( Seven-minute read)
You might think that this is a peculiar question but last year as far as global tragedies are concerned has been quite the year, with the Covid pandemic shining a light on how just fragile and unequal we all are.
Because most of us do not experience racism, it’s particularly important that we understand what racism is and learn how to be anti-racist.
More than 5 million people worldwide have died from the viral disease so far. At the same time, many companies have made a lot of money during the pandemic by selling personal protective equipment, tests, therapies, and vaccines.
With world governments borrowing billions just 2.5% of the 6.4 billion vaccine doses administered globally have been given in Africa, despite accounting for 17% of the world’s population.
Why does racism persist in the modern world?
Because the term race was born after scientists classified the different systems such as Americans, Europeans, Africans, and Asians as systems that were called races. Meaning that race was what identified people and therefore located them in a different position in society.
The psychological study of racism can be summed up in one word: Evolving.
Early psychological theories of racism justified the domination of one race over another because of Charles Darwin’s concept of survival of the fittest.
To illustrate. The creation of a race has fostered inequality and discrimination for a long time and it has influenced how we relate to each other as humans. This is what racism means and where its routes start and the reason why it still exists today in the modern world and that has changed societies, molded several economies, laws, and social institutions.
“Race” is said to be a complex term that historically defined and changed every single individual’s position and destiny forever but what exactly do people count as racist these days?
2020 brought the rise of Black Lives Matter protests that made people aware that even other people of color do not tend to experience racism as violently as Black people do.
Let’s look at racist beliefs first.
Because white people aren’t negatively impacted personally by racism the most vocal “anti-racist” voices are sheltered people who don’t actually understand anything about other ethnicities other than what disingenuous media personalities feed them.
It is important to recognize that it is much more multifaceted and systemic. It exists within systems, organizations, and cultures. In this way, racism is embedded in the reality of everyday life.
What is the structure of racism? Why is racism so insidious?
In reality, our institutions are not so far removed from the years of colonialism, slavery, and segregation, and racism is still ignored, condoned, or even actively supported in many facets of life.
Ignoring racism doesn’t make it go away. Rather, it perpetuates it, effectively shutting down the possibility of moving forward by not having important conversations about the problems and possible solutions.
For too long, racism has been relegated to the past or reduced to individual beliefs and actions.
Because we don’t realize how much prejudice and stereotyping are going on beneath the level of awareness. It’s unconscious, implicit bias and can be looked at in one of two ways
The first is prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized which is how the Oxford dictionary describes it.
The second stereotyping point of view is racism as a belief that behavior, preferences, and capabilities are related to a person’s race or ethnic background.
On the other hand, we have the oppressors who are brainwashed to believe that all members of a certain race are inferior and undesirable. The oppressed on the other hand are taught to believe that every individual from the oppressing group views them with the same disdain.
It even affected civilizations and ethnicities that no longer exist.
For example, racism in the USA and England goes way back to their founding years in the form of slavery. These days the toxic attitudes towards minority groups prevail in both countries with the social and political aspects of the discrimination. This can be seen everywhere from workplace prejudice and disproportionate incarceration prevalence to racial profiling and mistreatment by law enforcement officers.
The perpetrators and antagonism of racial discrimination are in the wrong no matter what justifications they may have. Unfortunately, racism is with us and will stay for the foreseeable future.
Part of the challenge to fighting racism is that in the modern world it boils down to being intertwined into the everyday culture. Therefore is not addressed by countries. Any racial intent behind policies being pushed to punish racial groups is refuted
However, given the nature of the matter, individual changes in attitude and perspective will be a lot more effective than any laws will ever be.
We might have been fooling ourselves with the sense that all this was going away—and it’s not. When the economic picture gets more negative, that tends to be associated with more prejudice toward outgroups.
All cultures have a hierarchy that leads to discrimination so undoing our own racism isn’t a quick task—it’s a lifelong journey. For us to finally win the war on racism we have to make it a personal fight to make opportunities equally available.
All human comments are appreciated. All like clicks chucked in the bin.