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Slavery By Another Name:
The Re-enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II
Diversity and Oppression Introduction
September 21, 2014
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Abraham Lincoln concluded his first Inaugural Address in 1861 by expressing confidence that the "better angels" of the American psyche would one day prevail over racism. As students, we were taught that slavery ended with President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. However, after watching the ...view middle of the document...
That loophole reads “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Southern legislatures were quick to take advantage of
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this exception and quickly created a shady system of laws so that the exception would overcome the rule. Vagrancy legislation became enforced. The methods of conviction were so laidback as to be fictional.
Today the laws are more complex, the courtrooms are bigger, the proceedings always carefully recorded, but we have more prisoners than any other country in the world and they are full of unreasonably African Americans who are guilty of nonviolent crimes. Although African-Americans people make up just 13 percent of the overall population, one in 10 black men in their thirties is in jail or prison on any given day. Torture, beatings, inadequate food, and lack of medical care are still common in U.S. prisons, but prison officials have just gotten better at hiding things and blaming the victims. The media and the public are all too ready to go along. Innocent until proven guilty is no longer required to detain or kill U.S. citizens.
Modern Slavery Existence Today
Ironically, jails don’t seem to do much to reduce crime. Locking up people in the United States doesn’t make a safer society. Prisons are a profitable business made off the backs of mostly African-Americans, Latinos, and other migrants. As Michelle Alexander points out in her documentary The New Jim Crow, more black men are in “prison or jail, on probation or on parole than were enslaved in 1850”. Slavery never ended in America, it just changed its face.
The awfulness of slavery existed in the first place only because of the superiority of some people thinking that they were better than others for purely superficial reasons. Such a basis of discrimination continues, even in today’s society.
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Racism Inherent of taught
After viewing the documentary, I believe racism is both inherent and taught to some degree. However, the key to whether racism is taught or inherent is dependent upon the type of exposure a person had to the...