suspect was arrested but later in the day a mob of 3000 men and boys assembled outside the police jail holding the defendant. The police, attempt to distract the crowd to transport the accused to a different police holding in Omaha, ended with the mob discovering this and in retaliation, they attacked a local ethnic enclave, Greek town where they destroyed 30 businesses and buildings. The residence was forced to evict too.
The Omaha race riot of 1919 was the most gruesome of all recorded historical racism. An African American laborer in Omaha, will brown was lynched and four others killed in a riot upheaval aggravated by job and housing tensions after world war 1. In July 1966 a gathering of African Americans to riot against police brutality in North 24th street led to three days of incessant rioting and destruction of property worth millions of dollars. A month later, the riot resurfaced that ended up with a 19-year-old getting shot by a white policeman off duty. A gathering of university and high school students assembled at Omaha auditorium to protest George Wallace’s campaign, Alabama’s segregationist governor. Police brutality resulted to injured protestors. During the ruckus, an African American youth died after the police shot him. Damages worth thousands of dollars was experienced as a result of fleeing students. The following day, a local barber, Ernie Chambers, assisted in calming the unrest. Consequently, this led to the recognition of Ernie as a community leader and upon completion of his degree in law; he was elected to the legislature and served for 38 years, making him the longest-serving member. In 2006 racial discrimination surfaced when Ernie chambers the education secretary proposed separating public schools in three distinct categories-one for whites, another for Hispanics and the last for African Americans.
Although inundated with its social problems, Nebraska is a place worth visiting any time that family vacation sets in. Over the years accounts of racism have plummeted, and it is for this same reason that the social relationship is still intact and hospitable. When people begin to understand that unity is possible in diversity, there and then can the human species thrive in any geographical setting but until then Nebraska is worth anyone’s time and money.
Deegan, M. J. (2016). Eduardo Bonilla-Silva is professor of sociology at Duke University. He has published numerous articles and five books, including White Supremacy and Racism in the Post-Civil Rights Era (co-winner of the 2002 Oliver Cox Award by the American Sociological Association), Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States. Rethinking Race and Ethnicity in Research Methods, 329.
Matusevich, M. (2013). Opposing Jim Crow: African Americans and the Soviet Indictment of US Racism, 1928–1937. By Roman Meredith L. Justice and Social Inquiry. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2012. xiii, 301 pp. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Illustrations. Photographs. $55.00, hard bound. Slavic Review, 72(3), 652-653.
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