A Study of the American Slavery and Holocaust


The current paper discusses the issue of African American slavery and the holocaust. It is worth noting that the American slavery ensured that Africans provided cheap labor on American farms, while the holocaust led to the loss of many Jewish lives. The author addresses each of the questions pertaining to both the American slavery and the holocaust. First of all, it answers the question of whether Jews were masterminds of Marxism and Capitalism and blacks as individuals with intellectual incapability, hence, only suitable to work as slave laborers. Secondly, the research elaborates on the issue of self-deception, pointing out that the holocaust was a result of the belief that Jews were the reason for Germany’s loss, while slavery emanated from the growth of tobacco plantations. Thirdly, the paper claims that, with autonomy, slavery and the holocaust would not have occurred. The works also attempts to determine whether the world we live in is prone to such occurrences, and emphasizes that it is possible because of religious and racial divisions. The research concludes with the statement that care must be taken to avoid such events in the future.


A Study of the American Slavery and Holocaust

The American slavery and the holocaust are two phenomena that involved a massive loss of lives. The causes of these two processes can be linked to self-deception, whereby people want to fit in. The holocaust involved the oppression of Jews by Germans, under which they were concentrated into death camps and killed. On the other hand, the American slavery witnessed the loss of lives of many Africans as they were been transported to America to work on farms and in other fields such as manufacturing. Furthermore, the perceptions that were levied against the Jews and the blacks during these two events led to negative consequences and complications. The American slavery and the holocaust could have been avoided if only the Americans and Germans were autonomous. 

The Perception of the Jews Being Smart and Blacks Having Intellectual Incapability 

The perception of the Jews being smart came to be as a result of their entrepreneurial energy in addition to their high intelligence. Snyder asserts that the perception also arose because the Jews had accumulated capital of both spirit and will that was passed from one generation to another. Their spirit and will was acquired through a lengthy schooling period coupled with extensive suffering. Such perceptions bring forth various complications. For instance, because of these prejudices, the Jews were hated and envied. This hatred led to discrimination and persecutions against the Jews. Consequently, The World War I brought about the the rise of Nazism in Germany. 

Marxism and Capitalism was long associated with Jews. According to Snyder, this ensured that the Nuremberg laws came into place in 1935 hence prohibiting the marriage between Jews and non-Jews. More so, they made it difficult for sexual relationships that entailed Jews and non-Jews. The society was pervaded with anti-Jewish propaganda which was done on behalf of the Nazi regime. Bradley notes that mass violence was encouraged against the Jews by this regime. In 1938, they were sanctioned and murdered. All types of properties owned by Jews was also destroyed and their places of worship torched. During the holocaust, millions of Jews were killed in Germany. Additionally, Jews were blamed for the defections of Germans during World War 1. Hate speech came up against the Jewish community and they were mostly referred to as in anti-Jews pamphlets as “dirty Jews”. 

The perception of the blacks as being intellectually incapable of living on their own came to be as a result of slavery. Bradley points out that Whites viewed blacks as “savages”, “inferior” and “uncivilized” individuals. Therefore, they were judged to be shortsighted and underdeveloped, and the only thing they could do was to work as slaves for the whites. Moreover, the stereotype was introduced because of colonialism. Schneider and Schneider assert that the colonialist sought the Africans from the African continent to provide cheap labor for their plantations back at home. The Africans were viewed as uneducated and naïve people, who could not even put to good use their freedom if they could be given. Thus, they were only suitable to work as slaves because of their naivety

These perceptions gave rise to complications such as the institution of slavery. Many African individuals were transported to America to work as slaves in huge plantations such as the cotton plantation. Bradley points out that the perceptions also led to divisions in the African continent as some African leaders simply sold their subjects into slavery with a view of acquiring wealth. Furthermore it brought about yet another complication, which was the division that existed between the South and the North of the USA. This, in turn, led to the American civil war as the South championed for slavery while the North was against slavery.

