Myths and Evolving Dimensions of Racism
By R. Jackson (MA Special Major PSY, ED. Dev. / Paralegal)
This article explores how racism exists across diverse communities and even within the same ethnic group evidenced by ideological expressions, rules, or behaviors demonstrated.
“A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. A doctrine or political program based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principles”. Merriam Webster Dictionary
“Discrimination or hatred based on race.” Oxford Dictionary
Strong evidence regarding race based superiority theories and practices are observable from the 14th century forward (Fredrickson, G. 2015. Princeton University Press). However, some observations imply racism could in fact have existed in the earliest civilizations as well.
- There are growing numbers of people arguing racism only flows in one direction stemming from white “superiority groups” and that racism is not possible to be perpetuated or originated from minority groups.
- Racism is an abusive social construct of domination (both mental and physical) designed to divide and conquer and oppress and any member of global society can fall victim to its exploitive uses.
- The end result of such ideology is domination, including rationalized violence, distorted discrimination and unfair hate based messaging that divide communities. Thus racism is regarded as an instrument of war.
Evidence of Racism Against Whites
Racism against whites often occurs in territories previously industrialized by earlier colonial efforts such as South Africa.Incidents against whites are far less pervasive than what occurred against the earlier invaded and enslaved populations, but incidents of race based hate acts against minorities in general is an extension of harmful and often violent behavior.
Settled complaints have been heard such as Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (September, 2012) against County of Kauai in Hawaii for charge of race harassment where a Caucasian female attorney was subject to racially disparaging comments by her supervisors that allegedly attempted to order her to dump her boyfriend to better assimilate into local culture (https://www.eeoc.gov retrieved 2/5/2020 see significant cases under Color Discrimination tab).
Both of those examples substantiates that discriminatory behavior based on color or color perceptions, backed by state supported human resources can occur. The examples support the premise that racism can flow in all directions and debunks the myth that racism can only work in a single direction from whites against other groups.
If we want to disrupt racism, we need to understand how and why it now works in all directions and it is designed in the ideological sense to exert control in order to concentrate power and wealth thru false beliefs of superiority. The idea that racism is benefiting whites only is no longer relevant. There are an increasing demographic or wealth people of color on earth that share the same ideological conceptions of domination although under brands such as capitalism, communism or extremist brands of religions that eagerly combat for the position of dominant power and do use race based ideological constructs in their wars efforts. Simultaneously, the spread of gangs at the lower strata could also be argued to be spreading and using similar race based fear strategies to advance organized crime. Thus, the idea that racism only flows in one direction from whites towards others will not hold true under a forensic microscope when including economics and changing global demographics that will soon make whites (yr 2040), perhaps even capitalists in general, “the minority”.
Given the lack of sustainability of the trans-national capitalist model, preparing for the shift of social Equilibrium and advancing new models for society where equality, justice, and appreciation for diversity is a matter of global interest. Discord and increasing collapse of the older systems gives way for the competing New Dawn ahead. Thus defining the possible new structures is as critical as understanding the present ones.
Sociologically speaking ideological systems, such as race and organized religions have been argued to serve the purpose of survival among groups and speculation is that these systems are at the heart of early human survival. Yet without temperance and appropriate checks and balances, such systems could lead to threaten rather than preserve societies due to the modern advancements in warfare with increasingly dangerous technology such as Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical developments. Therefore, dispelling the myths of racism and the various inequalities it strives to inflict and increasing tolerance, understanding, respect and love across cultures is a way to directly combat hatred based on ignorant race based theories and actions. Furthermore, with the speed of travel and sharing information, older traditions are increasingly not serving the needs of present day life where notions or race superiority are becoming increasingly irrelevant.
Although rare, people can and do exhibit harmful racist sentiments and behaviors against their own ethnicity. Instances of institutional racism are allegedly evident in India under the nearly 2000 year old caste system. It is important to note the term Caste was not created until the 16th century by the Portuguese travelers who were sharing their views of the Indian culture they were observing, which to some extent could be projection and is worth further research.
Hate based crimes based on color perceptions and race motivated hate exist that are clearly examples of racism moving in multiple directions across cultures and social strata. The bible references slavery and prejudices, but information listed in the bible is presumed to be 2000+ years old and translated over the ages. The first English renditions were in fact delivered around 14th century.
A category of perpetual victim based retaliatory hate crimes motivated by racism exists due to modeled/learned/conditioned racism where victims model the behavior of their oppressors.
Tokenism for instance is the exhibition of traits where persons of color assume behaviors that reinforce dominant roles coming mostly from European groups and traditions that were not their ancestral roots. The reverse phenomenon could be true of poor whites living in ghettos taking on characteristics and participating in the culture(s) around them. Blending in and a sense of belonging depends on learned social behavior. Social cues for behaviors helps explains how complicated identity can become or even how assimilation operates.
