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Word Count: 396
In my opinion race can be defined as the delineation between groups of humans by differing characteristics I think that the definition of race was similar in American society during the antebellum era the difference being the reaction to this dissimilarity Racism still occurs in todays society but overall people can accept one another for who they are and not what their skin color is The beginnings of this racism can be found in the attitudes of the large majority of whites during the antebellum era The general mindset was that blacks were innately inferior to whites with their only purpose being slavery In a very race-conscious society white skin represented pride and status making even the most poor and uneducated whites feel superior in society Whites definitely understood the concept of race they simply used it to justify the institution of slavery They felt as though they needed to keep blacks in their place which was anywhere below the social status of any whites in society The plantation owners were the dominant supporters of slavery constantly in fear of uprisings which only increased their feelings of racism Such an uprising did occur in 1831 in Virginia when a group of slaves led by Nat Turner launched a bloody rebellion killing nearly 60 whites This incident caused a movement among the whites to severe slaves from possible exposure to antislavery ideas and attitudes This included new laws that restricted the rights of slaves to move about assemble or learn to read and write I think that the faulty reasoning and gross misunderstandings behind racism is a combination of fear and ignorance Due to the difference in skin color language and cultural practices the white culture could not understand or accept the African Americans This lack of tolerance led them to see blacks as inferior and only suitable for slavery They were in constant fear of uprisings which led them to generate more
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