Civil Rights Vs Civil Liberties

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Americans today are only vaguely familiar with the concept of civil rights and civil liberties. Are they the same thing or are they completely different? Rights and liberties are used interchangeably in today’s society, but there is a difference between the two. Being Native American, and considered a minority, in the United States I see both Civil Rights and Civil Liberties as equally important. Both liberties and rights are used in the Declaration of Independence and in the Bill of Rights. However, they refer to different guaranteed protections. Civil rights which means the basic right of freedom from discrimination based on certain personal characteristics such as gender, race, or disability, and civil liberties which are basic freedoms.…show more content…
Before the European colonists arrived millions of Native Americans already occupied the land that would soon be known as the United States. The colonists called all Native people “Indians” and thought themselves to be superior to them and at the time of the passage of the U.S. Constitution, Natives were not considered human enough to be included in it while Black people were considered at least part-human and were included. Many Native Americans take offense to the name “Indian” and the sports team mascots referencing Natives in demeaning…show more content…
The Natives were forced to leave their old traditions behind and to live more like the “white man.” They were told to become farmers and all the Native children were sent to boarding schools where they cut their hair, which in our Native ways our hair is considered sacred and cherished, and no longer allowed the children to speak their native language and were punished harshly if they did speak their languages, and instead taught them English. The whites were hoping that by doing this they could “kill the Indian” and “save the man.” Further examples of harsh mistreatment that could be deemed civil rights violations now. In 1831, the Supreme court ruled that the Native tribes were considered domestic dependent nations, which essentially meant we were separate people but without the rights of an independent nation. In 1924, Congress passed the Indian Citizenship Act. Native Americans were finally considered citizens of the United States . Natives Americans were here before anyone had step foot on this land. But it took centuries of war, blood-shed, the uprooting of Natives from their homelands, and the forced upon denial of our traditional ways to finally be considered citizens of our own

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