English III Pre-Advanced Summer Reading
August 29, 2013
Since America was first colonized each individual was given three things that no one could ever take away from them; life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. As time progressed certain people began to find themselves being denied of these three things simply because of the pigment of their skin. Is that fair? Most people thought so, but there was always those few that realized that just because someone is different from you doesn’t mean that they are any less of a human being.
In this time period, that is the 1830s’ slavery seems to be just about everywhere and many people see it as something that is normal and a moral thing to do. But how is it in any way correct for one human being to “own” another human being? You might respond with something like, “It’s okay because they are black.” or “It doesn’t matter” but let me be the one to tell you that it does matter. Black or not, a human is a human and by making him or her your slave you are taking away that individuals’ right to be human. This person can no longer think for him or herself and can no longer make any decisions about themselves, or anything for that matter. This person has been degraded to the point where he or she is no longer is a person, it is seen as an object that another man has been bestowed the power to work him or her to the bone, whip, kick, and even kill. Most slaves, including Frederick Douglass found themselves being deprived of simple things since the time they were very young, things such as his date of birth and age were not something that he ever had any knowledge of. Now you might say that it is a simple thing to argue about, but it is far beyond not knowing your birthday, it’s about not having any knowledge about where you came from, who you are, who or where your family is, etc. Try imagining your life with all these blank spots in it.
At this time, racism isn’t seen as an issue because blacks don’t have rights at all so the racism isn’t seen as racism, but rather as just the way things normally are. However, slavery and racism go hand in hand because the whites are specifically choosing the black race as the ones that are inferior and therefore chosen to be the slaves, not any other race but the blacks. I call this racism at its best. Although on top of being racist we are also going against our own declaration of independence by having slavery in America. The declaration includes a statement saying that all men are created equal, yet we are treating these men and women as if they were animals by taking away and all rights that they have and taking away their lives by working them to the point of exhaustion and keeping them captive for the entire duration of their lives. How is this equality for all men and women?
As I previously mentioned, slavery is seen as normal and fair in America by mostly every white citizen, but how is treating a man like a worthless beast just or fair in any way? It isn’t fair to separate an innocent infant from his mother and father and never providing them with any background information about their family whatsoever. How is a child supposed to take it in when he sees all the other white boys and girls with their parents living perfectly happy lives? Would you be able to look into the eyes of that child and tell him it’s fair? No, because deep down you know it’s not, but you choose to remain quiet and save yourself…