Essay on Slavery, Race, and Racism

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1446 Words
Date:  2021-05-26

The current political situation in the United States has reignited some of the pertinent issues that defined the unions history shortly after the Emancipation Proclamation. Some of these protracted issues that Americans have struggled to extricate themselves from include gender discrimination, slavery, race, and racism. White racism which is the supremacy that the whited extended over other minority races based on prejudice and sheer bigotry. Due to the suppression to which the whites have historically subjected the minority races, they continually become fearful just like those ethnic groups that the injustices and discrimination meted out will someday backfire and harm them. During the debate in the Virginia Legislature of 1831 and 1832, there was an increased political discussion the moral implications of slavery on the American community. According to Thomas Read (1858), slavery was un-Christian, immoral, and undemocratic. This negative definition of slavery within the American society was based on the evident ill-treatment of slaves but their slave owners and virtually every system therein. Justice processes were skewed for the whites while accommodation for slave servants was not as conducive to human living as that of their masters. Racism has been part of the American landscape primarily since the European Colonization of the North America at the beginning of 17th century. Today, various groups in the US has borne the brunt of racism, which has been manifested through discriminatory laws, inconsiderate social practices, and the criminal castigation of some targeted racial groups.

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After the election of the first US African American President in 2008, the country has experienced major divisions based on racial undertones that are similar to those that trace to the era of slavery and its abolition during the American Civil War (Cobb 97). During the 2016 presidential race, the Republican Presidential nominee, Donald J Trump enjoyed the support from most of the whites. On the other hand, the African Americans publicly protested on the policies and the institutional racism perpetuated by the Republican Presidential Candidate. The African Americans and Latino Americans majorly supported the Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton due to their strong perception that she represented a progressive America through pervasive anti-discrimination policies and advocacy on fair pay for a job done irrespective of gender or race.

The African Americans always support liberal politicians while a large proportion of the whites still believe in conservativeness and hegemonic leaders. These conservative perceptions possible explain the success of Trumps slogan Make American Great Again. The Democratic Party under President Obama had often opted for racial inclusion in his administration and adopted favorable foreign policies to build what he perceived as the tenets of a healthy America. Trumps slogan could be easily felt as that which would promote unstable relations with regional partners, racism, and discrimination akin to slavery as Olaudah Equiano describes in his writing. In his paper, Patterson contends that these events lead to the events of social death as a theory in his book. Patterson wrote that the nation and people he had interacted with expressed diversity in their manners, customs, and language. Within this context, conservativeness is a common defining factor in the lives of most white Americans while minority races often express caution in how they associated with the whites due to the adverse relationship that the races historically developed. In addition, racial differences in mannerisms among Americans manifest in the way whites interact among themselves compared to the blacks and other minority races. Among the whites, the greeting is done casually characterized by just a handshake, smile, and short greetings are the most important. On the other hand, the black Americans still embrace extended exchange of pleasantries in a usual meeting with a colleague. These differences reflect the white supremacy that had resulted in the apparent social differences that were promoted by the white conservatives (Strong 34).

Due to the freedom that dominates the American Society, conservatives believe that there is a possibility of a cultural misplacement that may arise during this time. Obama's administration has over time been considered as a minority government leading to the rise of Donald Trump presidency. During the 1960s, most conservative whites were scared of the progress in racial inclusion that President Obama achieved during his tenure (Magill 213). This fear was evident in the Goldwater's rhetoric agenda that was to vote against the Civil Acts Rights. This act became deemed as a milestone that the conservative whites had never contemplated would make in the American Society (Rosenblatt 117). The American society is identified as that which has been divided into racial lines as seen in the voting trends. During Lincoln's second inaugural address, he clearly stated that American slavery is an offense that he wished to stop thereby giving authority to the North and the South to fight for the freedom of slaves. Slaves come as an oppression based on the racial segregation that occurs in the American Society. Slavery was a terrible war in which he (Lincoln) was willing to get himself involved.

In the recent topic that the American quarterback, Colin refused to stand for the National Anthem, he cited the oppressions that most of the African-Americans and other people of color were going through. Critics burned his jersey and in his response, President-elect, Donald Trump said that he (Colin) should find another country in which he could live. The disparity in the perspective of the race held relations based on the support of their presidential candidates of choice. As for statistics, it is common for the African Americans to be shot and killed by police than whites. This claim creates a social problem that the President Elect, Trump, assigns to the black community arguing that poverty and unemployment lead to crime. The milestone remains that President Barack Obama was in a position to run for two terms and win despite coming from the minority group.

Despite the fact that America is considered an epitome of progressive democracy, its history is replete with various episodes of violation of human rights, discrimination, and racial sabotage (Beeman 153). The American founders and the supreme law had contemplated a united society in which diversity would be an asset as opposed to being a source of controversy. However, discrimination based on race became a major source of contention between1861 to 1865 culminating into the epical civil wars that not only recorded an escalation of racism but also motivated conservative white Americans to embrace sectarian and racially explicit laws such as the black codes that segregated minority races, especially the African Americans the peripheries.

It took the proactive amendments to the American constitution to deal with pervasive racial and slavery issues in the post-civil war era. Some of these critical changes to the supreme law includes the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments the redefined the status of African Americans and other minorities in the post war period. For instance, the Fourteenth Amendment redefined citizenship to incorporate African Americans (Nelson 183). The amendment conferred on the blacks a new status. Further to the fourteenth amendment was the fifteenth amendment which allowed the African Americans the right of universal suffrage following an era of evident exclusion. It illegalized any forms of discrimination on voting based on racial, color and previous servitude.

Despite these constitutional progress in integrating the diverse American society into one homogenous state with a common dream, some conservatives have often attempted to return the union into one that disregards universal human rights, relegates the value of diversity, and excludes minorities in its activities (Vile 184). Various federal and state agencies have been accused of promoting discriminatory codes such as skewed implementation of public searches and frisking (Vile 79). A history of discrimination compounded with the exploitation of race as a source of disunity makes African Americans bear an engendered negative perception about non-liberal politicians hence their dissent of Trump presidency. The best administrative structure that would guarantee a unity in a diverse America is liberal democracy such as that embraced by President Obama.

Work Cited

Cobb, Thomas Read Rootes. An Inquiry into the Law of Negro Slavery in the United States of America: To which is Prefixed, a Historical Sketch of Slavery. University of Georgia Press, 1858.

Beeman, Richard R. The Penguin Guide to the United States Constitution: A Fully Annotated Declaration of Independence, U.s. Constitution and Amendments, and Selections from the Federalist Papers. New York: Penguin Group, 2010. Internet resource.

Magill, Frank Northen, ed. Masterpieces of African-American Literature. HarperCollins, 1992.

Nelson, Megan K. Ruin Nation: Destruction and the American Civil War. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2012. Internet resource.

Rosenblatt, Paul C. The Impact of Racism on African American Families: Literature as Social Science. Routledge, 2016.

Strong, Tracy B. "Lincolns political thought." Contemporary Political Theory15.2 (2016): e33-e37.

Vile, John R. A Companion to the United States Constitution and Its Amendments. Westport (Conn.: Praeger, 2006. Print.

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