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Comparative analysis of the ideological basis of racism at the beginning of the XX and XXI centuries By students of 10G lyceum № 1535 Gayderov Anton AlexandrovichSamadashvili Helen DavidovnaSupervisor: Oskina Ekaterina Victorovna – teacher of English Hypothesis Racial discrimination is typical of the XX and XXI centuries. The forms and ideological basis do differ. Objective To compare the ideology of racism in the XX and XXI centuries. Goals To define the notion of racism; To identify the ideological basis of racism at the beginning of the XX and XXI centuries; To compare the two sets of ideas and make certain conclusions. Novelty We are making an attempt to compare ideological justifications of racism in the two given time periods rather than methods of racism which is usually done in similar researches. What is racism? Oxford Dictionary:“The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races”. Religious justifications of racial discrimination Jews as Christ killers The Black as descendants of Ham Genesis 9:20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.26 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. 1910s – Time of Scientific Racism Typology of races (after Huxley) Blumenbach’s five races Eugenics studies Social Darwinism Herbert Spencer (27 April 1820 – 8 December 1903)an English philosopher, biologist, anthropologist, sociologist and political theorist. Introduced the term “SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST” Social Darwinism: key points Social Darwinism does not believe in the principle of equality of all human beings. Some human beings are biologically superior to others.The strongest or fittest should survive and flourish in society.The weak and unfit should be allowed to die.‘White civilised' industrial nations are the fittest. The exploitation of other races is natural and inevitable. Human Zoos in different European countries (1900-1910ss) Eugenics The word eugenics is derived from the Greek word eu ("good" or "well") and the suffix -genēs ("born")It is a theory advocating the improvement of human genetic traits through the promotion of higher reproduction of people with desired traits (positive eugenics), and reduced reproduction of people with less-desired or undesired traits (negative eugenics) Sir Francis Galton (16 February 1822 – 17 January 1911) an English anthropologist, eugenicist, explorer, geographer, inventor, proto-geneticist, psychometrician, and statistician. Logo from the Second International Eugenics Conference, 1921, depicting eugenics as a tree which unites a variety of different fields. Eugenics: main ideas Not only physical, but mental qualities are inherited. Some people have positive eugenics (desired traits), some have negative eugenics (undesired traits). Breeding should be controlled. Most races, but the Whites, are claimed to be “degenerate”. Races should not mix. Methods of eugenicists genetic screening birth control marriage restrictions racial segregation compulsory sterilization forced abortions or pregnancies genocide The American Eugenics Society toured this display at many state fairs in the 1920s. XX century Genocide ApartheidSegregation “Jim Crow” laws XXI century Affirmative actions (positive discrimination) Political Correctness New forms of racism Anti discrimination movements and legislation Scientific neoracism Attempts to revive scientific racism and eugenic ideas "It seems highly likely to us that both genes and the environment have something to do with racial differences.