Definition Essay: Racism

Topics: Racism, Race and Ethnicity, White people Pages: 2 (635 words) Published: July 9, 2012
Definition: Racism

Racism is the unequal treatment of the human beings on the basis of their skin color. Racism is believed to have existed as long as human beings have been in the world. It is usually associated with the skin color of a person, which makes one be distinguished from a certain race or community. The word racism happened to be common in 1600s due to the enslavement of the Africans by the Americans and Europeans. One of the common examples of racism was Americans’ discrimination against the Africans during the early 1600s. Though it is believed that slavery has existed since ancient times, the most outstanding one was the one practiced by the Americans. The dark-skinned people were enslaved on the whites’ farms under harsh climatic conditions. The Africans were also prevented from attending the same school with whites’ kids. This is believed to be the most glaring example of racism in the world’s history.

Firstly, historical racism is one of the common types of racism. Historical racism is usually based on the origin and descent of people rather than their biological relations. The people may have a common biological background, but different historical background. This implies that some people may be of aristocratic descent. Fredrickson (2003) indicates that this racism was commonly experienced in Europe as the people from poor states were discriminated. The richer states like Germany believed they were superior.

Secondly, we have the scientific type of racism. Unlike historical racism, scientific racism relates mostly to physical issues. This is when someone believes that everybody can have the skin color, brain size, and maybe the forehead structure that resembles his or hers. The discrimination of the Africans against Europeans because of their long noses can be categorized under this type of racism. Memmi (2000) indicates that the Africans think the Europeans should also have short noses like theirs. Europeans’ attempt’s to colonize...
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