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Oppression of Minority Groups in America from 1800’s to Today

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Today in society, there are still many types of oppression happening. People are forced to go through these different types of oppression because of something they had no control of. Being born black, a woman, or in the wrong place. Subjected to violence, discrimination, and the hatred of others. In the book Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass there are many examples of oppression. The types of oppression that minority groups faced in the 1800’s and still face today are colorism, sexism, deprivation of education, and misguided religion.

In the book Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass, his master dies and he is then taken with the rest of his masters things he says “it was therefore necessary to have valuation of the property… I was immediately sent for, to be valued ̈. This supports my argument on colorism because African American people were forced to be slaves and treated as property. They had no rights and no control over their lives. On page 72 Frederick Douglass states “Religion and robbery the allies of each other”. The people believed that god made black people to serve them. This also relates to the poem The Little Black Boy by William Blake when they talk about white people being “pure”. In the text when Frederick Douglass finally escaped at the end and was looking for a job they said no because of his skin. Even though he was free from slavery he wasn’t free of discrimination. On page 68 Frederick Douglass stated, “I went in pursuit of a job of calking; but such was the strength of prejudice against color, among the white calkers, that they refused to work with me”. I can name many cases today where people were discriminated against because of the way they looked, people judged by the color of their skin. One example I found is Ramarley Graham didn’t have a weapon on him when a police officer named Richard Haste ran after him into his home during an alleged drug bust gone wrong when he shot and killed him in front of his family in his bathroom, at the age of 18. Another is Gregory Hill Jr was killed in seconds after police shot him in his own garage. My final example is a news report I found from an article. The security guard of Target was rightfully fired for accusing an innocent African American woman of stealing. He thought she stole a bikini so he made her to pull up her shirt and pull down her pants to prove her innocence.

In the speech Ain ́t I a Woman Sojourner Truth says “Then the little man in the black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men” This quote supports my argument on oppression minority groups using sexism back then. Women did not have the same rights as men nor were they given the same opportunities. Women weren’t allowed to vote, keep their own wages, or sign a contract, after they were married they couldn’t own property. Women were expected to only take an interest in their home and the family. One example of sexism in modern day is Occupational sexism. Women are still being considered as inferior to men because of stereotypes in society caused by the social role theory. Some people still see men as the more dominant role and women as submissive. From an article called sexism they said “Traditionally, the role of women in this society has been that of wife and mother. In most aspects of life, other than those involving household responsibilities and child rearing, women have not always been guaranteed the same rights as men.” People believe that men are superior to women. Sexism sometimes forces women into roles that they don’t want to be in and force men into dominant roles. In most places still to this day women are not treated equally as men.

In the story Learning to Read by Frances E.W. Harper he says “Our masters always tried to hide book learning from our eyes; knowledge didn´t agree with slavery¨. This supports my thesis because they explain how slaves were oppressed through lack of education. Slaves were not allowed to read this shows how people were deprived of their education. They didn’t want the slaves to be educated so they wouldn’t get any ideas about escaping. The slaveholders felt that keeping the slaves uneducated made it easier to control them by making them feel inferior. Today in some places in the world people aren’t able to get an education because they are not allowed to have one. In Afghanistan women struggle to get an education and if they did get one that was a great achievement for them. The UNICEF stopped all services to education in parts that were under the Taliban control. They argued that putting the two genders together was unfair to the Rights of the Child.

In the book Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass he believes that the people were hypocrites for claiming to be good people and praise god but do evil. In class we talked about the “benefits” slaves got such as food, clothes, and homes. Slaves were oppressed because people believe that what they were doing was okay based on their religion. Yes, they got these things but they weren’t good. They would only get clothes once a year the food was bad and sometimes the slaveholders wouldn’t give them enough to eat. Even if that wasn’t the case how they were treated was poorly. If they didn’t follow directions or broke any rules they’d be whipped or even killed for it. On page 73 Frederick Douglass says “Ye devour widows houses and for a pretence make long prayers; therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation” (Douglass 73). Meaning that the people commit horrible acts then pray for forgiveness and think they are still a good person no matter how much misery and pain they cause. My example of misguided religion in modern day is the rejection of religious parents to LGBT youth. Some religious parents believe that people who are LGBT are going to hell. When one of my family members told me this I looked at them with disgust in my eyes. To believe that someone is going to hell for being themselves made me angry. For many people being LGBT is not a choice they were born this way. The Bible it says in Leviticus 18:22, ‘You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination”. This book was made hundreds of years ago but people still believe in what it says. They have hatred towards LGBT people without knowing them based on their religion.

In conclusion, these are my four examples of different types of oppression still happening today that happened in the 1800’s. There are many ways today that certain types of people are being oppressed that I did speak about and more that I didn’t get to bring to your attention. The oppression that’s affecting minority groups are far from being stopped. Some people have taken actions like creating movements and protest but we still haven’t completely abolished it. 

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Oppression Of Minority Groups In America From 1800’s To Today. (2021, August 06). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 22, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/oppression-of-minority-groups-in-america-from-1800s-to-today/
“Oppression Of Minority Groups In America From 1800’s To Today.” GradesFixer, 06 Aug. 2021, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/oppression-of-minority-groups-in-america-from-1800s-to-today/
Oppression Of Minority Groups In America From 1800’s To Today. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/oppression-of-minority-groups-in-america-from-1800s-to-today/> [Accessed 22 May 2022].
Oppression Of Minority Groups In America From 1800’s To Today [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Aug 06 [cited 2022 May 22]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/oppression-of-minority-groups-in-america-from-1800s-to-today/
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