“Human intelligence is substantially influenced by both inherited and environmental factors and is a better predictor of many personal dynamics, including financial income, job performance, and involvement in crime than are an individual's parental socioeconomic status, or education level. The Bell Curve, 1994, by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray Symbolic racism Racial discrimination is no longer a serious obstacle to blacks’ prospects for a good life.Blacks’ continuing disadvantages are largely due to their unwillingness to work hard enough.Blacks’ continuing demands are unwarranted.Blacks’ increased advantages are also unwarranted. It is believed this racial attitude is acquired in childhood. The image of Afro-American people having low-paid unqualified jobs The image of Native Americans as intellectually inferior Laissez-faire racism “Laissez-faire” - a philosophy or practice characterized by a usually deliberate abstention from direction or interference especially with individual freedom of choice and action.Based on notions of black cultural inferiority. Connected with colour-blindness. Aversive racists sympathize with victims of past injustice support principles of racial equality regard themselves non-prejudiced avoid actions that could be associated with racist intent BUT possess conflicting, often non-conscious, negative feelings and beliefs about other minorities may discriminate when their actions can be justified or rationalized on the basis of some factor other than race Conclusions The beginning of the XX century 1) Overt and dominative forms of racism 2) The underlying idea of BIOLOGICAL superiority and inferiority of different races 3) Dominance of scientific justification of racism 4) The existence of racism was not concealed 5) People openly claimed being racists The beginning of the XXI century 1) Subtle and indirect forms of racism 2) The underlying idea of CULTURAL superiority and inferiority of different races 3) Appeal to emotions and psychology 4) Many deny the existence of racism 5) Tendency not to acknowledge the fact of being a racist Modern racism is difficult to combat but it is worth a try! “Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn't matter which color does the hating. It's just plain wrong.” Muhammad Ali No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite. Nelson Mandela References Allen, Garland E. 1983. ‘‘The Misuse of Biological Hierarchies: The American Eugenics Movement, 1900–1940.’’ History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 5 (2): 105–128.Amanda Thompson Scientific Racism: The Justification of Slavery and Segregated Education in America Texas A&M University http://pat.tamu.edu/journal/vol-1/thompson.pdfDavid O. Sears Symbolic racism http://www.issr.ucla.edu/sears/pubs/A165.pdfDovidio, John F.; Gaertner, Samuel L., eds. (1986). "The aversive form of racism". Prejudice, Discrimination and Racism. Academic Press. pp.61–89. http://www3.psych.purdue.edu/~willia55/392F-'06/Dovidio&Gaertner.pdEncyclopedia or race and racism, Scientific Racism http://personal.uncc.edu/jmarks/pubs/Enc%20race%20Sci%20Racism%20Hist.pdfGraves, Joseph L. 2002. ‘‘The Misuse of Life History Theory: J. P. Rushton and the Pseudoscience of Racial Hierarchy.’’ In Race and Intelligence: Separating Science from Myth, edited by Jefferson M. Fish. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.http://en.wikipedia.orgKline, Wendy. 2001. Building a Better Race: Gender, Sexuality, and Eugenics from the Turn of the Century to the Baby Boom. Berkeley: University of California Press.Lawrence Bobo, James R. Kluegel, Ryan A. SmithLaissez fair animal: The Crystallization of a 'Kinder, Gentler' Anti-Black Ideology, Russell Sage Foundation: June 1996 http://epn.org/sage/rsbobo1.htmlPaul, Diane B., and Hamish G. Spencer. 1995. ‘‘The Hidden Science of Eugenics.’’ Nature 374: 302–304Sears, D. O., & Henry, P. J. (2005). Over thirty years later: A contemporary look at symbolic racism.Thomas C. Leonard Origins of the myth of social Darwinism: The ambiguous legacy of Richard Hofstadter’s Social Darwinism in American Thought https://www.princeton.edu/~tleonard/papers/myth.pdfWinter, N. J. G. (2006). Beyond welfare: Framing and the racialization of White opinion on social security. American Journal of Political Science, 50, 400-420."Social Darwinism," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2000 http://encarta.msn.com Thank you for your attention!
