We have talked about inherent racism and racial divide in the USA a bunch of times already, looking at different angles, but mostly in regards to recent history. However, to conclude our journey into just how embedded racism is in the history of the United States, one has to go back to the beginning to understand that racist ideology and White Supremacy are not just an occurrence, but arguably part of the very foundation of America.
Since the first settlers set a foot on the continent, the concept of White Supremacy was very much what dictated everything that came thereafter. While the Indian Genocide at the hands of European settlers is a topic for another time and still somewhat removed from the actual independent nation, the widespread and systematic slavery of black people and the ensuing Civil War isn’t.
The Importance of Slavery
Slavery was a cruel systematic crime, yet it has seen a decrease in importance, especially when talking about the Civil War. Not only isn’t Slavery properly talked about in many places, it is also neglected as the major cause of the Civil War when it most certainly was. To this day, the topic seems suppressed to a certain extent because it is an important factor to explain the ever-present sentiment of White Supremacy in the United States that the nation can’t seem to rid itself of.
The reason is simple – it is a major burden claiming responsibility as a nation for an event as tragic as Slavery, willingly committed against forefathers of your neighbors. But that’s not all, Slavery was, at the time, the reason for the USA to succeed on an international level. The cotton industry, stemmed by millions of Slaves against their will, made up 60% of American exports, amounting to $75 billion. It enabled white wealth and a nation founded on White Supremacy to prevail. Even after Slavery was ended through the Civil War, inequality and poverty was still very much a reality for most black people in the United States. For most of them, it never ended.
Inherited White Supremacy
Some Americans may argue that their forefathers, white man, freed the Slaves as if that would somehow acquit them of any guilt. It’s not the population today that started or ended Slavery, it’s the population today that still can’t recognize that ideologies like White Supremacy are pretty much alive and well to this very day. Black people continued to struggle up until the Civil Rights movement and even long after that to this day. While rights have certainly been restored, the public image, opinion, and treatment of black people in the United States is still very far from equal in many regards.
Barack Obama: The Failed Savior?
It’s not like there haven’t been hopes of a savior to, at some point, magically lift the black race up, abolish notions of White Supremacy and racism and replace them with true equality instead of just claiming that it already exists. For many that savior was Barack Obama, but looking back at the promise his election held and what it actually caused in the aftermath, makes you wonder if it actually furthered the black cause in the long run.
Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama had a unique opportunity that, in many regards, passed unnoticed. Michelle Obama herself was raised in a black neighborhood and studied black history in college. Who but her would have been able to accentuate issues about the American past and present in regards to racial disparity and White Supremacy? Instead, she played the formidable First Lady and mother of two, wife to a President that often found himself unable to speak about racial topics without causing major commotions from the right.
USA: Nation of the Straight White Male
The USA is and always has been the nation of the straight white male, displaying and executing dominance over perceived lesser individuals. White Supremacy is not just a blip in US history, it’s a common theme that seems incredibly hard to overcome. Even the achievement of a black President disrupting the never-ending cycle of white men ruling the country couldn’t change that in any way, which goes to show just how much it is embedded in our minds and history and how powerless we seem to overcome it.
- African Neocolonialism: Is China Exploiting Africa? - April 18, 2018
- Ice Cream Inflation: Is Life Getting more Expensive? - April 17, 2018
- 100% Renewable Energy: Can we Live without Fossil Fuels? - April 15, 2018
- Digital Pirates: How Piracy Changes Consumerism for Good - April 14, 2018
- What Data does Facebook Collect From Us? Take a Look! - April 12, 2018