Race Based Slavery : An Important Role Throughout American History

1567 Words 7 Pages
Since 1492, when Columbus arrived in the Indies and began to exploit the Native people living there, race has been a controversial issue in America (Zinn 6). Soon after Columbus, Europeans began importing African slaves for labor (Gates 3). In ancient times, people had different views of what race meant: some viewed race as being a representation of where one were currently living, while others insisted that it was based upon where one came from, or how they looked (Aronson 131). Regardless of the accepted definition, this discrepancy proves that race is based on completely superficial prejudices and does not reflect any “natural inferiority.” Race-based slavery has played an important role throughout American history, which differs from other institutions of slavery, such as African and ancient Greek and Roman cultures, whose conditions of servitude were not dependant on race (Aronson, Zinn 28). The racially based prejudice on which the country was founded have effects today. America has taken action to combat racial discrimination, and some of these movements have been more successful than others. However, despite progress being made in racial issues since Columbus arrived in the country, racism is rampant in the United States of America, and African-American citizens are the main victims of this prejudice.
Economically, African Americans are discriminated against. White households are worth approximately 186 times what black households are worth on average, and black men…

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