Департамент образования г. Москвы
Государственное бюджетное общеобразовательное учреждение
лицей № 1535
I научно-практическая конференция
социально-гуманитарных исследований и проектов
«Ретроспектива и перспектива: от прошлого к будущему»по теме
«1914 – 2014: Шаг длиною в век…»
Исследовательская работа (Социальный проект)
На тему Сравнительный анализ идеологических основ расизма в начале XX и XXI веков
Comparative analysis of the ideological basis of racism at the beginning of the XX and XXI centuries
Учеников 10 Ж класса
Гайдерова Антона Александровича
Самадашвили Элен Давидовны
Оськина Екатерина Викторовна
учитель английского языка
Москва - 2014
TOC \h \z \t "Стиль1;1" Introduction PAGEREF _Toc384669554 \h 1Hypothesis PAGEREF _Toc384669555 \h 2Objective PAGEREF _Toc384669556 \h 2Goals PAGEREF _Toc384669557 \h 2Chapter 1. The Concept of Racism? PAGEREF _Toc384669558 \h 3Chapter 2. Racism of the XX century PAGEREF _Toc384669559 \h 5“Scientific racism” PAGEREF _Toc384669560 \h 5Social Darwinism PAGEREF _Toc384669561 \h 6Eugenics PAGEREF _Toc384669562 \h 8Summary PAGEREF _Toc384669563 \h 10Chapter 3. Racism and the XXI century PAGEREF _Toc384669564 \h 11Scientific neoracism PAGEREF _Toc384669565 \h 11Symbolic racism PAGEREF _Toc384669566 \h 12Laissez-Faire Racism PAGEREF _Toc384669567 \h 14Aversive racism PAGEREF _Toc384669568 \h 15Summary PAGEREF _Toc384669569 \h 16Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc384669570 \h 17Reference PAGEREF _Toc384669571 \h 19
IntroductionOur civilization today faces many serious challenges in almost all spheres of life: ecology, economics, politics and, of course, social domain. One of the vulnerable issues has always been a variety of discriminations, especially one based on skin colour which is now called racism.
Though the term itself was coined not long ago, racism has been a problem for many centuries. Still, the reasons for the existence of racist movements are different in different time periods, as well as ideological basis.
A lot of steps have been taken over the last fifty-sixty years to tackle the issue, but racism has not disappeared. To combat it we should understand very well what makes people behave in this or that way.
In our project work we wanted to compare ideological basis of racism at the beginning of the 20th and 21st centuries. We find it very interesting to compare exactly these periods as the during the XX century the political and social attitude towards the concept of racism changed dramatically: what was appropriate and even praised in the first part of the previous century (racial segregation, eugenic and Nazi movements, etc.) today is officially condemned and considered outrageous.
Our work will incorporate four main parts:
- a short review of the concept of racism,
-analysis of ideological basis of racism in 1900-1910ss and
-analysis of ideological basis of racism in 2000s-2014,
- conclusions about the ways the ideology has changed.
HypothesisDiscrimination has always been a part of the humans’ relationships with each other. There are many kinds of inequality in our society: sexism, ageism, religious discrimination, and, no doubt, one of the oldest types is racism. Racism has accompanied the development of humanity via all its history. This fact being undeniably, we find it extremely important from the social viewpoint to study this issue thoroughly.
ObjectiveThe main purpose of this project is to compare the ideology of racist movements which had been established by the 1910s and the contemporary ideological basis, i.e. of the 2010s. It is vital to observe how the ways use to stir up racial hatred have evolutionized to be able to cope with the situation.
GoalsIn course of our project work we set the following goals to achieve:
To give a brief definition and description of the notion of racism;
To identify the ideas the supporters of racism backed on at the beginning of the XX century;
To try to analyse the modern ideology of racism;
To compare the two sets of ideas and make certain conclusions.
Chapter 1.The Concept of Racism?To be honest, such words as “tolerance” and “humanity” are not much about human beings. Since the ancient times there has existed some sort of discriminations which could have been based on different features – such as the ability to speak Greek, dignified behavior, or valor.
The discrimination based on the skin colour has also existed for a long time. It is an unfortunate legacy of ancient days as hunter-gatherers that humans are inclined to judge groups by surface appearances. While this trait was very useful when belonging or attributing to a certain clan was of importance, as our society evolved into agrarian and then urban forms the habit of judging by appearance has proven to be a problem.
With the rise of the written word and formalizing social bonds in the shape of nations, groups began to acquire specific reputations for certain characteristics or simply for general inferiority. What had once been tribal distinctions became immense labels of division into groups. Most notably and globally, by the time of the Middle Ages, those who were light-skinned (today called "Caucasian" or white) generally considered other peoples, such as the equally advanced Islamic cultures of north Africa and the Middle East, to be 'savages'. The age of exploration and empire, from the sixteenth century onwards, provided new opportunities for prejudice and exploitation.
