Racism, Stereotypes and Discrimination
“Most people find it hard to be deliberately cruel to other people-because of their religious beliefs, their moral convictions, or because they value human dignity and life… The conflict between morality and greed is one reason that racism developed. Europeans needed to convince themselves that other races were somehow less than human in order to justify the brutal and inhumane-but ultimately profitable-acts committed against them.” But we should all know that no race is better than or superior to the other. Although many people still do, not as much as in the past, discriminate and are hateful towards others just because of their race, it doesn’t mean that people should be. Now, just because someone says something that’s stereotypical doesn’t mean that they are racist, I believe that you can discriminate without being a racist. Some people might say something that is out of line, but they might not have something against the whole race in general. If someone says something that is stereotypical or generalizes the whole race in something they say, doesn’t mean that they are hateful towards them. People say stuff like, “ All the Arabs own all the quick stops now a days.”, but that doesn’t mean that they have something against the whole race of Arabians, or are racist. I believe that we all know someone, or we may be guilty of this ourselves, to say something about a different race, or even their own race, that might be found out of line, hateful, and disrespectful without being racist. So we should be careful before we make the assumption that someone is racist, or before we call someone racist.
Racism and Slavery
Several people connect the beginning of racism to slavery, not knowing enough about that history. But slavery is a major point in racism, because it’s not just thinking you are better than somebody else because you’re a different race, but slavery was/is people acting on those beliefs. People would take other races into slavery, mostly caucasians taking Native Americans as slaves, and they would treat them as animals. There were even laws passed stating something about Native Americans being as animals and making it legal and acting as if it was okay to treat human beings as something less. “In 1641, Massachusetts became the first colony to pass laws establishing slavery. Other colonies soon followed. Under these new laws, race determined a person’s legal status. Blacks were made slaves for life. Babies born to a slave mother would also be slaves, even if their father were free. Under these laws, Africans became property to the Europeans instead of fellow human beings…Virginia and Maryland passed many other laws that defined slavery and the status of blacks. Blacks were prevented from marrying whites. They could not own property or weapons, testify against whites, vote, or hold office. It was against the law for an African to strike a white person,even in self-defense. There were laws against educating Africans and against Africans assembling. African religions were outlawed. In some places it was illegal to speak African languages.” Honestly, personally, I don’t see how someone can believe and think they know that they are better than someone else just because they are a different race. Some people/caucasians say and believe that they are better than people of color just because they are supposedly “cleaner” than them; they say that people of color are dirty. Yet in all reality it’s just a matter of skin pigmentation. Research says, “A person’s skin color is determined by the amount of melanin in his or her skin. Melanin is a dark brown to black pigment produced by special cells called melanocytes. Melanin’s purpose is to protect the skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays… The more melanin your skin has, the darker your skin will be and the more protection it will have against UV rays. People with light skin have just a little melanin. People with darker skin have more melanin. People with yellow skin tones have more or another type of pigment called carotene.” So nobody can help if they are darker or even lighter than others, it’s all a matter of genetics. But yet, somehow people still found a way to discriminate against it and even take it further than just discrimination and take it to full on racism and even slavery.