Home Research PapersThe from their lands and voting rights taken away

The from their lands and voting rights taken away

The concept ‘race’ holds political power, Racism
is a ‘doctrine of racial supremacy, that
one race is superior’  (Schaefer, 1990:16). It is used to construct a
hierarchy of human kinds and naturalise notions of European superiority ultimately
leading to a justification of European social dominance over other ‘racialized
group’. In these terms race is used in power relations, making it seem like
racism is innate which is one of the many reasons why eliminitivist urge to get
rid of it. The instrumental reasoning of race has authorised racial projects
such as slavery and colonialism. These projects have had the power of creating,
inhabiting, transforming and destroying racial categories (Omi and Winant, 1994:55), representing particular
racial groups as less than or deviant i.e. ‘black’ people less than ‘white’
people. As a result, black racialized groups have been subject to public abuse,
future police harassment, incarceration, ostracised
from their lands and voting rights taken away from them. Taking the
example of the US settler colonialism, the encounter of indigenous people and
U.S. settlers can be viewed as the founding moment for the formation of U.S.
Whiteness. A racialized national identity came out of these projects; racialized
conceptions were moved into the experience of the new world today. Settlers
were outsiders, who were trying to guarantee rights of the already occupied
land, in order for this to be possible it was necessary to create conceptions
of indigenous people as lesser beings, in need of civilisation and backward, and
therefore not worthy of consideration. In this situation, the ‘whites’ were
superior in comparison to the indigenous/Native Americans. Settler colonialism
is an example of an organized and standardized belief system of a national
identity. These lands were
considered ‘land belonging to no one’ making it available for the white
settlers. During this process, American settlers attached their identity to the
land itself, and shared a goal amongst them, one of self-government (Stokes, 1997).  European immigrants went to the United States
to take advantages of this situation and therefore were granted American
citizenship rights and were conceded equal among their peers.  The process of organisation  for taking lands and acquiring rights over it
also had an impact on other groups, imposing a racial identity on them.  For example, American colonisers made use of
enslaved Native Americans, immigrant white servants and Africans in order to
prop up their wealth, in the process of this Americans came to favour black
chattel slaves, which was a
contribution to the creation of theories of racial hierarchy. Black slaves were more profitable, and what
emerged out of these was a triadic system; white settlers, Native Americans and
slave Africans who produce European and white American wealth. Colonizers
have encoded the system of profit making to a doctrine of race, the Atlantic
Triangle, Africa, America and Europe came to be dealt with as ‘Black, White and
Red’ (Wolfe, 2011:273). This establishment
contributed to the US conception of race. The black and white binary came to be
mapped on to different divisions that characterised American identity, for
example citizen/non-citizen, freedom/slavery and humans/animals. Race signified differences
amongst people; it implied a physical, biological, moral and other kinds of
inferiority. The ‘blacks’ have been ostracized by the whites and given
their social roles as slaves exploited for the economic benefit of the society.
 Racial categorization has enabled the
logic of one type of supremacy over another; white supremacy. It has
perpetuated and maintains the institutional domination for the privileges of
such group. 


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