There is an unspoken belief that humans divide and judge one another based on their appearance or origins, and label the differences as races, all over the world (Eduardo 1-17). The question of whether racism is natural or learned has arisen as a significant question that needs to be analyzed and defined. If it is retained, the origins of where it was first taught must be investigated.
Racism occurs when one ethnic group exerts dominance over another and even seeks to eliminate them based on the illusion that differences in ethnicity, color, or origin are unchangeable and hereditary (Eduardo 1-17). Prejudice is defined as an opinion that is preconceived and not founded on actual reason or life experience hence makes it bias (http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/05/inquiring-minds-david-amodio-your-brain-on-racism/ ). My paper will look at the relationship between racism and discrimination and as to whether it occurs naturally or learnt.
History and Past Examples of Racial Discrimination
Looking back, racism discrimination has been evident from the old days even before it had been defined.
Whites in the past took their control and power to countries, i.e. Africa, they started control over indigenous people of specific areas and enslaved them to work for them in their initially owned firms, established dictatorial governments and killed any freedom fighters who sprout up and went against them (Huillery 1-38).
Looking closely, colonizers were from German, Britain and French who are all whites and exercised their dominion over African countries. An aspect of racism is noted where the white colonizers have some form of negative prejudice towards Africans where they see them as people who can be forcefully led and stumbled upon in exercise of power (Huillery 1-38).
During colonization, the whites enslaved Africans based on the rationale that they were heathens. Slave traders also justified their deeds by using the bible that Africans were descendants of Ham in the bible whose descendants were cursed by his father Noah to be servants of servants.
In 1667, slaves were converted to be kept in bondage not because they were heathens but because they had a non-Jewish ancestry. The black descent was then justified and changed from religion to a racially based approach. North America also faced an ethnic foundation in the late seventeenth century when marriage between the whites and blacks was abolished; the law also discriminated against mixed offspring. Though it was not quoted, it is clear that the law viewed blacks as inferior and unalterably aliens (http://www.pbs.org/race/000_About/002_04-background-02-01.htm ).
The Nazi regime practised racism in that they believed that their race was the purest and the one to gain the whole world at some time. Even before Hitler came to power, he always did spread his beliefs on racial purity. Coming to power, Hitler started to practice his believes; he believed that having children made people inferior and for this reason he allowed the German physicians to subdue Roma (Gypsies) to birth control measures even when they were against it (http://www.pbs.org/race/000_About/002_04-background-02-01.htm ).
The Nazi also practised notions of racism when they viewed the Jews as a poisonous group which lived off and troubled other races and weakened them. During Hitler’s reign, racism took root actively that Nazi teachers applied the principles of racial science by measuring nurse and skull sizes among the students to identify the real Aryan race. Roma and Jewish students were then chased away (http://www.pbs.org/race/000_About/002_04-background-02-01.htm ).
Racism in Modern World
Despite the current world where cohesion and inclusion is a significant subject to be embraced. Notions of racism are still evident in the modern workplaces, schools and even countries in general where certain races are discriminated against another.
Racism in Modern Work Places
In modern workplaces, racism is still an issue, and this may adopt different forms, i.e. being called racist names, being shouted at, being delayed for promotion, being offended using racist jokes, tweets or even office screensavers and being denied certain benefits you are entitled to.
One of the country’s facing racism issues currently is the United States of America (USA) the blacks are discriminated against the whites, and this is evident by the black lives movement which demonstrates against unfair judicial practices on blacks. The movie 13th amendment also presents some forms of racism in the USA as discussed below;
It is ironical to call the USA the land of the free when out of the 6.5% black American population in the USA, 40% of the said black population are in prisons. The blacks in prisons are used in manufacturing operations and paid poor wages which is the same things as being enslaved except that the word “Slave” is not used on them (Condon). The Blacks and Hispanians lag behind in terms of wealth, education and healthcare which subdues them to quicker deaths (https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-03-15/for-blacks-and-hispanics-faster-lives-and-quicker-deaths ).
Where the USA judicial Service Stands
The movie 13th portrays the judicial as unfair for the fact based on statistics. The probability of a white man being arrested is 1 out of 17 while is 1 out of 3 for black men, hence portray the amount of racism in the country that is formulated to oppress the blacks.
The nature in which blacks are treated under justice reveals how unfair the judicial system is. From the statistics, it is clear that blacks are denied justice hence the reason they end up in prisons in large numbers as compared to whites. The scenario is a contrast to how the judicial system is supposed to work with integrity to ensure that no one is denied justice, but in the case, the blacks seem to be targeted in the denial of freedom.
The judicial system should work on neutral grounds and avoid targeting and oppressing some minorities in the country as this breeds conflicts among races which can spark anti-racial wars of which the results will be catastrophic.
There exist movements both government and social founded to stop racism. The Black Lives Matter movement is an example of an anti-racism society. The movement fight for equal black-white rules and position in the country by making peaceful demonstrations. Their big event recently was one championing for the stop in shooting Blacks in the country (https://www.usnews.com/news/the-report/articles/2016/01/05/welcome-to-missouri-and-civil-rights-20 ).
Racism outside the United States
Racism is not only a factor in the United States but also precedes in other countries such as the United Kingdom. Black and minority teachers have reported discriminatory actions against them regarding compensation, and some are even considering quitting their jobs. Some also report cases of receiving abusive racial words from their students (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/bme-teachers-racism-uk-schools-black-minority-ethnic-education-nasuwt-runneymede-trust-a7827131.html).
Ambivalence is a trait in racist people whereby when they realize that they are different from a particular group they tend to grow away from them and start despising them. This character should be abolished in an attempt to fight racism (Rattansi 114)
Contradiction is a racism identity has it always leads to the question of which is better than the other. Instead of appreciating our differences in views cultures or religion, we tend to bring up the question of whose is better than the other. Contradiction spurs racism tendencies and should be criticized in today’s society.
Commitment is total submission to something for example culture. Submission helps increase racism as when one is so subdued to something he/she will develop a hatred or dislike towards other ways adopted by some other group in doing the same thing for example religion evident between Christians and Islam (Rattansi 114).
The above discussed identities prove that racism is not natural but is spearheaded by prejudice through adopting and embracing one’s culture and ethnicity to the point of despising another, through ambivalence and recognition. Reducing this factors by embracing diversity and inclusion will be a way forward towards reducing and finally terminating racism.
As much as human nature incorporates racism and can be hard to stop, it can however be reduced by teaching people on using our differences to interact and know more about each other rather than using differences to spur hatred and disarray among each other. For example, where people are learning new languages to adopt in countries that a language other than hishers is used.
Racism can also be reduced by joining hands and adopting the best ways among the many for example within governments we should adopt the most efficient system of government to be used worldwide in governing nations and this will have helped reduce governmental racism.
Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo. Racism without racists: Color-blind racism and the persistence of racial inequality in America. Rowman & Littlefield, 2017.
Condon, S. “After 148 years, MS finally ratifies 13th Amendment, which banned slavery.” (2013).
Fredrickson, George M. “The historical origins and development of racism.” PBS. org (2003).
Huillery, Elise. “The black man’s burden: The cost of colonization of French West Africa.” The Journal of Economic History 74.1 (2014): 1-38.
Rattansi, Ali. Racism: A very short introduction. Vol. 161. Oxford University Press, 2007.