Genocide In America Essay

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Indigenous Holocaust Webster’s dictionary defines genocide as “the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group.” When thinking of some genocide’s a few come to mind; the Holocaust, Rwanda, and Armenian are the most well known. But when it comes to slavery in America during the 1840s it is pushed to the side. Americans often see this as a dark time in their history but few, if any, consider this to be genocide. The question is why? Slavery in America should be considered genocide because it systematically broke down the social, political and economic structure of African Americans. The first step in distinguishing genocide is differentiating the oppressed and the oppressor. That is dividing it…show more content…
The actions of the oppressor get increasingly worst and eventually lead to a subhuman mindset known as dehumanization. Dehumanization can be defined as, “One group denies the humanity of the other group. Members of it are equated with animals, vermin, insects or diseases” (Stanton). Douglass at the beginning of his autobiography described how slaves would sing when they were at their saddest, and the affect it had on him. “To those songs I trace my first glimmering conception of the dehumanizing character of slavery. I can never get rid of that conception. Those songs still follow me, to deepen my hatred of slavery, and quicken my sympathies for my brethren bonds” (Douglass 37). Douglass himself tells the reader that slavery has taken every ounce of personal freedom a person is entitled to. It’s fascinating to see how the slaves feel like they have lost everything but their ability to sing, which they channel into depressive songs. The slave owners have systematically controlled every part of their slave’s life and in effect have caused the slave to feel like an animal that has no free will. This marks a crucial juncture in dehumanization, once a master can make a slave feel like an animal the next stage is making them feel like
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