Racial Prejudice In American History

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America may be the land of the free and the home of the brave, but is it a country that has overcome hate and racism? Forms of racism have existed for a long time, especially in American history. The idea of race, however, is a modern concept that was formed and changed over time, and fueled by preconceived notions of inferiority and superiority. Scientists validated the concept of racial differences to show natural hierarchy of certain groups ("Race Timeline- Go Deeper"). The ideology that one’s racial or ethnic group is innately superior to others in humanity formed; now racism continues to exist as certain groups exclude, dominate, or seek to eliminate another group based on differences that are unalterable and hereditary. Americans have …show more content…
English colonists established a system of indentured servitude, but Africans were later demoted to a life of permanent slavery in the colonies. Africans were denied their freedom, and Native Americans were withheld rights even when colonists were battling for independence by the British. Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and the 3rd president of the United States, was also a Virginia slave owner who wrote in his Notes on the State of Virginia, “‘…blacks, whether originally a distinct race, or made distinct by time and circumstances, are inferior to the whites in the endowments both of body and mind’” ("The Story of Race Transcript"). Scientists continued to develop their own theories about race as theories of racial inferiority continued to advance. Consequently, immigrants coming to America challenged ideas about race and were often victims of discrimination, which continues today ("The Story of Race Transcript"). Race began being used as a basis for dehumanization of a certain …show more content…
“In 2013, law enforcement agencies reported that 3,407 single-bias hate crime offenses were racially motivated” ("2013 Hate Crime Statistics"). Most of the racial-based hate crimes were anti-Black or African American biased. The infamous killing of black 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012 reopened the discussion on race and racial profiling in America. “‘This case has reignited a furor about vigilante justice, racial-profiling and equitable treatment under the law, and it has stirred the pot of racial strife,’ New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow wrote in his thought-provoking March 16 article, "The Curious Case of Trayvon Martin"” (Hanley). Cases like Trayvon Martin’s show how black boys in America run the risk of being at the wrong place, at the wrong time, around the wrong people that let their bias get the best of them. Now certain behavior could be what determines whether or not a child will be kept safe or not. Racial hate crimes instill a sense of fear, and racial profiling does not improve security. Racial profiling brings upon the fear that the law would not prove sufficient to salve one’s loss. America has become the kind of country that blames the victim for something they cannot change, for looking suspicious because of their skin color

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