Racism can be defined as a set of beliefs or a doctrine, which creates a notion that persons are distinct due to their phenotypic differences. It appreciates the reality of race to inflict a sense of superiority. Racism have existed as long as human beings whose history is marked by several incidences of prejudice and stereotyping. It is attributed as the resultant of unrest, which causes countries to create specific legal codes. Racism is a concept used to generally to describe negative attitudes pointed to a given ethnic group.
For instance, the most renowned instance of racism in human history is the issue of slavery where the blacks were regarded as sub-human only fit to be traded as properties and most importantly, to labor in the white man’s farms. Racism was at peak during the 20th century during the rein of ‘overtly racist regimes’ (Fredrickson 1). In South America, segregation laws and denial of voting rights on blacks resulted to them being regarded as of low-class irrespective of efforts to curb racial disparity through constitutional amendments.
Racism can be traced during slavery in the capitalist society facilitated by imperialists, which justified the vice terming it as a right. Blacks were oppressed and termed as biologically inferiors intellectually, in culture and politics. As civilizations dawned, the blacks recognized their rights and tried to fight for liberalization. Racists try to justify their acts, which constitute racism as an ideology thorough stating that this group of people is less human and therefore inferior, fit to be ruled by the superior races i.e. the white supremacy.
Victims as a result, remain subjugated and more oppression is directed towards them where racism became a usual subject, while the victims perceive themselves as racially distinctive. Racists points out that the victimized race lack the potential to avoid racists attitudes subjected towards them. This is victim blaming and is so prevalent in the modern world and shapes up the racism ideology currently put in place (Andersen &Collins 56).
The intense racist propaganda, which meant to portray black males as ravenous wolves in pursuit of white women enhanced racism towards the blacks (Fredrickson 1). Racist ideologies are based entirely on the skin color and physical traits. The victory over the Nazi regime, de-marginalization of South America in nineteen sixties and South African foundation of majority rule reflects that leaderships founded on biological racism have been overcome by time.
However, for racism to thrive it does not entirely depend on explicit legal and state advocacy, neither does on biological difference, but it is an illusion since instances such as cultural racism, white privilege and reverse racism has been termed as racism in general. Therefore, racism is generally a modern concept as a manifestation of ancient occurrence of xenophobia, which constitutes a definition that exceeds biological differences to become a group prejudice founded on kinship. According to Frederickson,
it is when differences that might otherwise be considered ethno-cultural are regarded as innate, indelible, and unchangeable that a racist attitude or ideology can be said to exist, it finds its clearest expression when the kind of ethnic differences that are firmly rooted in language, customs and kinship are overridden in the name of an imagined collectivity based on pigmentation, as in white supremacy, or on a linguistically based myth of remote descent from a superior race, as in Aryanism (6)
The rise of racism still remains unclear but is often attributed to European exploration and colonization, which empowered and enriched western nations as a result of exploitation of the natives. This led to conquering of native in their country especially in Africa taking them as slaves to labor in farms and to be taken to their original homes to labor. This created good grounds for racism to thrive, where foreigners were distinguished from the natives.
The natives who were conquered were often seen as inferior while the foreigners were considered superior. Moreover, the Darwinian theory of evolution was generally taken mean that biological aspects influenced intelligence as well as ethical characteristics in a particular race. Some individuals were considered intellectually superior than others thus, distorting the notions of racism, which was perverted by some people to dominate others.
The land of Down in Australia has for a long time been racist’s land. Australia experience of apartheid resulted to the natives loosing their lands to the foreigners, leading to impoverishment of the Aboriginal who continue to be racially prejudiced. Currently, these perceptions have been overcome, which has enhanced the interactions of various nationalities in Australia. Racial prejudice has declined in institutions although there remain conservative racist politicians (Andersen & Collins 63).
In the U.S and UK racism has been for a long time experienced. In the U.S for instance, racial profiling in the criminal justice has raised eye brows on why individuals of a particular race are harshly investigated, and given harsher sentences. On the other hand, the whites have complained that reverse racism is prevalent since it advantages the minority group thorough programs such as affirmative action to favor them.
However, this notion has been considered to be a myth in the US since the minority group lack the institutional potential or power to express their prejudiced attitudes towards the whites as the main commercial social as well as political institutions are subdued by the whites themselves.
Racism in the world has been applied as a weapon to accelerate fear, hate and discrimination thus, fueling violence and economic depressions. Racism has concerned the issue of free speech and whether speech codes should be enforced especially in institutions of learning through Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 19.
It is often argued that being in support of racial prejudice in speech are mere words and that free speech should be advocated for without having to be regulated. Some other opponent disregard these claims and points out that free speech should be regulated rather, it would lead to violence, hate, genocide or even other dire effects.
Race is a prevailing idea, innovated by the society, which foster inequality and impede human interactions. As a result, the UN’s World Conference on Racism from August to September, 2001 was held to tackle racism (Elihai, pr. 2). The meeting expressed the need to solve global racism, which still proves to be a big challenge.
Besides the UNESCO, World Conference against Racism (WCAR) has invested efforts to curb racism attitudes and ideologies, since the Second World War and the Holocaust to scientifically study ethnic groups. Four conferences have been held since including the one held in 2009 in Geneva Switzerland and one in Durban, South Africa in 2001 (Elihai, pr. 6).
Racism has continuously been a challenge in human history and reflects individualism. However, it still remains a sensitive issue and discussing such a topic triggers other aspects such as those of free speech, and racial prejudice.
Heated debates arise when the issue is discussed publicly since the topic is often taken out of context leading to misunderstandings while to some, tackling the issue offends them. For instance, in Europe, racism is openly prevalent since it is composed of several intertwined cultural entities in a tiny region. Neo-Nazism is transmitted to other ethnic groups present in European nations making them experience white privilege and supremacy while there.
To sum it all, racism is a voice, which impedes the development of societies. This is a notion that is fruitless and does nothing but hurt people. Instead of concentrating of racism, it is better for people to concentrate on how to enhance their wellbeing and that of the entire society at large by being productive. Inborn biological traits do not warrant some people to express their prejudice towards others.
This is because every person belongs to a taxonomical group referred to as Homo sapiens. Although, distinct in physical traits, the traits that are alike are so many such that they overshadow the small physical differences such as skin color, facial appearances, body physique among others. The racist ideas are pathological usually hurting and disgracing the person in which they are directed.
Instead of blending these differences to come up with diverse traits in human, they pervert them to express their demeaning attitudes. With the intellectual capacities manifested in scientific and technological inventions, one wonders why racism is still an unresolved issue in the world. This implies that it is inclined in attitudes and individual choices. Racism must be eliminated at whichever costs.
Andersen, Margaret and Collins, Patricia. Race, Class, and Gender: An Anthology. New Jersey: Wadsworth Cengage Learning. 2009. Print.
Elihai, Braun. The United Nations World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance met in Durban, South Africa (August 31 to September 8, 2001). May 7, 2011.
Fredrickson, George. Racism: A Short History. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. 2002. Print.