Racism is a situation where one or a group of people is/are discriminated based on his or her skin color. Apart from skin color one can be also discriminated due to his or her religion, nationality or even ethnicity. Racism dates back to the 17th century when Europe started colonizing North America. With the beginning of colonization, racism got its roots as the colonizers came up with laws which were discriminatory to the target group. This gave rise to various other discrimination to target groups as follows:
Racism against the indigenous American
With the Europeans need to overcome and conquer America, racism against the populace was witnessed in that the Europeans took themselves as superior to these original inhabitants who they believed to be primitive and there was a need to civilize them through the introduction of Christianism and making them adopt the Europeans cultures and traditions.
This made the Europeans do anything they could in order to eradicate the indigenous Americans cultures and traditions. This Europeans used assimilation through the introduction of schools to the Americans. They were forced to attend this schools as a way of trying to sway them to the Europeans culture. The government even went ahead and appointed agents to live with the natives American to teach them and instruct them to live the way the whites were living. A policy to guide the civilization process was formulated. The media was being used to justify Europeans insults against the indigenous.
Racism against those of African Origin-Americans
When the Europeans had conquered America, many Africans were ferried to America to work as slaves. These Africans were known to be primitive and very illiterate. This slaves names and identities were withdrawn and they were Christianized by force. Due to their skin color, these slaves were tortured very much by their white masters. While this Africans were in America, they were discriminated in a way that they were not allowed to own any property since there were discriminatory laws which barred them and also they were barred from voting or making any decision within the land since there was inferiority complex between the whites who were the dominant and the black.
Racism between the Americans and the Japanese
When Japan bombed the Pearl Harbor of the united states in the year 1941, discrimination against the Japanese and Americans intensified. After the attack, Japanese Muslims Japanese who had settled in America were discriminated and were put under the state investigation. After all these, the then president of America signed an executive order which demanded that all the Japanese-Americans be confined. This led to the loss of homesteads and commercial activities by the community as they were viewed to be the traducers of the nation.
They were forced to stay in camps. As they were born and raised in America, they could not trace their roots back in Japan and this made them to accept all that was being done to them since they could not go back to their ancestral homes. The executive order by the president provided for forced for the removal consideration of the Japanese American from certain areas to provide security against the destruction of property. Most of them were killed for violating the orders and rules provided.
Racism against Jewish Americans
Jews first settled in America and had a privilege to practice their religion freely. However, in the late 18th century, there were some states which did not allow those who were not Christians to vote or even lead in any public office. With the enactment of the Bill of Rights, these barriers were done away with. In the 1940s, there was a Holocaust in Europe and there was a ship ferrying German Jewish people who were fleeing their country but they were denied from entering the United States, and the remnants of the genocide were forced to return back to their country.
Discrimination against Jewish was also witnessed in duty areas and also they were denied entry into certain recreation areas. They were also discriminated in learning institutions in that their enrolment was limited. This Jews were also barred from owning some properties. Ideological racism in the United States was intensified with the growth and increase of nationalism and imperialism in the 19th century when the western countries began acquiring colonies through the scramble and partitioning process. This was because the European nations had a claim that the Europeans have the right to rule over other nations which were less superior than them. Religious groups and organizations gave much support to stopping of the slave trade and slavery of the blacks and the eradication of Jews from the ghettos as they believed that all humans are equal. The aim of this was to try to get rid of racism but in turn, it intensified it. Racism came to increase more in the 21st century due to the rise and fall of the racist regimes.
In the South America, there was a passage of racial laws which segregated the Africans and barred them from participating in democratic rights of voting. This went beyond and there was the restriction of intermarriages between the whites and those Americans known to have an African origin. Racial discrimination was under havoc from the nations which were new as a result of decolonization of Africa and Asia and through the voice of their representatives in the United Nations. The legalized segregation which was succeeded by the Civil Rights Movement in the United States gave the maximum support in national interests were at danger when there was mistreatment an abuse of the black Americans. The Soviet Union came in and also supported the black Americans against mistreatment and abuse.
With the boom of slave trade and colonization and also empire building duties of the western countries intensified the issue of racial segregation. This intensified the difference between the people of the European origin and those of African origin those who landed there through the forced enslavement of their ancestors and ferrying them to America. This Africans were characterized as lesser beings and the proponents of the slavery were to justify and maintain the system of exploitation and portraying the United States as a savior of freedom and human rights. This gave the demand to dehumanize those who were being enslaved. In the 19th century, discrimination had become widespread around the globe, the majority of the countries rulers began to consider ethnics components in the societies. They took religion and language groups to designate the superiority and inferiority status. Those who were considered to be inferior especially in the colonies states were exploited to provide labor to the superior ones and the discrimination was considered mandatory. This generated rebellion and hostility from those who were being colonized.
Racism in the united states was under attack when the movement of civil rights in the 1950s am the 1960s. laws and social policies against racial discrimination were enforced. this resulted in the elimination of the discrimination against the blacks. The laws aimed at decreasing the voting power of the assumed to be inferior groups and was invalidated by an amendment to the United States Constitution which did not allow poll taxes. The voting rights required jurisdiction with the history of the voter to acquire the federal approval of any changes that may appear in their voting laws. Despite the existence of the constitution in the united states which has legal measures that its aims are to protect the rights of the inferior minorities, there still exists beliefs and practices that have made many Americans remain racist and continue to assume that some groups are of low status and less superior than them. The women of the black origin do still face major discrimination even in their dressing codes and increased prices at the bars.
In this era, racism has continued to be on retreat all over the Western countries since the second world war. With the defeat of the national socialist in Germany which is the most racist system in the world. Other African countries such as South Africa experienced public racism in that there was an Apartheid which came in the year 1948. The united states southern states tried to push back this segregation in the 1960s. Racism was now rare in the western elites though the UN has been in the forefront to advice the United States to address the root causes and proliferation of racism in the country and thoroughly investigate the discrimination and segregation of other humans basing on their skin color. The united nation is also trying to have people all over to express their freedom of expression and equal rights to all humans. This has been excellently achieved as even the interracial intermarriages are on increase. There is also decline in the percentages of hate speech and also report on hate crimes in the states.
There are many more indications which shows that racism has evolved and there is a possibility of it occurring at present than in before. From the 1990s, there have been various organizations which propagated against racism. A massive genocide which took place in an African country Rwanda was as a result of discrimination against the Tutsi tribe. Here discrimination came as a result of the culture that people practiced rather than their immutable inherited characteristics.
Discrimination against individuals basing o the skin color and ethnicity has been in existence since time immemorial. Up to date, some ethnic groups of people are being considered inferior due to their origin or the status. Those who view themselves as more superior or more advantaged than others were trying to civilize those termed as primitive to cope and adapt their culture. The commencement of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 60s became a savior to those who were being affected by racism in that the movement pushed for its elimination terming it as inhuman as also human was equal despite their race and also their ethnicity. The complete eradication of racism might not be possible since racism is deeply rooted in the minds of the people who are considering themselves superior as their minds cannot be changed by setting laws or even coming up with movements which oppose the discrimination.
Graham, David A. “Sandra Bland and the Long History of Racism in Waller County, Texas.” The Atlantic (2015).
Schmitt, Caroline, Linda L. Semu, and Matthias D. Witte. “Racism and transnationality.” (2017): 239-243.
Omi, Michael, and Howard WinantOmi, Michael, and Howard Winant. Racial formation in the United States. Routledge, 2014. Racial formation in the United States. Routledge, 2014.