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Social Construct of Race Created to Justify Enslavement, Oppression of Black People, Other Minorities

by Todd A. Smith

 

 

Race Created By Europeans to Justify Slavery, Oppression


Whenever the topic of racism and slavery comes up, some White people justify oppression by stating that Black people sold other Black people into slavery.


While that statement seems true now, that statement is really fake news and not true because Black people technically never captured or sold other Black people into slavery.


Simply put, race did not exist as a social construct, some say until the 15th century when European conquests began to justify the enslavement of Africans simply because of the color of their skin.


People sold other people into slavery because of things like war and trade, and some of those who captured African slaves and sold them to Europeans just so happened to have dark skin.


At the time, Africans did not look at other Africans from different tribes and countries as brethren.


So the age-old excuse that some White Americans use to make slavery the fault of other Black people is just not factual.


Like it or not, White people created the social construct of race as a means of claiming superiority over the darker people of the Earth.


Encyclopedia Britannica wrote, “Racial classifications appeared in North America, and in many parts of the world, as a form of social division predicated on what were thought to be natural differences between human groups. Analysis of the folk beliefs, social policies, and practices of North Americans about race from the 18th to the 20th century reveals the development of a unique and fundamental ideology about human differences. This ideology or ‘racial worldview’ is a systematic, institutionalized set of beliefs and attitudes that includes the following components:


“All the world’s peoples can be divided into biologically separate, discrete, and exclusive populations called races. A person can belong to only one race.


“Phenotypic features, or visible physical differences, are markers or symbols of race identity and status. Because an individual may belong to a racial category and not have any or all of the associated physical features, racial scientists early in the 20th century invented an invisible internal element, ‘racial essence,’ to explain such anomalies.


“Each race has distinct qualities of temperament, morality, disposition, and intellectual ability. Consequently, in the popular imagination each race has distinct behavioral traits that are linked to its phenotype.


“Races are unequal. They can, and should, be ranked on a gradient of inferiority and superiority. As 19th century biologist Louis Agassiz observed, since races exist, we must ‘settle the relative rank among [them]’


“The behavioral and physical attributes of each race are inherited and innate—therefore fixed, permanent, and unalterable.


“Distinct races should be segregated and allowed to develop their own institutions, communities and lifestyles, separate from those of other races.” 


Obviously, those racial scientists believed Black people and Native Americans represented the inferior races, while White people represented the superior race.


Suffice it to say, no Black racial scientists were probably consulted when coming to this conclusion because what Black or Native American person, let alone a scientist, would agree to such an asinine conclusion?


Race as a social construct came into existence to justify the horrible treatment of Africans and Native Americas by descendants of European country.


No matter how cold-hearted a person is there is some morality present in all human beings.


When many human beings see someone suffering, they feel empathy.


When many human beings do harm to others, they feel guilt and remorse.


And when others feel pain, many human beings can feel their pain as well.


Therefore, in order to treat a human being like cattle one has to manipulate their own mind to justify such treatment.


Very few people in their right mind can see a person beaten, castrated, raped, separated from their families or killed and not feel any remorse.


Therefore, European oppressors and slave holders had to come up with an excuse to justify their harsh and brutal treatment of other human beings.


As a result, the social concept of race came into existence to give them an excuse for their atrocities and subhuman behavior.


Scientists now belief there is no biological thing as race.


If Black people are inferior, then it is O.K. to treat them like trash.


If Black people are truly animals and not humans, then there is justification for hunting them down in the woods like a wild dog.


And if Black people are intellectually inferior, then it is O.K. to subjugate them to a life of servitude.


Most importantly, if someone convinces himself or herself that another human being is their personal property, then that person has every justification for handling their property any way they choose.


As a community, Black Americans cannot let people rewrite history to take the blame away from the real culprits.


Making other Africans just as culpable for racism and oppression is an affront to real history.


Blaming Black people for constantly playing the race card is fake news and fake history because Black people did not invent the social construct of race in the first place.


The Black community must fight against so-called historians who write in history books that Africans came to America as migrant workers.


That is just mainstream American society trying to sugarcoat the realities of racism and the oppression of people of color.


When Black people criticize White people for slavery and racism, very few blame all White people.


Those that do blame all White people for racism and slavery must not know history because most White people could not afford slaves and many White people participated in the abolitionist movement and civil rights movement.


But those White people who try to sugarcoat history because it makes them feel guilty have to face facts.


Yes, slavery was that atrocious.


Yes, slavery was that dehumanizing.


Yes, slavery was that brutal.


And yes, Jim Crow laws and the still present systemic racism that pervades America and other countries are and were that demeaning.


Trying to excuse the behavior of the White people who created race, and therefore systemic racism and oppression, is a slap in the face and just as demeaning as racism itself.


This article was published on Friday 18 January, 2019.
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