Ethnic Groups and Discrimination

Ethnic Groups and Discrimination

      Racism as a social invention in and of itself became a breeding ground for many of the

social ills of today, such as, racial profiling, capital punishment, police brutality, predatory

lending, No Child Left Behind, welfare reform, affirmative action and racial disparities in

healthcare, academic achievement and home ownership.

      I personally belong to the African American ethnic group.   We never colonized another

group of individuals nor did we immigrate to this country.   During the 15h and 16th centuries, the

Portuguese, Dutch and English realized the profit value that a market in human capital would

provide and decided to travel to Africa to enslave and export from their homeland millions of its

inhabitants as slave labor for distribution to the West Indian sugar plantations, and the cotton and

tobacco plantations of the colonies in the New World.   My ancestors were packed like sardines

in the hulls of slave ships under the most horrible conditions imaginable.   As many as 1.5 million

perished as a result of illness, suicide, insurrection, and sometimes murder by example (Rediker,


      Survivors of the voyage were dropped of the boat into a racist social structure where

Whites felt that God had deemed them inherently superior to others.   Considered non-human and

treated as property, Africans were auctioned or sold for rum and sugar that was sent back to

England.   They could not possess property, marry or enter into contracts, and had to abide by

many laws or be punished if those laws were broken.   Africans were punished for the slightest

infraction; running away would most likely be a death sentence, with almost no exception.   The

Africans’ ethnic category was obvious, and cinched their place as a subordinate group who

would endure a combination of racism (described above), prejudice (inherently hated, despised

and feared by whites for no apparent...