These complications brought forth numerous consequences. Firstly, Africans experienced massive suffering while been transported into slavery. Once the slaves were bought, the merchant owners first branded them before loading onto the ships in readiness for the American journey popularly known as the middle passage. Schneider and Schneider assert that inside the ships, the slaves were shackled to prevent any escapes. The crowded conditions in the ships and lack of sanitation facilitated the quick spread of gastro-intestinal diseases among slaves. Thirst for water was yet another serious problem in the midst of the middle passage. Baptist affirms that the slaves also experienced brutality from the merchant crews at the event of raising any complaint. The aftermath of these complications was also the idea of racism. The blacks are discriminated against because of their race. Based on the American history, blacks have been discriminated against on racial lines when it comes to civil rights such as the right to vote in the past. 

Self-deception as a Consequence of People Wanting to Fit in 

There are numerous ways of deceiving other people. An obvious one is to tell outright lies, while exaggerating and doubting the truth. All these processes could also be used in self-deception. For instance, one can be self-deceived by omitting crucial details, giving out biased information on oneself and using interpretive processes that are biased. Bradley claims that self-deception is a consequence of people wanting to fit in as these people are able to convince others that they are the best in terms of smartness, being more morally upright or being stronger. The benefits of self-deception are far beyond just convincing others. Self-deception could help an individual gain various social advantages such as the self-inflation and self-enhancement. Individuals are always impressed by confidence seen in other people. Confidence determines who is chosen to be a leader in the society. Confidence is also a key determinant of influence in the society.  People tend to listen to the advice of individuals who exude confidence and are less likely to believe and follow the advice of non-confident people.

Therefore, some people have a tendency of bolstering their image and enhancing their self-confidence with a view of influencing others and also been chosen for socially crucial roles. In addition, people also have a tendency of overlooking what they really are to fit in. For instance, Bradley explains that individuals are deceived by their attractiveness to fit in. A good example is a situation when two photos of the same person are provided to an individual with one of the photo altered in attractiveness. The person will tend to identify himself or herself with the more attractive photo and avoid his/her original photo. 

People also come up with self-enhancing stories in order to fit in and also work at derogating others. Such people use derogation for self-advancement and in order to be seen as better than others. They use self-deception to negatively taint the image of other people in the society for instance by describing them using negative characteristic such as dirty in order to achieve self-advancement and societal acceptance.

Self-deception, as a consequence of people wanting to fit in, is related to the causes of the American slavery and the holocaust. Schneider and Schneider explain that American slavery is a result of the introduction of tobacco plantation in Virginia and other plantations in America. Therefore, Africans were adopted as the basic labor source. The Whites were self-deceived that the Africans belonged to an inferior race as compared to them who belonged to a superior race. Therefore, to exercise their superiority and domination, they found it difficult and unsuitable for them to provide labor and work in the plantations. As far as they were concerned, the Africans were the ones suitable for such work, because certain plantations, such as tobacco plantations, required intensive labor hence the Africans were physically suitable for providing the labor. Additionally, Bradley holds that because of the Whites’ self-deception that the Africans were naïve and uncivilized and therefore they had to be dominated, they perceived that they were not suitable to work in the hot and humid plantations and the Africans were the ones suitable as they were used to these climates.

As far as the holocaust is concerned, the Germans were self-perceived that the Jews were a threat while on their part; they did not pose any threat. Moreover, they viewed Jews as the ones who have caused their defeat in the First World War and, thus, the solution could be to eliminate them permanently. Snyder opines that there was also increased perception that the Jews were a problem that was specific to the society and this problem had to be solved for the survival of the nation. Jews were also linked to communism and thus they posed fear to the Germans. The Germans were also self-deceived that the presence of the Jews was of great annoyance and therefore they had to disappear from earth so that the Germans could attain their goals. Therefore, there the mass killing of Jews was carried out - an event commonly referred to as the holocaust.

