Slavery and Racism Still Exists
Slavery is not a new phenomenon. It has a long history that is reflected in practically all societies across the world. Slavery still exists today because of the existence of criminal activities which are directed toward making people work hard and making them lack a free choice. These people lack control over their work and have no opportunity to make decisions regarding their lifestyles. As a rule, slavery is associated with hard physical work in unbearable physical conditions. Forced labor is a sign of slavery which constitutes a condition, in which poor people are owned by rich people, who ensure total control over their lives.
Slavery has existed throughout the history of humanity, in all times and all places across the world. The term slavery can be defined as “a situation where the individual human being is simply a thing and as such subject to the power of a person who exercises over him rights of ownership” (Gil-Blanco 291). According to article “Anti-Slavery Society still has worldwide job to do” another definition of slavery is the following: slavery is a type of social and economic relationship that requires control of a person through violence and economic exploitation. Slavery still exists in contemporary human society because it is presented in the transformed forms, which place emphasis on the role of control over the lives of people instead of its focus on ownership of slaves which was practiced before the abolition of slavery.
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Today slavery comes in different forms. Slavery was abolished in the 19th century, but, at the same time, it still exists in human society. Today, slavery is represented in absolutely new forms, which make the lives of many poor people extremely hard and even unbearable. Currently, slavery involves different illegal activities, such as prostitution, hard work in agriculture industry and in the field of construction, child labour activities in sweatshops, forced marriage, the selling of human organs, and other activities which require exploitation of people. As a rule, these forms of slavery are temporary, although in past centuries, slavery was presented as a life-long condition. If the lives of people are controlled by other people, new forms of slavery will continue to emerge in human society.
If people have no opportunity to make a free choice, they are enslaved. Slavery is a form of complex relationship between two people, which incorporates both social and economic relationships. This fact means that new forms of slavery are based on compliance with certain rules and regulations, although these rules are unofficial and unwritten. Anyway, these new forms of slavery are caused by violence, which leads to the loss of free will and execution of total control. Even slavery officially exited at 19th century, new form of slavery exists.
In addition, slavery is linked to racism because of the negative effects of both phenomena on human lives. In Incognegro: Renaissance, Mat Johnson, Pleece Warren and Clem Robins work collaboratively to explore the issues like segregation and racism, describing the life of the protagonist who feels himself as if he is a stranger in this world. This strange feeling is caused by the negative effects of racism. Zane Pinchback, a young black man experiences the negative effects of racism, although his skin is lighter than the skin of other black people. As a journalist, he is open to communication and can easily evaluate how people treat him. He does not want to accept inequality that exists in the racist society of the 1920s. Zane goes to the book party of white writer named Van Horn. There, he sees how complicates the world. When book represents, the name of the book “Nigger Town” shows disrespectfulness to the black people.
So party was comfortless than Zane expected. In the party, Zane faced with crime; murder of black writer Xaviar. Because of Xaviar’s skin the police officers have zero interest to investigating and they deem situation as suicide. Death of Xaviar makes Zane concerned with the issue of racism. Hence, the book focuses on criticism of racism that makes white people ignorant to the problems of black people. The author writes about the feelings of the protagonist about race, “Race doesn’t really exist. Culture? Ethnicity? Sure. Class too. But race is just a bunch of rules meant to keep us on the bottom. Race is a strategy. The rest is just people acting playing roles” (Johnson 23).
In another book entitled Kindred, racism is presented as the major theme of the story that describes the history of America and its impact on the lives of black people. The American author, Octavia Butler, focuses on the analysis of the history of America, placing emphasis on its role in shaping contemporary American culture. The protagonist of this book is Dana, a young black woman who is characterized as a brave, compassionate, and self-confident person. She serves as a writer and has an opportunity to share her ideas about racism with others. There is much evidence in the book that proves the fact that slavery is interrelated with racism.
For instance, When Dana and Kevin decided to marry, they both faced objection from their families because Kevin was white man. Kevin’s sister said she would bar Kevin and Dana from her house if they married. Dana’s uncle, who had been like a father to her, was hurt by her decision to marry a white man. When she married a white man, she experienced certain changes in relationships with other people because she was black. When Dana was sent to a slave plantation in the antebellum south, she was a slave and had to work in order to survive.
However, she did not work as a slave. In 1976, Dana found much behavior patterns that resembled her the times of slavery in the south. She assumed, “Repressive societies always seemed to understand the danger of “wrong” ideas” (Butler 141). This means that slavery exists in human society.
To survive extreme circumstances, people agree to the proposed conditions and, as a result, they often become slaves. In both, Incognegro: Renaissance and Kindred, racism is the key theme which affects decisions and actions of the main characters, protagonists and antagonists. Many people have to adapt to the changing circumstances that affect their lives; therefore, they need to make right decisions. In Incognegro: Renaissance and Kindred, protagonists highlight the need for criticizing racism and slavery because both phenomena ruin human lives. Slavery did not end because it emerged in its new forms.
In today’s social environment, which is affected by a number of factors (social, economic, political and cultural factors), specific attention is paid to the opportunity to control the lives of people. Dana from Kindred was one of those people who faced economical exploitation. She said, “I never realized how easily people could be trained to accept slavery” (Butler 101). Slavery is illegal in our days, but different forms of slavery can be found across the world to support local economies and create positive conditions for enrichment of some people at the top of the ladder and impoverishment of other people, mainly at the bottom of the ladder.
Thus, it is necessary to conclude that slavery is not a historical phenomenon because slavery is still present in our life, although it is represented in new forms. These new forms of slavery are shaped by relationships that are established between people. Violence is the key sign of slavery because it leads to the loss of free will and execution of total control over human lives. It becomes clear that racism and slavery are interrelated because racism is caused by violence and leads to discrimination and oppression. In the books Incognegro: Renaissance and Kindred, the authors provide much important and valid evidence that proves the fact that slavery is prevalent in human society and it will never end. In general, slavery in contemporary society can be characterized as a global phenomenon because new forms of slavery are prevalent across the world and have similar characteristics.