The social issue of racism is one of the biggest problems facing the world and has been for ages. Racism is discrimination against a group solely based on race. Racist people believe that they are superior to the other races.
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Discrimination against races can happen to any race; however, in America it occurs most often against African Americans. For hundreds years, African Americans have been oppressed and discriminated against. Racism is a theme in many books, movies, poems, and other pieces of art. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and the Bible are two examples of books with racism as a theme. The lessons we learn about racism in To Kill a Mockingbird parallel the second part of Jesus’s greatest commandment to love your neighbor as yourself.
The history of racism in America started when the colonies were founded. Slavery came to North America in the early 1600s. The colonist needed free or cheap labor on their fields. Slavery became a way of life in North America. For years, people rebelled against slavery but the slave industry continued to grow. In 1831, a man named Nat Turner led one of the most well known rebellions against white slave owners. He gathered many slave recruits and murdered 60 white slave owners. This rebellion got peoples attention and exhibited a want for change. In the 1830s, the Underground Railroad began its efforts to help slaves reach freedom. Many African Americans and whites helped with the Underground Railroad.
They helped free thousands of slaves. In 1861, the Civil War occurred. The Civil War was a battle between the North and the South. The Confederate States of America formed when eleven southern states tried to secede from the Union. The election of President Abraham Lincoln, the first republican president, prompted the southern states to try to leave the Union. In 1862, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves in the United States. Despite the fact that the South lost the war and that the government abolished slavery, people’s hearts did not change. Whites continued to discriminate against blacks. In 1896, this attitude of hate led to the Jim Crow Laws and segregation began. Segregation is the idea that people are separate but are still equal. This caused even more tension between whites and blacks.
African Americans in the 1930s experienced lots of racial discrimination. Violence became even more common. The Ku Klux Klan, a racial hate group, tried to scare African Americans from voting and speaking out against the oppression. The Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1866 and is still continues today. Unspeakable racist violent acts were performed by the Ku Klux Klan. The KKK murdered, lynched, and destroyed the lives of many black people. Ku Klux Klan members were white supremacists who could not except African American as equal citizens.
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