Assignment 3 Laura Bullock

I am most interested by Toni Morrisons ideas about colonialism in the new world. Often when studying periods in history in which one people group has dominated another, we can understand the mass dehumanization by analyzing the ways that a leader has brainwashed their people. When trying to understand how we are a part of the same species that commits mass genocide, it is comforting to think that it is only possible to desire the subordination of other humans if we are manipulated into it by a greater power system. Though the idea that we are easily manipulated unsettles the gut, it is far easier to accept than that humans are naturally inclined to dominate others when given the chance. In Black Matters, Morrison argues that the explorers of the new world had a natural inclination to dehumanize and abuse natives. This implies that the capacity for evil required to commit horrible acts such as slave ownership proves intrinsic to human nature. Morrison believes humans being given full freedom leads to evil. This contradicts Locke’s beliefs about the state of nature and Marx’s view of what makes us human. In order to spark a debate between the three I would pose the following questions. Are humans inherently good? Is slavery natural? What separates humans from animals? 

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