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Psychology of Racism Essay

In 1892, a shoe maker named Homer Plessy from New Orleans Louisiana was arrested for refusing to transfer to a railroad car designated for the dark-colored population in the East Louisiana Railroad after he sat in a first class railroad car meant for the white-skinned constituents of the state. Plessy appealed that he should be considered white since only 1/8 of him was African American as it was substantiated in his heritage. According to him, by forcing him to transfer to a different car, the authorities were violating the 13th and 14th Amendments of the United States Constitution which impedes slavery and segregation.

From local custody to Supreme Court, Plessy was tried and accused of civil disobedience (Elliot, 2009). The arbiters of the court exhibited linear cognition which disregarded Plessy’s plea of violation of rights and obstinately favored Luoisiana’s claim that they did not violate such Amendment of the United States Constitution since they have the right to imply regulations and policies in railroad stations that are within their state.

The case was denied of opportunities to be studied sufficiently as the justices esteemed and acknowledged that the act of separating the races under impartial rights should be abided, setting aside the sentiments of the colored inhabitants. II In South Campton County Virginia, a group of African American slaves initiated a rebellion that killed about 57 white men, women and children before the military forces and a number of armed civilians were able to arrive and take control.

Angered by the murder of almost more than 50 innocent lives, vigilantes eradicated dozens of slaves who were not involved in the insurrection and exiled hundreds of free colored people from their land. The leader of the insurrection was a literate African American slave named Nat Turner who claimed he saw visions of God telling him to commit this act of violence, and with his extraordinary power of persuasion, he was able to compel other slaves to join him. After Turner’s surrender on October 30, 1831, he and his men were executed. (Bernier, 2010)

Following the death of Nat Turner, a year of debate relating to the status of the African American slaves congested the Virginia General Assembly. Although it was considered that they should be relieved from their abject duties as slaves, a systematic arrangement for their freedom was never formed. Nat Turner’s act of rebellion caused that an anti-literacy law be passed which diminished the African American slaves’ freedom to communicate and have the opportunity to be educated, thus, almost completely mutilating their already restricted rights.

From that historical event which became known as Nat Turner’s Rebellion or South Campton Insurrection, it can be analyzed that it might not only be a visionary or a delusioned man’s whim that caused such barbaric deeds but possibly an act or cry for liberation. Unequal treatment, enslavement for the rest of a man’s life and forced labor for very minimal or no wage at all, these are acceptable factors that can be considered as parts of a motive for the rebellion in South Campton. III In 1803, a British convict settlement was established in a Tasmanian aborigini inhabited island called Van Diemen’s Land.

A total of of 65,000 convicted men and women were settled in the island of which most of them were cruelly traumatized and extremely violent. Due to the incompetent procedure of punishment, convicts were able to take flight into the Tasmanian hinterland where they exerted the fullness of their brutality and thirst of blood upon the aboriginis of the island (Turnbull, 1948) Symbolically and appropriately, this event in history can be described as a case of rape as the innocent aborigines were violated of their rights and freedom to live accordingly.

Not only were they conquered and treated as slaves in their own land but they were exterminated and murdered like animals. They were robbed of their privilege as humans and left their race at the brink of their extinction.

References Bernier, C. M. (2010) Slave Heroism in the Transatlantic Imagination. New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group. Elliot, M. (2009) Color Blind Justice: Albion Tourgee and the Quest for Racial Equality from the Civil War to Plessy v. Ferguson. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc. Turnbull, C. (1948) Black War : The Extermination of the Tasmanian Aborigines. Melbourne:


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