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Contemplating Racism Essay

1124 words - 5 pages

From the beginning of recorded history, possibly before then, humans have found a necessity for classifying and categorizing every aspect of life. This need for order has been used to efficiently organize and clarify the endless details on Earth. This arrangement of objects in groups has also created a very sinister and volatile mindset that some people live by. This associative manner of classification has lead to the formation of beliefs in race identities, stereotypes, and superiority in the form of racism. Racism is contempt for people who have physical characteristics different from your own (Nanda and Warms 1). This concept is often combined with what is called racialism. Racialism is ...view middle of the document...

This trait has been proven to be a direct result of survival and subsequent reproduction of offspring with similar traits. The light skinned Scandinavians differ, genetically, very little from their darker olive- skinned neighbors in Southern Europe. However, the fair skinned people would suffer more severe sun burns and run a greater risk of developing skin melanomas and carcinomas due to increased solar radiation at lower latitudes. On the other hand, the olive- skinned Southern Italians would probably be more likely to suffer from a lack of vitamin D, at higher latitudes, due to the decrease of solar radiation. As a fact of adaptation, each group would eventually begin to darken or lighten respectively to cope with these changes. This development can be seen in almost any group, over long periods of time, that moves to a location dramatically different from their traditional homelands. If any "racial" group of people were to be scrutinized, it would be found that each so called race has within it a wide range of skin tones and colors. Do these facts make one group better than any other? No, since each group would experience some eventual changes to adapt to new environments one race would not hold any distinct advantage over any other race.In order to be a racist, there must first be defined races. To those of us in the United States and most other places in the world, races are defined as Native American, white or Caucasian, Black, Hispanic, and Asian or Mongoloid. Conceptually it is important to recall that the classical race concept implies the existence of several collections of uniform individuals who comprise relatively distinct units. Individuals by definition are more similar to each other in each unit in all measurable parameters and any individual can serve as a representative of the whole group (Keita and Kittles 534). As previously stated, these groups do not contain identically representative individuals and concepts of race should not be held with any degree of confidence in its validity. The fact of the matter is that broad genetic similarities between individuals from different groups would overlap the defined boundaries of each race. Despite this fact, people still hold their racial prejudices and feelings of superiority.The main reason for...

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