Racism Breeds Racism

I was reading Re-Definition of racism just recently, and it made me think. Once Europeans started to go out in the world, racism started to breed more racism. Case in point would be the relationship between the slaves and their masters when slavery was legal. Most of the slaves owners really disliked their slaves, and most of the slaves disliked their “owners”.

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2 Responses to “Racism Breeds Racism”

  1. That’s a bit of an oversimplificaion I think. I’m sure there were certain slave owners who would have sworn that they liked their slaves a great deal and may have even tried to treat them in what they thought was a compassionate way. They might have provided adequate food, clothing, and shelter for their slaves etc…, but once an escape attempt was made the inherent violence to the institution of slavery came out. I’m not an historian on Colonial and Pre-Civil War America so I can’t speak authoritatively on the conditions of slaves lives or the feelings between them and their enslavors. I do know that there must have been some notable degree of variability between the conditions from state to state and plantation to plantation.

    What did not vary was the ideology that said that certain people were more valuable than others and should be commodified accordingly. People fall into the trap now of thinking that slavery is over. Sure it has a different face on it and the logistics and implimentations of slavery have had to evolve a better camouflage to avoid the outrage of the public, but slavery is far from abolished. Millions of women and children worldwide are forced into slavery though indentured labor in sweatshops and in the global sex trade. These are not just things that happen in third world countries, hidden from international law. This happens in the United States at the hands of U.S. corporations as well as private citizens.

    It’s not that white people are inherently evil (at least I hope not). The problem is that an economy based primarily on competition rather than cooperation will always create stratification within society. White folk came from cold, shitty places as well as dry, lifeless deserts where resources were less plentiful and so competition became the driving force of their societies. It could then be said that competition breeds racism, but notice that racism is not the only outcome. Where you find racists you also find sexists, homophobes, and Mormons.

    A black male may feel horrified and angry at the racism inherent within American society but not bat an eye when someone else is called a faggot or a bitch. He may even buy into the hierarchical system of objectification by taking on a hypermasculine image of himself so as not to be perceived as feminine and thereby even less valuable in the society. In this way he is not directing his anger back at those who are racist towards him. He simply reinforces the established hierarchy in the system by lashing out at those who appear to be weaker than himself.

    The recognition that racism is ignorant, hurtful and wrong is not enough in and of itself to end racism. What is needed is for people to recognize that the true nature of human existence demands mutual respect and cooperation. It’s not enough just to tolerate each other. People have to actively reach out and see how they can help and learn from one another. It means recognizing that racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, and organized religion are all just symptoms of the same problem. And we’re sure as hell not going to learn that from a Disney film.

  2. Dido, i totally agree with you.
    It definitely has to start from within and then it will spread to your community and from your community and onward. For example what needs to happen is black stop addressing each other as nigga, derogatory or not, that word still holds that community down, i mean if you dont want some white guy or some other ethnicity calling you it you should not be saying it either. We as a people should really watch what we say and take into a account how and what we say and to whom we say it. (Like Michael Jackson said) Got to start with the man in the mirror.

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