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Racism The Precedent to Slavery in North America In tracing the origins of slavery or racism in either sense one must keep in mind that neither is an event or circumstance that occurred in North America in the 17th through 19th centuries We must examine slavery as an institution and racism as a mentality defined by the oppressor independent to the oppressed Europeans who came to North America in the 17th century were predisposed to the institution of slavery Slavery had long since been a proactive institution in South America Africans were also slaves in Europe before 1619 Slave trades that preceded the Trans-Atlantic slave trade also show evidence that there were black slaves in Europe from many centuries Therefore Europeans never arrived in the colonies with the thought that slavery was not a natural human institution or that blacks were equal to them and deserving of rights The racist views that derived from Europeans predisposed bias against blacks was a justification the race based slavery that existed in North American beginning in the 17th century Whites had a negative proclivity towards blacks in pre-colonial times In his book The Write Mans Burden Historical Origins of Slavery in the United States Winthrop Jordan describes Europeans reactions towards contact with blacks However he fails to note that there emphasis on viewing blacks as savage and heathenish etc were the very differences between Europeans and Africans that would be to Europeans a justifications for the institution of race based slavery Unquestionably signs of European prejudice and discrimination toward Indians and Africans had been present in the English colonies from the start Burt the poisonous pattern of mistrust and abuse became widespread and central within the culture only after 1700 as race slavery rapidly expanded In order to create a massive institution such as slavery that oppresses any people the oppressor must view the oppressed as less than human less deserving of human rights Olaudah
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