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General forms
Racism · Sexism · Ageism
Religious intolerance
Hate group

Specific forms
Homophobia · Ableism · Adultism
Misogyny · Misandry · Gerontophobia
Lookism · Sizeism · Classism · Elitism

Against cultures:








Against religions:






Slavery · Racial profiling · Lynching
Hate speech · Hate crime · Hate groups
Genocide · Holocaust · Pogrom
Ethnocide · Ethnic cleansing · Race war
Religious persecution · Gay bashing
Pedophobia · Ephebiphobia

Aryanism · Neo-Nazism · Supremacism
Abolitionism · Civil rights · Gay rights
Women's/Universal suffrage · Men's rights
Children's rights · Youth rights
Disability rights · Inclusion · Autistic rights

Segregation: Racial/Ethnic/Religious/Sexual
Apartheid · Redlining · Internment
Emancipation · Civil rights · Desegregation
Integration · Reservation · Reparations
Affirmative action · Racial quota

Anti-miscegenation · Anti-immigration
Alien and Sedition Acts · Nuremberg Laws
Jim Crow laws · Black codes · Apartheid laws
List of anti-discrimination acts

Other forms
Nepotism · Cronyism
Colorism · Linguicism
Ethnocentrism · Triumphalism
Misogyny · Misandry · Isolationism
Economic discrimination

Related topics
Prejudice · Supremacism · Intolerance
Tolerance · Diversity · Multiculturalism
Political correctness · Reverse discrimination
Eugenics · Racialism

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Racism is a belief system or doctrine which postulates a hierarchy among various human races or ethnic groups. It may be based on an assumption of inherent biological differences between different ethnic groups that purport to determine cultural or individual behaviour. Racism may be described as a strong form of ethnocentrism, including traits such as xenophobia (fear and hate of foreigners), views against interracial relationships (anti-miscegenation), ethnic nationalism, and ethnic stereotypes.

Racism has been a motivating factor in social discrimination, racial segregation, hate speech and violence (such as pogroms, genocides and ethnic cleansings). Racial discrimination is common, although illegal, in many states. Some politicians have practiced race baiting in an attempt to win votes.

The term racist has been a pejorative term since at least the 1940s, and the identification of a group or person as racist is often controversial.


[edit] Definitions of racism

Further information: Race (historical definitions)

In practice, racism takes forms such as racial prejudice, segregation or subordination. Racism can more narrowly refer to a legalized system of domination of one ethnic group on another, such as in institutional racism. Racial prejudice refers to pre-formed hatred of individuals based on their perceived racial heritage. It involves hasty generalizations about members of a group based on the perceived characteristics of one or more members of the group. Generalizations include beliefs that every member of a group has the same personality traits, interests, language, culture, ideas, norms and attitudes. Racial prejudices are sometimes promoted by the mainstream media.

Organizations and institutions that put racism into action discriminate against and marginalize a class of people who share a common racial designation. The term racism is usually applied to the dominant group in a society, because it is that group which has the means to oppress others.

Racism can be both overt and covert. Individual racism sometimes consists of overt acts by individuals, which can result in violence or the destruction of property. Institutional racism is often more covert and subtle. It often appears within the operation of established and respected forces in the society, and frequently receives less public condemnation than the overt type.

An African American man drinks out of the "colored only" water cooler at a racially segregated streetcar terminal in the United States in 1939.
An African American man drinks out of the "colored only" water cooler at a racially segregated streetcar terminal in the United States in 1939.

In the late 20th century, the notion of "biological race," popularized by scientific racism theories spawned in the 19th century, has been challenged by geneticists and biologists. The latter have demonstrated that it is not possible to divide humanity into several, strictly delimited, populations called "races" (for example, in Blacks, Whites and Asians, or "Negroid", "Caucasoid" or "Mongoloid"). Modern genetics have proved that there are no genes which are specifics to only Blacks, or only Whites, etc.[1] Furthermore, they show that intra-group differences exceed inter-group differences: members from the same geographical population may biologically differ more than members from geographically separate populations (blood types differences are one popularly known example).[1]

Thus, race has been redefined as a social construction embedded in history, tradition and self-perception and perception of others. This social meaning is constructed by a variety of means, among which judicial means.[1]

[edit] Racial discrimination

An anti-discrimination poster in a Hong Kong subway station, circa 2005
An anti-discrimination poster in a Hong Kong subway station, circa 2005

Racial discrimination is treating people differently based on race. Racial segregation policies may officialize it, but it is also often exerced without being legalized.

