We live in a civilized world and it seems that there is no place for, I would say, ancient prejudice and stereotypes that we call racism. However racism remains an urgent problem of our society, that is why we present you this essay on racism to help you understand the essence of this phenomenon and we also made a try to give you a brief history of racism in the USA, so partially this is racism in America essay as well. So read the essay and be aware of what racism is.
Racism is a global problem of the modern world
George Bernard Shaw once said: “A healthy nation is as unconscious of its nationality as a healthy man of his bones”.
There is no sense to remind you the myth about the Tower of Babel, everyone knows it. We can only guess that on that tragic day people separating and going to different places had in their minds not only different languages, but also the germ of hatred to “foreigners” in their hearts. The term “racism” is closely related to another term “Xenophobia”. Xenophobia is formed of the Greek words “xenos” that means “foreigner, stranger” and “phobos” that means “fear”. So xenophobia is a state characterized by obsessive fear towards foreigners or anything unknown and foreign. Namely it is one of the mental disorders of a person. Anyway we are interested more in other meaning of this words – fear towards foreigners and hate to them.
In terms of biosociology xenophobia is a social projection of self-preservation instinct of a certain national economic formation. It means it was formed long time ago when every strange, unknown, different person was potentially dangerous, was a carrier of a latent threat. For self-preservation ancient people had no right to trust foreigners, they tried to make such a person go away or kill him. Over time the world became much safer, however the initial fear of everything foreign and strange rooted deeply in the subconscious of many people. Xenophobia has many faces, many ways of expressing, such as racism, anti-Semitism, prejudice to other nationalities, islamophobia and other kinds of religious intolerance, discrimination against refugees, migrants and so on.
Racism is discrimination against individuals, social groups or a part of the population, or groups of people, policy of persecution, humiliation, causing shame, violence, escalation of hostility and enmity, spread of information that dishonors a man or a group of people; cause of damage on the basis of skin color, ethnos, religion or nationality. It is a belief that there are groups of people with special (usually physical) features that make them superior or inferior towards others, and as a result there is elementary disregard or ignoration of those who considered to be different or inferior live being.
The origins of the racial doctrine of human society appeared in the 19th century, when anthropology emerged – a new science that with the help of empirical methods tried to define human place in nature. The stereotypes became widespread and it was considered that the variety of physical traits suggests the existence of mental, psychological and cultural differences. Later there was a tendency to explain mental or moral features with the same unchanged heredity that also formed physical features. Since the Blacks genetically have black skin, it means genetically they are supposed to be “lazy and untidy”.
The peak racist theory (rather racist practice) reached in Nazi Germany, when they tried to turn the whole world into the scene of fight between Aryan and Semitic races. The Aryans were represented as superior race that is the only one that has such virtues as love of freedom and honor and spirituality worship. The Jews were represented as the embodiment of absolute evil that had to be destroyed. As a result of such a police 7 million Jews were killed.
Racist idea won not only in Germany but also in other countries such as Italy, where in 1938 racist legislation was adopted, and France where in 1940 after establishing of Vichy regime racist legislation was adopted as well, similar to Nuremberg laws. Racism was spread also in the Republic of South Africa in 1948-1990s. There official racist policy even got its own special name “apartheid”. Apartheid made the black or “mixed” population of the country live in special reservations (bantustans). Only there they had rights, they could study and rest, the rest of the country territory was for the whites only. In 1991 only the President of South Africa Frederik Willem de Klerk cancelled the main elements of the apartheid laws. Important role in the elimination of apartheid was played by the activist Nelson Mandela, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. During the apartheid times he had to spend 27 years in a jail, and in 1994 he became the President of South Africa.
Racism in the USA
Racism in the USA existed since the foundation of the state. The victims of the racism in the United States were the indigenous inhabitants of the continent, the Indians, and also Negro slaves. Nominally “color slavery” was canceled in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln, but actually it was cancelled in 1865 with the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution. However this fact did not cancel he racial discrimination, for more than 100 years blacks did not have equal rights with whites. By the 60s of the 20th century in every state there were so-called “Jim Crow laws” that significantly limited the rights of African Americans: they lived and studied separately, there were places for whites in a public transport, not all stores served blacks, in order to take part in the vote blacks had to pass grammar test (read by heart the text of the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence) and so on. Only thanks to the powerful liberation movement of 50s – 60s, in which Martin Luther King was ideological leader, “colour” Americans succeeded the elimination of racial segregation in laws. Even the word “Negro” (or its more offensive form “nigger”) is no longer used by educated and attentive Americans. Instead they say African American or Black. However the issue of racial discrimination is still one of the most urgent in the USA. There according to the latest opinion polls the racism problem is considered to be “very serious” by 49 % of blacks and 18 % of whites. Also 40 % of blacks claimed that all or almost all whites have negative attitude to them, and 38 % of whites believe that all or most of blacks have negative attitude to them.
The racism reason is not the skin colour, but the human thinking. That is why treatment for racial prejudice, xenophobia and intolerance should be searched first of all in getting rid of misapprehensions that for many centuries were a source of misconceptions about advantages or vice versa about more inferior position of different groups of mankind.
I guess you already heard a lot about racism, so we tried to present less common fact in this pretty argumentative essay on racism. I hope the essay on racism was useful for you. If so visit our website where can find many other essays about racism and not only. If you need to write an essay on any other topic our essay writing service is the best option for you! Just see for yourself.