Ronald Takaki: A Different Mirror

In his Book, a different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America, Ronal Takaki brings to picture the American society before and after the transformation that took place in the country. America is the world’s leading democracy. It is also one of the countries that have attracted a lot of immigrants, especially due to the opportunities it presents to the residents of the country. However, Takaki reminds us of the tyranny posed by a resist community.

The current America we have today, America that is able to consider every American as having an equal right irrespective of race or ethnic grouping, is a transformed American. The transformation was not easy, and it had to take the sacrifice of many people in order to achieve it. This study focuses on chapter two of this book titled Contradictions.

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In chapter 2 of this book, Takaki brings out the contradiction in the America society right from the onset in the section he calls the ‘The Rise of the Cotton Kingdom’, this scholar brings out the contradiction that comes out in the constitution right after the independence.

When the United States was granted independence, it was stated clearly in its constitution that all men (mankind) were equal in this country (Takaki 14). This was a magnificent proclamation that was supposed to make this nation one that if free for all mankind. However, however, eleven years later and the ruling class realized that it could not practice these constitutions in its current form.

The ruling class realized that in an independent United States, there were those who were free, and those who were not. They realized that America was not ready to grant freedom to all. It therefore introduced a clause which said, “The number of representatives each state would send to Congress would be determined by the number of ‘free person’ and ‘three fifths of all other persons’,” (Takaki 36)

This statement was actually legalizing slavery. In the very document that defined the United States was a clause that was acknowledging the fact that although this was an independent state, there were those individuals who were more equal than others. The section ‘Towards the Stony Mountains, demonstrates the level of contempt that the whites had towards any other race. This chapter shows that it was not only the blacks that were hated. Even the Indians had to withstand the heat of resentments from the whites.

President Thomas Jefferson’s instruction that the Indians should be forced to sell their productive land to the whites and be forced to the Rocky Mountains demonstrates this. The injustice is demonstrated by actions of Andrew Jackson, who was a political leader in Tennessee. This book records that his fortunes were as a direct consequence of what happened to the Indians.

Following the president’s decree, Jackson bought twenty-five hundred acres of land from the Indians at $ 100 in Chickasaw. He sold half of the land immediately at $ 312. This was a clear demonstration that he bought the land at unfairly cheap price. This chapter is very important because it shows that this discrimination did not spare the Native Americans either.

The Creeks, Chickasaws and the Choctaws inhabited America long before the intrusion of the whites. They also experience the same discrimination. It brings out the wrath that the whites mated against all other races in this country.

Works Cited

Takaki, Ronald. A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America. New York: Back Bay Books, 2008. Print.


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