Researchers, including Sendhil Mullainathan and Marianne Bertrand, at the MIT and the University of Chicago found in a 2003 study that there was widespread discrimination in the workplace against job applicants whose names were merely perceived as "sounding black". These applicants were 50% less likely than candidates perceived as having "white-sounding names" to receive callbacks for interviews, no matter their level of previous experience. Results were stronger for higher quality résumés. The researchers view these results as strong evidence of unconscious biases rooted in the United States' long history of discrimination (i.e. Jim Crow laws, etc.)[2]

[edit] Institutional racism

Further information: Institutional racism,  State racism,  Racial profiling, and Racism by country

Institutional racism (also known as structural racism, state racism or systemic racism) is racial discrimination by governments, corporations, educational institutions or other large organizations with the power to influence the lives of many individuals. Stokely Carmichael is credited for coining the phrase institutional racism in the late 1960s. He defined the term as "the collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin".[3]

Maulana Karenga states that the effects of racism were

the morally monstrous destruction of human possibility involved redefining African humanity to the world, poisoning past, present and future relations with others who only know us through this stereotyping and thus damaging the truly human relations among peoples. He argues that it constituted the destruction of culture, language, religion and human possibility.[4]

[edit] Economics and racism

Historical economic or social disparity is alleged to be a form of discrimination which is caused by past racism, affecting the present generation through deficits in the formal education and kinds of preparation in the parents' generation, and, through primarily unconscious racist attitudes and actions on members of the general population. (e.g. A member of race Y, Mary, has her opportunities adversely affected (directly and/or indirectly) by the mistreatment of her ancestors of race Y.)

The common hypothesis embraced by classical economists is that competition in a capitalist economy decreases the impact of discrimination. The logic behind the hypothesis is that discrimination imposes a cost on the employer, and thus a profit-driven employer will avoid racist hiring policies. Furthermore, this means that non-discriminatory employers tend to succeed in the markets.[5]

On the other hand, some scholars have suggested that capitalism has played a large role in promoting racism especially socioeconomic racism. The Western hemisphere slave trade and colonialist activities were mostly conducted by the earliest capitalist economies ie; Spain, Great Britain, the United States and the Netherlands.[6][7] Critics have pointed out that a slave labor economy was the sometimes considered ultimate form of capitalism because the capitalists made pure profits because they used free labor.[8]

[edit] Declarations against racial discrimination

Racial discrimination contradicts the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence (although it refers to Native Americans as "merciless Indian Savages"), the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen issued during the French Revolution and the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed after World War II, which all postulate equality between all human beings.

In 1950, UNESCO suggested in The Race Question —a statement signed by 21 scholars such as Ashley Montagu, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Gunnar Myrdal, Julian Huxley, etc. — to "drop the term race altogether and instead speak of ethnic groups". The statement condemned scientific racism theories which had played a role in the Holocaust. It aimed both at debunking scientific racist theories, by popularizing modern knowledge concerning "the race question," and morally condemned racism as contrary to the philosophy of the Enlightenment and its assumption of equal rights for all. Along with Myrdal's An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy (1944), The Race Question influenced the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court desegregation decision in "Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka".[9]

The United Nations uses the definition of racial discrimination laid out in the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, adopted in 1966:

...any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, color, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.(Part 1 of Article 1 of the U.N. International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination)[10]

In 2000, the European Union explicitly banned racism along with many other forms of social discrimination:

Article 21 of the charter prohibits discrimination on any ground such as race, color, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, disability, age or sexual orientation and also discrimination on the grounds of nationality.[11]

[edit] Ethnic nationalism

Further information: Ethnic nationalism  and Romantic nationalism

After the Napoleonic Wars, Europe was confronted to the new "nationalities question," leading to ceaseless reconfigurations of the European map, which frontiers between states had been delimited during the 1648 Peace of Westphalia. Nationalism had made its first, striking appearance with the invention of the levée en masse by the French revolutionaries, thus inventing mass conscription in order to be able to defend the newly-founded Republic against the Ancien Régime order represented by the European monarchies. This led to the French Revolutionary Wars (1792-1802) and then to the Napoleonic conquests, and to a subsequent European-wide debates on the concept and realities of nations, and in particular of nation-states. The Westphalia Treaty had divided Europe into various empires and kingdoms (Ottoman Empire, Holy Roman Empire, Swedish Empire, Kingdom of France, etc.), and for centuries wars were waged between princes (Kabinettskriege in German).

Modern nation-states appeared in the wake of the French Revolution, with the formation of patriotic sentiments for the first time in Spain during the Peninsula War (1808-1813 - known in Spanish as the Independence War). Despite the restoration of the previous order with the 1815 Congress of Vienna, the "nationalities question" became the main problem of Europe during the Industrial Era, leading in particular to the 1848 Revolutions, the Italian unification completed during the 1871 Franco-Prussian War, which itself culminated in the proclamation of the German Empire in the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles, thus achieving the German unification. Meanwhile, the Ottoman Empire, "sick man of Europe," was confronted to endless nationalist movements, which, along with the dissolving of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, would lead to the creation after World War I of the various nation-states of the Balkans, which were always confronted, and remained so today, to the existence of "national minorities" in their borders.[12]

Ethnic nationalism, which believed in hereditary membership to the nation, made its appearance in this historical context of the creation of the modern nation-states. One of its main influence was the Romantic nationalist movement at the turn of the 19th century, represented by figures such as Johann Herder (1744-1803), Johan Fichte (1762-1814) in the Addresses to the German Nation (1808), Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), or also, in France, Jules Michelet (1798-1874). It opposed itself to liberal nationalism, represented by authors such as Ernest Renan (1823-1892), who conceived the nation as a community which, instead of being based on the Volk ethnic group and on a specific, common language, was founded on the subjective will to live together ("the nation is a daily plebiscite", 1882) or also John Stuart Mill (1806-1873).[13]

