Banneker and Appes are two historical men from different ethnicities who both advocate for equality in attempt to put an end to racism and discrimination. Both Appes and Banker use the idea of God being the creator, and ultimate Father to make their arguments about human difference and calls out anyone whose actions does not match these Christian beliefs.
Appes and Banneker argue that the principles of Christianity falls under this idea of religion and therefore uses it to accentuate the point that there shouldn’t be any difference or division between races.
Appes develops this argument through his repetition of rhetorical questions along with indirect answers, that are later revealed through the references to Christianity. But first he introduces the overall understanding of Christianity, which is “God is the maker and preserver” . Appes opinion on human difference is made clear in this quote, because he acknowledges in the beginning that there shouldn’t be any discrimination amongst any race; at the end of the day, whites and Native Americans are the same individuals despite skin color, because everyone comes from God who is the ultimate “maker” and “preserver.
” Banneker also develops this idea when he makes the conclusion that in Christianity there is only “one universal Father” [ 247]. He doesn’t simply say there is “one Father” but the word “universal” stresses the reality that no matter what part of the world an individual is from, they are all God’s children despite race and color.
After establishing who God is in the practice of Christianity Appes, poses the rhetorical question, “Is it right to hold and promote prejudices?” .
Prejudice is an act of discrimination that was valued and adored by whites, because it was something that they “[held]” onto and “[promoted] for their own benefits, to the point where it was solely to make themselves seem superior to other races. After doing some readings on the Bible, he raises another question about Christ interactions with his disciples . Appes includes this reference to bring up the hypocrisy that whites try to hide, and really wants them to reflect and see if their actions align to those of Christ. The story of Christ and his disciples is powerful in developing his argument. He notices that even though the disciples were followers of Christ, Christ wouldn’t discriminate anyone based off their skin color, since in his eyes they were all the same people. Going back to the point of whites being hypocrites, they call themselves Christians and Christ like, but aren’t following the footsteps that Christ took when encountering individuals of different races. For that reason, in Appes situation, Native Americans shouldn’t be looked down in society and treated with respect,by whites as if they were one of their own.
In addition, Banneker and Appes continue to call individuals out within their papers when directly addressing equality and differences between races. Once its concluded that in Christianity all races are the same people under God, Banneker attacks Jefferson and uses pathos to get him to understand the struggles that blacks are going through . Banneker begins to recall to Jefferson the times where o the US were under the British rule, before gaining independence . Banneker alludes to the long suffering years where the US were under the British and had no say in the government and compares it to the current situation of black people. The purpose of this, is to remind Jefferson of the long hard years that the US faced to obtain independence and acknowledge that black people similarly have been enslaved for a long time and been abused through labour and therefore need to be freed. He then makes it clear that blacks are apart of the American society when he mentions that they are race and should not be enslaved in the first place [ 246]. The word race is emphasized in his paper to make it known that just like whites, blacks people are also human beings and should be receiving these unalienable rights that was promised in the Declaration of Independence. Unlike Banneker, Appes dosen’t point out a specific individual, but rather calls people liars when they claim they love God, but take part in hatred acts. With out any questions asked, Banneker makes this statement, because he understands that in Christianity one can’t say they supposedly love God or consider themselves Christian if they aren’t respecting and treating everyone the same way, like how God will.
Both Banneker and Appes uses the basic principles and teachings of Christianity t to make their individual arguments about human difference. After reading and doing analysis of the articles, it is clear that Appes firmly believes that in the eyes of God, Native Americans and whites are the same, and one’s color of skin should not be a trait to divide the two races. Banneker has made a similar argument and uses Christianity to argue that there needs to be an abolishment of slavery and equality between African Americans and whites. Moving forward, the question to think about is, if it’s morally right to treat a race barbaric based on the differences in skin color, if we are all equal in the eyes of God?