One person is all it takes to change the world, for the good or for the bad. In this democratic society, every person is granted the same three unalienable rights: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If the Declaration of Independence stands true, then what’s the difference between a white individual and a black individual? The word “racism” is associated with the idea of one race being superior to the other, most commonly, blacks are “inferior” to whites. No one wants to be labeled as a ‘rascist’ but in reality, people are imperfect. Every day many people are judged upon their race. Racism has been alive for many years before the Civil War, after the Civil War, and even in today’s society.
Racism occurred before and during the Civil War proven through one of many of Mr. David Houston’s lectures. During a lecture about slavery on November 21st at Denison High School, he had discussed how four famous Historical figures defended slavery. The one that struck me the most is Fitzhugh’s claim to justify slavery. In this, he makes many claims, such as: “Blacks are inferior to whites”, “Blacks are unable to provide for the future”, and that “Blacks are nothing more than a child to their slave owners.” These are absurd allegations that Fitzhugh had argued, and a number of people were outraged with these claims. Besides the physical color of skin, black people and white people are the exact same. After all, each race bleeds the same blood (Houston).
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Another example of racism before the Civil War is the very controversial Dred Scott Case. Before diving in, one must know a little bit about Scott’s background. Dred Scott was a black man who lived with his owner in a free state for ten years before moving back to Missouri, a slave state. Dred Scott rightfully believed that the time that he had spent in a free state should qualify him for his freedom, however, the court did not. Scott knew that there was a law titled “once free, always free” that would free any slave who was in a free state and returned to a slave state. With that being said, the courts still were not in favor of Scott’s freedom, saying that slave states did not have to follow that law. The courts had also said that black people, freed or slave, do not have rights to sue in a federal court. Although Scott did not win the case in court, he was eventually freed by his owner (Editors, History.com).
Racism occurred after the Civil War and can be shown through Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Many people know Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as the “I have a dream” man; however, this American legend is known for much more than his iconic speech. Dr. King was an extraordinary man who would rather risk his life over racial equality. His journey started when a group of blacks had chosen Dr. King to represent the boycott of city buses. Dr. King was a wise man, as shown through skipping grades nine and twelve, enrolling in college at only fifteen-years-old (Klein). Despite the number of lives that Martin Luther King Jr. impacted, he requested not to be recognized for his accomplishments but rather for his mindset when he won the Nobel Peace Prize. (Klein, Bullard 96-98).
Racism Today: (3)
Racism is still present in today’s society and can be shown through everyday actions.
In conclusion, racism has occurred before, during, and after the Civil War and yet, 150 plus years later, has not improved.
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