Human Inequality

Satisfactory Essays
Nothing in life is guaranteed, but there is one thing that we all expect to receive throughout our lifetime. Every human demands to be treated equally in the same manner as the person next to them. This general consensus of modern day was not the norm throughout the history of America. No matter how much we try not to look back upon our obtuse behavior towards particular ethnic groups, what took place cannot be undone. The only positive effect that can be derived from the past is to learn from these mistakes. Less than a century after abolishing what had become a two hundred year old practice of enslaving African Americans, the “Land of the Free” again displayed its disregard for human equality as Japanese Americans were stripped of their every belonging and sent to internment camps during World War II.
The enslavement of African Americans began during a time when the United States was a budding country in the need for cheap labor. In response to this necessity, slave traders would go to various regions within Africa to hunt for the residents who they would then capture and sell. It is mind-blowing to imagine an entire family being taken from their home in chains, only to then be separated never to see one another again. These Africans were not only robbed of their family and home but also their freedom and right to live their own lives.
Upon their arrival to America, along with the new title of African Americans, came a new life of cruelty and inhumanity. Their self-respect was the first thing to be disposed of as they were assigned a monetary value when auctioned off like prize cattle. In Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, the author describes the sale of her uncle with, “Though only ten years old, seven hundred and twenty dollars was paid for him.” This was only the beginning of the slaveholders’ attempt to confiscate any remnant piece of dignity so that the slaves could be more easily oppressed.
Slaveholders recognized the potential that knowledge created within a person and thus, kept their slaves as ignorant as possible. Because literacy was not allowed by any means, slaves were deprived of the celebrated joy of a birthday. Douglass describes in Narrative of the Life of an American Slave, slaves’ inability to know their own birthday because there were no authentic records considering nobody was able to read or write.
Get Access