Diversity Is An Important Element Of The United States

1430 WordsFeb 21, 20176 Pages
Diversity is an important element of the United States of America, but also has been a topic debated over for many years. The arrival of immigrants in the United States in the 19th and early 20th century created many problems with how to deal with new cultures and naturalization of citizens of different races. These immigrants faced much adversity in the process of gaining citizenship due to racial qualifications for naturalization and fitting into separate race categories. Since white was the superior race in the United States, immigrants fought to prove their qualifications to fit into the “white” category in many ways. Throughout these struggles, the idea of race was socially constructed by the Court during important naturalization…show more content…
Thind was an Asian Indian, which was scientifically categorized by anthropologists as Caucasian instead of Mongolian. Although his petition was initially granted, other characteristics of Thind and his racial identity came into question. There was much debate over the unmistakable physical differences between Hindus and others who were categorized as white. The Supreme Court leaned towards the common knowledge aspect of evaluating racial differences instead of using science by using physical characteristics to differ between whites and aliens. For example, Justice Sutherland and the Court decided that “the children born in this country of Hindu parents would retain indefinitely the clear evidence of their ancestry,” which links physical attributes to the Court’s social understanding of whiteness. The flexibility of processes involved in identifying race used in these two cases lead to many questions and concerns about what it means to truly be white, and how that is actually determined. Between these two cases, Justice Sutherland’s legal definition of whiteness determined the eligibility of both Ozawa and Thind for citizenship. However, his oscillation between common and knowledge and scientific evidence to define who was qualified for citizenship presented some questions of how large of a factor social prejudice

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