Essay on Racism And The United States

Essay on Racism And The United States

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Racism in the United States predates the founding of the nation itself. Despite the relatively young history of the terms race and racism, events from the past that are arguably racist in nature cannot be dismissed based on the irrational reason that those events happened well before scholars even conceived the idea of it. Perhaps the settlers did not recognize their thoughts and actions as particularly demeaning to a group of people they strongly believed to be inferior in the first place. However, there have also been other instances prior to the New World when racism could be associated directly to discrimination against the “other” religion as observed from anti-Irish sentiments. Rather than an “aberration” in the course of history, racism served as an integral and defining factor in the progression of the United States. Thus, understanding the founding of the United States would not be complete and realistic without considering the treatment, experiences, and contributions to modernization of the various groups of people who have been brought or have migrated to the New World under European sovereignty.
The aspect of race and racism in American history plays an important role in the acquisition of land as deemed necessary by early settlers to build the foundations of the new nation. The first settlers essentially staked their claim to land previously cultivated by Indians the moment they arrived in the Jamestown settlement. Nevertheless, European encounter with these supposedly savage people only highlighted their differences and effectively convinced the settlers of their superiority and authority over the uncivilized Indians (Takaki 33-34). This in turn led to the notion of entitlement within the settlers to forcibly or man...

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...e climate today. On one hand, some may argue that early settlers were simply acting on their instinct for survival and that employing slavery and other discriminatory laws served as assurances for their supremacy. Others may also claim that slaveholders may not have recognized their actions to be racist in nature. Nevertheless, people of color must be recognized for their contributions in the early history of America to today. They were the ones to suffer when they worked plantations and minefields while whites had the privilege of being the chosen ones by God. Race issues continue to plague society today, and the form of racism may be vastly different from two centuries ago. Yet, only telling the stories of white victories and erasing the hardships people of color experienced dismisses the idea that people of color may have actually done more for America than whites.

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