History 017A – Section 54076
Chapter two Quote.
If you were a colonist, you knew that your technology was superior to the Indians'. You knew that you were civilized, and they were savages...But your superior technology had proved insufficient to extract anything. The Indians, keeping to themselves, laughed at your superior methods and lived from the land more abundantly and with less labor than you did...And when your own people started deserting in order to live with them, it was too much...So you killed the Indians, tortured them, burned their villages, and burned their cornfields. It proved your superiority, in spite of your failures. And you gave similar treatment to any of your own people who succumbed to their savage ways of life. But you still did not grow much corn...
In this quote from chapter 2 of the book Zinn, he offers a number of examples of the historical forces that can be said to have caused racism. He does not really offer examples of human decisions. Let us look first at some historical forces.
One historical force that led to racism was the fact that Europeans became more technologically advanced than Africans. This helped cause the Europeans to think that they were superior to the Africans. This feeling of superiority helped lead to racism.
Another historical force that led to racism was the conquest of the Americas and the attendant need for slave labor. When the Europeans took the Americas, they could not find enough Europeans to work and they could not coerce the Native Americans. This made it “necessary” to enslave...