Racial Hazards

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Not Always Black or White: Racial Hazards in America
In the pre-Revolution South, and indeed for a century after, there was perhaps no societal construct as indicative or obvious as race. Whiteness in America became the essence of goodness, proprietary, and intelligence, while other skin colors (especially black) represented all that was carnal, instinctual, and bestial. This polarization was staunchly reinforced- whites became paternal or religious figures to their African-American slaves and used numerous tactics to keep them docile, or at the very least, afraid. Being black was it’s own condemnation; If you weren’t white, you were easier to find, hunt down, and subjugate. Nevertheless, the existence of the mulatto presented an intricate
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Mary grows to be just as beautiful as her mother, Clotel, but suffers from the same circumstances of lineage: “...when she looked at her beloved Mary, and reflected upon the unavoidable and dangerous position which the tyranny of society had awarded her, her soul was filled with anguish” (Brown, Clotel). Clotel knew that her beauty could afford her only so much salvation from her African-American ancestry. Horatio, Mary’s father, enslaves his own beloved daughter out of ambition and deference to his white wife. Again, even a fractional lack of whiteness could allow a man to enslave his own child-- who was likely as much a pure white as he…show more content…
If the slave were white, they could escape the fated damnation of their skin color. If the slave were black, they would be held unaccountable for their heritage and at least take refuge in some vestige of African or slave identity. By being part of both worlds, mulattos and mixed slaves were denied not only the privileges of whiteness and freedom, but also the mournful solidarity and sense of community of other African-American slaves. Even today, Whiteness permeates culture with subtle privileges. While copious steps have been taken towards the achievement of racial equality, racial discrimination and hate crimes are still massively prevalent issues in the United States. Despite over a century of legal changes, amendments, and civil rights campaigns, it 's still very dangerous to not be
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