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History II, Early Human Rights Debates: The Truth About Pirates and the Social Justification Essay

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Updated: Feb 19th, 2022

The reading by Mark Roth describes the hidden historical truth behind pirates and their deceptive view by the modern society. While cartoons, movies, and popular narratives about pirates portray them as cruel robbers, Roth (2006) disagrees and proves that pirates avoided violence and joined the group out of economic despair. It is remarkable how the truth about these historical figures was twisted to position them as a villainized “Other.” Although their actions were illegal, they had the social justification to act that way, and their modern portrayal in media reflects their misrepresentation in an attempt to silence past concerns and societal issues.

Destruction of the Indies

This historical document depicts one of the earliest accounts of the mistreatment of Native Americans by the Spanish. While the author empathizes with the sufferers of colonization and expresses regret about the sinful abuse that Christian newcomers imposed on the natives, he also reveals a fair share of bias (Casas, 2020). This discrepancy between the intent and the way the author voices his concerns is contradictory. While he acknowledges that cruelty is evil, he also classifies Native Americans as “Others,” demeaning their value as individuals.

Groundings with My Brothers

Among exploring other issues, the reading refers back to the historical sources of racism. Rodney (2019) claims that the racism we experience now originated in Western Indian society due to the deeply embedded slave-master relationship. The consequences of these actions can be observed now: white people are unconsciously considered superior “humans,” while black people are culturally and socially repressed “non-humans” who serve them.

The God-Given Order of Nature

The classification of humans by Linne is what amazed me the most. Linne (2020) regards Europeans as “governed by laws,” while other races are “governed by caprice, opinions, and customs” (p. 43). This difference shows that before the concept of racism became a widely discussed issue, Europeans positioned themselves higher than any other race. Such historical evidence serves as proof and foundation for modern, less overt racism in the form of the Binary world of white masters and “Others.”

References

Casas, B. (2020). Destruction of the Indies. In Benjamin, J. (Ed.), Race and Ethnicity: Difference and Decolonization (pp. 22-33). Kendall Hunt Publishing.

Linne, C. (2020). The God-given order of nature. In Benjamin, J. (Ed.), Race and Ethnicity: Difference and Decolonization (pp. 41-44). Kendall Hunt Publishing.

Rodney, W. (2019). Groundings with My Brothers. Verso Books.

Roth, M. (2006). Real pirates bore little resemblance to the legends, Pitt scholar says. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 1-4.

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1. IvyPanda. "History II, Early Human Rights Debates: The Truth About Pirates and the Social Justification." February 19, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/history-ii-early-human-rights-debates/.


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IvyPanda. "History II, Early Human Rights Debates: The Truth About Pirates and the Social Justification." February 19, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/history-ii-early-human-rights-debates/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "History II, Early Human Rights Debates: The Truth About Pirates and the Social Justification." February 19, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/history-ii-early-human-rights-debates/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'History II, Early Human Rights Debates: The Truth About Pirates and the Social Justification'. 19 February.

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