Prejudice and Racial Discrimination in America Essay

2564 Words 11 Pages
It has been over 500 years since Columbus sailed the ocean blue and yet the vast majority of that time has been filled with the woes, hatred and oppression of the American white man for his darker skinned brethren. If we take as our assumption that such racially motivated injustice can not be justified and should not persist then we must first understand how such an obvious imbalance came to be and what can and should be done to avert it in the future. Historically hatred was born out of fear and misunderstanding of cultural, religious and physical differences, and the economic necessities of the time. It persisted because of the even greater fear of admitting ones mistakes and the divestiture of power From African …show more content…
While the blacks may have allowed the shackles to be brought in place, it was most certainly the colonial English that turned the key. The English brought with them a distaste for anything foreign and an ingrained belief in the superiority of their own customs (Takaki 26-9, 51-2). Bolstered by their belief in intrinsic differences, it was the economic necessity of the times that allowed them to overcome their inherent moral discomfort with slavery.

The simple fact of the matter is that the colonies and especially the people running them needed to make money. The north turned to manufacturing and thus needed skilled labor to succeed, something slaves were not likely to provide, but the South was better suited to agriculture particularly large cash crops of tobacco and later cotton. Once the colonies were successfully civilized that one might expect people to live a good many years, it was suddenly very profitable to have slave employed for life as opposed to servants one must eventually dismiss (Takaki 65-6). Thus I believe that the great slave institution was formed by taking a race which already represented an outcast minority and legalizing exactly what the great landlords felt was most necessary to the profitability of the colony. Thus was