Blog 3- Drawing the Color Line
In this article Zinn’s thesis is “This unequal treatment, this developing combination of contempt and oppression, feeling and action, which we call “racism” –was this the result of a “natural” antipathy of white against black? If racism can’t be shown to be natural, then it is the result of certain conditions, and we are impelled to eliminate those conditions,” stated by Zinn.
Zinn’s argument was that since the English came to America and did not have enough people and equipment to get all the labor done they used the African Americas to do it for them. They were treated unfairly and as slaves. Zinn’s argument was it was wrong, why did it happen? The article talks about the horrible conditions the slaves had to be in, for example the article sated that the slaves were shipped in cages and stuffed in their like rats. Many of the slaves died before they even reached their destination by disease and fungus. Zinn stated “Slavery existed in the African states, and it was sometimes used by Europeans to justify their own slave trade. But, as Baasil Davidson points out in The African Slave Trade, the slaves of Africa were more like the surfs of Europe,” “African slavery lacked two elements that made American slavery the most cruel form of slavery in history: the frenzy for limitless profit that comes from capitalistic agriculture; the reduction of the slave to less than human status by the use of racial hatred, with that relentless clarity based on color, where white was mastewr, black slaves” (26).
Why did this happen? Well since the English needed labor to grow corn for substance, and grow tobacco for export they needed people to do the labor. The African Americans could not fight for themselves and they were also used as slaves in Africa so the English took advantage of them and used them for their own slaves. Zinn’s argument was against slavery. Why did they take and hurt innocent people. The African Americas died by the hundreds from being shipped to their owners and Zinn proposed the question will Americas and African Americas get along without hatred? I believe the two groups will always have their beliefs, but as for now we understand each other more, than we did back then.
I agree with Zinn’s argument because I feel that slavery is wrong. Treating people a harmful way cause they cannot fight back is just evil. I liked the reading it was very interesting and informative. Zinn did not show anything posotivve about the English in this article because he was trying to base it more on slavery and how the African Americans were treated bad, and differently from everyone else.