Racism – An Essay Sample

Race is basically the division of people, with a common ancestry, distinguished on the basis of physical features like skin color, hair, eye color and the like. To name a few races would be: the Mongoloid, the Caucasoid, the Negroid. What constitutes racism is judging people and restricting their freedom, opportunities and benefits based on those afore-mentioned physical attributes. Almost every country has a history of racial prejudice and racial violence at some point of their cultural history; some even face such problems today.

A brief History
It was during the 19th century when the concept of race became prevalent. It was then that people realized that people can be and should be divided racially with different abilities paving way for a political construct where rights and privileges will be differentially granted based on the person’s race. Sociologists claim that race is a social construct despite being built on visible biological features. The term racism has been defined not earlier than 1989 by Oxford English Dictionary, although the term was first spotted in a quote back in 1903.

The term racism was used, intensively, to refer to conditions in Nazi Germany during the pre-war years, in the 1930s which perceived race as a political entity. Racism existed prior to the coinage of the term but did not have single definitive meaning. Socio-cultural experts, today, tend to use the concept of multiple avenues of racism in order to shed light on the various acts and gestures that constitute racism. Moreover, the multiplicity of avenues help in learning the way racism persisted in different places of the world at different times. 

Aspects of Racism
The ideology behind the concept of racism can be found in several aspects of life:

  1. Aversive Racism: Unlike overt racism where a person or group openly expresses disgust and hatred towards a certain ethnic group, this category constitutes of those people who profess egalitarian beliefs, and will deny their racially biased behavior; however when they come across a person, in a social scenario, from another ethnic background they change their behavior.
  2. Cultural Racism: Cultural racism manifests itself through stereotypes and arises out of the belief that one race, their traditions, language, etc. is superior to another.  

  3. Institutional Racism: This is basically the discrimination by government and private organizations and institutions based on the race of a person. The term institutional racism was coined by Stokley Carmichael for whom it meant a failure on the part of an organization to deliver service to an individual or group of individuals owing to their skin colour, ethnicity, cultural background.

  4. Color blindness: An attempt to create equality for members of all ethnic background during the civil rights movement in the USA, color blindness is a belief that treating people on the same plane inherently helps in establishing a stronger sense of equality. If you want to get a well-written paper on racism, contact writers from thesis rush.com.

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