Examples Of Persecution Essay

Throughout history and around the world, people have suffered oppression. The Pilgrims who moved to America, the Jews in Germany and slaves in America are several examples of persecution in history. Though this was evident, there were people who risked their lives to stop this and bring justice. There are many different means of persecution that has been created.

Oppression, persecution and discrimination was and is very common in our country and around the world. As time goes on, people created more and more reasons to persecute because they were different. Women, blacks and people who have different religions were originally persecuted but now many things are frowned upon and hated. Upon the end of the civil war, the blacks were freed from slavery but still were not freed from persecution or being treated incorrectly.

In 1865, the Civil War had ended slavery but the prejudice against the blacks had not ended. Being underpaid, treated poorly, and given poor living conditions are just some of the things that the blacks had to live through. The blacks continued to live with these conditions and the country began to separate every facility for whites or blacks but never both. If any of the laws were broken, the blacks were almost always accused and punished. Being put in jail or being shot was very common punishment of the blacks or whites who stood against the persecution.

Women throughout history have been persecuted for just being women. In the 1600s, many women were accused of witchcraft and burned without any reason (Development 2). Though that was over 400 years ago, today the persecution of women still stands at a high percent. Statistics show that 25% of women are persecuted and abused domestically (Domestic 1). Statistics also show that 78% of sexual assault is against women (Domestic 1).

A very famous event of persecution was the Holocaust. The Holocaust was a mass genocide which killed over 8 million Jews and people of other ethnicities, conducted by Adolf Hitler (USHMM 1). The victims were killed in gruesome ways such as gas chambers, mass shootings, malnutrition, and hanging. The Holocaust occurred during World War II thus some victims were saved but many were already killed. There still is no absolute reason why Hitler conducted this mass genocide but like most persecution, no reason is needed for hatred.

Within history, the blind were persecuted constantly. The blind were seen as beggars who couldn’t do anything for themselves and were considered worthless. In scripture, the blind man was put on the side of the water to beg for money because he could not work for his food. Soldiers had come up to him to tell him that because it was the Sabbath, no man could work on that day, even though that was the only way he could feed himself. In 1598-1601, the English Elizabethan Poor Laws were created and evicted the disabled, including the blind and mentally ill, from hospitals and shelters for the poor (Development 1). The justice to the blind wouldn’t come for quite a while. Until 1809 to be exact.

Louis Braille was born on January 4th, 1809 in a small town in France near Paris called Coupvray (Cannon 1). Louis was a perfectly healthy baby born into the Braille family. His father was Simon Braille and his mother was Constance Braille. The Braille family were farmers and they lived on a farm with their son (Ask 1). Louis was an only child and, as any young boy would be, very curious.

The start to Louis’ life was very unfortunate. One day, Louis was playing and wandered into his father’s workshop. The young boy decided that he would pretend to be a man and work with his father’s tools. Louis accidentally stabbed his eye with a tool that’s used to make holes called an awl. His eye became infected (Fradin 34). After a while, the infection had spread to his other eye and he became blind at the age of 3.

Once he was blinded, there was fear from his parents that he would only be a beggar for his entire life (Biography 21). Two men, a priest and a teacher, then took it upon themselves to teach young Louis. After spending two years teaching him, they learned that he was very intelligent. The priest then went to an unknown powerful man and that man wrote a letter to the Royal Institution for Blind Youth in Paris (Tubb 22). Louis received a scholarship to this institute when he was ten years old. (Tubb 23).

Once Louis began his education at the Royal Institution for Blind Youth, he realized that there wasn’t a proper way to teach the blind learn how to write (Fradin 37). One day in class, a man named Captain Barbier had visited Louis and his classmates. He introduced a different style of writing called Night Writing that the soldiers used in the field. Soldiers would write these twelve raised dots in a certain sequence in trenches and other soldiers who were in the trench could feel the writing (Tubb 25). Louis thought that this concept was brilliant and began perfecting it so anyone could understand it.

He worked hard perfecting his language and ended up shortening the Night Writing characters from twelve dots to six dots (Tubb 26). This method gave blind children and adults an easier way to learn how to read and write. Louis had finished creating the language when he was 15. He immediately ran to his friends to show them. Once he had done that, he took his language to the heads of the school. Some were impressed but others said that it would never be accepted in society (Fradin 38). The administration ended up banning the language from the campus because the funds it would take to create the books, making it impossible for the language to spread. But they allowed Louis to become a teacher at age 17 and promoted him to professor at the age of 24 (Tubb 26).

There were little hardship creating the language but there was a great struggle to get it implemented. With the ban on the language, Louis had to teach it in secret. The first book was created in 1829 and the pages were double sided (Tubb 27). The small group of students who knew the language were very supportive and believed in Louis and his ability to release it. If Louis could manage to release it, he would give thousands of disabled people the ability to have a small sliver of freedom and independence that they deserved.

In 1837, Louis was struck ill and had to retire from teaching. He created symbols for math and music in that same year (Tubb 27). During this time, he and his students were trying desperately to lift the ban on braille. Louis was not able to teach so he used his time to fine tune his language (Tubb 27). In 1847, the first braille printing press was built. At this time, it was very hard to keep the language inside the walls of the school. The officials at the school had lifted the ban and shortly after that, Louis died of tuberculosis on January 6th, 1852 at the age of 43. Once the ban was lifted, the language had quickly spread through the institution leading to the translation of many different books (Fradin 40). The officials also erected a statue of Louis and his students quickly wrote down his story (Fradin 40).

After the invention of Braille, many people who were blind began to learn how to read and write. Some even became famous. Hellen Keller is one of those individuals. She was born on June 27, 1880 to Kate and Arthur Keller in Alabama. At nineteen months, she was struck with an illness that left her blind, deaf, and mute (Williams 1). She remained in a state of sensory deprivation until the age of six when her family hired a young tutor for her named Anne Sullivan, who was also blind. With the help of Anne, Helen managed to master manual lip reading, handwriting, typewriting, braille, and basic speech (Williams 1).

Another famous blind individual was Ray Charles. Born on September 23, 1930 in Albany, Georgia, he was the first child to Aretha and Bailey Robinson. Ray was raised in Greenville, Florida in the height of the depression (Britton 1). At age seven, he was struck blind by an undiagnosed illness and was accepted into the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind in St. Augustine (Britton 1). There he learned braille, typing, basket weaving, and mathematics and how to create music from memory. He stayed in St. Augustine until his mother died in 1945 when he set out as a professional musician.

In short, Louis Braille was a man who changed the world forever. Louis managed to create another language for the visually impaired so they could have some sliver of freedom and independence. He did what no other man could do. Louis metaphorically opened up the eyes of the blind. Because of that, Louis will forever be remembered as the man who helped thousands to see.