America Is Dehumanizing

American history has been composed of the glories and successes of this country, and there are many, yet, we tend to forget about the collapses of this country. Due to the American nationalistic pride, we become blind to what has happened in our history and to what is occurring this day in age. We tend to ignore the decades of slavery, and the millions of deaths of innocent humans due to our own ignorance and discrimination. We also tend to ignore the history of our own internment camps which many (including myself) have never learned about. We are so quick to shine a light and focus on the Holocaust, and the mistreatment of the Jewish citizens in Europe, but we have never mentioned the Executive Order of 9066 and what that did to millions of innocent Japanese-American citizens. The rhetoric of our 45th president Donald Trump, can even been taken as dehumanizing, as he gains the support of his fellow American voters based off of criticizing all minority groups in America and sparking hate all across our nation. These events are events that we should know as American citizens to keep our pride as humble as it can be.


The images displayed above depict the living conditions and the circumstances in which slaves lived in. Beginning in 1619, American colonists began kidnapping and stealing Africans from all parts of Africa during the "Slave Trade." These humans were then held captive in ships that were brought to America. These ships "packed" these slaves like cattle, they were not fed, and sanitary/hygiene was never a priority. If they survived the voyage to America, they were then auctioned off to slave-owners like objects. Children brought to these auctions from Africa were torn away from the mother's that birthed them. Humans were judged based off of fitness and which ones look the best for doing the slave work.Once they lived on the property of their slave owners, yard work was mandatory, an infamous task was picking cotton in the South. If slaves failed to complete these tasks, they often received beating from who ever owned them. Most slaves never had any opportunity to claim freedom and call themselves "free," these people lived and died in a life that they never had the capability to control because their lives were always controlled by white men. American education is notorious for overlooking the history we have with slavery because it is something we are not taught about when it comes to the severity and the inhumanity of it.


In the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor, many Americans felt fearful and suspicious of Japanese Americans, accusing them of espionage and even blaming them for Pearl Harbor. Especially on the West Coast, people displayed open hostility and vandalized property of Japanese Americans. The prejudice came to a head with Executive Order 9066, in which President Roosevelt ordered the "evacuation" of Japanese Americans to relocation and internment camps two months after Pearl Harbor.The process stripped many Japanese Americans of their homes and properties, sometimes even breaking up families as the men were taken away and classified as “potential enemy aliens.”Even though the U.S. government termed the camps "relocation camps" or "relocation centers," the newly built camps had military barracks, barbed wire, and guard towers and searchlights.In addition, the camps “were situated in particularly isolated godforsaken places, characterized by unpleasant weather, physical isolation and difficult living conditions.Distinct from the relocation camps, seven thousand Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps, run by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, instead of the WRA. These Japanese Americans were interned as “enemy aliens” and had been deemed potentially dangerous by the FBI and naval intelligence. “Most of them were teachers, newspaper editors, or leaders of a Japanese religious or cultural organization.


If political leadership can increase dehumanization — as the evidence seems to indicate — Trump is guilty of it. He has falsely asserted that "thousands and thousands" of Muslims cheered after the World Trade Center came down and that Syrian refugees are entering America with "cellphones with ISIS flags on them." He has called for a ban on Muslim migration and the establishment of a database to track Muslims in the U.S. "I want surveillance of these people," Trump has said. And: "We're going to have to do things that we never did before."Trump has turned legitimate concerns about terrorism into the indictment of a religion. In his rhetoric, the distinction between "these people" and the American "we" is clear enough.As first lady Michelle Obama said in an infamous speech a Trump win would mean “We're telling all our kids that bigotry and bullying are perfectly acceptable in the leader of their country.” And now, he’s the president-elect.The organization’s conclusion from the thousands of comments it received: Yes, something is going on. More than two-thirds of teachers reported that students — mainly immigrants, children of immigrants, and Muslims — had expressed concerns or fears about what might happen to them or their families after the election. After the win of the 2016 election, many marches were held in order for women to also display their strength against our president. Donald Trump has targeted every minority group in order to gain the support from his voters and it worked, and what does that say about half of the population of America?

Art Piece

thoMy piece resembles the dehumanization in American history because I painted devolution. It is common known in science the process of evolution, where apes have evolved and how they have turned into man. The images are infamous, everyone has seen the theory and images that follow. Therefore, in contradiction I painted the process devolution. Devolution, de-evolution, or backward evolution is the notion that species can revert into more "primitive" forms over time. Instead of being treated like actual humans, our government, and those with authority have taken away human characteristics from American citizens and they have depicted them as animals. I painted the background blue because on the American flag it symbolizes justice. All of the victims of this dehumanization has experienced injustice, and for us to pardon ourselves and forget about the adversity of this country is unjust. As Americans, we depict this country as a place where dreams are made, but we are blind to the damage we have done and those events can never be reprimanded.

Created By
Myrka Castellanos

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