Seminoles and Miccosukee Indians are the indigenous people from the Southeastern state of Florida and in some parts of Oklahoma. They comprise a large number of distinct tribes and ethnic groups, they are also known as American Indians or the first nation’s people. Seminoles represent a unique population within the U. S not only because of their oppression suffered from the development of the country but also in gaining recognition. The long history of oppression in the U. S. had a devastating effect on the well-being of the natives.
The history of these people includes the colonization, outlawing their practices and languages and forced relocation, which created the mistrust on the U. S programs. This event continues to affect the experiences of the natives which have gone beyond the history books where few studies have been made. These occurrences have been impacted by poverty, ill health, family violence and drug and alcohol abuse. The need to continue cultural studies on Seminoles and the changes they face in the midst of globalization and change should be highlighted as Seminoles face new problems. Social Injustices
The first European explorers regarded the Americas as a rich, fertile land with many possibilities. In the beginning, the European countries regarded the Seminole Indians as equals on every aspect. Modern-day Oklahoma and states along the Mississippi’s inhabitants, the Seminole Indians, were similarly fascinated with these white-skinned men who bring such fantastic and out of this world objects along with other tribes. More astounding was the fact that these people, who have lived for hundreds of years worlds apart, somehow come into terms regarding the stewardship of this abundantly endowed terrain.
Then came the time where their differences got the better of them and forced Seminole Indians into reservations. Communication between them was halted from ever developing. The American Indians including Seminole Indians became nuances. However, the nuances have to be removed in whichever way possible. After the colonization, the Seminole Indians, among other tribes were treated as the lowest class, their intellect, physical appearance and character was the worst.
They were driven off from lands that have been with them for generations just so that the white men could have their gold. They killed thousands of bison so that they could cut off the Indians food supply. They massacred whoever stands in their way, like they weren’t even human beings. They moved the Indians to reservations such as when we relocate wild animals so as they wouldn’t get in the way of our ever-growing white civilization. At that time, they do not yet understand the idea of buying land—it never occurred to them that land can be bought just like any other object.
They can’t understand that the white men’s mentality—that is to take it upon them to own everything and anything that they could whenever they can at whatever cost. They suffered diseases and sickness that was unheard of in their fair land taking the lives of majority of a population in a single swipe. In the past centuries, the Seminole Indians suffered injustice in the hands of U. S. Government largely due to the fact that they are the minority and weaker of the two sides. Assimilation with the civilized white people was forced down their throats and the casualties are often on them.
The “white men” were regarded as the civilized and sophisticated, while the Seminole Indians are the savage and the uneducated. Since the Removal Act of 1930, the Seminole Indians were relentlessly driven off their ancestral homes to be unforgivably thrown to less viable territories in Florida. And still this is not enough; after being beaten into a just a tenth of their population by sickness and diseases, they transverse the Trail of Tears where they were further reduced by the death trap that was the endless inexorable travel to these reservations.
Even the swamplands of Florida were not entirely theirs to take for not only were they bought from them against their will, the government itself encouraged the white citizens to encroach and plunder upon them. Yet until now, these injustices have relaxed or have gained considerable maturity. Through the efforts of Chief James Billie, Seminole Indians has establish land for their people. Those who have lands however, are not so far better off, especially since present circumstances, the current flow of the tide as what you would call it, are against their way of life.
The only thing that the assimilation with the “civilized” brought to the Seminole Indians was sickness, alcoholism and stagnation. Other than that, it is pretty much a one-way process, where the Seminole Indians give off everything that they have with the US government always at the receiving end. The settlement between the US government and the Seminole Indians are currently going through some major positive changes. Yet this does not readily justify the US government from the wrongs they have incurred on Seminole Indians. But it is a start.
The best thing the government can do is to rid themselves of their prejudices and false superiority. The Seminole Indians have been with them in the same plot of ground for centuries now and the greatest thing could happen if they till it together as brothers from the same hearth. Slavery of the Seminole and other Southeastern Tribes Since America has very huge land area than another country, it is their problem how they can maintain such land and scholars have chronicled the process of maintaining such through the course of history.