Still, the notion of races is not ancient. The concept of race was a product of the rise of scientific biological taxonomy, which is the formal clustering of animals analytically into groups, along with a parallel dissolution of large groups of animals into their constituent smaller groups. Therefore, we may say that racism, as we see it, started to evolve not earlier than the 17th century.
According to the Oxford Dictionary racism is “The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races”. In other words, racism can be regarded as the lowest, most primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage — the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. All this means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors. Therefore, propaganda of racism allows to create a system of societal organization in which one or more races is held to be superior to others, thereby enjoying greater privilege in society.
It is evident that racial discrimination had political, economic and to some extent ethical relevance. For suppressors, for example for British imperialists or American slaveholders, or even for the Third Reich, it was important to make up some sort of ideology to justify their actions. One of the most peculiar examples of such justification is the exploitation of the biblical stories. For examples, the Jews are to blame as they are "Christ killers", the blacks deserve their destiny as being the descendants of Ham.Most anthropologists recognize that race is a social concept, not a biological one. That is, it stigmatizes some individuals as different and reinforces the privileges of others. There is no evidence that there are large groups of biologically distinct human beings (i.e. subspecies) that correspond to what people refer to when they talk about "race."Moreover, to base any kind of biological category on a single physical characteristic, such as skin color, is clearly nonsense.
Yet the concept of race persists in our society. Throughout time the basis of the ideology of racial inequality has changed.
Chapter 2. Racism of the XX centuryRacist movements at the beginning of the 20th century may be characterized as overt and dominative.The dominative racist is the ‘type who acts out bigoted beliefs – he represents the open flame of racial hatred’. The supporters of discrimination relied mainly on biological inferiority of other races to justify their actions. Our second chapter is devoted to two theories that served as ideological basis of racism of the first decades of the 20th century.
“Scientific racism”As we have already mentioned initially that the first attempts to justify discrimination backed on the Holy Bible texts. As time passed, with the decay of blind faith into religion, people’s belief about others’ inferiority started to be based on the opinions of authorities. We may cite the following acclamations by well-known politicians. Thomas Jefferson wrote “I advance it, therefore, as a suspicion only, that the blacks…are inferior to the whites in the endowment of body and mind”. Abraham Lincoln in a debate said, “There is a physical difference between the white and black races, which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality”.
But still later, when the demand for more sustainable basis had increased, the hopes to find these undeniable evidences were pinned on science.
Society has long idealized science as an indisputable vehicle of objective truth. This image has given scientists significant power, including the power to shape public opinion and even to affect the formulation of public policy. The search of scientific data proving the possibility of exploitation of other people dates back the 16th century. We may assume that the end of the 19th – beginning of the 20th centuries was the time when so-called scientific racism flourished. At that time it based on the two principle pillars: Social Darwinism and Eugenics.
Social DarwinismSocial Darwinism is a unity of more or less similar theories addressing the development of humanity which was popular in Europe and America, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It does not deal directly with racism but encourages and justifies it. It also serves as the basis for the development of eugenics or hereditarism.
Darwinism and Social Darwinism have very little in common, apart from the name and a few basic concepts, which Social Darwinists misapplied. Actually, the ideas defining the principles of Social Darwinism started to be shaped even before the appearance of Darwinism in biology. For example, in his 1798 work An Essay on the Principle of Population, Thomas Malthus, an English clergyman and scholar, argued that as an increasing population would normally outgrow its food supply, this would result in the starvation of the weakest, i.e. he suggested the idea of “the weakest”.
One of the most important Social Darwinists and one of the first, by the way, was Herbert Spencer, an English philosopher. He was greatly influenced by the works of Malthus and later those of Charles Darwin. In his The Social Organism (1860), Spencer compares society to a living organism and argues that, just as biological organisms evolve through natural selection, society evolves and increases in complexity through analogous processes. Spencer coined the phrase "survival of the fittest" to describe the outcome of competition between social groups. In his Social Statics and other works, Spencer argued that through competition social evolution would automatically produce prosperity and personal liberty. The most prominent American social Darwinist of the 1880s was William Graham Sumner, who on several occasions told audiences that there was no alternative to the "survival of the fittest" theory.
