Top 10 Reasons why Racism Still Exists

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Racism has been a part of human history since time immemorial. It stems out of a tendency to create racial stereotypes on the basis of race, colour, nationality, religion and other factors. Often racial discrimination is practiced without even being conscious of it being nurtured and propagated. This happens because our society and its forebearers have successfully managed to plant the seeds of discrimination into our consciousness long before we were able to assert our choices. The feudal system in the middle ages can be recounted as a significant practice of racism. Slavery and serfdom have been identified as the blackest spots on the face of human civilization. In fact some of the most outrageous incidents of genocide took place as a severe repercussion to racism. Be it the Holocaust in Germany or McCarthyism in the United States of America.

The status of a second-class citizen offered to people of a darker tone in America, England and elsewhere gave rise to transatlantic slaves. The Anti-Apartheid movement spearheaded by Nelson Mandela highlighted the plights suffered by the ‘blacks’ in South Africa over a long period of time. The very demarcating terms ‘whites’ and ‘blacks’ play along the lines of binaries, which in turn create a sense of superiority and inferiority among people. The heart of the matter is despite intense and severe struggles by the likes of the late Nelson Mandela among others, discrimination on the basis of ones’ racial identity rules the roost even to this very day. Listed below are 10 reasons why racism still exists.

 10. History shows us the way

history shows us the way

The irony that underlines human and world history is that history gives us an insight both into our glorious and shameful pasts. History acts as a guidance, which determines our future course of action. Hence, if history itself is misinterpreted and if we are not taught to learn a lesson from our predecessors’ mistakes, history shall repeat itself in its most retrogressive forms. The injustice done to the blacks and the torture inflicted upon them have been recorded over centuries. The terrible Holocaust images in the concentration camps in Germany send a chill down our nerves even today. Opportunists and hate mongers use this distraught vision of history to instruct succeeding generations to maintain the status quo.

 9. Lack of awareness

lack of awareness

We have read about Nelson Mandela and his Anti-Apartheid movement. We know that he has spent 27 years of his life in jail for the cause and recently his death captured a sizeable share of space in the world media. Will it be absolutely unjust to say that Mandela for majority of the people has been just a chapter in the textbooks? Things have changed for the better and The United Nations has taken steps to curb racism around the world. The hard reality though is that at ground levels racial prejudices still exist, even though genocide/widespread torture on racial grounds have been controlled by efforts of many such organizations.

 8. Mass media and popular culture

mass media

The fixation with fairness creams gives us enough reason to believe that we are a herd of white-obsessed individuals. The moment you switch on to your television sets, you will manage to catch a glimpse of the latest fairness product, with a white-washed face making tall claims of ‘revolutionising’ your life. This problem is not just restricted to South-Asian countries as advertisements all over the world harp on being fair in order to be called a ‘natural beauty’. An international human rights lawyer, Arsalan Iftikhar was quoted saying recently that racism is alive and well in America. He tweeted against the defacing of a GAP advertisement featuring Sikh model Waris Ahluwalia in a New York subway station. The company drew flak for the racial stereotyping they professed and had to apologise.

 7. Fragmentation/Stratification of society

fragmentation of soceity

Many people would argue that a classless/undifferentiated society leads to disorder and anarchy. It is true that such a proposition has its share of disadvantages but it is an undeniable fact that the hierarchy in our society is what propels a person towards practicing racial discrimination. A highly stratified society creates division between a ‘black/brown’ and a ‘white’, a Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Sikh, between a Caucasian and a Latino. Members of a particular group club together and detest any communication/mingling with members of another group. This effort can be read as a defence mechanism against ‘outsiders/invaders’. This in turn leads to unprecedented animosity among people and creates tension.

 6. Black is evil

black is evil

A black cat crosses your path and you grow superstitious. We have been told that it is a sign of ill-omen. In Christianity, men and women wear a black robe while attending the funeral ceremony of a deceased person. As a result of such practices, black is identified with death, decay and the devil. The image of the fallen Satan is incomplete without the colour black. Hell has been presented as a deadly place submerged in darkness. Such preconceived notions, propagated through various mediums create a wrong impression in the minds of people, prompting them to adopt unjust ways of segregation.

 5. Political insinuation

political insinuation

The politics of divide and rule has been predominant in our social and cultural discourse for a long time. In an attempt to consolidate ones’ support among a certain section of people, politicians and our law-makers indulge in the politics of appeasement. Barack Obama broke many cultural and political barriers by becoming the first coloured President of the world’s most powerful country The United States of America. If one remembers correctly then his political opponent from the Republican Party, John McCain in the 2008 general elections in America, in a hushed manner asked people to vote for him just because his skin colour was white. Actor Clint Eastwood gave an interview in which he explained why, in the 2008  presidential election, he voted for John McCain: “I voted for McCain because he was white. ‘Cuz that’s why other folks vote for other people – because they look like them. … That’s American politics, pure and simple.”

