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The Problem Of Racism And Discrimination In American Society

1040 words - 4 pages

Shofner argues that even though slavery has been abolished, the ideologies and traditions of slavery still resonate among the Florida population. The idea that the left over residue of Slavery left us with discrimination, inequality and racism that have became institutionalized into the structure of American society. “Before emancipation blacks had been both property and the laboring class of Florida society. An extensive array of habits and beliefs had developed to support the system of bonded servitude and its racial composition. After 1865 blacks were no longer property, but their laboring-class status was not altered, and, as Harold D, Woodman has written, emancipation had not destroyed the ideological legacy of slavery. Rather, circumstances, reinforced by customs and prevailing beliefs carried over from antebellum slavery perpetuated their lot as a natural laboring class. The rights and opportunities of free persons were continually denied them by poverty, ignorance lack of alternatives, and prevailing customs that were finally institutionalized by statute. Blacks were never regarded as part of the Florida community except as a group of workers to be used by its members. ” (Shofner, 412) Blacks were seen as inferior and always set aside as “others.” The traditions and customs of slavery and discrimination towards Blacks have continued to trickle down the years and system of American society. As, White supremacists continue to create new ways of suppressing Blacks. The United States Sugar Corporation created in 1942, enforced such racial inhibition. The Sugar Corporation advertised for employment opportunities as “Colored Farm Workers who would enjoy the Florida Sunshine during the winter Months” while promising wages of three to six dollars along with free transportation to Florida. Soon after, many Blacks were hired but to their dismay, none of these promises were fulfilled. “After arriving they were being charged for transportation, the equipment necessary for the cutting cane, and an identification badge.” (415) Managers and leaders were aggressive and were not afraid to use violence to instill fear among the workers. The workers were undoubtedly lectured, that if any one tried to escape, that they would simply be shot. Threats were considered normal and incessant. “Numerous men testified that they had been shot at and at least one wounded, while others were arrested.” (416) There is no degree of respect or equality present in this avenue of workforce. Blacks were being mistreated just as before during the times of slavery. Working conditions, housing arrangements and lack of opportunity were just about the same. Blacks were considered free men, but what did that really mean? They were still stuck in the same low economic social status. These instances from the sugar plantations, show strong parallels between current racial driving statistics. “The study reports that African-American and Hispanic drivers who are stopped by police...

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