Racism - Definition

Topics: Racism, Race, United States Pages: 2 (511 words) Published: January 11, 2009

Racism has existed throughout human history. It may be defined as the hatred of one person by another - or the belief that another person is less than human because of skin color, language, customs, and place of birth or any factor that supposedly reveals the basic nature of that person. It has influenced wars, slavery, the formation of nations, and legal codes.

Racism, by its simplest definition, is the belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial difference produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. People with racist beliefs might hate certain groups of people according to their racial groups. In the case of institutional racism, certain racial groups may be denied rights or benefits, or get preferential treatment. Racial discrimination typically points out taxonomic differences between different groups of people, even though anybody can be radicalized, independently of their somatic differences. According to the United Nations conventions, there is no distinction between the term racial discrimination and ethnic discrimination.

Racism in the USA

Racism in the United States has been a major issue since the colonial era. Historically, the country has been dominated by a settler society of religiously and ethnically diverse Whites. The heaviest burdens of racism in the country have fallen upon Native Americans, Asian Americans, African Americans, Latin Americans and some other immigrant groups and their descendants. Racial discrimination contradicts the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence, the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen issued during the French Revolution and the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed after World War II, which all postulate equality between all human beings.

In a relatively stable political system, after a status had been reached in which every citizen has the same rights by law, practical issues of...
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