Chapter 7 of Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, we see yet another first hand account of the brutality of culture and social class in America, specifically early America. As a past chapter taught us, the colonists decision to revolt against Britain was a decision made by the few, at the expense of the many, and for benefit of one single demographic and economically affluent group, the land owning white male. The reason I reference this is because we see the same narrative in this chapter. We see the same social group, the powerful white men, driving out a demographic that had every right to inhabit the land that they did. Native Americans during this time occupied large regions west of the Appalachian mountains. Once Jefferson was elected he drove them out of their native land to help cater to the westward moving Americans. While this moment in time was powerful and without question a horrible act, I want to connect this behavior to a more current affair.
In a similar fashion, African Americans once free, were driven into inter-cities and areas that had poor access to essential needs such as fresh food. This is a result of many things, but perhaps most importantly, the reflection of the segregation and oppression that this demographic and race has faced since their arrival in America. My question to you all is who is at fault for this? Is it people like Thomas Jefferson? A man that taught modern day Americans that this behavior was acceptable. Or is it the people of today that haven’t done what is needed to change this narrative and this reality for black and other minority Americans?