Ethnic nationalism quickly blended itself with scientific racist discourses, as well as with "continental imperialist" (Hannah Arendt, 1951[14]) discourses, for example in the pan-Germanism or pan-Slavism discourses, which postulated the racial superiority of the German Volk or of the Slavish people. The Pan-German League (Alldeutscher Verband), created in 1891, promoted German imperialism, "racial hygiene" and was opposed to intermarriages with Jews. Another, popular current, the Völkisch movement, was also an important proponent of the German ethnic nationalist discourse, which it also combined with modern anti-semitism. Members of the Völkisch movement, in particular the Thule Society, would participate to the foundation of the German Workers' Party (DAP) in Munich in 1918, predecessor of the NSDAP Nazi party. Both pan-Germanism and pan-Slavism played a decisive role in the interwar period of the 1920s-1930s.[14]

These currents began to associate the idea of the nation to the biological concept of a "master race" (often the "Aryan race" or "Nordic race") issued from the scientific racist discourse. They conflate nationalities with ethnic groups, called "races", in a radical distinction from previous racial discourses which posited the existence of a "race struggle" inside the nation and the state itself. Furthermore, they believed that political boundaries should mirror these alleged racial and ethnic groups, thus justifying ethnic cleansing in order to achieve "racial purity" and achieve ethnic homogeneity in the nation-state.

Such racist discourses, combined with nationalism, were not however limited to pan-Germanism and pan-Slavism ideologies. In France, the transition of Republican, liberal nationalism, to ethnic nationalism, which made of nationalism a characteristic of far-right movements in France, took place during the Dreyfus Affair at the end of the 19th century. During several years, a nation-wide querelle affected French society, concerning the alleged treason of Alfred Dreyfus, a French Jewish military officer. The country polarized itself into two opposite camps, one represented by Emile Zola, who wrote J'accuse in defense of Alfred Dreyfus, and the other represented by the nationalist poet Maurice Barrès (1862-1923), one of the founder of ethnic nationalist discourse in France.[15] At the same time, Charles Maurras (1868-1952), founder of the monarchist Action française movement, theorized the "anti-France," composed of the "four confederate states of Protestants, Jews, Freemasons and foreigners" (his actual word for the latter being the pejorative métèques). Indeed, to him the first three were all "internal foreigners," who threatened the ethnic unity of the French people.

[edit] Ethnic conflicts

Further information: Ethnicity

Debates over the origins of racism often suffer from a lack of clarity over the term. Many use the term "racism" to refer to more general phenomena, such as xenophobia and ethnocentrism, although scholars attempt to clearly distinguish those phenomena from racism as an ideology or from scientific racism, which has little to do with ordinary xenophobia.

Others conflate recent forms of racism with earlier forms of ethnic and national conflict. In most cases, ethno-national conflict seems to owe to conflict over land and strategic resources. In some cases ethnicity and nationalism were harnessed to rally combatants in wars between great religious empires (for example, the Muslim Turks and the Catholic Austro-Hungarians).

Notions of race and racism often have played central roles in such ethnic conflicts. Historically, when an adversary is identified as "other" based on notions of race or ethnicity (particularly when "other" is construed to mean "inferior"), the means employed by the self-presumed "superior" party to appropriate territory, human chattel, or material wealth often have been more ruthless, more brutal, and less constrained by moral or ethical considerations.

One example of the brutalizing and dehumanizing effects of racism was the attempt to deliberately infect Native Americans with smallpox during Pontiac's Rebellion in 1763, itself a war intended to ethnically cleanse the "other" (European Americans) from Native American land.

According to historian Daniel Richter, Pontiac's Rebellion saw the emergence on both sides of the conflict of "the novel idea that all Native people were 'Indians,' that all Euro-Americans were 'Whites,' and that all on one side must unite to destroy the other." (Richter, Facing East from Indian Country, p. 208)

In the Western world, racism evolved, twinned with the doctrine of white supremacy, and helped fuel the European exploration, conquest, and colonization of much of the rest of the world -- especially after Christopher Columbus reached the Americas. Basil Davidson insists in his documentary, Africa: Different but Equal, that racism, in fact, only just recently surfaced—as late as the 1800s, due to the need for a justification of slavery in the Americas. The idea of slavery as an "equal-opportunity employer" was denounced with the introduction of Christian theory in the West.

Maintaining that Africans were "subhuman" was the only loophole in the then accepted law that "men are created equal" that would allow for the sustenance of the Triangular Trade. New peoples in the Americas, possible slaves, were encountered, fought, and ultimately subdued, but then due to western diseases, their population drastically decreased.

Through both influences, theories about "race" developed, and these helped many to justify the differences in position and treatment of people whom they categorized as belonging to different races (see Eric Wolf's Europe and the People without History).

Some people, like Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda, have argued during the Valladolid controversy in the middle of the 16th century that the Native Americans were natural slaves because they had no souls. In Asia, the Chinese and Japanese Empires were both strong colonial powers, with the Chinese making colonies and vassal states of much of East Asia throughout history, and the Japanese doing the same in the 19th-20th centuries. In both cases, the Asian imperial powers believed they were ethnically and racially preferenced too.

