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Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Elimu (Education Forum)' started by KAKA A TAIFA, Jun 22, 2011.


    KAKA A TAIFA JF-Expert Member

    Jun 22, 2011
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    Racism is the belief that there are inherent differences in people's traits and capacities that are entirely due to their race, however defined, and that, as a consequence, justify the different treatment of those people, both socially and legally. Moreover, racism is the practice of the different treatment of certain a group or groups, which is then justified by recourse to racial stereotyping or pseudo-science.
    Those who disagree with the proposition that there are races or that there are such inherent (i.e., non-personal, social, or cultural) differences regard any differences in treatment of people on the basis of those criteria as being racial discrimination. Some of those who argue that there are such inherent differences also argue that one race is inferior to another race.[SUP][1][/SUP][SUP][2][/SUP][SUP][3][/SUP] In the case of institutional racism, certain racial groups may be denied rights or benefits, or receive preferential treatment.
    Racial discrimination typically points out taxonomic differences between different groups of people, although anyone may be discriminated against on an ethnic or cultural basis, independent of their somatic differences. According to the United Nations conventions, there is no distinction between the term racial discrimination and ethnicity discrimination.
    There is some evidence that the meaning of the term has changed over time, and that earlier definitions of racism involved the simple belief that human populations are divided into separate races.[SUP][4][/SUP] Many biologists, anthropologists, and sociologists reject this taxonomy in favor of more specific and/or empirically verifiable criteria, such as geography, ethnicity, or a history of endogamy.[SUP][5][/SUP]Racism involves the belief in racial differences, which acts as a justification for non-equal treatment (which some regard as "discrimination") of members of that race.[SUP][1][/SUP] The term is commonly used negatively and is usually associated with race-based prejudice, violence, dislike, discrimination, or oppression, the term can also have varying and contested definitions. Racialism is a related term, sometimes intended to avoid these negative meanings
    [h=3]Sociological[/h]Some sociologists have defined racism as a system of group privilege. In Portraits of White Racism, David Wellman has defined racism as "culturally sanctioned beliefs, which, regardless of intentions involved, defend the advantages whites have because of the subordinated position of racial minorities”.[SUP][13][/SUP] Sociologists Noël A. Cazenave and Darlene Alvarez Maddern define racism as “...a highly organized system of 'race'-based group privilege that operates at every level of society and is held together by a sophisticated ideology of color/'race' supremacy. Sellers and Shelton (2003) found that a relationship between racial discrimination and emotional distress was moderated by racial ideology and public regard beliefs. That is, racial centrality appears to promote the degree of discrimination African American young adults perceive whereas racial ideology may buffer the detrimental emotional effects of that discrimination. Racist systems include, but cannot be reduced to, racial bigotry,”.[SUP][14][/SUP] Sociologist and former American Sociological Association president Joe Feagin argues that the United States can be characterized as a "total racist society"[SUP][15]
    [h=3]Racial discrimination[/h]Racial discrimination refers to the separation of people through a process of social division into categories not necessarily related to races for purposes of differential treatment. Racial segregation policies may officialize it, but it is also often exerted without being legalized. Researchers, including Dean Karlan 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. In contrast, institutions and courts have upheld discrimination against whites when it is done to promote a diverse work or educational environment, even when it was shown to be to the detriment of qualified applicants.[SUP][24][/SUP][SUP][25][/SUP] The researchers view these results as strong evidence of unconscious biases rooted in the United States' long history of discrimination
    [h=3]Institutional[/h]Further information: Institutional racism, State racism, Affirmative action, Racial profiling, and Racism by country
    Institutional racism (also known as structural racism, state racism or systemic racism) is racial discrimination by governments, corporations, religions, or 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 organization to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin".[SUP][27][/SUP]
    Maulana Karenga argued that racism constituted the destruction of culture, language, religion and human possibility, and 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."[SUP][
    [h=2]Academic variants[/h][​IMG] [​IMG]
    Drawings from Josiah C. Nott and George Gliddon's Indigenous races of the earth (1857), which suggested black people ranked between white people and chimpanzees in terms of intelligence.

    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."[SUP][50][/SUP]
    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."[SUP][51][/SUP] 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."[SUP][52][/SUP]
    In the 19th century, the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel declared that "Africa is no historical part of the world." Hegel further claimed that blacks had no "sense of personality; their spirit sleeps, remains sunk in itself, makes no advance, and thus parallels the compact, undifferentiated mass of the African continent" (On Blackness Without Blacks: Essays on the Image of the Black in Germany, Boston: C.W. Hall, 1982, p. 94).
    Fewer than 30 years before Nazi Germany instigated World War II, the German Otto Weininger, claimed: "A genius has perhaps scarcely ever appeared amongst the negroes, and the standard of their morality is almost universally so low that it is beginning to be acknowledged in America that their emancipation was an act of imprudence" (Sex and Character, New York: G.P. Putnam, 1906, p. 302).
    The German conservative Oswald Spengler remarked on what he perceived as the culturally degrading influence of Africans in modern Western culture: in The Hour of Decision Spengler denounced "the 'happy ending' of an empty existence, the boredom of which has brought to jazz music and Negro dancing to perform the Death March for a great Culture" (The Hour of Decision, pp. 227–228). 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.[SUP][52][/SUP]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    People Show (Völkerschau) in Stuttgart (Germany) in 1928.

    [h=3]Scientific variants[/h]Main article: Scientific racism
    Further information: Unilineal evolution
    The modern biological definition of race developed in the 19th century with scientific racist theories. The term scientific racism refers to the use of science to justify and support racist beliefs, which goes back to 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 positivist accounts of history and its support of monogenism, the concept that all human beings were originated from the same ancestors, in accordance with creationist accounts of history.
    These racist theories put forth 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 idea of "survival of the fittest", a term coined by Herbert Spencer in 1864, associated with ideas of competition, which were named social Darwinism in the 1940s. Charles Darwin himself opposed the idea of rigid racial differences in The Descent of Man (1871) in which he argued that humans were all of one species, sharing common descent. He recognised racial differences as varieties of humanity, and emphasised the close similarities between people of all races in mental faculties, tastes, dispositions and habits, while still contrasting the culture of the "lowest savages" with European civilization.[SUP][53][/SUP][SUP][54][/SUP]
    At the end of the 19th century, proponents of scientific racism 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. According to the Human Genome Project, the most complete mapping of human DNA to date indicates that there is no clear genetic basis to racial groups. While some genes are more common in certain populations, there are no genes that exist in all members of one population and no members of any other.[SUP][7][/SUP]