Social Darwinism does not believe in the principle of equality of all human beings. It states that:
Some human beings are biologically superior to others.
The strongest or fittest should survive and flourish in society.
The weak and unfit should be allowed to die.
Toward the end of the 19th century, an important strain of social Darwinism was developed by supporters of the struggle school of sociology. English journalist Walter Bagehot expressed the fundamental ideas of the struggle school in Physics and Politics, a book that describes the historical evolution of social groups into nations. Bagehot argued that these nations evolved principally by succeeding in conflicts with other groups. There was a constant struggle between humans and the strongest always would win. The strongest nation was the fittest, therefore the best, and consequently had an inherent right to rule.
Social Darwinism applied the 'survival of the fittest' to human 'races' and said that 'might makes right'. Not only was survival of the fittest seen as something natural, but it was also morally correct. It was therefore natural, normal, and proper for the strong to thrive at the expense of the weak. White Protestant Europeans had evolved much further and faster than other "races." So-called 'white civilised' industrial nations that had technologically advanced weapons had the moral right to conquer and 'civilize' the 'savage blacks' of the world.
Social Darwinism was used to justify numerous exploits. Colonialism was seen as natural and inevitable, and given justification through Social Darwinian ethics - people saw natives as being weaker and more unfit to survive, and therefore felt justified in seizing land and resources.
Social Darwinism applied to a social context too, of course. It provided a justification for the more exploitative forms of capitalism in which workers were paid sometimes pennies a day for long hours of backbreaking labor.
Some reformers used the principles of evolution to justify sexist and racist ideas that undercut their professed belief in equality.
In its most extreme forms, Social Darwinism has been used to justify eugenics programs aimed at weeding "undesirable" genes from the population.
EugenicsActually, eugenics is a radical branch of Social Darwinism. Some more social interpretations of Darwin's biological views, later known as eugenics, was put forth by Darwin's cousin, Francis Galton. Galton published his observations and conclusions in his book, Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development.
The word eugenics is derived from the Greek word eu ("good" or "well") and the suffix -genēs ("born") and was coined by Galton in 1883. The origins of the concept began with certain interpretations of Mendelian inheritance, and the theories of August Weismann.
Francis Galton had been working on mathematical approaches to heredity, particularly to the heredity of intelligence, since the mid-nineteenth century. One of the most serious social problems of the time was that fertility rates were not equalacross all economic strata, and the poor were outbreedingthe rich. While this might seem to necessitate the development of social programs for the poor, Galton saw things ina more pessimistic light. If the poor were outbreeding therich, and if one believed the poor were genetically inferiorto the rich, then the future could only hold catastrophe forthe entire species. Indeed, the very existence of the prolificpoor seemed to be a subversion of the natural order, if itwere believed they were genetically inferior to the rich. If the human species were being led by the prolific poor, that would seem to go against the history of life on earth.
Galton argued that just as physical traits were clearly inherited among generations of people, the same could be said for mental qualities (genius and talent). Galton argued that social morals needed to change so that heredity was a conscious decision in order to avoid both the over-breeding by less fit members of society and the under-breeding of the more fit ones.
According to Galton thepoor must be discouraged from breeding, and the rich mustbe encouraged to breed.
Eugenists advocate specific policies that (if successful) they believe will lead to a perceived improvement of the human gene pool. Early eugenists were mostly concerned with perceived intelligence factors that often correlated strongly with social class. Many eugenists took inspiration from the selective breeding of animals as their analogy for improving human society. The mixing of races was usually considered as something to be avoided in the name of racial purity.