As stated by Thomas Jefferson in one of his entries to the civilization plan, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. ” Seminole Indians in the past were made to watch “white” land and to make it more productive. As their answer to their problems, they buy slaves that came from the triangle trade system in order to sustain the Southwest Frontier Trade. These Seminole Indian slaves were the one who were going to take the remaining jobs and probably the hardest.
Due to this, they can utilize every single land area of Florida to become more productive. But they want to produce more to achieve greater profit. They notice that every race has its own specialty of work. They decided to separate the races in different works which they specialize in. The Seminole Indians and other slaves were notice that they are good in industrial jobs. They were taken to the South because the climate and soil in there is appropriate in agricultural purposes. The Seminoles in Media
Television holds the great potential of influencing the viewers cognitively, affectively, and behaviorally. Among all the media types, television, being a visual pseudo-companion, has a primary goal of providing an effective coverage of scenes and events in the lives of Seminole Indians, but at the same time serves a variety purposes. Watching television which involves Seminole Indians in music gives the viewers a feeling of being involved with the episodes or the portrayals of Seminole Indians in media.
Music Videos such as Chief James Billie’s Big Alligator evolve on different themes with different types of programs that evoke different reactions from the viewing public regarding Seminole Indians. With the power of the television, it actually has the capacity to set the agenda or the floor for the audience on what to feel, think, believe, decide, and support the causes of Seminole Indians. Ranging from the simple personal concerns to the complicated social matters, Seminole Indians in television has the ability of shaping or molding individuals into treatment towards Seminole Indians.
One of the oldest social issues that besets the society is racism. The typical concept of racism revolves on the belief that there are races superior over the other and that the superior race has the right to rule and control or take over the inferior race. Though history proves that Seminole Indians are victims of racial discrimination have survived the prejudice, it cannot be denied that the issue on racism still exists, in a different or a not so obvious manifestation. One thing common in the presented citations for Seminoles in media is the role the medium in shaping the viewers’ mind.
Seminole Indian culture has a lot to do with how the audience perceive or react to what they watch on television. Basically, videos such as Chief James Billie’s and the “25 More Years Video” are theme-based on the subject of Seminole Indians; they could fall under different genres – educational television and entertainment programs. All of these media suggest different meanings and messages based from the content and treatment and the audience as well has their own interpretations and perceptions of a Seminole Indian message wants to convey.
Take the case of the above article on the Big Alligator video. The message in the video sent was carefully planned for because different types of publics are viewing a similar program at the same time. There are also cases when he Seminole Indians’ culture, family and educational background, experiences, social status, and lifestyle are all determinants of how he or she creates a meaning out of what the television offers. It would also be essential to appreciate the efforts of Seminole Indians in attempting to give the public a quick view of the lives of Seminole Indians.
Television is one of the most powerful mass media which can reach millions of viewers with a single program at one sitting. With this great potential the television offers, television industry should not just be satisfied of fulfilling its information function for Seminole Indians but also should make use of its power to educate, inspire, motivate, challenge and empower the loyal viewers regarding their views on Seminole Indians.
Putting the viewers into consideration not only making them enjoy what they watch but also more importantly allow them to learn and decide for themselves without feeling excluded or getting offended upon or after watching certain programs. Thus, the television industry has the crucial responsibility of molding viewers in a positive manner towards Seminole Indians. The Seminole Indians, through its published media owes a lot to the viewing public, leaving the Seminole Indians the challenge of giving back to the public what they need to know about the tribe.
The public is given the choice and control over programs to tune in, and responsible broadcasting is all about providing them with quality programs to choose from . Television on the lives of Seminole Indian has a very big potential in molding the public, but along with this potential also comes a crucial responsibility of airing informative shows both for children and adults and other segments to spread awareness. The issue on Seminole Indians is an old story.
Along with the evolution and advent of technology and maturity in politics and society, the power and influence of the creative minds behind the Seminole Indian media have also developed and introduced different ways of treating and handling such issue. While it might be acceptable that some racism portrayals in many forms are not for the intentions of degrading, isolating, or offending another race, Seminole Indians must still be extra careful and responsible for what they choose to create. They are very honest to talk about business and they mean it. Social responsibility must also come along with their business and profit agenda.