Friday, April 4, 2014

Discrimination Necessary to Advancement

Most people think of the white soldiers that served in the Civil War, however many blacks also served in the Civil War on both sides and in a variety of roles. They were not always welcomed in their positions and many people believed they should not fight. These blacks faced a lot of discrimination, but they had to in order to advance in the army and in society.

Black soldiers faced a lot of discrimination and restitance to them joining the army. Many people did not want them to fight. One democratic congressman in 1863 said, “This is a government of white men, made by white men for white men, to be administered, protected and maintained by white men." A lot of people had similar feelings about the issue. They felt that blacks were not worthy of fighting for their country and that that was  prove large reserved only for whites. One reason for this discrimination was that people felt that if blacks fight for their country it makes them equal to whites and, more importantly, makes them want and deserve equal citizenship. Frederick Douglas explained, “Once let the black man get upon his person the brass letters, US; let him get an eagle on his button, and a musket on his soldier and bullets in his pocket, and there is no power on earth which can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship.” This is a main reason why many black soldiers faced discrimination. This was necessary for the advancement of their lives and of equal rights. If no one faced the discrimination there would not have been any black soldiers in the army.

One specific slave who dealt with discrimination was Silas Chandler. He was a slave in Mississippi who went with his master when he joined the confederate army.  Silas was still a slave when he went to war and only was his master's assistant, not an actual soldier. However, his master and his master's family started and carried on the story that Silas was freed before the war and went voluntarily and that after the war they gave him land and helped him build a church. This was bad because it wrongly made his master seem better than he was and served as propaganda that blacks willingly served the confederate army. However Silas allowed this because through it he gained status and respect. Overall, it ended up benefitting Silas because he was able to live a better life after he was freed.

Many black soldiers in the civil war faced discrimination and resistence from whites. However, facing this discrimination was necessary to advancing their own lives and the equal rights cause.

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