Dehumanization Of Race In America

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When a citizen of the United States of America (USA) looks at the USA’s flag, or its Constitution, or its Declaration of Independence, what does he or she see? One person may see and believe in the ideals set forth by the Founding Fathers of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” in the Declaration of Independence, another person may also see these ideals, but feel fundamentally locked out their attractive promise. These “unalienable rights” (archives 1) seem to construct a society based on the bedrock of equality, so why might one citizen see utopia and another a façade. At the time of the USA’s founding, its slave economies were in full swing, with even the man who penned, “…all men are created equal,” owning hundreds of slaves and questioning the humanity of “the blacks” (Jefferson 1). The underpinning of this hypocrisy relied on the dehumanization of nonwhites, and the formation of a racial hierarchy. The notion of race in America has been used to structure a hierarchy of inequality. Its genesis started from what one could see. An early American settler had no other resources to utilize than land, and cultivating lands depended upon a labor force. After the introduction of slave labor from Africa, the labor force problem was solved—but the morality problem was not. New …show more content…
With the advent of Rudyard Kipling’s poem “The White Man’s Burden,” the white power structure moved into a stage of imperialism. The nonwhite people of the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico were dehumanized, and placed in the same basket many times as those of perceived inferior darker complexions. The stimulus for this dehumanization stemmed from the objectification of nonwhites as “savages.” This ideology hit its ugly maximum at the World Fair, where whites were pictured next to nonwhites—trying to show the difference between a “civilized” human and ‘uncivilized” human,

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