The Problem of Racism in Literature


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Racism and equality is a real problem and a hot topic in our world and country right now. These two poems called “The Black Man’s Burden” by Edward Morel and it was written in 1903 in response to “The White Man’s Burden” by Rudyard Kipling which was written in 1899. These pieces of writing share completely different views and some things in “White man’s burden” are very wrong and offensive but back in the day people acted like that and thought it was okay to be like that. We know now that actions like all the things you are about to read about are completely wrong, yet we still have a lot of problems with racism. That is why I think it is extremely important to educate people on every level of these problems, so we do not have a repeat of this. The White man’s burden is a poem written by Rudyard Kipling. It is about how white men are superior and how it is hard on them because everyone else is not civilized like them.

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Since everyone else can’t protect themselves white men and their best breed must fight for the colonies their country has captured that aren’t even their own people. Then when the white men capture and take slaves they must spend time teaching them everything because they have no knowledge. He is saying multiple times that white men are superior and everyone else is below average, but also what he is saying is that since the white male is the greatest they have to make the world a better place and abide to that even though it might take awhile but that is why they must have patience. He means it will be difficult and scary that it’s your job but don’t let that get to you by saying “To veil the threat of terror”. Then he goes to say make sure you don’t get too arrogant by keeping your pride in check. He says to use speeches that are open to people but kept simple as a hundred times made plain because all the native Americans and nonwhite men won’t be able to understand otherwise even if you tell them a hundred times, but then they help the whites with their gain and profit. Even if it takes awful wars for peace with savages to fill their mouths from famine and get all the white men sick and when you’re about to accomplish something the nonwhite men will ruin all your hope. White men work hard with the kings and toil with with building ports and roads they can’t enter because they’re too busy working. They get no reward from anyone else besides their blame, hate, and crying. He’s warning them not to try and snoop and start a revolt and mess up the freedom just because they’re sad because all they do is cry and whisper and talk to their gods. He’s telling everyone to stop being childish and stop with the praise and actually be mainly to find your true cold wisdom from all those cold thankless years of working. The Black man’s burden is written by Edward Morel and starts off by saying the Africans carry the black man’s burden. Whit men have withered away at them and Africa has become absorbed by every Caucasian and people of other race. The whites have killed tons of Africans, but they still made it.

The Africans were at a disadvantage with weapons and they have just been misused and mistreated. The whites brought many diseases that killed their own and brought many awful things and no good has come out of them being there, and even if they want to try and do anything about it they really can’t because they will just be killed by the whites with their Maxim guns. The Africans that aren’t getting killed by the whites are just getting their soul killed by them and it’s not right at all. These two poems differ in about every way possible but some of the main ones are how in “White man’s burden” he makes it seem like they’re suffering just from working and having to control the African they captured and how they didn’t get rewarded enough for it because all they got was hate and crying. While in “Black man’s burden” it tells that Africans were getting killed mentally and physically. They weren’t even getting treated well enough by the whites would die from their conditions if the guns didn’t and torture didn’t kill them first.

They would never be the same because their souls were destroyed, and the whites acted like their situation was so much worse when in reality it was nothing compared to the Africans. The concepts of exploitation are shown in “Black man’s burden” when Edward talks about all the bad things the whites have brought upon them such as the Maxim, the rifle, slave gang, labor in the bowels of the earth and the lash, measles, smallpox, syphilis, and the overseas slave trade. Exploitation is resembled in “White man’s burden when he talks about bring them from bondage, but the whites really just take advantage of them and just hear their cries and weeps. There’s a reason they just get hate and blame and that’s just because they mistreat Africans to an extreme. This is what I have interpreted the “Black man’s burden” and “White man’s burden”. These are really quite opposites and have many differences. I believe the “Black man’s burden is much more realistic and humane while some of the things states in the “White man’s burden” are completely wrong and appalling, but that’s how it was back then. Even though that’s how it was back then it is still hard to believe that people would be so clueless to let something like that happen. Those things that happened back then were awful and it is good people are getting educated on them, so we can prevent that from happening again.

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