Declaration of Independence, our nation was founded on the principles of
founders of the newly declared state met in Philadelphia to espouse the virtues
formation of the United States of America was a shadow of deception and
duplicity that was essential in creating the state. The HSS 280 class lexicon
defines duality as ?a social system that results from a worldview which accepts
system of duality that subjugated and exterminated peoples for the benefit of
landed on these shores, truths that were ?self-evident? were contingent on
subjective ?interpretation.? This discretionary application of rights and
freedoms is the foundation upon which our racially stratified system operates on.
provided the impetus for the relationships that developed between the English
colonists, the Africans, and the Native Americans. The colonialization of North
American by the British was essentially an economic crusade. The emergence of
capitalism and the rise of trade throughout the 16th century provided the
the agrarian-unfriendly British isles could not supply for its growing empire.
land that the British colonists needed to expand their economic capacity. To
provide a justificatory framework for the expulsion of Native Americans off
ambivalence and reliance. When the English first arrived in North America, they
English became acclimated to their surroundings and realized that the Indians
shackles replaced treaties and handshakes.
In the name of Christianity and capitalism, the English colonists
quickly turned their backs on the short lived missionary zeal that characterized
the early colonial period. Now, the ?savage Indians? were viewed as unable to
the Lord. The idea that one possesses a God-given right to mistreat others runs
through much of Western culture and became especially acute in North America
after the emergence of capitalism.
epidemic diseases. It was viewed as a way of ?thinning out? the population. In
trite concerns were of little consequence for those with divine providence.
create theoretical arguments that justify and perpetuate systemic arrangements
rights were those that men enjoyed in a state of nature (i.e. Native Americans).
When some men began to parcel land and use tilled farming, they acquired civil
rights (English colonists). Inevitably, civil rights took precedence over
provided a justification for the institutional and systemic extermination of the
indigenous people (Growth 83).
Before addressing the subjugation of African-Americans by the English, I
think it is important that I make an important theoretical point in my argument.
thinking that guides those making the rules. White supremacy and its associated
beliefs (Christianity, patriarchalism, etc) provided the rationale for the
writes about the inherent contradiction of espousing the self-evident equality
of men and their God-given right to liberty while at the same time sanctioning
genocide and slavery (Smith 8). The only way this incongruity could be remedied
of one group humanity by another is the crux of duality and a principle tenet of
provides an oppressor with a recourse for the actions one takes. In the case of
not based in fact: Native Americans were wild savages; Africans were lascivious,
lewd beings that engaged in bestiality with apes; Asians were sneaky, mysterious
and not to be trusted. What is important is the stereotype fit an institutional
definition that allows the group to be oppressed without self-reflection about
be a stone, you must make all around you stone.? And to act as a savage, one
must make those around oneself savages.
To address the enslavement of Africans, it becomes necessary to once
again look at the economics that fueled the decision to bring slavery to the
United States. In capitalism, a driving force is to minimize costs and, as a
presented the need for a low cost labor supply. Impelled by white supremacy,
characterized the early years of colonialization and towards slavery.
From the moment Africans set foot in North America, they faced a system that
perpetuated and encouraged their enslavement.
Throughout the 17th century, laws and regulations regarding slaves were
men and women would be seen as such were erased with a number of legislations
blacks from any basic concept of human rights under the law? (Ringer 67).
Intrinsic to the subjugation of Africans was an ideology that reduced
Africans to lesser beings. Reasoning behind this idea has gone from Christian
beliefs to ?scientific? evidence to current day beliefs in African-American
laziness (an idea whose roots are as old as white supremacy) and the use of IQ
tests as measures of innate intelligence. What has stayed constant is a
manipulation of the ?truth? and a myopic self-interest by those parties with an
interest in keeping privilege.
White supremacy and it dualistic vision of society became
institutionalized in colonial North America, emanating from the base and
Forty Acres and a Mule, the newly freed African-Americans moved on to
sharecropping, lynchings, and segregation.
The mid to late 19th century witnessed the beginning of Chinese
migration to the United States. Immediately, they were met by various laws and
ordinances designed to restrict their economic, political, and social
advancement. This was combined with racial commentaries that echoed those
levied against Native Americans and Africans. The Chinese were heathen, morally
inferior, savage, and childlike. The Chinese were also viewed as lustful and
sensual. Often Chinese immigrants were depicted in cartoons with devil-like
features and devious expressions.
Economics also played an important role in the discrimination Chinese
faced in the United States. Chinese exclusion, a policy initiated in 1882,
banned U.S. entry to Chinese laborers. After the U.S. acquisition of California
in 1848, there arose a need for cheap labor, and Chinese flocked there to work
on the railroads. By 1867 they numbered 50,000; their number increased after the
Burlingame Treaty of 1868, which permitted Chinese immigration but not
led to anti-Chinese riots in San Francisco in 1877, then to the Chinese
again inherent contradictions were seen as reasonable because it was to the
believer’s benefit. A scarcity of employment opportunities combines with
prejudices to create a atmosphere of hatred and political blame directed toward
the Chinese immigrants (The Heathen Chinese 230-240).
Another case of dualistic application of justice towards the Asian-
World War. In 1942, Lt. Gen. John L. De Witt rationalized the deportation of
Japanese nationals and Japanese-Americans with ?A Jap is a Jap?. When second-
generation Japanese-Americans in the nation’s ten concentration camps were
drafted for the war effort for cannon fodder, outraged Japanese-Americans formed
the Fair Play Committee to protest the conscription of those who were not
not embracing the opportunity to discharge the duties of citizenship.