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This essay investigates the literature on slavery. It examines the problems associated with prejudice and discriminatory behavior like constant stereotyping. In according with the literature, these problems start when the majority group begins to suffer low self esteem and therefore use scapegoats to gain undue self worth. In order to slay this self-destructive trend, the literature suggests that the population has to change its mindset. Politicians, religious leaders, teachers, and parents must demystify the myth that blacks are inferior and replace it with the idea that all men are endowed by God with equal rights and privileges. Furthermore, parents must promote social interaction and integration between the antagonizing social groups. A finally, to reverse the trend race must be redefined as a mere skin color that has nothing to do with the content and character of any human.
There is no Such a Thing as Rest
Slavery can be defined as a system in which people are considered property and made to work forcibly against their will. Slave trade undoubtedly left an ugly mark on the face of humanity. For around 400 years between 1500 and 1900, several millions of blacks were forcibly seized from Africa and shipped across the Atlantic to Europe and America. The conditions of they had to endure during this journey were of untold cruelty. Indeed, some died on the way and others died on arrival. For those who were that unlucky to make it alive, they were sold off farming merchants to work as free laborers. This exercise was an attempt by Europe to make money. Many European countries became rich While African fortunes began to nosedive. To date, this problem has persistent with Africa having to bear the brunt of untold suffering, poverty, drought and illiteracy. And for the African Americans, the stigma remains because slavery has borne prejudice and discrimination. (Stein, N. 1998).
Although several organizations have made significant progress in their attempts to create a more just society, African Americans particularly still face myriad problems imposed on them through the complex racial interactions marked by negative motives of individuals or individual institutions in the United States of America. (Chima, 1999). Some of the major problems faced by the African Americans include biasness in government and private sector employments, limitation to subordinate positions, limited networking and mentorship and biasness in performance appraisal that obviously comes with emotional and psychological maltreatment (Queralt, 1996).
This practice is entrenched in the American society till today simply because of the strong traditional background it has. The origin of slavery in Africa can be attributed to the tradition of having paramount chiefs who could sell their subjects out at will. Moreover, practices like forced marriages made it look perfectly normal when the black were being captured from Africa to the extent they put no resistance. (Stein, N. 1998).
It can be rightly deduced that prejudice, which is an irrational opinion about others, and discrimination have been perpetuated against the African Americans simply because of the feeling of insecurity by the Americans. They look for all manner of scapegoats whenever they feel inadequate and tend to denigrate the blacks to enhance their self-worth. Another factor that greatly contributes to this inhuman trend is the American desire to protect opportunities. (McFate, K. 1995). Historically, fear has been used as a reason to discriminate against certain social groups. For instance, the ethnic cleansing that was committed against the Jews during the World War II under the guise of Nazi ideals of racial purity was a clear manifest of what fear can do. (Stein, N. 1998).
In some instances, it is simply the desire to conform or out of fear of rejection if you deviate from the popular believe that supports discrimination. This coupled by the fact that conforming gives an assurance of economic benefits greatly served to keep African Americans in slavery. Nonetheless, prejudice has not done any justice to the Americans either as it technically leads to a vicious cycle of blame game. The more the whites blame blacks for their shortcomings, the more they remain economically stagnant. And the more they remain economically unsuccessful, the more the scapegoats they seek in the African Americans. (McFate, K. 1995). Ethnocentrism, which is described as the act of evaluating other peoples’ culture by one’s own cultural beliefs has also fueled discrimination. The Americans tend to look at the African Americans as people from a completely different world with a totally different culture and therefore end up treating them as strangers. They basically see them as people who don’t deserve the right to enjoy the milk and honey of America. However, just a little more tolerance and appreciation that looking different does not really make people incompatible would solve the whole issue of discrimination. (Queralt, M.1996).
The menace of prejudice and discrimination has to be faced head on if the society has to move on. This can be easily achieved by giving proper education to the masses so they have enough self esteem. This way they will face their inadequacies rather than look for someone to blame. (Stein, N. 1998). Bringing the protagonist groups together to constructively interact with one another will have significant results. This would help them appreciate their differences in their cultural practices and understand that they can pursue their individual interests and still come together. (McFate, K. 1995). Moreover, positive results can be achieved by enforcing legislations against any form of discrimination. Indeed, this has yielded positive results in America especially on education and job opportunities.
Prejudice and discrimination are major hindrances to social and economic progresses. Most African Americans with good entrepreneurial skills continue to have their potential thwarted by unfriendly legislation. This is not what America can be! This trend must be reversed even if it means changing the American laws or regulating the media so that they don’t run programs that reinstate these racial stereotypes.