Dedrick Muhammad: The Economic Roots of Racism | Kulture Kritic
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Dedrick Muhammad: The Economic Roots of Racism


Dedrick Muhammad: The Economic Roots of Racism





Most people assume that racism is as old as humanity itself. Yet racism as we understand it today is a relativelymodern ideology that first took shape in the 17th and 18th century as a moral justification for European conquest, particularly the enslavement of African people, which had become a significant source of wealth for Western imperialist nations.

Though slavery had existed for thousands of years in antiquity, American slavery differed in many ways.Roman slaves had the opportunity to earn their way to freedom while American slaves did not. Roman slavery was also not based on race — they commonly fell into slavery as prisoners of war, kidnapped sailors or as slaves bought outside Roman territory.

But what may shock many people is this: before the rise of the plantation economy in the mid-1600s, Blacks in America enjoyed many of the same rights as whites, the two races socializing and working together. Anthony Johnson originally worked as an indentured servant in 1620, but later bought his freedom, going on to acquire 250 acres of land and five indentured servants. In his own lifetime, however, racial castes had already begun to harden, and by the time of his death, his lands were confiscated on the grounds that he (along with African-Americans as a whole) was an “alien.”

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Racial inequality, then, has always been defined by economic inequality. As historian Eric Williams succinctly puts it: “Slavery was not born of racism; rather, racism was the consequence of slavery.” Specifically, throughout American history, racism has always been motivated by and defined as a way for white elites to control an unequal share of property — whether African-Americans could be bought as property, were outright forbidden to own property or were racially targeted for toxic loans when trying to buy property.

The ways in which African-Americans have been economically disenfranchised are too numerous to list here — suffice it to say that generations upon generations of discriminatory hiring practicesunequal access to quality educationhousing segregationvoter disenfranchisement and scores of other inequities have helped form the many disparities that still persist today.



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  1. Ish Muhammad

    March 9, 2013 at 5:20 am

    WEB Dubois lived all over Africa & The East & Stated that Arab Enslavement of Africans was Far & Few,nothing like what was Done to us in America! This is Why it was called Chatel Slavery in America the Worst form of Enslavement on the Planet! If Africans accepted Islam He would be freed it was already our Religion Anyway! Not the Arabs Prophet Ibrahim & His Son Prophet Ishmael are the Fathers of the Arabs! Both of them were Blackmen! What you see in Mecca one of our own put it there at the Grand Mosque! It’s all about the God the Blackman! That is why you have to kiss that Black Stone that the Builders rejected but that stone is now the cornerstone or the Head! It’s you Lazarus(Blackman) wake-up & take your rightful Place as the Father over your House! Europe has never produced a Religion only Satanic Cracker BS Evil! Masonic which is our knowledge! The only Arab who apologized for Slavery was Brother Khadaffi the Lion of Africa! He did all he could for the UnderDog Freedom Fighters Aboriginals Blackmen in America May Allah be pleased with you Brother we miss you more than you know! OH yeah to you Negroes who hate Islam Prophet Isa(Jesus) was a Blackman Take them Cracker Pictures out of them Ice Boxes I mean Churches ,keep it real We Do! Tell the truth!

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