I was surprised by how much I learned from the third chapter of the book ”Persons of Mean and Vile Condition” which talks about how servants were deprived of their freedom, united with black slaves and indigenous people to rebel against the early English colonies in America. The way servants were treated fascinated me, how brutal and inhumane the American system was who promised them a different reality. Only the minority of the upper class were able to achieve freedom and wealth while the majority of people (women, slaves, natives, and the poor whites) were deprived of their rights, seen as just a labor force, and were just a tool for the government and the rich to benefit from.
Knowing that this was the way American society came to existence, it does not surprise me now to see all the racial acts and violence in the country that happen nowadays. The system from the very start deprived servants from their rights made them a property; they even needed to get permission to get married and have kids and much more. This for me is just another form of slavery. Zinn mentioned that” Beatings and whippings were common. Servant women were raped…Servants could not marry without permission, could be separated from their families, could be whipped for various offenses”. These rich white people consider themselves better than the indigenous and people of color and were discriminating against them throughout that time. This kind of treatment led to Bacon’s Rebellion against the colonial government and the racist acts of the powerful rich people. “Violence had escalated on the frontier before the rebellion. Some Doeg Indians took a few hogs to redress a debt, and whites, retrieving the hogs, murdered two Indians. The Doegs then sent out a war party to kill a white herdsman, after which a white militia company killed twenty-four Indians”. This sparked fear for the rich minority who wanted to maintain their status. As a result, the controlling minority created a division and separated black slaves, the Indians ( indigenous people), and poor white people. Thus, they benefited from the rebellion using racism and classism.
Class still plays a role in the American system to this day. It intersects with the race so that white rich people feed on the black poor minority and make them poorer. After BLM riots sparked in the county, white rich people used the strategy of addressing the issues of the lower class while still being in power.