Jamestown, Virginia was the first permanent English settlement established in 1607. Their main goal was to harvest tobacco for profit in the New World. Unfortunately, Jamestown is also where slavery in America began when African slaves were brought to the colony in 1619.
Slavery was finally abolished 258 years later on December 6, 1865 with the passage of the 13th amendment to the U.S. constitution by Congress. It’s scary and absolutely shocking it took so long. Because of our country’s past racial injustices, affirmative action was launched in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy to ensure that government contractors “take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin.”
Due to the advancement in technology and medicine, our standard of living 150+ years later has never been higher. We’ve also seen huge progress in narrowing the gender wage gap and reducing discrimination against the LGBTQ community. However, it feels like our country is more divided along racial lines than ever before. Perhaps still having rules based on race is making all of us more racist? Instead, how about shifting towards helping people who are in difficult financial situations across all races.