Sunday, October 28, 2007

American First

American’s have been putting themselves above other groups of people for a long time. As American’s we tend to think of ourselves as superior to almost all others. I chose this cartoon because it shows the superiority that we as American’s take for granted. Especially at the very beginning, we enslaved many different ethnicities of people and treated others unfairly so we could benefit from it.
In this cartoon it shows a happy woman reading stories to younger children. The woman’s shirt says “America First”. This shows the attitude that as Americans we think of what is best for us rather than what we have to do to others to achieve it. The caption in the cartoon reads, “…and the wolf chewed up the children and spit out their bones…but those were Foreign Children and it really didn’t matter.” This again shows heartlessness and no compassion for foreign people, as long as American’s were not suffering from the loss of the foreign people, they did not care what happened to them
I found connections between this cartoon and the reading we read in class by Howard Zinn, titled Drawing the Color line. In Zinn’s chapter two he states, “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 master, black was slave” (26). This shows that as Americans we treated our slaves with the least amount of respect. We brought them down to a status that wasn’t even of human kind. This goes a long with the cartoon because in the cartoon it says how the wolf chewed up the children and spit out their bones but it didn’t matter because they were foreign children. This, in a way, is what Americans did to the slaves. We worked them so hard and made them live in certain conditions that brought many of them to their death.
Also in chapter two, Zinn states, “Under these conditions, perhaps, one of every three blacks transported overseas died, but huge profits made it worth while for the slave trader, and so the blacks were packed into the holds like fish” (26). Again, in this quote, it shows that the Americans treated the slaves like fish; they transported them to America in large quantities that forced them to practically live on top of each other. This caused many of the slaves to die because they were living under terrible conditions, however, the slave traders continued to transport the slaves in this way because they were still making a profit off of them regardless of how many of them were dying. This again shows how we use our authority to benefit us and not pay any attention to what we are doing to other groups of people.
In the end, I think that it is very sad that we have done this to many different cultures. I also think however, that there were some whites that did show concern for what they were doing to the other ethnicities and realized that what we were doing was wrong. I think that today we are also making up for what was done in the passed through affirmative action laws. This is helping to smooth things over between the different races and ethnicities to help make it a fair world that we live in.

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