The Complex System of Slavery and Its Reign Over Prejudice Minds

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The Complex System of Slavery and Its Reign Over Prejudice Minds

Fueled by hate, fear, and overwhelming power, the former institution of slavery in America was a destroyer of men; a dehumanizing machine that affected all those who crossed its path. America's tainted past with slavery is looked upon with immense grief among the majority of members of society today. How could our forefathers, who made America what it is today, have looked upon slavery as a lawful act and actually created laws to uphold it? How could anyone? The only way to understand and interpret these questions is to understand that the number of people who fell victim to slavery far exceeded the number of those enslaved. Slave holders, overseers, and traders were essentially ruined people, who's hearts were crushed by the hate and fear that ran deep in the slave system.

Instances of racism and prejudice are like stains on the timeline of world history. It is this first notion, that one race of people is lower in status than another, that has allowed racial wrongdoings to occur since the beginning of time. "Most Men indeed as well as most Sects in Religion, think themselves in Possession of all Truth, and that wherever others differ from them it is so far Error" (Franklin 66). Just as so many once believed the world was flat, so many still believe that African American people and other minorities do not deserve the same rights as white people, merely because of their color. Stemming from very basic human nature, these prejudices controlled the minds of many, if not most, people in early America. Thus, began

slavery. Justified by the assumption that African American people were lower in status than whites, slaveholders were not breaking any real or moral laws. In their minds, blacks had no status at all.

Many of the slave owning families in America kept slaves for generations. Land and slaves were passed down by fathers to sons, to their sons, and so on. After seeing a father's example, in a time when many sons were expected to follow in their father's footsteps, it would have been unheard of for a young man to reject his expected way of life. In his autobiographical book, My Bondage and My Freedom, Frederick Douglass comments on a family he was given to in Baltimore.
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