Imperialism And Race Discrimination: A Two Edged Sword

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Imperialism and Race Discrimination: A Two Edged Sword Imperialism has been an imposing force throughout history since the early 1800s, but one must ask themselves: what is Imperialism and why has it be so prevalent throughout history? Imperialism by definition is explained as “the policy of extending the rule or authority of an empire or nation over foreign countries, or of acquiring and holding colonies and dependencies.” In George Orwell’s story “Shooting an Elephant” the reader is exposed to many different aspects involved with British Imperialism during the 1800s. The controversial issues that are covered during the span of this story ultimately go on to show many critical flaws that encompass Imperialism. The reader experiences…show more content…
This mind set is evident in this era through slavery. These men who are considered our founding fathers were haunted by their anxiety over their belief in freedom and their actions of owning slaves. This constant turmoil enslaved our founding fathers into living a double life of hypocrisy. “As a Virginia slaveholder, Thomas Jefferson had reason to fear the currents of freedom set loose by the American Revolution; as the author of the Declaration of Independence, he faced a more personally existential dilemma. As long as the American narrative of liberty encompassed “all men,” two options existed: either Jefferson’s words must be read as championing the destruction of slavery, and with it his livelihood and the privileged existence of the entire class of southern slaveholders, or they were hollow and empty, condoning the persistence of the supreme injustice of slavery, and revealing slaveholding Americans to be infinitely worse tyrants than George III, and Jefferson himself to be perhaps history’s greatest hypocrite.(Forbes 1). This inner struggle within one’s self must have been an albatross around their necks that weighed heavily on them as they set up this great nation that claimed to believe that “All men are created equal.”(Forbes…show more content…
Not only does Imperialism affect those whom are being discriminated against, but more often than not have huge adverse effects to the imperialist themselves. At one extreme, the idea of elitism among nations tries to justify heinous acts of enslaving innocent people and forcing them to abide by their own culture under the premise that these individuals are so far from having the relevant capacities of the “elite” that they are in some twisted way helping these natives by taking away their freedom. On the other hand, we have seen firsthand the types of negative effects that can come from such actions. In Orwell’s story “Shooting an Elephant” we see a man who is stretched past his bounds in an attempt to pacify of group of people who in theory should have no say in the decisions that he makes. “Here was I the white man with his gun, standing in front of the unarmed native crowd – seemingly the leading actor of the piece; but in reality I was only an absurd puppet pushed to and fro by the will of those yellow faces behind. I perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys” (Orwell 136). This quote by the author goes on to explain that imperialism ultimately leads to the enslavement of both Nations. Both the oppressed, and the oppressor, the captive, and the

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