[edit] Scientific racism

Main article: Scientific racism
Further information: Unilineal evolution

The modern biological definition of race was invented in the 19th century by scientific racist theories. The term "scientific racism" refers to the use of science to justify and support racist beliefs, which goes back to at least the early 18th century, though it gained most of its influence in the mid-19th century, during the New Imperialism period. Also known as academic racism, such theories first needed to overcome the Church's resistance to positivists accounts of history, and its support of monogenism, that is that all human beings were originated from the same ancestors, in accordance with creationist accounts of history.

These racist theories grounded on scientific hypothesis were combined with unilineal theories of social progress which postulated the superiority of the European civilization over the rest of the world. Furthermore, they frequently made use of the social Darwinism discourse, which postulated the "survival of the fittest" idea, a term coined by Herbert Spencer in 1864. Charles Darwin himself explicitly denounced such accounts of history in The Descent of Man (1871). At the end of the 19th century, they intertwined themselves with eugenics discourses of "degeneration of the race" and "blood heredity." Henceforth, scientific racist discourses could be defined as the combination of polygenism, unilinealism, social darwinism and eugenism. They found their scientific legitimacy on physical anthropology, anthropometry, craniometry, phrenology, physiognomy and others now discredited disciplines in order to formulate racist prejudices.

Before being disqualified in the 20th century by the American school of cultural anthropology (Franz Boas, etc.), the British school of social anthropology (Bronisław Malinowski, Alfred Radcliffe-Brown, etc.), the French school of ethnology (Claude Lévi-Strauss, etc.), as well as the discovery of the neo-Darwinian synthesis, such sciences, in particular anthropometry, were used to deduce behaviours and psychological characteristics from outward, physical appearances. The neo-Darwinian synthesis, first developed in the 1930s, eventually led to a gene-centered view of evolution in the 1960s, which seemed at first to be sufficient proof of the inanity of the "scientific racist" theories of the 19th centuries, which based conception of evolution on "races", a concept which first appeared to lose any sense at the genetical level. However, modern resurgence of racist theories, in particular related to the race and intelligence controversy, seems to show that genetics could also be used for ideological, racist purposes.

Auguste Comte's positivist ideology of necessary social progress as a consequence of scientific progress lead many Europeans to believe in the inherent superiority of the "White Race" over non-whites.

[edit] Heredity, "degeneration" and eugenics

Further information: Eugenics

The first theory of eugenics was developed in 1869 by Francis Galton (1822-1911), who used the then popular concept of "degeneration". He applied statistics to study human differences and the alleged "inheritance of intelligence," foreshading future uses of "intelligence testing" by the anthropometry school. Such theories were vividly described by the writer Emile Zola (1840-1902), who started publishing in 1871 a twenty-novel cycle, Les Rougon-Macquart, where he linked heredity to behavior. Thus, Zola described the high-born Rougons involved in politics (Son Excellence Eugène Rougon) and medicine (Le Docteur Pascal) and the low-born Macquarts fatally falling into alcoholism (L'Assommoir), prostitution (Nana), and homicide (La Bête humaine).

During the rise of Nazism in Germany, some scientists in Western nations worked to debunk the regime's racial theories. A few argued against racist ideologies and discrimination, even if they believed in the alleged existence of biological races. However, in the fields of anthropology and biology, these were minority positions until the mid-20th century.[16] According to the 1950 UNESCO statement, The Race Question, an international project to debunk racist theories had been attempted in the mid-1930s. However, this project had been abandoned. Thus, in 1950, the UNESCO declared that it resumed:

"up again, after a lapse of fifteen years, a project which the International Institute for Intellectual Co-operation has wished to carry through but which it had to abandon in deference to the appeasement policy of the pre-war period. The race question had become one of the pivots of Nazi ideology and policy. Masaryk and Beneš took the initiative of calling for a conference to re-establish in the minds and consciences of men everywhere the truth about race... Nazi propaganda was able to continue its baleful work unopposed by the authority of an international organisation."

The Third Reich's racial policies, its eugenics programs and the extermination of Jews in the Holocaust, as well as Gypsies in Porrajmos and others minorities led to a change in opinions about scientific research into race after the war. Changes within scientific disciplines, such as the rise of the Boasian school of anthropology in the United States contributed to this shift. These theories were strongly denounced in the UNESCO 1950 statement, signed by internationally renowned scholars, and titled The Race Question.

[edit] Polygenism and racial typologies

Further information: Polygenism  and Typology (anthropology)

Works such as Arthur Gobineau's An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races (1853-1855) may be considered as one of the first theorizations of this new racism, founded on an essentialist notion of race, which opposed the former racial discourse, of Boulainvilliers for example, which saw in races a fundamentally historical reality which changed over time. Gobineau thus attempted to frame racism within the terms of biological difference among human beings, giving it the legitimity of biology. He was one of the first theorist to postulate polygenism, stating that there was, at the origins of the world, various discrete "races." Gobineau's theories would be expanded, in France, by Georges Vacher de Lapouge (1854-1936)'s typology of races, who published in 1899 The Aryan and his Social Role, in which he opposed the white, "Aryan race", "dolichocephalic", to the "brachycephalic" race, whom the "Jew" was to be the archetype. Vacher de Lapoug thus created a hierarchical classification of races, in which he identified the "Homo europaeus (Teutonic, Protestant, etc.), the "Homo alpinus" (Auvergnat, Turkish, etc.), and finally the "Homo mediterraneus" (Neapolitan, Andalus, etc.) He assimilated races and social classes, considering that the French upper class was a representant of the Homo europaeus, while the lower class represented the Homo alpinus. Applying Galton's eugenics to his theory of races, Vacher de Lapouge's "selectionism" aimed first at achieving the annihilation of trade unionists, considered as "degenerate"; second, creating types of man each destined to one end, in order to prevent any contestation of labour conditions. His "anthroposociology" thus aimed at blocking social conflict by establishing a fixed, hierarchical social order[17]