As a social movement, eugenics reached its greatest popularity in the early decades of the 20th century. At this point in time, eugenics was practiced around the world and was promoted by governments, and influential individuals and institutions. Eugenics was adopted and integrated into diverse national traditions: in England, it involved biometry and class; in America, it involved genes and race; in Germany, the metaphor of national illness and health prescribed a movement of ‘‘race hygiene;’’ while in Latin America the focus was more on public sanitation.
Many countries enacted various eugenics policies and programmes, including: genetic screening, birth control, promoting differential birth rates, marriage restrictions, segregation (both racial segregation and segregation of the mentally ill from the rest of the population), compulsory sterilization, forced abortions or forced pregnancies, and genocide.
The methods of implementing eugenics varied by country; however, some of the early 20th century methods involved identifying and classifying individuals and their families, including the poor, mentally ill, blind, deaf, developmentally disabled, promiscuous women, homosexuals, and racial groups (such as the Roma and Jews in Nazi Germany) as "degenerate" or "unfit", the segregation or institutionalization of such individuals and groups, their sterilization, euthanasia, and their mass murder.
SummaryAs for the beginning of the 20th century, we may observe direct racism in its multiple forms, starting from racial segregation to institutional and economic racism. The ideological basis for the racist movements was the widespread belief that some races, i.e. “white”, are superior then others and therefore should possess more power and freedoms. There were attempts to prove this belief true to life via scientific researches. Thus, racism of the first decades of the previous century is often referred to as “scientific racism”.
Chapter 3.Racism and the XXI centuryIf we compare the situation at the beginning at 1910s and 2010s, we may observe certain differences. The 21st Century has brought about many attempted changes in society. There is legislation and memoranda against discrimination in its many forms. Affirmative action has been used as an attempt to ensure individuals are given equal opportunity for employment, housing, and other types of advancement. Television shows have changed format and characters to seek political correctness. Nevertheless, society cleverly and subtly maintains its separate views of the races.
Though racism still exists, its ideology has slightly changed. Moreover there have developed numerous types of racism the most prominent of which we are going to briefly describe in this chapter.
Scientific neoracismScientific approach to justification of racism popular a hundred years ago has been put to the background. With the development of science it was proved and generally accepted that it is not correct to single out the scientific biological notion of race. Scientists say that between two representatives of one race can have more genetic differences than two representatives of different “races”.
Still the breakthrough progress in the field of genetics boosts the attempts to revive scientific racism, though not always maliciously.
There are people who believe that they can use genetic traits to describe races and to develop race-specific interventions for each group. One particularly disturbing approach, although currently suggested as beneficial, is application of genetics to create special approaches to education. The idea that certain individuals and groups learn differently due to their genetic makeup, and so need specialized educational programs could be the first step in a slippery slope to recreating a new brand of "separate but equal." An extreme example of such approach covered significantly by the media is The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life by Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray. This work made a case against social programs directed at the poor, on the grounds that the poor were irremediably stupid, as attested by their low IQs. Its central argument is that human intelligence is substantially influenced by both inherited and environmental factors and is a better predictor of many personal dynamics, including financial income, job performance, chance of unwanted pregnancy, and involvement in crime than are an individual's parental socioeconomic status, or education level.
Symbolic racismOne of the most typical forms of racism today is so-called symbolic racism that developed in the USA and replaced the old form of overt racism, but later spread in other areas.
Most often symbolic racism is associated with the USA and is understood as a coherent belief system that reflects an underlying unidimensional prejudice towards Black people in the United States. These beliefs include the stereotype that Blacks are morally inferior to White people, and that they violate traditional White American values such as hard-work and independence.
The term symbolic racism derives from the fact that the opinions expressed characterize Blacks as an abstract group, rather than specific individuals. People hold prejudices because of the cultural stereotypes attributed to the group rather than because of any personal individual experience with the group in question.
The concept of symbolic racism has evolved over time, but most writings currently define symbolic racism as containing four themes:
Racial discrimination is no longer a serious obstacle to blacks’ prospects for a good life.