 4. Demarcation among nations

demarcation among nations

South-Asian and African countries are referred to as the Third-World countries. Such a pejorative term often leads to such countries being seen in a poorer light than its ‘First-World’ counterparts. The term of a ‘developing country’ perhaps makes things a bit more dignified yet the damage seems to have been done. The literature of these ‘Third-World’ countries is often termed as post-colonial literature, as most of these territories have faced colonial rule in the past. Such differentiating terms and identification of so many aspects of our everyday life, boiling down to being a part of the ‘blacks/browns’ and ‘whites’ grouping, spurs hatred among people.

 3. The Other

the other

Any person who is different from us in skin colour/habits/practices gets tagged as The Other. The art of Other-ization is often an attempt to validate ones’ own importance in the world order. Individuals seem to have nurtured pre-conceived ideas about the other. Anything that is unknown/foreign to us is treated as a mark of danger and threat. The racially different person is viewed with apprehension and distrust.

 2. Economic and social insecurity

economic and social insecurity

Xenophobia is the fear or intense dislike for a person from another country. Unfortunately more than half of the world is suffering from this irrational disease. When an individual steps into foreign shores, among unfamiliar people, he/she is often made to feel like an outsider. It would not be fair to assess that everyone is hostile towards foreigners in their countries, though there have been significant examples in the recent past. A threat perception on the economic front is often the reason behind racial crimes. The truth though is that no individual can infringe upon another’s right to living. Competition is everywhere and it should not be eliminated on racial grounds.

 1. Intrinsic human nature

intrinsic human nature

Somewhere deep down, all of us suffer from an inferiority complex. In order to establish our supremacy, it has trickled down into our senses that we need to show others in a poor light. Racial segregation provides us mortals with this wonderful opportunity. By telling and making a group realize that they are racially inferior to others, one often feels a sadistic pleasure. The need of the hour is to get rid of such prejudices and treat everyone as an equal and competent fellow-being.

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  1. Anonymous

    July 25, 2014 at 9:08 am

    And Devil Food Cake is black, and Angel Food Cake is white…..

  2. Donovan Adams

    January 25, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    6+ months and this blog has one comment, breaks my heart, more then one person read this….

    • JL

      February 21, 2015 at 10:27 am

      I don’t get it. I don’t think I ever will. There is no darkness. Only absence of light. I wish I understood. Only then could I fix it.

  3. Stone

    January 30, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    The quote from Clint Eastwood is a fabrication. It was found in an article quoting Samuel Jackson saying that he voted for Obama because he was black.–_vote_your_race_113216.html The author was pointing out that there would have been an outcry if someone white had said something similar. Be careful, Mr. Mukherjee. You are slandering a man’s reputation even if unintentionally. If anything, it will incite more racism rather than less.

  4. Richard C

    April 4, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    You forgot the number one reason racism exits. Because after 170+ years of freedom, the blacks have still failed to rise to the level of competency necessary to gain any respect in this world. All of their respective governments are failed, and even in the United States they still kill, rob, sell and abuse drugs, and cheat on their wives more than the other races. Its simple. Were just so ridiculously politically appropriate we fail to simply tell the truth.

    • ForNow

      April 25, 2015 at 7:56 am

      Whites have committed more genocide than any other race. A lot of which was against other whites just for having a slightly different religion. There are more whites in prison for violent crimes than blacks. If you were born in the projects and discriminated against your whole life, you would be angry too. And you would think about selling drugs to try to get out of that world. Studies show that it’s poverty that increases violence, not skin color. Educate yourself before you continue to spread false knowledge.

    • Shawn Colarusso

      May 12, 2015 at 11:11 pm

      why should black citizens have to prove they deserve your respect random white guy? It”s two way street and anyone that your gonna approach with that attitude is only going to confirm your prejudice because no one’s gonna take time to even try to make you see thing right. You can’t fix stupid. This isn’t some corporate ladder that we have to surpass each other on. Nobody’s got anything to prove to anyone but themselves and whoever they care about. Especially not “Richard C. over at If you take an entire group of people and say “As a whole, my people are better than you so we can be racist.” your a sack of shit. The only prejudice i’ve ever had to anyone of any race is if i don’t get the level of respect i’d give you then fuck you. Do you really wanna start splitting hairs man? Whites and black abuse drugs at the same rate and personally i’ve met alot more shitty-at-the-soul, pretentious white people who think they have an impacting opinion on every issue that rears it’s head than i have black people who do the things you’ve described here. I know plenty of white people who have committed robberies to pay for drugs while high on drugs. shut the fuck up with your umbrella observations there Dr. Dickhead your not a goddamn social scientist. take each and every person for there individual face value and stop even bringing race, a topic that really doesn’t even affect you personally, into the conversation and I assure you you’ll be much happier

      – A White guy with a soul, three open eyes & an independent thought process

      • Richard C

        May 13, 2015 at 1:14 am

        Your suggestion we take each and every person for there individual face value proves just how completely ignorant you are. The failure of every black person to accept responsibility for their race is why they have ultimately failed. You obviously havent lived long enought to realize that.

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