Racism is the belief that one race or culture is fundamentally superior to another, regardless of anthropological evidence to the contrary. This difference – the perceived inferiority of one race over another – is commonly employed as fair grounds for discrimination, whether institutionalized or individual. Racism runs as a counterpoint to the prevalent belief and practice of egalitarianism in much of the developed world. Yet, despite widespread efforts to cleanse social, political, and legal superstructures of racism since the mid-20th century, it still persists – covertly, beneath the fabric of society in some pockets, overtly in others.
Racism is an umbrella term and denotes discrimination based on not only race, but also culture, ethnicity, and economic power. It amounts to a preferment of people belonging to a particular class, culture, ethnicity and economic strata over another. The persecution of the Jews under Nazi rule in Germany, or the discriminatory practices in pre-Civil Rights era United States are both examples of racism.
Racism is, in its very essence, an acute form of xenophobia. An examination of the history of racism would compel us to comb through the very beginnings of human civilization when overtly protective settled groups regarded outsiders with suspicion, fear, and hatred. Evidence to the same abounds in historical and anthropological records dating back to the first developed civilizations in Mesopotamia, Greece, and Egypt. The Greek fear of ‘barbarians’ from the north can be seen as an example of xenophobic racism in its earliest avatar.
In the modern context, the classification of humanity into separate races and the subsequent discrimination was an anthropological practice started in the early 19th century. This difference between races – whether in physical attributes or societal characteristics – was taken as fair grounds for discrimination against one race or culture, and was a widespread social ideology until the mid-20th century in large parts of the world. To this effect, attempts at racial cleansing or altering the genetic composition of a population (eugenics) were practiced in certain countries.
However, social structures underwent rapid changes after the Second World War, fuelled by the independence of countless nation states previously under colonial rule and an intellectual movement towards equality and egalitarianism in much of the developed world. As an institutional practice, racism was dismantled in much of the developed world in the two decades after the WWII. Yet, racism continues to propagate beneath the fabric of society in almost every country across the world.
Racism Thesis Statement Examples:
* Increasing intercultural and interracial communication and collaboration in a globalized world will hasten the end of racism across the globe.
* The widespread societal and institutional changes ushered in America since the 1960s culminating in the election of a black president have yet done little to ameliorate the covert discrimination faced by racial minorities.
* Increasing incidents of hate crimes against racial minorities across Europe points towards the failure of multiculturalism as an institutional practice.
* The South’s resistance to the Lincoln’s anti-slavery campaign was an economic ploy meant to ensure the availability of cheap labor for their cotton plantations and not an ideological opposition to per se.
* Affirmative action, as an institutional policy to counter racial discrimination actually ends up promoting racial differences rather than blurring racial boundaries.
* Just because a particular person from a particular race does something very wrong, everyone from that race is being discriminated by people from so-called other races. This practice should be stopped for the good of the world.
* Racism at workplace is responsible for constant mood changes, aggressive behavior and an overall bad feeling in the minds of the affected persons. This in turn is bad for the employer and the society.
* The honest and the righteous citizens of the world are not going to be silent spectators if some people from a particular race ruthlessly discriminate against people of another race – An analysis of the achievements of organizations working against racial discrimination in America.
* Because some politicians play the racism card to garner votes and grab power, people should cautiously choose the politician whom they would want to bring to power and represent them.
* With rise in crimes related to racial hatred in Australian universities, diversity training for the students may help restrain the problem.