The same year than Vacher de Lapouge, William Z. Ripley used identical racial classification in The Races of Europe (1899), which would have a great influence in the United States. Others famous scientific authors include H.S. Chamberlain at the end of the 19th century (a British citizen who naturalized himself as German because of his admiration for the "Arya] race") or Madison Grant, a eugenicist and author of The Passing of the Great Race (1916).

[edit] 'Academic' racism against Africans

Nott and Gliddon's Indigenous races of the earth (1857) used misleading imagery to suggest that "Negros" ranked between whites and chimpanzees.
Nott and Gliddon's Indigenous races of the earth (1857) used misleading imagery to suggest that "Negros" ranked between whites and chimpanzees.

In relation to African people, so-called 'academic' racism was formed during times of slavery and colonialism, in order to remove any form of noble claim from the victims of these systems. Owen 'Alik Shahadah comments on this racism by stating,

Historically Africans are made to sway like leaves on the wind, impervious and indifferent to any form of civilization, a people absent from scientific discovery, philosophy or the higher arts. We are left to believe that almost nothing can come out of Africa , other than raw material[18]

Scottish philosopher and economist David Hume said

I am apt to suspect the Negroes to be naturally inferior to the Whites. There scarcely ever was a civilised nation of that complexion, nor even any individual, eminent either in action or in speculation. No ingenious manufacture among them, no arts, no sciences”.[19]

German philosopher Immanuel Kant stated: "The yellow Indians do have a meagre talent. The Negroes are far below them, and at the lowest point are a part of the American people.[20]

In the nineteenth century, the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel declared that "Africa is no historical part of the world."[citation needed] This view that Africa had no history was repeated by Hugh Trevor-Roper, Regius Professor of History at Oxford University, as late as 1963.[citation needed] During the Nazi era German scientists rearranged academia to support claims of a grand Aryan agent behind the splendors of all human civilizations, including India and Ancient Egypt.[20]

Human Zoo (Völkerschau) in Stuttgart (Germany) in 1928.
Human Zoo (Völkerschau) in Stuttgart (Germany) in 1928.

[edit] Human zoos

Human zoos were an important means of bolstering popular racism by connecting it to scientific racism: they were both objects of public curiosity and of anthropology and anthropometry.[21][22] Joice Heth, an African American slave, was displayed by P.T. Barnum in 1836, a few years after the exhibition of Saartjie Baartman, the "Hottentot Venus", in England. Such exhibitions became common in the New Imperialism period, and remained so until World War II. Carl Hagenbeck, inventor of the modern zoos, exhibited animals aside of human beings considered as "savages.[23][24]"

Congolese pygmy Ota Benga was displayed in 1906 by eugenicist Madison Grant, head of the Bronx Zoo, as an attempt to illustrate the "missing link" between humans and orangutans: thus, racism was tied to Darwinism, creating a social Darwinism ideology which tried to ground itself in Darwin's scientific discoveries. The 1931 Paris Colonial Exhibition displayed Kanaks from New Caledonia.[25] A "Congolese village" was on display as late as 1958 at the Brussels' World Fair.

[edit] Racism and European colonialism in the nineteenth century

Authors such as Hannah Arendt, in her 1951 book The Origins of Totalitarianism, have said that the racist ideology ("popular racism") developed at the end of the nineteenth century helped legitimize the imperialist conquests of foreign territories, and crimes that accompanied it (such as the Herero and Namaqua Genocide, 1904-1907).

Rudyard Kipling's poem The White Man's Burden (1899) is one of the more famous illustrations of the belief in the inherent superiority of the European culture over the rest of the world, though also thought to be a satirical vantage of such imperialism. Racist ideology thus helped legitimize subjugation, slavery and the dismantling of the traditional societies of indigenous peoples, which were thus conceived as humanitarian obligations as a result of these racist beliefs.

Other colonialists recognized the depravity of their actions but persisted for personal gain and there are some Europeans during the time period who objected to the injustices caused by colonialism and lobbied on behalf of aboriginal peoples. Thus, when the so-called "Hottentot Venus" was displayed in England in the beginning of the nineteenth century, the African Association publicly opposed itself to the exhibition. The same year that Kipling published his poem, Joseph Conrad published Heart of Darkness (1899), a clear criticism of the Congo Free State owned by Leopold II of Belgium.

[edit] State racism (Nazism, Fascism, Japan, United States, South Africa)

State racism played a role in the Nazi Germany regime and fascist regimes in Europe, and in the first part of Japan's Showa period.[26]

These governments advocated and implemented policies that were racist, xenophobic and, in case of Nazism, genocidal.

