I to use them as his slaves and

I think we can all agree
that racism has always been a great issue in this world from the beginning of
time. It didn’t necessarily matter where you were, but racism has always been
an ongoing battle. Many people may say that in earlier times racism wasn’t an
issue, but slavery and servitude come to show that it has. The first reported
form of slavery was said to be in the early thirteen hundred when the first
forms of trade and cultivation started. At first, it was Russians who were
taken into subjugation because of their lack of ownership but when disease
started spreading and the Indians began dying rapidly, African Americans began being
sold by native-Arabs. A major setback was when Africans went on a voyage to the
New World (whether it was forcefully or to run away to what they thought would be
a better life) and about 60-70 percent of the 15 million landed in the Caribbean
due to the sugar rush.

            We saw the first forms of racial inequality when
Cristopher Columbus arrived in the Caribbean islands and was encountered with
the Natives. Because of their lack of understanding and advances civilization,
Columbus took advantage of their servitude and willingness to take them on as
his slaves. He used them as working men, translators, navigators, and punished/
executed them when they wouldn’t agree to his terms. He continued to use them
as his slaves and into the sugar plantations. This led to the trading of the
African slaves which led to word getting around that these people were much
cheaper because their previous financial conditions were worse, and more of the
privileged took advantage. African slaves were then being traded into horrible conditions
because black Africans were better fitted for the tropical climate, more
resistant to disease, and stronger than Europeans”. (The Effects of Slavery in
the Caribbean)

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From
what’s been continuously told throughout time, we’ve been given the impression
that these African Americans had it a lot worse in the Southern states due to
plantations, poorness, and lack of sympathy. On the other hand, we’ve seen that
Latin Americans showed more sympathy because they were very much involved in
their churches and based most of their lives on religion. Those in Latin America
practically relied on what came from their crops and so these owners showed to
be more noble when it came to how they treated their workers in order to
receive a better outcome. Because they paid a lot of attention to the Catholic
teachings, they were taught to support the slaves’ right to marry, seek relief
form cruelty, and paying their way out of enslavement.

            What we’ve been told to believe from U.S history has been
a complete and utter lie. Turns out that these slaves had it way worse in Latin
America than the ones in the South ever did. For example, because the population
in Latin America, constituted of almost 80% slaves, it meant that the privileged
were owners to many more slaves than we could count and couldn’t keep up with
what every single one of them was doing and produce a kind of punishment. On the
other hand, only about 1/3 of the Southern population was made up of slaves and
so therefore the owners could keep up with them way better and punish when “needed”.
For the same reason that the southerners had less slaves, there was opportunity
to have them placed in homes on their same plantation and therefore had a lot more
daily contact with them. Contrary to those living in Latin America, there was
no place for an owner to keep about 500+ slaves on their land AND keep them all
in uniform on a daily basis.

            Although conditions for slaves in the South are said to
have been a lot worse, there were many “opportunities and freebies” that they
had that those in the Caribbean did not. For example, even though the southern slaves
were expected to cultivate their own plants in their own time, they at least
had something of their own. On the other hand, the ones in the Caribbean didn’t
have anything under their name and much less have “free” time. Also, those in the
South didn’t just work on plantations, but also care for the elder and those
who may be ill. Those in servitude in Latin American had a higher chance of being
freed in their lifetime but in reality, owners only freed the elder, crippled,
injured, and only because they didn’t want the burden of being financially responsible
for them any longer. So, in a way, it was never as a reward to free them, but
more as a benefit for the slave owners.

            The reason as to why African Americans were unfortunately
punished into slavery and indentured servitude was because they were a part of
a “mixed-race”, which the white saw as “unable to do anything productive” and
only meant to do what the others were “to good” to do. If we remember the “one-drop”
rule, it tells us how the government depicted to who was considered “Black” and
was therefore basically disqualified from having any sort of rights, freedom,
or power. This rule claimed that “any
person with even one ancestor of sub-Saharan-African ancestry (“one
drop” of black blood) is considered black”. This rule quickly led to the assumption that anyone with this history of
ancestry was “no good”. “The biological uniqueness of women, like skin color and
facial characteristics… became a basis for treating them as inferior”, “When
the slave trade had just begun, the color black was frowned upon. It meant,
deeply stained with dirt, soiled, dirty, foul” (A People’s History of the United
States).

            The best way to explain the background of racism now and
in the colonies from before, would be “Ruling elites have often used race as
part of a strategy of “divide and conquer” to protect their class interests.” (Chp.
14- Racial Inequality) We saw it then, and we continue to see it even today. The
extent of violence and punishment was based on the geographical differences
between the southern states and Latin America. For instance, the slaves in the south
were given daily tasks to do and when finished, they would have “free” time where
they could take on hobbies, work on their own crops, daily errands, etc. In Latin
America, it was always more about the fear of a slave revolt due to executions,
suicide, and runaways. Like I mentioned before, there were hundreds of
thousands more slaves in Latin America than there was in the South. Because of
this, slave owners in Latin America didn’t really care how badly they treated their
slaves because there was always the option of buying new ones if for whatever reason
the previous ones were to die or run away. In comparison to slave owners in the
South, who knew their slaves were limited and needed to maintain them as healthy
and diligent as ever. The slaves in South were at a much lower supply than in Latin
America and it would mean that it would take a lot more time and a higher
investment to be able to replace them.

            Latin America was very well involved with Catholicism and
were meant to believe that these African Americans had as much right to
freedom, power, and everything else just like they did, but as privileged people
they didn’t. Instead, since they believed the complete opposite, they couldn’t follow
Catholicism when it came to the slaves because then that would mean that they
were giving them a humanizing character. The slave owners kept telling themselves
that they were actually doing them a favor by exploiting them and by teaching them
what they thought was Catholicism, and that they would be better off being
slaves than where they were traded from (Africa).

           

           

           

            

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