Apartheid vs. Jim Crow

Topics: South Africa, Racial segregation, Racism Pages: 11 (3829 words) Published: April 6, 2008
In May 1607, three ships sailed up from Chesapeake Bay in search for the first permanent English colony in North America. Although Jamestown colony was doomed from the beginning, it was not so much an outpost as an establishment of what was to become the United States. Forty-five years later, another three ships representing the Dutch Republic and its company, the East India Company, anchored in the Cape of Good Hope. Their purpose was to establish a refreshment station where ships could break the long voyage between the Netherlands and the company’s main settlement at Batavia in Java. These two occurrences constituted the beginnings of two of the first white-dominated societies outside of Europe. Starting from the small settlements of the 1600s, the white settlers penetrated into the interior of North American and South Africa. By the end of the 19th century, they had successfully expropriated most of the land for their own use and set the pre-conditions on which a system of white supremacy would be built. DEFINITION OF WHITE SUPREMACY

More so than the other societies that resulted from the European colonialism and expansion, South Africa and the United States serve as the long-term manifestations of a Herrenvolk society. George M. Fredrickson defines white supremacy as “the attitudes, ideologies, and policies associated with the rise of blatant forms of white or European dominance over nonwhite populations.” White supremacy implies more than racial prejudice and discrimination, which exists in most, if not all, societies; it suggests a systematic effort to make race or color a qualification for membership in a civil society through means of color bars, racial segregation, and the restriction citizenship rights. It. SOME THESIS STATEMENT HERE! Something like – colonies founded on same ideological thought concerning inferior and superior groups but same white supremacist ideologies resulted in different outcomes: in apartheid for South Africa and segregation for the United States Ideological thought was same but historical conditions resulted in different outcomes for two countries. . . Similarities in kinds of white attitudes, ideologies, and policies that have emerged. However, did not emerge from same racial consciousness but rather grew from different set of historical circumstances. South Africa and the United States are not the same, therefore, we cannot state that the original mind-set of the colonists were similar. Trends were similar in general direction but different in rate of development, ideological expression, and institutional embodiment.

Before the time of colonization of South Africa and the United States, certain preconceptions of “savagery” had infused 16th and 17th century Europe, establishing a mode of thinking that shaped the way the settlers approached and treated the natives they encountered. These beliefs were not racist, as the Enlightenment and Era of Scientific Racism had not yet occurred, but they gave birth to classications that divided the world into “Europeans” and racially distinct “Others.” For both South Africa and North America, Europeans found a justification for the construction of this “Other” first in religion and later, science. A long struggle for supremacy in the Mediterranean between Christian and Islamic civilizations in the first millenium gave rise to the beginnings of religious justifications for the division of people into inferior and superior groups. The Crusades were justified as an attempt to free the Holy Land from infidels, creating an attitude toward the “enemies of Christ” and “heathens” that would carry to the New World and to southern Africa six centuries later. The dichotomy of civil-savage had also been established. Civility was the natural state of mankind but after the flood of Noah, some branches of man had wandered into the wilderness and degenerated into an uncivil state. Civilized people...
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