[edit] Racism in the Middle Ages and during the Renaissance

Further information: Limpieza de sangre

Although anti-Semitism has a long European history, related to Christianism (anti-Judaism), racism itself is frequently described as a modern phenomenon. In the view of the French intellectual Michel Foucault, the first formulation of racism emerged in the Early Modern period as the "discourse of race struggle", a historical and political discourse which Foucault opposed to the philosophical and juridical discourse of sovereignty.[27]

Richard E. Nisbett has said that the question of racial superiority may go back at least a thousand years, to the time when the Moors invaded the Iberian peninsula, occupying most of Hispania for six centuries, where they founded the advanced civilization of Al-Andalus (711-1492). Al-Andalus coincided with La Convivencia, an era of religious tolerance and with the Golden age of Jewish culture in the Iberian Peninsula. It was followed by a violent Reconquista under the Reyes Catolicos (Catholic Kings), Ferdinand V and Isabella I. The Catholic Spaniards then formulated the limpieza de sangre ("cleanliness of blood") doctrine. Following the expulsion of most Sephardic Jews from the Iberian peninsula, the remaining Jews and Muslims were forced to convert to Roman Catholicism, becoming "New Christians" which were despised and discriminated by the others Christians. The system and ideology of the limpieza de sangre ostracized Christian converts from society, regardless of their actual degree of sincerity in their faith. In Portugal, the legal distinction between New and Old Christian was ended through a legal decree issued by the Marquis of Pombal in 1772, almost three centuries after the implementation of the racist discrimination. The limpieza de sangre doctrine was also very common in the colonization of the Americas, where it led to the racial separation of the various peoples in the colonies and created a very intricate list of nomenclature to describe one's precise race and, by consequence, one's place in society. This precise classification was described by Eduardo Galeano in the Open Veins of Latin America (1971). It included, among others terms, mestizo (50% Spaniard and 50% Native American), castizo (75% European and 25% Native American), Spaniard (87.5% European and 12.5% Native American), Mulatto (50% European and 50% African), Albarazado (43.75% Native American, 29.6875% European, and 26.5625% African), etc.

At the end of the Renaissance, the Valladolid debate (1550-1551) concerning the treatment of natives of the "New World" opposed the Dominican friar and Bishop of Chiapas Bartolomé de Las Casas to the Jesuit Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda. The latter argued that "Indians" were natural slaves because they had no souls, and were therefore beneath humanity. Thus, reducing them to slavery or serfdom was in accordance with Catholic theology and natural law. To the contrary, Bartolomé de Las Casas argued that the Amerindians were free men in the natural order and deserved the same treatment as others, according to Catholic theology. It was one of the many controversy concerning racism, slavery and Eurocentrism that would arise in the following centuries.

Philosopher and historian Michel Foucault argued that the first appearance of racism as a social discourse (as opposed to simple xenophobia, which some might argue has existed in all places and times) may be found during the 1688 Glorious Revolution in Great Britain, in Edward Coke or John Lilburne's work.

However, this "discourse of race struggle", as interpreted by Foucault, must be distinguished from 19th century biological racism, also known as "race science" or "scientific racism". Indeed, this early modern discourse has many points of difference with modern racism. First of all, in this "discourse of race struggle", "race" is not considered a biological notion — which would divide humanity into distinct biological groups — but as a historical notion. Moreover, this discourse is opposed to the sovereign's discourse: it is used by the bourgeoisie, the people and the aristocracy as a mean of struggle against the monarchy.

This discourse, which first appeared in Great Britain, was then carried on in France by people such as Boulainvilliers, Nicolas Fréret, and then, during the 1789 French Revolution, Sieyès, and afterward Augustin Thierry and Cournot. Boulainvilliers, which created the matrix of such racist discourse in medieval France, conceived the "race" as something closer to the sense of "nation", that is, in his times, the "people".

He conceived France as divided between various nations — the unified nation-state is, of course, here an anachronism — which themselves formed different "races". Boulainvilliers opposed the absolute monarchy, who tried to bypass the aristocracy by establishing a direct relationship to the Third Estate. Thus, he created this theory of the French aristocrats as being the descendants of foreign invaders, whom he called the "Franks", while the Third Estate constituted according to him the autochthonous, vanquished Gallo-Romans, who were dominated by the Frankish aristocracy as a consequence of the right of conquest.

Early modern racism was opposed to nationalism and the nation-state: the Comte de Montlosier, in exile during the French Revolution, who borrowed Boulainvilliers' discourse on the "Nordic race" as being the French aristocracy that invaded the plebeian "Gauls", thus showed his despise for the Third Estate calling it "this new people born of slaves... mixture of all races and of all times".

While 19th century racism became closely intertwined with nationalism, leading to the ethnic nationalist discourse which identified the "race" to the "folk", leading to such racist movements as pan-Germanism and pan-Slavism, medieval racism precisely divided the nation into various non-biological "races", which were thought as the consequences of historical conquests and social conflicts.

