Racism: A Very Short Introduction
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From subtle discrimination in everyday life, to horrors like lynching in the Old South, cultural imperialism, and "ethnic cleansing", racism exists in many different forms, in almost every facet of society. Despite civil rights movements and other attempts at progress, racial prejudices and stereotypes remain deeply embedded in Western culture. Racism takes a frank and objective look at why these notions exist. It explores how racism has come to be so firmly established, and looks at how race, ethnicity, and xenophobia are related. This book incorporates the latest research to demystify the subject of racism and explore its history, science, and culture. It sheds light not only on how racism has evolved since its earliest beginnings, but also explores the numerous embodiments of racism, highlighting the paradox of its survival, despite the scientific discrediting of the notion of 'race' with the latest advances in genetics. As encompassing as it is concise, Racism is a valuable guide to one of the world's most destructive problems.
suspect the negroes in general and all species of men (for there are four or ﬁve different kinds) to be naturally inferior to the whites. There never was a civilized nation of any other complexion than white . . . No ingenious manufactures amongst them, no arts, no sciences. On the other hand, the most rude and barbarous of the whites, such as the ancient Germans, the present Tartars have still something eminent about them . . . Such a uniform and constant difference could not happen . . . if
plantation owners had a crucial interest in representing the black as ﬁt for no other fate. And they claimed a special knowledge of blacks. Edward Long, the son of a Jamaican planter, was typical. He was convinced that ‘the lower class of women in England . . . are remarkably fond of the blacks’ and worried that ‘in the course of a few generations more, the English blood will become so contaminated . . . till the whole nation resembles the Portuguese and Moviscoes in complexion of skin and
about the inferiority of women or different ethnic groups, but at the same time have strongly embedded egalitarian traditions and legislative measures that sanction equal rights, fair treatment, and taboos against racism. We should also bear in mind Katz’s insight, referred to in my discussion of the Holocaust, that individuals can compartmentalize different expectations into separate moral spheres, allowing them to behave in accordance with different ethical rules in different contexts, for
convulsed by accusations of racism and counter-accusations of ‘political correctness’ (a regular occurrence in British public life), when Robert Kilroy-Silk, a well known breakfast television presenter and former Labour MP, was suspended by the BBC for publishing derogatory remarks about ‘Arabs’. And one Ron Atkins, a noted football commentator, resigned after he made ferociously 9 Racism and racists: some conundrums To take just one instance, the British Medical Association published evidence
penalty in lower earnings than middle-class whites, less preferential mortgages for house purchase, and residential segregation in largely black suburbs near city limits where lower property prices perpetuate a gap in wealth and assets in comparison with equivalent whites. It may be less apparent, but the black middle class remains as segregated from whites as poor blacks. itself usher in a new historical era of equal opportunities for African Americans. As he put it, ‘You do not take a person