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Slavery Racism and Gender
Race can be described as the grouping of people based on their physical appearance such as their skin color. The concept of race originated way back when people first started to arrive in America. In American history 1400 was the time of exploration when people around the world started to visit the area. In 1606 when Europeans started arriving most of the native Americans welcomed them. The Europeans aimed to occupy a land so that they could set up their business while Native American was highly impressed by the tools European bought with them that could help them in hunting etc. However, when Europeans settled a new problem originated which was racial discrimination. Most of the Europeans considered themselves superior to Native Americans. They even categorized people based on their physical appearance. For them the people with white skin and blonde hair were superior and people with dark hair were considered less superior however the people with dark skin and dark hair were considered as inferiors. Another more prominent categorization was based on religion. It was during this time that the concept of colonization started to prevail where people try to find resources so that they could live there and follow their culture. As soon as the colonies grew stronger and powerful the concept of the race started to begin where people were classified as white people, black people, and red Indians. This started the racial segregation where European occupied the region with more resources while other races were left with no other option but to live in a less resourceful area. Most of the Europeans had greater occupational opportunities while Black people were forced to work as cheap labors and most of them were even enslaved. This classification brought another concept that is the concept of slavery. Initially, most of the Africans were assumed to be a slave. In the 16th century, it was illegal to enslave Indians yet Africans were enslaved legally as they were in Spain and Portugal. While talking about Native Americans they used to work for Europeans but as the Europeans got more power and control the started to treat Black people badly and used to enslave them and their families. Specifically talking about the women of color, they were considered as just an object of entertainment for white people. They were beaten and used to do all the households. Many young slaves were merely an object of their master sexual pursuits. Most of the women's significant others were also enslaved which made it impossible for them to run away from this torture. Generally, the European chattel slavery is considered as unique from all other slavery as this slavery resulted in the complete possession of an individual. Most of the ancient Greek and Hebrew people relied on slavery to get cheap labor but mostly European in the 16th century used to fully own the individual and used them whatever they want. They used to enslave people who had to pay their debt or to make people accept Christianity as religion (Kidd).
In history, the thirteen colonies are also named as thirteen British colonies. These colonies include a group of colonies of Britain. As these colonies were newly formed they had no constitution or set of rules or the legal system. These colonies were famous for considering the slavery of people legal. These slaves were mostly black people. Some of them were Africans while some were Native Americans. The racial difference was one of the main reasons that forced the enslavement of many Africans. These slaves were used as servants at home or farmworkers. However, the other side of the story was complete horror as Europeans considered slaves as their personal property and had the right to do anything they want to with them. The slaved men were brutally beaten and were forced to work at home as well as on the farm and other industries. Specifically talking about women, Europeans used to consider black women as the object of their gratification and white women as pure women. They used to abuse black slave women sexually and sold them to other white people or even to different brothels by taking money. They used to rape young girls even young boys. Many women were forced to engage in sexual relationships with other slaves encouraging slave pregnancies as these slave children could be sold or used as slaves for their next generation. The master-slave sexual relations were also encouraged as the more children the slave has the more she would be favored by the master as these children would benefit the master. Slaves were also used as prostitutes regardless of their gender. (Okoye). The Europeans usually forced their male slaves to mate with the female slaves so that they could indulge them in the bond so that they would never betray their master and would join the rebellious slave population. However, there still were many slaves that joined the rebellious population due to which Europeans were worried as they could lose control over their slaves. During this time William Lynch gave a speech on how to control the slaves. According to him violence was not the best method instead he suggested to exploit the differences such as age and color, etc to pit the slaves against each other this would make them fight with each other rather than joining the rebellious population. According to Douglas' description, most Europeans used to enslave women and children as they could easily oppress them and could sell them whenever they want. Another concept that arose during this time was racial degeneracy. Many slave children were separated from their mothers right after their birth and were sold so when they grew up they were considered as a born slave and were emotionally and mentally unstable as they lacked the attention that’s the right of every child. In 1772 the Somerset case caused a huge stir among slave masters as British courts passed the rule that selling slaves abroad without their consent is illegal and the slave must be discharged however people thought that the Judge freed all the slaves and black people were legally freed from slavery.
Racial discrimination has always been one of the major topics of debate. Europeans were the ones who first classified people based on their physical appearance shaping the racial beliefs we all have today. However, even today people of color face discrimination at some point in their lives as white people are still privileged and live in the main of the city while black people or other immigrants live in less privileged areas where they are deprived of their necessities like healthcare and education. Many black unarmed black children are killed daily without any reason. Thus, it is important to eradicate these beliefs by considering humanity above all (Reskin).
Okoye, F. Nwabueze. "Chattel slavery as the nightmare of the American revolutionaries." The William and Mary Quarterly: A Magazine of Early American History (1980): 4-28.
Kidd, Colin. The forging of races: race and scripture in the Protestant Atlantic world, 1600–2000. Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Reskin, Barbara. "The race discrimination system." Annual Review of Sociology 38 (2012): 17-35.
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