My Bondage, My Freedom Fredrick Douglass

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“It was not color, but crime, not God, but man that afforded the true explanation of the existence of slavery; nor was I long in finding out another important truth, what man can make, man can unmake” (Douglass 59). In My Bondage and My Freedom, Fredrick Douglass explains in detail the harsh and cruel realties of slavery and how slavery was an institution that victimized not only slaves, but slave holders, and non-slave holding whites. Fredrick Douglass could not have been more right with his observation of slavery. In my opinion, slavery is not only an institution, but is a prime example of a corrupt business model that thrives on free labor, ultimate control, and wealth.

“A business is only as good as its workers.” It’s a common
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Greed is the undertone upon which Douglass states that slavery “corrupted souls” and “turned good people into bad people.” The institution of slavery was based on the ultimate control and power over a human to whom he is stripped of all of his identity and becomes sub-human. Consequently, the institution forces slave holders had to buy into this concept in order to justify any and all cruelty toward slaves. Douglas states “Slave holders resort to all kinds of cruelty” and later describes various ways of torture and punishment “all are in requisition to keep the slave in his condition as a slave in the United States” (Douglass 272). Slave holders showed no mercy when reprimanding slaves. The brutality and cruelty of these punishments were more of a statement of power and control and often times the punishment was worse than the offense.

“Racism was used aggressively to divide poor white southerners from slaves. The relationship between the wealthy and the poor was aggressively exploited by the rich white slave holder to ensure the poor whites non-slave holder that they had a similar cause” (Shaping America: Lesson 16). This caused non-slave holding whites to have a similar view as latter. Non-slave holding whites were in direct competition with slaves and more often than not were forced out of work due to the free labor slavery had offered.

In conclusion, “Slavery is always slavery; always the same foul, haggard, and damning
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