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Racism as the Result of the New World Slavery - Essay Example

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By the argument that racism was the result of the New World slavery, it is meant that the policy, system of government or belief that is based upon the persuasion that a person's own race being inherently superior emanates from the slavery and slave-related activities that was practiced in the Western Hemisphere, particularly the Americas and perhaps, parts of the Oceania…
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Racism as the Result of the New World Slavery
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Download file to see previous pages Partly, this standpoint can be held as true, meaning that, it can equally be inaccurate, as shall be seen in the discussion which ensues forthwith. Racism as the Only Ideology That Could Justify the Ravages of the New World Slavery Gleissner (2010, 55) observes that the accurate nature of the argument that racism was the result of the New World slavery is underscored by the fact that the Americas heavily relied upon slavery and slave labour to advance political and socioeconomic interests. So heavy was this reliance upon slave labour that by 1700, the slave population therein had reached 33,000. By 1800, the number of slaves therein had reached 3,000,000. By 1850, this number had peaked over 6,000,000. The issue of racism cannot be divorced from this use of slave labour, given that it was mainly inspired by the stereotypical, unscientific and unfounded claim and notion that the black race was a lesser being. Jackson, Jr. and Weidmen (2004, 16) maintain that, "The inherent physical strength and the wooly hair attributable to the black race are some of the premises upon which racially-instigated slaveholding and use of slave labour advanced the propaganda that the black race is/ was inferior." Secondly, the racist idea that the black race was inherently inferior to other races (particularly the Caucasians) is the chief factor that fuelled the inhuman treatment that slaves were subjected to, right from the point of transportation from Africa, being paraded and purchased in the Caribbean slave markets, being used as a slave, to finally being dumped in a wasteland instead of being given a decent burial. As for the transportation, it is pointed out that during the period between 1700 and 1850, one and a half million people died, during the passage to New World. Again, within a year of landing, a fifth of the slaves transported to the New World died (Hormann and Mackenthun, 2010, 71). According to Kleg (2003, 84), the main reason behind this sad state of affairs is the inhuman and deplorable conditions that the slaves were being subjected to. Usually, the slaves had been forcefully captured through violence. While on board the slave ship, slaves were confined to the lower deck which was never cleaned, for which sources say that a slave ship could be smelled tens of miles away. Rodriguez (2007, 12) recounts that, "The lower deck where slaves were kept while in transit was the very relieving grounds for calls of nature, and the same compartments where morsels of left-over food were thrown down by the slave dealers. Slaves were overcrowded in these lower decks that men and women squeezed into any available space." As if this state of affair is not enough, slaves who died in the course of the journey were also dumped in these decks [and not into the sea] since the number of slaves taken from the African mainland had to be accounted for at the point of destination. Cohen and Greene (1974, 45) recount that, of the same condition of the slave ship, an eyewitness of the harrowing of slave ships, Reverend Robert Walsh says, "Conditions in the slave ships were wretched, with children, men and women scramming into every space available, denied adequate food, breathing space and room. The atmosphere was inhumane with an appalling stench. Men and women were hurdled together in chains in groups of three or four." It is for this reason that many slaves arrived in the Caribbean Island slave market already dead, while a considerable number died on arrival following the 2-3 month perils of the slave ship. The dead were cast into ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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