Slavery Justifications and Counter-Arguments
Throughout history the act of slavery has been established since the ancient time. Such a belief was considered normal and important for the development of a society, which also applies to America since the 16th. However, as America was believed to be a land of freedom, a lot of people came up with many reasons to try to justify the oppression of the blacks including moral inferiority, African savagery, and innate inability. In today’s standard the justifications of the time are certainly no longer valid.
Firstly, people believed in the correlation between the black’s physical appearance and their behavior (Thompson). “The color of the skin and the crookedness of the hair are only outward signs of many far deeper differences” (ibid). This implies that they were cruel, liked to steal, could not distinguish between right and wrong, nasty, possessed no compassion, and corrupted. As a result, based on these negative characteristics, the whites could use these reasons as a justification in order to care for them and provide them morality through religion. They thought of it as a necessary evil and believed their duty was to protect the slaves from destruction which was considered as a white’s man burden. In addition, an interesting study conducted at the time was the measurement between the belly button and the base of the male’s sexual organ (ibid). It was believed that the distance between the two grew further as a man develops his body. However, scientists said the blacks had the shortest distance, meaning that they were not fully developed and thus were not fully humans (ibid).
Based on the first justification, the argument was not a valid one. In modern day’s standard, one could see that there is no correlation whatsoever between the physical appearance and the sense of morality and their behavior. This is a very superficial view in trying to justify something that is based on...