We live in a world where people belong to different race, colour, creed, caste and religion. This variety has resulted in both good and bad times in history.
People have fought against the other caste because of various issues. Racism is a belief which a person has that one is superior or inferior on the basis of race, colour, creed, caste, religion, language etc.
The problem of racism still exists in the present century despite of the advancement in the world.
People till now fight with each other because of different race. They believe one race is superior to the other or vice versa.
For some their sentiments are hurt if they mingle with the one who is superior or inferior. This is the reason why before people of one race stayed together while the other races stayed differently.
Places were segregated everywhere for different races.
People who were often considered inferior were treated very badly. The superior ones behaved ruthlessly with them. They used to rule over them.
Even though racism has reduced, there are a few places where racism still exists. Racism should be stopped because we live in a place where there is diversity.
We cannot just stay with our own race’s people. We should consider others also as our own people. The belief of superiority and inferiority must be removed in order to stop the violence among people.
Table of Contents
History of Racism
The existence of racism is centuries old. It is due to racism that there has been slavery, wars and different nations formed together against the other.
Earlier the Western society thought they are more powerful than the Non-Westerners. They behaved rudely with them.
The Westerners considered others as inferior to them. They treated them as their slaves. This was the reason why the country of Africa was subjected to slavery.
The Whites were against the Blacks. They thought that the Non-Westerners were not civilized and advanced.
They were not humans. The Whites often treated the Blacks as if they are animals and referred them as beasts. The Whites existed even in Africa.
So, they sold the others to the Westerners and this is how slave trade gave its birth in the society.
From all travelling places to educational institutions to eating places, the Westerners ruled over.
They considered others as their slave. People were not ready to accept the other if they were from a different place.
When the Nazis came to rule, they treated the Jews as inferior. This further gave rise to holocaust. According to the Nazis, they were the most powerful and the master of other races.
They killed their enemy races. They decided that the people who are inferior to them must be removed either one by one or by killing all of them.
Racism through the eyes of Literature
There are many writers who wrote on racism. Some of them are Nadine Gordimer, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Jean Rhys, Amiri Baraka, Ocatvia Butler, Ralph Ellison, Alex Haley, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Alice Walker and many others.
These writers were the subject to racism and that is the reason most of their works are based on this issue. They were at a place where racism was prevailing.
Due to this whatever they wrote were not published. They were either burnt or thrown away. Their hard work was unappreciated and went into waste.
Ain’t I a woman was the name of the speech given by Isabella Baumfree. Her other name was sojourner Truth.
She was born during such a time when slavery existed. In this speech, she focuses on the problems that the women and Blacks suffered in America in the 19th century.
In July’s People by Nadine Gordimer, the light is on the separation of the officials in South Africa which existed during Gordimer’s life. The country suffered a lot due to the ill treatment by the Whites. In the novel it is showed that there was violence everywhere.
If we read this novel, it will seem that the novel is giving a warning to the Whites who oppressed the people. The story takes a turn and the Whites are not in power anymore.
The blacks have the power now according to the novel. After they came in power, the Whites were asking for mercy. But the killing of the Whites got started.
Most of us have read and heard about the novel ‘’To Sir with Love” written by ER Braithwaite. This is an autobiography of ER Braithwaite.
He was a Black born in Guyana. He went to England in 1940 to teach in a school. The school name was Greenslade Secondary School. When it was his first day at school, he had a little problem while teaching the students.
The students paid no attention to him while he was teaching to them. They showed no interest in the class. While Braithwaite thought that this students were the privileged ones and the Whites.
He tried his level best to teach them by treating them as adults. It became a problem for him to teach them. He started to teach them in such a way that the students were engaged in the classroom.
Later, we see that one of his student’s mother dies. He wanted that the entire class send their condolences by sending something to the family and even visit them.
But not a single student was ready to take the initiative for doing this. They did not agree to it because it was a social prohibition.
The student who lost his mother, her husband, i.e., the father was a black. As the family was black the students did not agree to go there.
So, Braithwaite went alone to the student’s house. But when he went there he was shocked to see his whole class present there. This proved him wrong.
He thought wrong about them when he first saw and taught them. It was the individual feeling that the made the students to visit their classmate who lost his mother.
The students took the decision of individual feeling over social prohibition. Braithwaite faces the issue of racism when his relation with a female teacher, Gillian Blanchard starts to improve.
But according to the rules of society, their relationship was not approved as Gillian was a white. But their love wins over the rules of the society.
Existence of racism in the present-day world
Yes, racism still exists today almost everywhere in the world. People might think that it has stopped but no it has not. We can see racism in educational institutions, in the field of sports, in different workplaces or any public space.
People may not be directly being racist but their action and speech is showing racism. For example in sports: In any type of sports we see people being subjected to racism.
In football when a team consists of players both white and black, people start to pass comments on them.
Their comments are like what are these blacks doing with the whites? They should join the team of blacks. This heard in a cricket match as well.
No matter even the society becomes civilized and advanced we still get to hear such things. This does not happen only in football.
This is observed in cricket, basketball, baseball and other games as well. People even pass racial comments on the players who are black and play lawn tennis against a white.
Along with the sports players even the students face racism. Especially in India, if the students from north east go to another state to study and get higher education, they are subjected to racism.
They are referred as outsiders and are called by various nicknames like chinki.
The other students behave rudely with them and pass racial comments on them. They face this not only in schools and colleges but in the locality where they stay as well.
The people of that locality consider them as foreigners, stare at them in a bad away and sometimes even cheat them.
Even when foreigners visit India, people look at them as if they are some aliens.
They make fun of them when they try to talk in Hindi or if they do anything while visiting the places in India. Some of the Blacks till today face problems like before.
Has racism stopped?
No, racism has not stopped. It still exists today. No matter how we people become civilized and advanced we will always have the feeling of superiority and inferiority.
People of either category treat each other differently. Well, this must be stopped.
No matter we belong to different races, religion, caste, colour, creed we must stay together because we all are human beings.
This does not mean that we should break the social rules. Both should be balanced. We should treat each other as equal. Only then we will be able to stay in unity.