Blacks’ continuing disadvantages are largely due to their unwillingness to work hard enough.
Blacks’ continuing demands are unwarranted.
Blacks’ increased advantages are also unwarranted.
Symbolic racism includes access to resources such as education, housing, and employment, but not in the equality of outcome. This explains how people can support the principle of racial equality but not support initiatives to achieve it. According to them government intervention when individuals do not have the same talent, effort or historical background would violate traditional values of equality of opportunity.Thus, “people can simultaneously endorse equality of opportunity and reject government intervention to bring about equality of outcome.” Group self-interest reflects the idea that people try to do what is best for their group. This idea manifests itself in the opinion that Whites are deprived as a group of opportunities due to policies intended to benefit other races. Finally, it is also stated that most Whites do not have extensive personal experience with representatives of other races so the negative stereotypes they hold do not have the opportunity to be dispelled.
According to Whitley and Kite, two most prominent researches of the issue, those who hold symbolic racist beliefs tend to hold implicitly negative attitudes, most likely gained in childhood, towards Blacks that may or may not be conscious.These attitudes may not be outright hatred but rather fear, disgust, anger, contempt, etc. In addition, those who hold symbolic racist beliefs may also believe in traditional American values such as hard work, individuality, and self-restraint. However, these beliefs have become racialized. Many perceive that Black individuals do not hold or act in accordance with these values.
While symbolic racism was originally conceptualized as a prejudice specifically against Blacks in the United States due to their violation of cherished values, scholars have expanded the concept to apply it to other groups and in other locales as well. In the United States, research has been conducted on symbolic racism as it relates to Latinos and Asians. The concept of symbolic racism was also applied to the Aborigines and Australiansby Europeans.
Laissez-Faire RacismOne more prominent type of racism especially in the United States is laissez-faire racism. The term “laissez-faire” is used to describe “a philosophy or practice characterized by a usually deliberate abstention from direction or interference especially with individual freedom of choice and action” [Merriam-Webster Dictionary]. This type of discrimination mainly deals with black-white conflict.
Laissez-faire racism blames blacks themselves for the black-white gap in socioeconomic standing and actively resists meaningful efforts to ameliorate America's racist social conditions and institutions. These racial attitudes continue to justify and explain the prevailing system of racial domination, even while a core element of racist ideology in the United States has changed. At the beginning of the 20th century racism, i.e. “Jim Crow” racism, was premised on notions of black biological inferiority; laissez-faire racism is based on notions of black cultural inferiority.
Laissez-faire racists claim to support equality while maintaining negative, stereotypical beliefs about minorities.Some sociologists regard laissez-faire racism as the belief, stated or implied through actions, that one can end racial inequality and discrimination by refusing to acknowledge that race and racial discrimination exists. Ideologies like these refuse to acknowledge the systematic oppression, such as the continuing school segregation or persistent negative racial stereotypes that continue to occur in society.
Laissez-faire racism is closely connected with the concept of color-blindness. Color-blindness refers to the idea that racial differences are unimportant in modern society. Those who are color-blind claim they do not care about racial differences in —although those who claim to be color-blind often express extreme color-consciousness when it comes to their choices of personal friends, mates, and areas in which they choose to live. These people refuse to acknowledge these contradictions and often claim that their choices are economical or based upon similarities, not racism.
One more harmful principle of laissez-faire racism has to do with the assertions that discourses dealing with race issues are unnecessary and impolite. The idea that race does not matter, refuses to acknowledge the realities of the lives of minorities, and ignores the fact that, statistically, race plays an important role in education, incarceration rates and terms, as well as other factors.
Aversive racismThe last type of racism we want to pay attention to is aversive racism.
Aversive racism is a theory proposed by Sam Gaertner and Jack Dovidio that outlines a different type of racism than traditional, overt dominative racism. Dominative racism is said to reflect the traditional, blatant form. Aversive racists, in contrast, sympathize with victims of past injustice support principles of racial equality, and genuinely regard themselves as non-prejudiced, but at the same time possess conflicting, often non-conscious, negative feelings and beliefs about other minorities that are rooted in basic psychological processes that promote racial bias.
