America Race and Religion | Teen Ink

America Race and Religion

June 14, 2008
By Anonymous

“Prejudice is judgment without knowledge.” Says Voltaire, a famous French-man and anti-segregate. This is defiantly true of America for in previous decades, much judgment without knowledge has been expressed. The Native Americans were killed off because of their culture and color, Africans hung, and Irish churches burned. Many other races were punished not for what they did, but for who they were. Segregation, lynching, racism, and prejudice are not what you would describe America as, yet it’s our very past and in many cases, our present.

The Irish immigrants immigrated to America thinking that a new place full of possibilities waited for them; they were wrong. Instead they were met with the opposite. Americans and even other races considered them as ill-literate and lazy. The cities forced all of the Irish into slums. On top of that there were anti-Catholic riots nation-wide, Irish churches being burned to the ground, and much more horrible deeds. For some it is hard to believe, but they were considered as lower than the African Americans which seem to be the dominant target for un-fair treatment.

One day a girl named Mary Fagon was heading over to the factory to collect her earned wages, but instead of receiving her pay, they found Mary Fagon dead; with two suspects. Since there had only been two men in the building at the time, you’d think that each would have their bounty of accusations and trials. Instead, all eyes pointed to the Jewish man Leo Frank, nephew of the owner. Immediately he was pleaded guilty and sentenced to hanging. The case had gone very quickly without even considering the other man who was in the building. Although no one was to admit it, the real reason that the “un-guilty” second suspect was not accused was because of what he was not; a Jew. Unfortunately Leo Frank’s hanging was shortened by a group of angry Americans who decided that it was their duty to hang Leo Frank, before any more could happen.

Religion was not the only factor for color was an immense quality that in which racism and segregation took place. In the 19th and 20th century African-Americans or, blacks, were heavily segregated. They went to different schools, restaurants, shops, and playgrounds. For some un-known reason, whites were considered as the “dominant” species. They had better supplies at their schools, better food at their restaurants, clothes in their shops, and playground equipment. Whites could do extensive damage to the black population and get away with it. In the 1920’s black torture had taken its peak for sadly there were over 100 hangings and burnings each year…and not even half of the criminals accused.

Truly America was always known for being a free country while for some it was quite the opposite. Firstly, the Irish immigrants were deeply segregated and considered as dirt after they had come to America to be free and to have a better life. Secondly, the Jews were killed off like cattle and treated un-fairly because of their religion. Lastly African-Americans were forced over to our country to work and suffer only because their skin, their flesh was a different color. Although much has changed, the burden of racism and segregation still rests on America’s shoulders.

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