Racism is the belief that a specific race is superior or inferior to another, that an individual’s social and moral traits are predetermined by his or her inborn biological characteristics. It means prejudice and discrimination directed against other people because they are of a different race or ethnicity.
The idea of race was invented to magnify the differences between people of European origin and those of African descent whose ancestors had been involuntarily enslaved and transported to the Americans. By characterising Africans and their African American descendants as lesser human beings, the proponents of slavery tried to justify the system of exploitation while portraying the United States as the flag- of human freedom, with human rights, democratic institutions, unlimited opportunities and equality. Along with all these, they seemed to demand the dehumanisation of those enslaved. Source:(Britannica)
According to a “United Nation convention on racial discrimination” superiority based on racial differentiation is scientifically false, morally condemnable and socially unjust. The Convention also declared that there’s no justification for racialism, anywhere, in theory, or in practice.
Yet racism has existed throughout human history. It is defined as the hatred of one person by another- or the belief that another person is less than human because of his/her skin colour, language, customs, place of birth or any factor that supposedly reveals the fundamental nature of that person. It has influenced wars and slavery, the formation of nations and legal codes. **Racism has long existed in the society, but the current sociopolitical scenario demands an analysis of one’s own position in being an apologist of this utterly discriminatory system. Examining the complexities of White racial belief proves essential in understanding how race is framed and disseminated within the dominant culture. Racism is so ingrained in the system and people’s lives that the subtle indicators of racist behavioural patterns are often ignored as humorous remarks.
Studies applying the colourblind racism approach examine the ways in which Whites use rhetoric to deny the impact of race on the everyday lives of individuals (Bonilla-Silva, 2006; Bonilla-Silva et al., 2004). This denial of privilege is one of the most problematic aspects because of which racism exists, even in the 21st century.
For dismantling this system white folks first need to acknowledge it’s existence. They need to understand that black people have their own culture, their own faith and their own being. Giving space to black people’s voices through literature, popular culture and various other platforms are the requirements. It’s been so long that white folks have been speculating about the lives of the black people, now is the time to listen and understand their experiences from their perspective.
Africa is not the dark continent which would quench the imperialist thirst of the Europeans. Its indigenous culture, customs, literature, language etc. is of as much importance as that of any other European country. Its homogenization needs to be stopped and it’s history to be recognized which was never taught and talked about in the larger social setup. The white folks need to educate themselves about the existence of Africa and it’s people in their totality and not in their distorted representation which has been there for centuries.