Social Work Course Institutional Racism Essay

Total Length: 963 words ( 3 double-spaced pages)

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Institutional Racism

The Fourth of July is the most significant day in United States. In this day in 1776, the country was able to do away with their former colonizers and acquire independence. It is the respect for this day, which forms the main reason as to why the American people celebrate the day annually. In celebration of this day, there are significant historic documents that have consequently been produced. The Declaration of Independence is perhaps the most influential document in the history of the country. The evidence for this declaration was by 13 states that confirmed the end of colonial rule. However, Frederick Douglas' document was another key turning point in the history of the United States and mostly to the black people. "What to the slave is the Fourth of July" provides the chance for the American people to reflect on this day? As much as Douglas appreciates that it is a mark of history for the citizens, he offers a critical approach concerning the meaning of the day to the black people.

The two historic documents are similar to some extent. They both acknowledge that indeed the time for independence was ripe. There is consensus between the two documents with acknowledgement of the act of gaining independence. The declaration stresses the need for independence by listing atrocities that their colonizers have inflicted on them. The document lists these undoing by their colonizers in the majority of the text and concludes with a brief summary on why it was necessary to gain independence (Heintze 2009).
Douglas does not shy off from addressing the same point as the declaration. He constantly acknowledges the people who fought hard to acquire independence in the country. He exclaims that it is extraordinarily rare that a nation is able to produce such distinguished men of honor at the same time. His document constantly addresses that there is no bigger day in a country than the day that it is able to free itself.

In spite of independence that the declaration emphasizes so much on, Douglas tends to disagree in his course of speech. The declaration states that everybody in the country is free. However, Douglas refutes this point. Douglas agrees that U.S. is free, but not everybody is free in the same country. He presses on by claiming that the independence that was so constantly revered is a mirage to the slave descendant. Douglas is of the opinion that to him this was not a celebration day since he is not a part of the struggle for independence. The black person was not a part of the fight and thus has little to celebrate. He relates the independence in the country to his present situation and says that it is ironical. The slave descendants were struggling much under racial oppression at the time. The mention of independence to them was an insult. Therefore, as….....

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