Horrors of Racism

Racism is a commonly used word in the twenty first century. Almost everybody in the United States and Europe has given thought to the state-imposed atrocities inflicted on the Jews in Germany and elsewhere in Europe in the twentieth century. Problems between the white and black people of the United States are also borne in mind by the Americans and the Europeans. As a matter of fact, issues between the white and black people of the United States are the first to come to mind as racism is reflected upon, especially in the United States itself.

More people around the world have given thought to European colonial times, however. After all, a great number of places around the world were taken over by the Europeans before those regions were freed from foreign dominance. If invasion and colonialism had been appreciated around the globe, or if the Europeans had managed to care for the people of those regions, the latter would not have sought independence. The reason they sought independence is clear to everyone: the Europeans and the Americans have not always been kind to the people they came to conquer.

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Ethnicity and Racism


Ethnic identity in varied urban society is maintained against force to assimilate, in part, by an opposing process of pejorative and odious distinction. Name-calling serves to expound and to restate demarcations against which one positively mirrors oneself and one’s group.

Schermerhorn, cited in Sollors (1996), illustrates an ethnic group as follows:

A collectivity within a larger society having actual or reputed common ancestry, memories of a common historical past, and a cultural focus on one of more figurative elements defined as the epitome of their people hood. Instances of such symbolic element are: relationship patterns, physical contiguity (as in localism or sectionalism), religious affiliation, language or vernacular forms, tribal association, nationality, phenotypal features, or any combination of these. An essential accompaniment is some consciousness of kind amongst members of the group. (Sollors, 1996, p. xii)

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