Racism Paper

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Aaron Riehle
March 30, 2011
Racism Paper
Prof. Thompson

Racism is the systematic oppression and exploitation of human beings on the basis of their belonging to a particular racial group or people. “Systematic” indicates that we must look at the status of the group as a whole, and not at those few individuals who may have climbed a “ladder of success” in the white society. The word “systematic” also connotes practices and policies which are pervasive, regardless of whether they are intentional or unintentional. Racism is different from individual prejudice because it requires the possession of genuine power in a society. So racism is not merely prejudice, but prejudice with power. Once a colonial system is established historically, those in the superior position seek to monopolize basic resources. In this process, privilege becomes institutionalized, that is, it becomes imbedded in the norms (regulations and informal rules) and roles (social positions and their attendant duties and rights) in a variety of social, economic, and political organizations.

Economic racism is the theft of land, property, resources and/or labor from people of a racial or ethnic group other than one’s own. The first stage of economic racism is the initial theft of the land, property, resources and/or labor belonging to another racial or ethnic group by violence as extreme as that required accomplishing the theft. Such as an unprovoked aggression, invasion, full-scale war, massacre and/or kidnapping. This theft is supported by the first stage of cultural racism. This is the assertion that the victims of the theft are innately immoral, even innately evil, e.g., demons, cannibals, head hunters, savages, bloodthirsty, merciless, sadistic, vicious, child killers, rapists, heathens, in league with the devil, criminal, devious, sly, sexually perverse, dishonest, cunning, etc. The second stage of economic racism is the long-term control by the aggressors/conquerors of what they have taken by force and then claim is rightfully theirs. The land, property and resources of the victims are legally in the conquerors’ name: no matter that they wrote the new laws themselves. The labor of the victims, now living in the conquerors’ land, is reimbursed with just enough to keep the victims alive, able to work, and to produce more laborers, whether for cheap or slave labor. This includes the conquerors’ control and regulation of the number of laborers, leading to enforced pregnancies when more laborers are wanted by the conquerors, or enforced sterilization and /or less concern for the food supply and health care of the victims when fewer laborers are wanted. The level of overt violence in this second stage is lower than in the first stage but is always present as an example or threat against rebellion by the victims.

The difference between prejudice and racism is prejudice is an irrational and negative attitude directed at an out-group because of real or alleged physical or cultural characteristics. While racism is systematic oppression and exploitation of human beings on the basis of their belonging to a particular racial group or people.

Social control fosters a divide and conquers mentality. It pits women and various people of color against each other and it pits excluded white males against women and people of color. It is able to hook into certain feelings of various groups and individuals in order to continue to maintain white male privilege at the expense of women and people of color. Blaming the victim is an ideology which blames the victim of an unfair system rather than blaming the system itself. Steps in blaming the victim: 1. Identify the social problem. 2. Study those affected, i.e., how are they different from “us” as a result of deprivation and injustice. 3. Define the differences as the cause of the social problem. 4. Design a humanitarian action program to correct the differences.

The myth of reverse discrimination is a method of...
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