Michel Foucault thus traced the genealogy of modern racism to this medieval "historical and political discourse of race struggle". According to him, it divided itself in the 19th century according to two rival lines: on one hand, it was incorporated by racists, biologists and eugenicists, who gave it the modern sense of "race" and, even more, transformed this popular discourse into a "state racism" (e.g. Nazism). On the other hand, Marxists also seized this discourse founded on the assumption of a political struggle which provided the real engine of history and continued to act underneath the apparent peace. Thus, Marxists transformed the essentialist notion of "race" into the historical notion of "class struggle", defined by socially structured position: capitalist or proletarian. In The Will to Knowledge (1976), Foucault analyzed another opponent of the "race struggle" discourse: Sigmund Freud's psychoanalysis, which opposed the concepts of "blood heredity," prevailent in the 19th century racist discourse.

[edit] Racism against Middle Easterners

Main articles: Anti-Arabism and Anti-Iranianism

Also see Israeli Arab discrimination and Anti-Arabism in Israel. There are reports of a large increase in anti-Arab/anti-Iranian racism in the United States since the September 11 2001 attacks.[28] Racial profiling of people with a Middle Eastern ethnic background was proposed by a New York Congressman on August 15, 2006.[29]

In Hollywood, Arabs and Iranians have been portrayed as terrorists and women abusers, and Arabs as extremist people.[30] Iraq and Iran were demonized which led to hatred towards Arabs and Iranians living in the United States and elsewhere in the western world.[31][32] There have been attacks against Arabs and Iranians not only on the basis of their religion (Islam), but also on the basis of their ethnicity; numerous Christian Arabs and Iranians have been attacked based on their appearances.[33]

Anti-Arabism is often tied in with Islamophobia, Islam being a chief religion of Arab peoples. The U.S. led "War on Terror" is seen by many as a war against Muslims, who many scapegoat for various attacks commited by groups like al-Qaeda. While it is arguable whether or not those who carry out the War on Terror subscribe to these beliefs, many people who support it consider its enemy to be the adherants of Islam. Since the September 11 2001 attacks on U.S. targets by al-Qaeda, many attacks on Muslims and their places of worship have been carried out by individuals in retaliation.

[edit] Racism against Jews

Antisemitism is a specific case of racism targeting Jews, although scholars argue whether it should be considered a sui generis specie or not.

1935 chart from Nazi Germany that classified people as German or Jewish based on the heritage of their grandparents.
1935 chart from Nazi Germany that classified people as German or Jewish based on the heritage of their grandparents.

Scholars distinguish traditional, religious antisemitism, which derives from Christian accusation of the deicide (cleared at the Second Vatican Council in 1965), with 19th-20th centuries racial antisemitism, which ultimately led to the Holocaust in which about 6 million European Jews, 1.5 million of them children, were systematically murdered. See also Holocaust denial.

In the Middle Ages Iberian peninsula, the system of limpieza de sangre (cleanliness of blood) ostracized New Christians (offspring of Sephardic Jews who were forced to convert to Catholicism) from the rest of society. In Portugal, the legal distinction between New and Old Christians was ended in 1772.

Expelled en masse from England, France, Spain and most other Western European countries at various times, and persecuted in Germany in the 14th century, many Jews accepted Casimir III's invitation to settle in Polish-controlled areas of Eastern Europe. The traditional measures of keeping the Russian Empire free of Jews failed when the main territory of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was annexed during the Partitions of Poland. As large Jewish populations were taken over by Russia, Catherine II established the Pale of Settlement in 1791. The official segregation of the Russian Jews was compounded by waves of pogroms and oppressive legislation such as the 1882 May Laws and led to mass emigration and political activism.

Modern European antisemitism has its origin in 19th century pseudo-scientific theories that viewed the Jewish people as entirely different from the Aryan, or Indo-European, populations. In this view, Jews are not opposed on account of their religion, but on account of their supposed hereditary or genetic racial characteristics. The growth of nationalism in many countries viewed Jews as a separate and often "alien" nation within the countries in which Jews resided. Such sentiments were exposed in the Dreyfus affair in 1890s France. See also Rootless cosmopolitanism.

The rise of views of Jews as a malevolent "race" generated antisemitic conspiracy theories that Jews, as a group, were plotting to control or otherwise influence the world. From the early infamous Russian literary hoax, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, published by the Tsar's secret police, a key element of antisemitic thought has been that Jews influence or control the world.

[edit] Religion and racism

See Christianity and Slavery and Islam and Slavery

In the nineteenth century, many American Christians were taught that Africans were descendants of Ham (son of Noah), and thus deserved to be slaves.[citation needed] However, abolition movements also used Christian teachings in explaining their views.

