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Religious and Ethnic Groups Essay

America has many religions, races, ethnicities, and languages from all over the world. Prejudice and discrimination has been around for years, and it still is to this day. This is something that will probably never go away as everyone has their own ideals, and beliefs. Buddhism and Blacks have endured prejudice and discrimination of their own for many years. Buddhism is a path of practice and spiritual development leading to insight into the true nature of reality (“The Buddhist Center”). Buddhism doesn’t discriminate against race, nationality, sexuality, or gender.

Buddhism is more of finding a path for one’s life and shows people to be practical and to the point. It teaches people that there are consequences for your actions and that it is possible to change as long as the path is followed. Christians and Muslims believe that if they live a worthy life here on earth they will live forever with God after death. Jews just focus on living a good life, doing good things, etc but don’t truly focus on the life after death. Buddhists do not believe in a God after death.

Rather, they believe that life is an everlasting cycle of birth and rebirth, that what is done during a lifetime determines the kind of life one will have in a future incarnation unless a person is liberates him or herself from the cycle (American Institute Buddhist Thought, 2013). Most other religions have one creator with a book that gives guidance, such as the Bible. Buddhism does not have a single divine creator or book. It has the lessons from Siddhartha Gautama who was not a God of prophet. He was a human being who became Enlightened, understanding life in the deepest way possible (“The Buddhist Center”).

Other religions want to prove to their God by the deeds they do, Buddhists just want to attain true happiness by following the teachings of Buddha. The Christians in South Korea did not agree with Buddhism teachings, they vandalized their temples. Buddhists were affected greatly in the 20th century with all the religions that didn’t agree. They were oppressed and tortured, and went through quite a bit of abuse from prejudice and discrimination. Most (mainly “westerner”) don’t believe Buddhism as a religion since there is no one Creator, it is mainly just teachings to help you follow the path of Enlightenment.

In Sri Lanka in the late 1800’s Christians were favored and they were given most jobs and promotions over Buddhists. Also during the Sri Lankan Civil War Buddhists experienced a lot terrorists attacks. The “Buddhist Faith Fellowship of Connecticut” stated, “In Tibet, the Dharma has been brutally oppressed since the Chinese invasion in the 1950’s. ” Christian was a widely known religion for quite some time, and during these times it took over and they wanted to convert others, especially the Buddhist religion. Most non-Buddhists discriminated against the Buddhists.

Catholics, Christians, Jews, and many groups did not agree with Buddhism with the thoughts it wasn’t really a religion. They were tortured in many places such as China, Tibet, Vietnam, North and South Korea, Great Britain, and France. Buddhism is seen everywhere here in America, from TV shows, in schools, to movies about the history. Although it is in many places that people don’t really realize. There are Buddha’s all over, and can be bought as little trinkets from places. If you rub the belly it is supposed to give you good luck.

Meditation has come from this religion and it is used quite a bit to help people relax. “Zen” is used quite a bit here in America on many things. “There is a set of associations with familiar American values, such as simplicity, naturalness, peace, and harmony. There are the favorite values of the health and food industries, such as wholesomeness, well-being, and natural goodness; and there are the aesthetic values of the young urban sushi culture, such as tasteful understatement, sophisticated minimalism, and multicultural cosmopolitanism. ” (Religion & Ethics Newsweekly).

Doing the research on Buddhism has helped me understand it a lot better. I have learned about it in high school just a bit but never really knew the full extent. I never really knew they went through so much until now. I didn’t realize how much it is in the “American Culture” until now. We use the words, theories, and some of the practices such as meditation for our own reasons. We may not follow the Buddhism religion but we do use it and it has made its way into our culture. Growing up my mom had a little green Buddha that was always on her dresser.

She would always rub his belly because it was good luck. People from African descent normally have a darker complexion, usually a dark brown skin color. Blacks were brought to America as slaves from ships and sold to the “whites”. In Africa they speak a different language, mainly using dialects. Over the years through assimilation the Africans who have come to America now referred to as African Americans speak English. The ancestors of blacks mainly come from Central and South America, as for the whites mainly descend from Europe if they are from European descent.

The culture of Africans was very different before they came to America as slaves. To learn more about the Enslaved African Ancestors this article was very informative, National Geographic News: America’s Cultural Roots Traced to Enslaved African Ancestors. Blacks were burned, whipped, beaten, and the “whites” could treat them however they felt. The Africans who came to America were forced to come here, and the experiences they had at first were not that good. They were highly discriminated against and had no free will what so ever. They were pretty much property to whoever they bought them.

With the forcing of Africans to come to America they were one of the hugest minorities to endure prejudice, racism, and discrimination. African Americans were not able to vote and they had practically no rights or freedom what so ever. Blacks could not use the same water fountains, bathrooms, diners, or even schools. They had to sit in the back of the bus and could not sit anywhere near a white person. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger and got arrested, tried, and convicted for disorderly conduct and violating the local law.

This also led to the Bus Boycott in Montgomery. Mainly white individuals discriminated and were racist against the Blacks. Whites thought they were better, and since they were brought to America as slaves they didn’t look at them as human beings. They were different so they weren’t equal to the whites, as the whites were educated and more “advanced”. Their contributions in early America, for which they have received little or no credit, include the development of the American dairy industry, open razing of cattle, artificial insemination of cows, the development of vaccines (including vaccination of small pox), and cures for snake bites. (Slave Rebellion, 2010). Over the years they have contributed a lot that we don’t really give them credit for, this is just the beginning of what they have given American Culture. Whites treated them horribly and took most the credit for what they have done, at times they still do to this day. I already knew most of the stuff I learned researching this racial group.

In high school they teach most about slavery. I just love doing the research for groups like these because there is always something to learn and with this subject most people like to jump to conclusions and believe everything they read or hear about our history. There are many differences and similarities between these two groups in the prejudice and discrimination they endured. One major difference was that Buddhists were not forced to be that religion, and were not forced into slavery or to live where they did.

One thing though was that Buddhists were driven out of places and kept to specific areas where they had to stay because they weren’t welcome other places. They were both harassed and beaten as well as they had their stuff destroyed and were killed with no second thought. Discrimination is a very hatred thing, and it drives people to do some scary things. Taking someone’s life and not treating them like they are a human being is one of the worst things you can do. It is sad that people can’t just be themselves without people wanting to do something about it to force them to be something else.


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