The Evil and Ugliness of Racism: Violence, Disadvantage and Struggle

By | August 31, 2017

Of all the evil and violent psychological and social disorders that can infect a people and that have affected the history and lives of the peoples of the world, few rival racism in its destructive impact. Indeed, the horrid history of racism in this country began with its founding: the Holocaust of genocide and dispossession against Native Americans, the Holocaust of enslavement against Africans, violent dispossession and subjugation of Mexicans, and the brutal labor exploitation and oppression of Asians. White supremacy is racism by another name, is a racist ideology of White superiority, racial segregation and White dominance, hatred and violence toward others. And White nationalism is White supremacy camouflaged for public consumption.

Whether we talk of racism—raw and unmasked or camouflaged and covered up, it is always a violent imposition and practice. To understand and appreciate the violent and destructive character of racism, we must distinguish it from racial prejudice with which it is commonly confused. Racial prejudice is hatred and hostility toward a people based on biological differences which are seen as signs of defectiveness. Racism, on the other hand, is the turning of that hatred and hostility into public policy and socially sanctioned practice.

Not liking someone because they appear physically different is racial prejudice and certainly irrational. But using those differences to oppress, exploit, abuse and kill, and to justify this violence and establish it as a legal and social norm is racism. Anyone can hate or be hostile against others who appear physically different, but racism is rooted in the social system itself, enshrined in law and public policy and sanctioned by society – openly and covertly, actively and passively. (Los Angeles Sentinel)

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