A Noncolor Blind Society Essay

1580 words - 6 pages

America is a society that founded basic human rights through injustice which was widely known as the American paradox. Even though it is stated in the Declaration of Independence that, "All men are created equal," decades ago and often times today, it only applied to what was believed to be the superior race, and that only meant certain groups of people. This American paradox connected directly to racism which included prejudice, discrimination, and institutional inequality defined by sociologists Michael Omi and Howard Winant. America is an unequal society destroyed by individual racial discrimination that led to institutional racial discrimination which led to systemic racial discrimination. It all starts with individual racism — one person's opinions or beliefs on someone else's race which spread, and once a consensus is reached, institution and systemic racism arise with formulations of policies such as segregation exclusion acts. Historians and professors such as Audrey Smedley, Edmund S. Morgan, George M. Fredrickson, and Reginald Horsman wrote on these three different racial discriminations that tie all together to establish a noncolor blind society.
Individual racial discrimination derived from the seventeenth century when scholars and scientists began to question the origin of race and mankind. In her article, historian Audrey Smedley gathered the questions and findings by these scholars that led to individual racism, then institutional and systemic racism based on the diversity of skin colors. Intellectuals researched mainly the Bible and came to a conclusion that there were two separate races with Christians and Jews on one side and other races such as Indians, Africans, and Asians on the other. Christians and Jews were thought of as being above the rest because they were fully humans and significant in the eyes of God. (147) This belief was used to justify slavery, an institution that enslaved Africans to Virginia. English colonists argued that Africans were already slaves because they were savages, sloths, and had brutishness. They were viewed as being natural slaves because of their darker skin color which was a symbol of a lower class as well. The colonists also claimed that slaves were good for the economy since they were not paid, but most importantly, slavery would "improve their conditions and their manners and provide them with knowledge of the true God." (153) These colonists saw themselves as Christians doing charity work by enslaving Africans to save them. Their beliefs and enslavement supported the system of the plantation economy — they wanted to profit off of free labor and the only way was by slavery. Under the institution/system, Africans were treated as property — sold, bought, and whipped without possibilities of freedom. They were forced to be dehumanized with the help of the political system also as laws such as the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was passed to prevent their escape or assist in their attainment. As...

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