This essay starts by asking the important question: ‘what is racism?’ This is a term that is used in daily communication among individuals yet, not all people understand it or have varying perceptions on the definition of the terminology. Racism is simply defined as the unequal treatment of people based on their skin color. The concept is said to have been in existence for as long as the origin of mankind. It is all linked with the skin color of an individual that makes them easily recognizable from a specific race. The term became increasingly common in the 1600s due to increased popularity of slavery (Fluehr-Lobban). Africans were enslaved and heavily discriminated against during this period. This essay sheds light on the definition of racism and types of racism.
The belief that a specific race is superior to the other in terms of physical appearance, abilities and traits is viewed as racism. The Oxford English Dictionary states that racism is the ‘belief or ideology that members belonging to a certain race have features or certain skills that are specific to a certain race, setting them apart as being superior or inferior to the other race’ (Aarts, Chalker and Weiner 676). This definition is sufficient, however. it does not give a clear definition of what racism generally is. The UN does not give a clear definition of racism however, it defines racial discrimination is defined as: ‘shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction, or preference based on race, color, descent, or national or ethnic origin that 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’. (HR-Net Group).
There are three types of widely accepted racism in the modern world. The common type of racism is commonly referred to as racial discrimination that is widely accepted as stereotyping. Researchers have established a strong evidence of stereotyping that is done even without individuals noticing it (Fluehr-Lobban). This is not only common among the Whites as individuals from other nations practice it. The second type is economic racism that is caused by historical reasons influencing the current generation due to the lack of exposure and education. However, this form of racism has declined over the years as it is highly impractical. The last type is economic racism that is practiced by governments, companies, religious groups or powerful individuals. This form of racism is still present in institutions even though most of them are working through it.
In conclusion, the above discussion gives a better understanding of the concept of racism. It has clearly shown that racism is synonymous to stereotyping. Individuals should be more informed about what racism is and its negative impacts on society. Clearly, racism is a vice that should be fought across various parts of the world. Practicing racism will only lead to more racism and to break the cycle individuals must take the initiative on their own
Aarts, Bas, Chalker, Sylvia and Weiner, Edmund. The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar. Oxford University Press, 2014. Print.
Fluehr-Lobban, Carolyn. Race and Racism: An Introduction. Rowman Altamira, 2006. Print.
HR-Net Group. United Nations: International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Web. n.d.