Racism – What Is It And How Does It Affect?
We have no idea of how you look at fellow humans. However, whether you are in support of racial discrimination or you are against it, get this one thing clearly rooted in your brain – Racism was never and will never be a biological category. It is merely a concept – an artificial one that some ingenious stupid, a psychopath may be, came up with in an attempt to show himself or the likes of him as superior to others. There is absolutely no fact out there, that can be scientifically verified to establish the term ‘race’ as a biological category.
If we step away from the hardliner stance we just took and become more lenient, we will say that the concept of race was born to differentiate between people around the globe who perceive different ideas in different ways and even to classify people based on their facial appearance just in case we are not accustomed to that appearance.
Example? You don’t see a Japanese guy walking around here in India every day. Once you see a different face you are not familiar with, you will immediately try to categorize that person based on his or her facial appearance.
A sad story of human stupidity
Of course, color and race are deeply integrated and interwoven. You must have heard of these: Latino, American Indian, Asian, Black or African, Pacific Islander and more. Have you noticed that these are accepted worldwide and these irregular ethic borders we have created have become so widespread that the interfere with education, health care, economic opportunity, political representation, social mobility and almost every aspect of life, which are essentially human rights?
Isn’t it sad that the color determines who gets what and to what extent? The question that logically follows is, ‘where did the concept of racism come from in the first place?’ To answer this question, we have to look back – far back into the past when we humans were limited to specific geographic boundaries! There were no means of travel. There were no means of communicating with other people living across the globe within some other geographical boundary. We had no means to even know that other people existed.
Within our limited boundary and with our limited knowledge, we used to be afraid of changes, we used to be afraid of the unknown! But the wheel of time plays games far beyond our comprehension. Technologies advanced over time, taking us to far off lands, giving us knowledge about previously unknown things! The problem is, we could never shake off the fear. We are, till date, afraid of changes.
So, as we took the first step outside our limited boundaries, came in contact with others who lived far away, previously unknown, previously unheard, the concept of racism popped it.
Our contact with others raised disputes among ideas and notions of our surroundings. That was simply not acceptable! That’s when hatred developed. That’s when concept of superior and inferior developed. That’s when laid down the very foundations of racism, ethnicity and color to establish superiority or to differentiate ideologies. Over time, those foundations became permanent and indestructible – so deeply embedded in our minds and psyche that today, we consider racism as the eternal truth. It is a result of hundreds of thousands of years of disliking and categorization. And, it is sad that we cannot overcome it easily.
What are the different types of races?
There are 5 broad classifications for races with 30 sub-races and over 5000 ethnic groups. The broad classification mentioned below in a tabular format has long being disputed but it actually the most widely accepted classification. The different races (broadly speaking) are:
|Race||Type of people included|
|Mongoloid||American Indians and Asians|
|Capoid||South African black people|
|Negroid||Black people from East Africa|
|Australoid||Oceanic and Australian people|
Why can’t we kill racism?
As we said, it is a result of thousands of years of belief system. Today, it is an important chapter in our upbringing. Somewhere or the other – home or school or college, we will be taught, Asians are a breed of sneaky people, all blacks are born to be slaves and criminals, all whites are angels or evils. When repeatedly taught, we are very likely to pick up this notion sooner or later and the way we look at the world changes eventually.
The media? Well, it has played an instrumental role in creating those labels. These two factors together – upbringing and media – are responsible for converting people into racists. Upbringing and family sets the foundations, media only forges it. So, we really cannot kill this evil concept.
How does racism impact us?
It is very likely that you have actually experienced this. If you have been taught that blacks or Africans are all criminals, will you like to employ one in your farm or sit beside one in your office? If you have been taught that Africans are meant to be slaves, will you not like to see one sweating his or her bottom and act to your whims and wishes?
Bottom line, racism robs many people of the right to employment and thereby pushing such people into economic distress. Racism is also a reason for inequality in education and health care facilities. Racism has become a reason for exploitation in all aspects of life. This exploitation reaches to such an extent that people become deprived of basic rights.
Not to forget, racial discrimination only gives birth to hatred. It brings exploited races together, bonding them together tightly. Eventually such tight bonds demand revenge and the course of action is thereby determined.
Racism is really ugly and it manifests itself in form of skin color. Europeans portrayed the epitome of racial discrimination. Blacks were tagged colored and less human. Hundreds of thousands of forced slavery followed… we all know history (more or less), don’t we?
When people are robbed of their rights, when people are not treated properly, economic growth and social growth – both get stifled. Inequality increases. Unfortunately, we humans are so shameless that we still continue this. The only way humans can be, in true sense, tagged as ‘mankind’ is by putting an end to this tradition of racism. But how to do that? We need to start somewhere and the best place is by not talking of racism at all.