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Samara Milena Da Silva Cruz

Does Racism affect society as a whole?

Racism is the violence against people of a different race. Racism is also
the belief that some races are better than others 1.
Racism started back in the day in America, when the first slaves were
brought into the town in Virginia, around 1619, to cultivate the production of
tobacco. It was practiced during the 17th and 18th century (for about 250 years).
Having slaves raised the economy of America because of the invention of cotton
gin, in 17932.
During slavery, in the 18th century, the abolitionist movement was starting
in the north of America. Not only was it to stop racial discrimination but also to
also free all slaves around the country.
The people that started this movement were called abolitionists and were
part of a religion called Quakers. This religion was very famous for believing that
equality was something very important for everyone. 3 This movement not only
helped the freeing of the slavery but also emphasised the human rights of every
During this movement there were publications made about it, like
newspapers and different pamphlets. These publications helped a lot on the
spreading of the abolitionist movement. The abolitionist movement spread. They
were so illegal in South Carolina that who distributed them had a death penalty.
These publications contained arguments about why slavery should end
and that the human rights were to every human being. These publications also
had arguments that showed that the Afro-Americans could learn and be like the
white Europeans4.
In order to fight against slavery they had to prove that every human being
of all different races belonged as a human. But still many people thought and
think that there is a difference between the two or that they are not equal.
In the American history we can find many important people that tried to
free slavery, mainly the blacks. One of the most important one is Harriet Tubman.

1 Superiority
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Harriet Tubman5 tried very hard to free slaves. She actually risked her life by
making many trips into other states to help others, which were also in slavery. It
has been believed that she freed and helped 300 slaves 6 and she would warn
those that wanted to turn back that if they turned back she would shoot them
because not only they would put in danger their life but also her life too.
The underground railroads were secret activities in which Harriet Tubman
participated by conducting slaves that were running away. They gave this name
because normally the undergrounds were a dark place and it described how the
system worked.
The people who helped on escaping, like Harriet Tubman, were the
members of the free black community, Northern abolitionists, and
philanthropists7 and some church leaders like Quaker Thomas Garrett.
When freeing the slaves, depending on where they came from, normally
the journey took about one whole day or even years if running from the south.
Most of the slaves that were running away went to Canada. They would go to
Canada because it was a free state from the act of slavery. Some also went to
the Spanish owned countries or cities like Mexico and Florida because they were
also free from the act of slavery.
Then, after days, of walking and running away came to an end. This is
where they can stay safe. In this safe place there may be some free blacks, some
American Indians, which were friendly, or the religious group, the Quakers.
Then they would wait until somebody would tell them that they were safe
to continue their passage through boat or train. Some of the free slaves would
stay in the safe communities and some will continue to Canada. Many would
continue to Canada because Canada was free from the slavery act.
If they continued to Canada, when they arrived, the vigilance committee 8,
which were interracial groups would help them start a new life as a free slave.
They would provide protection and would help them find a home and work.
In 1861 the civil war starts. One of the main causes of the civil war was
the future of slavery. The south of the country used slaves to make its
plantations larger and to perform other duties like: full time butlers and full time
housemaids. Slavery was then part of the American economy in the south. In this
time very little population owned slaves. At the time having more than one slave,
the owners were handled with more respect and were considered more important
in society than those who had just one. This showed that they were very wealthy
and were basically part of the high class.
5 1820
7 It is giving money and the time to help make life better for other people

After the finishing of the civil war in 1865 million of slaves were free, but
rebuilding the south was very difficult for the Americans. It was difficult because
the southerners had to find a new way to replace slavery in labour. Even the
slaves found it difficult to adjust to the end of slavery. All slaves had to adapt to
independent working.
In the reconstruction of the south, many white farmers went to poverty because
of the war and because there was no hard working of slaves.
As we have seen in this essay, the slaves were identified as the blacks and
werent even considered human lives. How can we, nowadays, identify
The definition of identity is who the person is and their name. The other
definition of identity is the qualities, beliefs or something else of a person or a
different group; this makes them different than others.
Identity can involve gender, class, race, sexuality, ethnicity and culture. But
because this essay is about race, we are going to see how people can identify
others and themselves with race and how this can affect society as a whole.
Identity is involved with race because as we have seen in the parte of slavery,
the slaves were black and were called negroes. Today is the same thing, many
people identify people of the black or white or Asian race, by their race.
In the world there are many racist people that think that some races are superior
to others this belief is what leads to the concept of slavery.
In the begging of this essay we saw that racism is the violence against
people of a different race. Racism is also the belief that some races are better
than others9.
Stereotypes are also included in the concept of racism. But what does racism
have to do with stereotypes? What is a stereotype? Stereotype is the unfair belief
that all people and all things with a particular characteristic are the same.
This has to do with racism because many people think that black people or white
people or Asian people have characteristics that make them all the same.
For example many people think that people from the black race are all criminals
and that they come from the ghetto10. These stereotypes are often shown in TV
shows and in movies. This is why many people have these types of stereotypes.
In the Asian race people also have stereotypes like all Asians look the same or
that they are bad at athletics.11
9 Superiority
10 It is apart of the city were members of a particular race live usually in poor

These stereotypes affect all races independently if its Asian, black and white.
Racism also affects society as a whole because everyone has a race.
In my opinion racism is a very delicate situation and is a very ignorant side of
many people, especially does living in the 21 st century.
I say this because in the 21st century people should start thinking differently
towards some and many things like the topic we are discussing now. In this
century many new things are happening like the evolution of technology and how
people live in a society, not just individually.
This is what many people dont think of: living in a society. Many of the
population dont think of the consequences of their decisions. They dont think
about how their decisions are going to affect society.
But how can decisions affect society, if people live in an individual way?
Examples of decisions that can affect society are how North American police
officers are being racist by killing young black men. The first case that
happened12 in the American continent was the young black man called Michael
Michael brown from Ferguson was a young black man of only 18 years of age
when he was killed by a white police officer called Darren Wilson 13, which was
also from Ferguson. Michael brown was unarmed and was shot for no reason.
This death caused a lot of protests that were very violent and that caused a lot of
conflict. Later in November a grand jury decided not to put the police officer on
trial. This caused even more protests14in this city.
This was devastation to not only to every black race but to also everyone. I
would feel unsecure and unprotected. Isnt the police officers job to protect
society or is it to kill members of the society for being a different race?
This is how racism can affect society. It can make us feel insecure and as a
newborn baby being abandoned by their mother. Society should start thinking
now not only about themselves but also about others.
In result of my research, I have concluded that racism is not something that
youre born with, but yes its society implementing that on peoples mind. People
should know that everyone is different even if we have the same race or come
from the same family we are all different.
People that are racist think that only a certain race is better than other, but this
is not true.

12 happend in August the 9th, 2014

13 28 years of age