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RACISM: ITS INSIDIOUS SOURCE AND CONTINUATION

I have been trying to compose a post about racism during Black History Month. Unfortunately, I keep running up against my emotions are so mixed with this issue that makes this almost impossible.
I am thoroughly convinced the issue of racism in this country was built into the very formation of our government. I was attempting to find an origin that would explain even a little what had happened. And, guess what, I found it.

Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind, Peopling of Countries, etc.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

And in Europe, the Spaniards, Italians, French, Russians and Swedes, are generally of what we call a swarthy Complexion; as are the Germans also, the Saxons only excepted, who with the English, make the principal Body of White People on the Face of the Earth. I could wish their Numbers were increased. And while we are, as I may call it, Scouring our Planet, by clearing America of Woods, and so making this Side of our Globe reflect a brighter Light to the Eyes of Inhabitants in Mars or Venus, why should we in the Sight of Superior Beings, darken its People? why increase the Sons of Africa, by Planting them in America, where we have so fair an Opportunity, by excluding all Blacks and Tawneys, of increasing the lovely White and Red? But perhaps I am partial to the Compexion of my Country, for such Kind of Partiality is natural to Mankind. Source: Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind, Peopling of Countries, etc.Benjamin Franklin

Notes on the State of Virginia

THOMAS JEFFERSON

“Its animals were feeble and stunted in comparison to the hardy European breeds, and its native peoples hairless, enervated, and barely capable of reproducing themselves. Jefferson argued quite movingly for the nobility of Native Americans to bolster his case against Buffon as to the climactic splendor and present and future greatness of America. But as part of this argument he also argued for the deep inferiority of African Americans.”

“I advance it therefore as a suspicion only, that the blacks, whether originally a distinct race, or made distinct by time and circumstances, are inferior to the whites in the endowments of both body and mind. It is not against experience to suppose, that different species of the same genus, or varieties of the same species, may possess different qualifications. Will not a lover of natural history then, one who views the gradations in all the races of animals with the eye of philosophy, excuse an effort to keep those in the department of man as distinct as nature has formed them? This unfortunate difference of color, and perhaps of faculty, is a powerful obstacle to the emancipation of these people.”   Source: Of Racism and Remembrance by Aaron Garrett

Now, to top all of this off is this newspaper clipping whose source I have very little knowledge of. I am sure that Google search will show the origin of many of the statements. I did find the sources for Franklin and Jefferson easily, but the others are for you to search for or accept. This does not mean that they are for you to search for or accept. I had just reached a level of disgust that I had to leave something for you to do.

I do not mean to infer that these are attitudes that remain unchanged throughout the lives of these men. I have read papers written later by most of them that softened their attitude somewhat. However, the attitudes that the original founders and representatives of our country had have followed down through the years and subtlely and viciously found a country that is still not ready to responsibly and reasonably address these issues.

And so the prisons are filled with black men whose children are raised in a society where their worth is not recognized, black women are disproportionately the head of households where children are exposed to the consequence of being a part of the “underclass,” and where the majority of the non-affected are quick to judge, blame and then fertilize the continuation of the status quo.

 

 

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