The Baha'i Faith denies the existence of human races, and has supported the ideology of one human race from its inception in 1863.[citation needed]

[edit] Footnotes

  1. ^ a b c What Is Race?, Ian F. Haney Lopez, The Social Construction of Race: Some Observations on Illusion, Fabrication, and Choice, 29 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 1-62, 6-7, 11-17 (Winter, 1994)
  2. ^ Sendhil Mullainathan and Marianne Bertrand (2003). "Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination", NBER Working Paper No. 9873, July, 2003).
  3. ^ Richard W. Race, Analysing ethnic education policy-making in England and WalesPDF (47.2 KiB), Sheffield Online Papers in Social Research, University of Sheffield, p.12. Accessed 20 June 2006.
  4. ^ "Effects on Africa". "Ron Karenga".
  5. ^ Gary S. Becker (1957, 1971, 2nd ed.). The Economics of Discrimination. Chicago, University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-04115-8.  UCP descr
  6. ^ http://.www.zmag.org/CrisesCurEvts/bohmerrace.htm
  7. ^ http://.race.eserver.org/toward-a-theory-of-racism.htm
  8. ^ http://.flag.blackened.net/revolt/talks/racism.html
  9. ^ “Toward a World without Evil: Alfred Métraux as UNESCO Anthropologist (1946-1962)”, by Harald E.L. Prins, UNESCO (English)
  10. ^ Text of the Convention, [['International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, 1966
  11. ^ http://www.lbr.nl/internationaal/charter%20uk.html
  12. ^ On this "nationalities question" and the problematic of nationalism, see the relevant articles for a non-exhaustive account of the state of contemporary historical researches; famous works include: Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism (1983); Eric Hobsbawm,The Age of Revolution : Europe 1789-1848 (1962), Nations and Nationalism since 1780 : programme, myth, reality (1990); Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities (1991); Charles Tilly, Coercion, Capital and European States AD 990-1992 (1990); Anthony D. Smith, Theories of Nationalism (1971), etc.
  13. ^ John Stuart Mill, Considerations on Representative Government, 1861
  14. ^ a b Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951)
  15. ^ Maurice Barrès, Le Roman de l'énergie nationale (The Novel of National Energy, a trilogy started in 1897)
  16. ^ UNESCO, The Race Question, 1950
  17. ^ Matsuo Takeshi (University of Shimane, Japan). L'Anthropologie de Georges Vacher de Lapouge: Race, classe et eugénisme (Georges Vacher de Lapouge anthropology) in Etudes de langue et littérature françaises 2001, n°79, pp. 47-57. ISSN 0425-4929 ; INIST-CNRS, Cote INIST : 25320, 35400010021625.0050 (Abstract resume on the INIST-CNRS
  18. ^ The Removal of Agency from Africa by Owen 'Alik Shahadah
  20. ^ a b [Race and Racism ( O.R.P.) (Oxford Readings in Philosophy) (Paperback)] by Bernard Boxill
  21. ^ On A Neglected Aspect Of Western Racism, Kurt Jonassohn, December 2000
  22. ^ "Human zoos - Racist theme parks for Europe's colonialists", Le Monde Diplomatique, August 2000. (English); "Ces zoos humains de la République coloniale", Le Monde diplomatique, August 2000. (French) (available to everyone)
  23. ^ Human Zoos, by Nicolas Bancel, Pascal Blanchard and Sandrine Lemaire, in Le Monde diplomatique, August 2000 (English) French - free
  24. ^ Savages and Beasts - The Birth of the Modern Zoo, Nigel Rothfels, Johns Hopkins University Press (English)
  25. ^ The Colonial Exhibition of May 1931PDF (96.6 KiB) by Michael G. Vann, History Dept., Santa Clara University, USA
  26. ^ Edward Russel of Liverpool, The Knights of Bushido, 2002, p.238, Herbert Bix, Hirohito and the making of modern Japan, 2001, p.313, 314, 326, 359, 360, Karel Wolferen, The Enigma of Japanese power, 1989, p.263-272
  27. ^ Michel Foucault, Society Must Be Defended (1976-77)
  28. ^ http://www.religionlink.org/tip_030407b.php
  29. ^ http://www.adc.org/index.php?id=2930
  30. ^ http://www.adc.org/index.php?id=2357
  31. ^ http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/13/2004/814
  32. ^ http://www.soundvision.com/info/peace/demonization.asp
  33. ^ Attacks on Arab Americans (PBS)

[edit] Bibliography

  • Barkan, Elazar (1992), The Retreat of Scientific Racism : Changing Concepts of Race in Britain and the United States between the World Wars, Cambridge University Press, New York, NY.
  • Dain, Bruce (2002), A Hideous Monster of the Mind : American Race Theory in the Early Republic, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. (18th century US racial theory)
  • Diamond, Jared (1999), "Guns, Germs, and Steel", W.W. Norton, New York, NY.
  • Ewen & Ewen (2006), "Typecasting: On the Arts and Sciences of Human Inequality", Seven Stories Press, New York, NY.
  • Lévi-Strauss, Claude (1952), Race and History, (UNESCO).
  • Memmi, Albert, Racism, University of Minnesota Press (1999) ISBN 978-0816631650
  • Rocchio, Vincent F. (2000), Reel Racism : Confronting Hollywood's Construction of Afro-American Culture, Westview Press.
  • Stokes, DaShanne (forthcoming), Legalized Segregation and the Denial of Religious Freedom, URL.
  • Stoler, Ann Laura (1997), "Racial Histories and Their Regimes of Truth", Political Power and Social Theory 11 (1997), 183–206. (historiography of race and racism)
  • Taguieff, Pierre-André (1987), La Force du préjugé : Essai sur le racisme et ses doubles, Tel Gallimard, La Découverte.
  • Twine, France Winddance (1997), Racism in a Racial Democracy: The Maintenance of White Supremacy in Brazil, Rutgers University Press.
  • UNESCO, The Race Question, 1950

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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