In many ways people are like certain kinds of animals. Understanding this provides some insight into the barbaric nature of humans and the conscious and unconscious manipulation of the self. We have practiced violence against one another since the beginning of human history for a range of reasons. At the heart of these calculations have been unjust manipulations to keep those in power in their place of privilege. Humans chose to mark off territory using rivers, mountains, valleys, fences, walls, politics, and finally maps in more modern times much like the way animals urinate or scratch bark to leave a scent which signals that violators will be attacked or killed. This is the wretchedness of human existence in the march toward some kind of civilization. Most modern societies are organized in a top-down manner like a pyramid that was inherited from social and economic systems that benefited the few. Those on top of a pyramid rule, while those on the bottom suffer at the hands of the rulers.
All societies have discriminated against people on the basis of gender, race, class, religion, nationality, tribe, and language in one form or another. In modern times, this Alpha pyramid has been white and male dominated anchored by class (wealth) position, so that discrimination by the wealthy is directed against poor and middle class whites as well. However, “race” and class divisions have been married for centuries. Racism became the justification for slavery in the 14th and 15th Centuries after ancient slavery ended. I have heard false arguments by neo-confederates that slavery has always been here, but not slavery based on white supremacy!
It is important to understand that slavery is ancient, but slavery based on skin color is not. One must study the Moorish conquest of Spain and parts of Europe in their 700 year occupation, and the scientific racism of Carl Linnaeus and Johann Blumenbach in the 18th Century, before any valid understanding of the concept of “race” can be comprehended. One must trace the origin of racism and how ancient slavery (the word “slave “originated from the word Slav or relating to Slavic people who were enslaved in ancient times) morphed from people being made prisoners in wars, being captives because of religion or culture, into slavery based on the color of a person’s skin so as to create racist institutions and neurologically imprint the image of the superiority of so-called white skin and Western European ancestry (Eastern Europeans of a darker hue were often excluded from the calculation). We should explore the false concept of superior races and geographic reasons for development in the northern hemisphere as opposed to the other half of the world.
Fortunately, people have fought against injustice in order to produce a better life. We were all born into this structured system that discriminates. We are never just individuals making things happen on our own. We can either choose to go along with the situation we were born into or labor to make it better. It is a sorrowful commentary that the majority of people often just blindly go along with the way things are manifested without conscious thought or critical thinking. Look at all of the blind Trump followers! We can go along with the forged narratives that buttress social and political institutions that have been built up with misguided hero worship and race supremacy, or join those who have seen and directly experienced injustice and have determined that this life and our society can do better by word and deed.