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The Americans largely depended on the Africans for free and cheap labor. Baptist is of the view that the Americans also depended on the African leaders during colonialism to provide slaves who would work in their huge plantations. They also considered Africans to be naïve, uneducated and savage, hence, suitable to be used as slaves for they could not be able to use freedom if they were offered as they were perceived to be non-civilized. They also perceived the Africans as suitable for slavery and working in the plantations as they were used to the humid climate in the plantations as compared to them. In the views of Schneider and Schneider, had the Americans been autonomous, they could not have depended on Africans for labor, therefore eliminating the chances of the occurrence of the American slavery. Furthermore, had they been autonomous they could not have perceived the Africans as naïve, savages and non-civilized. American people depended on the African slaves for cheap labor. Baptist holds that during the colonial period, they depended on the African leaders to provide slaves to them by the African leaders selling debtors and criminals into slavery. Had hey depended on the American population for labor to be used in the plantations, the American slavery could not have taken place. They could have been autonomous by training themselves to suitably work in the plantations thus eliminating the American slavery.

The holocaust could not have taken place had the Germans been autonomous. The German nation blamed the Jews for their failure to win the First World War. They also accused the Jews of promoting communism and the failure of their nation in achieving their goals. Gitlin notes that the Germans taken control of their actions to prevent their defeat in the First World War, the holocaust could not have occurred. What is more, had they looked into their system of governance and eliminated chances of communism, this deadly event could not have occurred. In addition, the Germans could have worked hard and excel in various spheres of life and had high intelligence just as the Jews. Moreover, they could have accumulated their own capital in will and spirit and this could have prevented their hatred and envy towards the Jews and thus the holocaust could not have occurred. The lack of autonomy among the Germans largely contributed to the occurrence of the holocaust.

Arguments that Assure Us that the World We Live in Today Is Prone to a Reoccurrence of These Events

The world we live in today is filled with so many things happening, which can lead to evil crimes, such as the American slavery and the holocaust. Firstly, Schneider and Schneider affim that racial discrimination being experienced in many parts of the world can lead to such happenings. It is because there have been various instances of the blacks being discriminated against on the basis of their color. Racial discrimination can be seen in sports, whereby black players are sometimes scolded by funs. Moreover, racial discrimination can be witnessed in the ongoing presidential campaigns in the United States. One of the presidential candidates has on some occasions openly made accusations against the blacks on the basis of their race. Racial discrimination is also witnessed in various legislations made in the United States, which has a negative impact on the African Americans. As such, it can either cause the mass awareness of the blacks to fit in the society, or the dominion of other races over the black one, leading to events with veil repercussions.

Another phenomenon that can lead to events with evil happenings that is being experienced in the world today is religious fundamentalism. Bradley notes that there have been mixed reactions over the issue of Muslims with terrorism. Some groups argue out that terrorist groups are using Islam to further their ideas while others believe they are Muslims themselves engaging in the terrorist activities. Furthermore, there have been negative interpretations of Islamic women putting on the veil and this has led to tension between the East and the West as the West views the veil as a sign of the East not being civilized. Bradley points out that religious fundamentalism has created a negative attitude towards Islam and Muslims, as they are viewed as blood thirsty and linked to terrorist attacks. Moreover, Muslim religion and Islam are portrayed negatively all over the world by the media. It can lead to bad consequences such as the American slavery and the holocaust.


In conclusion, the perceptions against the Jews and blacks experienced during the holocaust and the American slavery period respectively brought about the complications that generally had ubiquitous negative results, such as the rise of racism. However, it is important to note that the causes of the holocaust and the American slavery can be connected to self-deception whereby certain individuals have a perception that they are better than others or they destroy the image of others in order to get social advancement. Finally, we can note the racial discrimination and religious fundamentalism being experienced in the world today can lead to events such as the holocaust and the American slavery.

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