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 colour of their skin.
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 were different from this kind 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 ”lightness” and ”whiteness”. Colour of skin has been irrelevant in most of mankind’s history. Human beings have always travelled and met other people.
My personal opinion of racism is that 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 whom 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 colour, what religion, and how wealthy they are compared to the society. Racism is so wrong!
Slavery is an extremely old concept; a concept meaning that another human being can own a human being, just like any other item. People have held slaves since ancient times - I think there have been slaves since man settled down for the first time, and that is a long time ago. It probably all started with two cavemen-tribes having a fight. Then a club knocked out some caveman, and when he woke up he found himself in the wrong camp! Well, then his captors probably wondered what to do with their prisoner of war (I suppose on such occasions they sometimes ate their prisoners, but lets presume these cavemen were a little civilised). And then some smart caveman suddenly got the great idea that they could keep the other caveman to work for them instead of an Ogre, who got his head bashed in during the fight! And so one of the reason slavery was born.
In America the slaves were sold like cattle on auction. Some slaves might be lucky and get a kind master who treated his slaves in a humane way, but for most slaves life was endless toil and harsh treatment. And they were still slaves, no matter how nice their master was, and slaves weren’t real human beings in the eyes of most people. In Norway we often seem to think we had no part in the slave trade (just like we like to think we have no part in all the evils committed by humanity through history). But that’s not correct. There were several Danish-Norwegian slave ships, and they were no better than the others.
And who said slavery is non-existent today? We know there are certain places in the world of today where slaves are kept, and not all of these are kept in Arabic or Asian countries.... And when we know there is slaves kept in countries that call themselves democratic, how can we not do anything about it and still be proud of our democracy?