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Racism

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Origins of Racism When the word racism comes about, many people don’t really stop and think where or even when racism began. They just think that since our history books tell us about the segregation that had occurred that it’s just a natural thing that happened in the past and still goes on today. The invention of racism was socially constructed and as a society, we developed the concept of racial segregation, racial discrimination, racial stereotyping and negative prejudice. Some believe that there is no real original concepts of how racism began, but how would we wrap ourselves around the concept of racism being uniquely developed so that one race was meant to be inferior to all the rest? There are many ideas about how racism came about. Some say that it’s because that’s how nature took its course. It was just made to have one race has to be above all the others, a superior race, and the inferior races, which are looked at as being intolerable. Seeing one race less important than another is dehumanizing but it is within the definition of racism, inferiority and superiority are stated. According to the Oxford dictionary, racism is defined as the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, esp. so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races. This mentality of having superior and inferior races began in the 1600s where slave trade was considered to be normal. Slavery was not based on racial discrimination against one specific race or ethnicity but it was based on what was available. Eric Williams, author of the book called “Capitalism and Slavery,” states beautifully the role racism played in slavery. He states that, “[s]lavery was not born of racism; rather, racism was the consequence of slavery” (7). Racism was never the intention of slavery but the product of it. Once slavery had...

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