Conflict Theory

There are a number of similarities between the experiences of Native Americans and African Americans in regard to the conflict model. However, there are a number of differences as well. The ironic aspect of this is the fact that the similarities and differences revolve around different sides of the same coin and that coin is colonization.

With Native America, the “mother land” of North America was colonized by Western European invaders who mot only colonized the land, but set up a new nation on top of the colonized territory. In the situation with African-Americans, during the Reconstruction Era, African-Americans were not truly integrated in society, but rather lived in what was apparently a variant of internal colonization in a society that had strict racial divisions present. (Similarly, Native Americans were somewhat ostracized due to being place on reservations)

Conflict Theory comes into play in the sense that for both parties to achieve what would be considered “decolonization,” African Americans would lose their claim to any rights and properties if Native land is returned to Native Americans. Since the problems of African-Americans are incorporated with the history of the colonizers and their “newly” established nation, then if the indigenous population sought independence, then there would be a conflict with African-Americans simply because African-Americans are incorporated into the structure of American life that would need to be dissolved in order to return the rights of self determination to the Native population.

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