Aversive racists are characterized as having egalitarian conscious, or explicit, attitudes but negative unconscious, or implicit, racial attitudes.Because aversive "racists" endorse egalitarian values, their biases do not manifest in situations where there are clear social norms of right and wrong. To discriminate in such situations would compromise their egalitarian beliefs. In these situations, aversive racists are motivated to avoid actions that could be associated with racist intent. Instead, aversive racists may discriminate in situations in which the guidelines for appropriate social behavior are unclear, when the basis for decision making is vague, or when their actions can be justified or rationalized on the basis of some factor other than race. In these situations, their unconscious thoughts and feelings may contribute to discriminatory behavior.
A wide variety of empirical research supports the effects of nonconscious prejudice on aversive racists' behavior. These studies include experiments in emergency and nonemergency helping behaviors, selection decisions in employment and college decisions, interpersonal judgments, and policy and legal decisions.
The influence of aversive racism is pervasive, and it persists because it remains largely unrecognized and thus unaddressed. In essence, the challenge of aversive racism is that it represents a fundamental discrepancy between mind and action. In mind, aversive racists truly believe that they are non-prejudiced, but in action they discriminate in subtle but consequential ways. As aversive racists are truly motivated to be non-prejudiced, making them aware of their unconscious biases (in a nonthreatening way) can arouse powerful motivations for change.
SummarySummarizing the main ideological points modern types of racism base on it is possible to state the following.
Modern racists try to prove or allegedly refer to the cultural inferiority of certain racial groups as compared to the group they belong to.
Moreover, as for the last century there have been a lot of actions taken to improve the position of racial minorities but the situation has not completely improved, many people tend to blame the failure on the minorities themselves. Those who share racist ideas believe that they have been deprived of some rights to benefit representatives of other races and claim that it is unjust.
Modern racism is more indirect and subtle. In most cases, the idea of the discrimination existence is not acknowledged at all and, even if it is, then with great reluctance. Therefore, people do not accept the idea they behave in a discriminating way in some situations and justify their actions with some other reasons but racism.
ConclusionComparing the underlying ideas of racism ideology at the beginning of the XX and XXI centuries we may make the following conclusions.
In general, racism at the beginning of the XXI century was much more overt and dominative as compared to the modern subtle and indirect forms.
At the beginning of the XX century the main justification of discriminative policies and actions was idea of “biological superiority”of some races (mainly the Whites) and “biological inferiority” of others (e.g. the Blacks or some aboriginal tribes). There were numerous attempts to prove this idea scientifically. As a result, “scientific racism” appeared and developed, and later was widely exploited via the better part of the XX century (e.g. “Jim Crow Laws” in the USA, the Nazi movement in Europe, apartheid in South Africa and so on).
By the beginning of the XXI century, “scientific racism” has lost its importance. However, there are modern attempts, though not very popular, to prove that races do differ in some aspects, for example the ability to learn because of the differences in biological development.
An important change that has recently taken place is a shift from biological differences to cultural ones.
It is important to take into consideration an appeal to people’s emotions and dissatisfaction with the current social position of minorities.
Also, it is vital to underline that many people do not confess to the fact their being racists and racism existence in general. Thus, they still unconsciously behave as racists but justify themselves with other factors. This makes it hard to combat the problem.
By way of conclusion, we would like to say that, though racism is a relatively new notion, discrimination based on skin colour has existed for a long time. There are ways to combat it or at least to try but we should know what to combat with. We think that today’s racism is more dangerous from the ideological viewpoint. It was possible to disprove the theory of scientific racism quite easily with the help of science progress. As for the modern forms of subtle sometimes even unnoticed racism with ideology appealing to emotions the task to overcome it seems almost unsurmountable. Nevertheless, it is always worth trying.
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