Racism is usually defined as views, practices and actions reflecting the belief that humanity is divided into distinct biological groups called races and that members of a certain race share certain attributes which make that group as a whole less desirable, more desirable, inferior or superior.
The exact definition of racism is controversial both because there is little scholarly agreement about the meaning of the concept "race", and because there is also little agreement about what does and doesn't constitute discrimination. Some definitions would have it that any assumption that a person's behavior would be influenced by their racial categorization is racist, regardless of whether the action is intentionally harmful or pejorative. Other definitions only include consciously malignant forms of discrimination. Among the questions about how to define racism are the question of whether to include forms of discrimination that are unintentional, such as making assumptions about preferences or abilities of others based on racial stereotypes, whether to include symbolic or institutionalized forms of discrimination such as the circulation of ethnic stereotypes through the media, and whether to include the socio-political dynamics of social stratification that sometimes have a racial component. Some definitions of racism also include discriminatory behaviors and beliefs based on cultural, national, ethnic, caste, or religious stereotypes.
Racism and racial discrimination are often used to describe discrimination on an ethnic or cultural basis, independent of whether these differences are described as racial. According to the United Nations convention, there is no distinction between the terms racial discrimination and ethnic discrimination, and superiority based on racial differentiation is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous, and that there is no justification for racial discrimination, in theory or in practice, anywhere.
In politics, racism is commonly located on the far right due to the far right’s common association with nativism, racism, and xenophobia. In history, racism has been a major part of the political and ideological underpinning of genocides such as The Holocaust, but also in colonial contexts such as the rubber booms in South America and the Congo, and in the European conquest of the Americas and colonization of Africa, Asia and Australia. It was also a driving force behind the transatlantic slave trade, and behind states based on racial segregation such as the USA in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and South Africa under apartheid. Practices and ideologies of racism are universally condemned by the United Nations in the Declaration of Human Rights.
Read more about Racism: Usage of The Term and Related Terms, Definitions, Ideology, Ethnic Conflicts, Academic Variants, Evolutionary Theories About The Origins of Racism, As State-sponsored Activity, In History, Inter-minority Variants, Research On Influencing Factors, Anti-Racism
Famous quotes containing the word racism:
“Few white citizens are acquainted with blacks other than those projected by the media and the socalled educational system, which is nothing more than a system of rewards and punishments based upon ones ability to pledge loyalty oaths to Anglo culture. The media and the educational system are the prime sources of racism in the United States.”
—Ishmael Reed (b. 1938)
“I dont think Americas the center of the world anymore. I think African women will lead the way [in] ... womens liberation ... The African woman, shes got a country, shes got the flag, shes got her own army, got the navy. She doesnt have a racism problem. Shes not afraid that if she speaks up, her man will say goodbye to her.”
—Faith Ringgold (b. 1934)