Racism is one of the biggest social problems in the world today. Every day, even right now, people get harassed, beaten and killed because of the color of their skin. But has it always been this way? Is racism an evil we never will get rid of? And what is racism?
If you look up the word ‘racism’ in a dictionary, you will probably find something similar to the following entry: ”Discrimination or prejudice based on race.” This short explanation suits well with my (and most others) definition, but it is important to remember that you can find many forms of racism, and that racism varies.
Racism is a modern phenomenon. That doesn’t mean ethnic minorities didn’t suffer earlier in history, but the ideas behind the suppression they were exposed to was different from those of racism. Racism was born when imperialism and capitalism grew forward. The imperialists justified their robbing of third world countries with racist ideas. For example, they tried to convince Europeans and Americans that African people were inferior in intelligence, and therefore suited perfectly as slaves. Their black skin was also looked upon as the opposite of Christian ”lightness” and ”whiteness”. Color of skin has been irrelevant in most of mankind’s history. Human beings have always traveled and met other people.
My personal opinion of racism is this: I believe that racism is some sort of protecting or hiding from other races. By that I mean that those who harass other human beings does it because they are afraid of other kinds of persons that themselves. That is why they protect themselves from them, by harassing, torturing, killing, beating, and abusing those poor people, so they feel more confident about who they are… They know that black people are just as valuable as everyone else, they are in denial. As if the African American people in the world have some kind of guilt about who they are, and how they are made. What color, what religion, and how wealthy they are compared to the society. Racism is so, so wrong.
Just think about those six million Africans who were kidnapped and put to slavery in America through the 18th century. And even more millions were to follow, until slavery was abolished in 1860. It wasn’t just the planters who profited on the enslavement. The slavery in the southern states of USA and the Caribbean islands played an important part in building the capitalist system internationally. The textile factories in Europe was dependent on cotton from the plantations. Many cities were built on freight of slaves to America. Import of tobacco, which was brought back with the same ships, was one main thing. For sea nations like Norway and Denmark slave trading was a great source of revenue. But it was not, like some historians and anti-racists claims, racism that led to the slavery. It was quite the opposite. Slavery existed a long time before capitalism, but in order for capitalism to justify slavery, racism was necessary…
National Socialism (better known as Nazism), which is the ideology/political view of the nazis and neo-nazis, is a form of socialism featuring racism and expansionism. The ideology grew big in Germany after World War 1. It was built on extreme nationalistic ideas from Austria. The National Socialism claimed that the people and the nation, was of greater value than the individuals.
And this racist theory isn’t dead. It still lives on in the minds of neo-nazis, such as the aggressive racists who killed Benjamin Hermansen in Norway, February 2001. The murder on Benjamin Hermansen, is something I am very familiar with. His mother, Marit Hermansen is a person I have personal knowledge to. We actually spent two weeks together about a year before the killing happened. I talked to her, after the happening, and she was devastated. As I can perfectly understand. My friends, who also knew her, and I did everything in our power trying to help her in this time of darkness.
What I am trying to say in this article is that there are reasons behind everything, including racism. Racism has always split people, and those on top of society’s ladder (political leaders, corporations, the military) are profiting from it. They are using the same method as before, its just getting harder and harder to see.