The Color of Law

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America is known as the land of the free. The American Constitution contains the Bill of Rights for protecting basic human rights. The Bill of Rights is a document with beautiful, flowery language promising the freedom of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. However, these words have never had any place in reality. America is the land of racial and economic inequality. These inequalities are defined by the injustices performed by an openly racist government. This country is stained by the hypocrisy and hatred that has guided public policy since the creation of the United States. The South was the worst offender of human rights. The South enslaved the African Africans through Jim Crow laws, chickaree, and coercion. Democracy and justice did not exist in the South. After the South’s defeat in the civil war, the general public thought that Africans Americans had been liberated. However, African Americans were enslaved through political institutions, social norms, and violence. The Jim Crow laws were meant to oppress African Americans. The main tool of discrimination was the law of vagrancy. Vagrancy prevented African Americans from leaving the slave master’s land. If any African Americans were found wandering in a town, they would be arrested and fined. Since African Americans had no money, these victims would be forced to work under the same slave masters to pay the fine. Another method of enslavement was chickaree. This was the use of deceit to steal the property, money, and freedom of African Americans. For example, most African Americans were illiterate. Slave masters being well aware of this, were able to take advantage of the former slaves’ ignorance and have the victims sign devious contracts. These contracts ensured the enslavement of former slaves and a subservient position in society. The last method was coercion of the African Americans. The usage of violence was used to terrorize African Americans. This violence eliminated any threats to the

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