The historical narrative of racism clearly shows prejudice based on race has been applied as a mechanism to control power among groups of the same race establishing hierarchies based on systems of unfair distributions of wealth and the application of unequal opportunity.
At the street level, prison culture shows deep seeded race oriented struggles, albeit those examples are bi-products of efforts of white superiority designed to disempower and victimized the oppressed, which are in this example clearly disproportionately black and brown people imprisoned in the U.S. While the original aim may have been to create a legalized slave workforce larger than the original enslaved population, the consequences of creating a lower quality of life overall is evident by the flaw in the compromise reached brokering the passage of the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery and ended the Civil War. Thus, changes in the justice system must be made to reduce injustice and address the unfair and the selective enforcement of laws that can be observed as unfairly targeting people of color.
The observation of the Jewish people being oppressed and then rising to power and turning the tables to invade and decimate native communities in the middle east and have continuous war with neighbors is a clear example of a problem that needs to be addressed where containment of violence is concerned and to prevent the repetition of history where victims assume the same tactics to get the same horrific and unsustainable results.
In California, we are on the forefront of Women, Latinos, and African Americans in specific growing in populations and increasingly advancing in workplace ranks. While this is a positive development and diversity is a great thing, it still need to address the reality that some persons that have extreme ideological views and racial bias, even prejudice can demonstrate prejudice and illegal acts based on race and hate based motivations based on color perception and even bias formed as a result of their own victimization experiences. In those instances, especially where superior officers are exercising criminal behaviors violating civil rights acts, and other legal protections such as harassment, denying that racism is possible against white people is a losing argument.
Another example of growing racial problems concerns China. China is increasingly populating countries such as Africa, and bringing businesses and it’s own police and military forces along with them. There are reports of serious clashes occurring and allegations that Chinese owned businesses are not hiring local black populations in Africa and instead gating their communities and employing only Chinese residents. Local black officials are reportedly profiting in short –term deals and reinforcing racist ideological systems, which work against their own citizens. This cooperation, arguable as ignorance and greed based instances or even abuses of power, are examples of black on black race based injustice and in some cases may violate local constitutions or traditional values and present clear observable cases to examine as globalism racist agendas accelerate.
Another historical example of racism was the hiring of tribes to wage war on other indigenous tribes to form what became known eventually as the U.S. This model has been growing since the times of the Romans and arguably some evidence exists of Pagan tribes using assimilation strategies to expand their territories.
Some of the earliest written mentions of racism being employed hark back to Aztec civilization. For example, Micteccacihuatl a sacrificed youth Princess, was reportedly charged with the spiritual task in the afterlife to protect the bodies on the dead in the underworld to prevent contaminations and mixing of blood between races. This account, if accurate, implies that preservation of one earth blood line was essential for harmony and that mixing blood streams with “aliens” was reportedly a bad thing. Perhaps the term aliens was referring to outside tribes, not extraterrestrials, but interestingly, the art of the Aztec period does seem to point to the possible belief in the existence of extraterrestrials.
The mention blood line ideology echoes across cultures and thru the ages making the true origins of racism difficult to pinpoint, but it does seem more recent demonstrations such as Hitler have attempted to keep the myth of race and its ugly falsehoods active in dividing communities.
Conclusions and recommendations:
New terms for dimensions of racism seems needed and relevant. Unless evidence is produced supporting a contrary argument, racism appears to be correlated to empirical European systems of the 14th century with a high degree of reliability. Archeologist might help shed light on earlier evidences for racism, given the limitations of written history and potential contamination of historical accounts considering the observable periodic burning of history and fact that history itself is often difficult to obtain with any reliability due to efforts to control the narrative of civilizations evolution.
However, the dissolution of many matriarchy societies shows systematic discriminations and significant social shifts in power did in fact exist prior to the first recorded history, which is estimated to have begun about 5000 years ago. The indication of feminine based power system shifts are not race based observations, but provide some insight into roots to prejudice and the ongoing struggles for social power-sharing.
Finding ways to hold racists accountable and even getting settlements to occur for past atrocities is critical we must guard against the misdirected anger of present generations for action taken by the forefathers of the present classes. In my view, even the wealthy of the modern age are victims of their own ignorance. Native Chief Seattle said it best, “we don’t care for riches, we can’t take them with us to the other world, we want peace and love.”
Understanding that racism is an inherent part of the current system and making effort not to reinforce those racist realities is critical to dismantling racism. Admitting we are all racist simple by paying taxes and supporting ongoing wars, and the act of allowing gross wage disparities and conditions slavery and poverty are examples of how each of us are connected to and maintain racism. The evidence suggests, despite the legislation passed in earlier generations, the conditions of racism are in fact worse today than ever before.
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