Racism refers to actions that a specific group of people may take due to the prejudice, looking down upon, or even hostility towards a specific group of people based on their ethnic origin, which may be manifested in skin colour or otherwise (Fredrickson, 2002, p 1).
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On the other hand, colonialism can be defined as the widening of the country’s rules to areas that are beyond or outside its borders (Kozlowski, 2010, p 1). The area that is outside the colonizing country’s borders is known as a colony; primarily, the colonizing country may directly govern the country or govern it indirectly through other people who are accountable to it.
Third world countries are the countries, which are comparatively economically and politically underdeveloped to the developed nations. Primarily, these countries include all the countries of Africa, South America, the Caribbean, and some Asian countries.
Most scholars have argued that racism was initially brought by religion; for example, Christians generally rejoiced when people of other religions accepted to be converted to Christianity. However, Jews, who practice Judaism, were reluctant to be converted to Christianity and believed in the old testament of the bible. Therefore, due to their belief, the Jews prevented the spreading of the gospel.
Moreover the Jews were the people who made Jesus to be crucified, thus other Christians had prejudice towards them. This prejudice later turned to racism when other Christians turned to the belief that the Jews were generally evil despite their beliefs and practices (Fredrickson, 2002, p 19). This laid the foundation for the emergence of racism in society, as with time, the attitude of the other Europeans towards Jews became more and more hostile, culminating in the massacre of Jews in 1096.
Moreover, Jews had a different physical appearance from other Europeans hence they could easily be identified (Fredrickson, 2002, p 19). This form of racism gradually leads to modern day racism, which perceives whites to be superior to other races (Fredrickson, 2002, p 46). Racism made one group feel superior to the other groups and hence this made them to feel as if they are supposed to be the masters of the other groups. This notion led to the development of colonialism where one group is ruled over by the other group.
The earliest documented form of colonialism involved the Greeks and the Romans. They colonized most of the islands in the Mediterranean Sea and eventually the whole area, which surrounds the Mediterranean Sea. Primarily, they used a mechanism where they provided housing for the people who they had colonized and allowed them to set families in the areas.
These people worked in their farms under inhuman conditions; however, since these people could reproduce, the Greeks and the Romans believed that the system could support itself since their children could work in the firms hence ensuring there was adequate labour (Anon. 2010). The issue of colonialism and superiority of race had not attracted the attention of scholars to develop theories to explain the phenomenon.
The first scholar to come up with a theory which explicitly explained the issue of superiority of certain groups was Charles Darwin, a 19th century biologist. He suggested that nature has a way of self-regulating itself and selected the species that was most suited to survive in the present conditions.
According to Darwin, the other species, which are not able to effectively cope with the changes, soon, die out hence leaving the other species as the dominant one. In his theory, the species self-enriched themselves while the minority species were subjected to extinction. He used his theory to explain about evolution and why some of the species seem to be disappearing (Anon Para. 8).
According to Darwin the superior species was capable of adapting to the present conditions was not created by nature, it existed together with the other species and was formed to gradual genetic change of the species generation after generation (anon Para. 7). This view is further supported by Adolf Hitler the “Mein kampf”.
According to Hitler, the Aryan is a superior race hence natural selection will ensure its survival and propagation (Hitler part 1). This view is also shared by Josiah Strong, a social reformer of the 19th and 20th century. According to Strong the superior race is the Anglo-Saxon, a race formed by the interbreeding of the Americans and the English people (strong 223).
However, different scholars have different views concerning how the superiority of the specific groups is achieved. Darwin argues that the superior species are formed due to the slow alteration of the genetic makeup of the species. This process usually takes many generations to achieve the superiority of the species (anon para 7).
Hitler argues that the superior race has been in existence since the human being came to existence. However, both of these views are disputed by Strong who argues that the superior race was formed only recently. Its dominance will be felt in the coming generations (strong p 225).
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The scholars also have different views concerning the preservation of the superior species. Darwin is of the view that these species will self-regenerate itself due to the continued change in the genetic makeup of the species to enable it to cope with the changing conditions (anon para 7).
This view is shared by Josiah Strong who argues that the superior race is subject to improvement from generation to generation due to improvement of the race due to breeding with other superior species (strong 224). However Hitler is of the view that for the self preservation of the species the superior race must avoid cross breeding with the inferior race at all costs. Cross breeding will lead to a reduction in the ability of the other species (Hitler part 1).
The above scholars’ views were interpreted differently by different people. Darwin’s was used by Strong and Hitler as a basic foundation of their theories. The theories of Josiah Strong led to colonization of many countries by its supporters. However the theories of Hitler had the most tragic effects. They led to the massive killing of Jews – who were perceived to be inferior to other Jews – in concentration camps during the Nazi Germany. Around six million Jews were killed in what came to be known as the holocaust.
Colonization exposed countries to severe and inhuman rules with the people of these countries fought with the colonialist to obtain independence. However, when the colonial rule ended and the country obtained independence the colonialist still wanted to control the development of these countries. This led to eventual war in many countries as the countries wanted to determine their development as sovereign nations (Racism, Colonialism, and the Emergence of Third World 209).
The control of development by the colonial countries led to eventual impoverishment of the countries leading to the emergence of third world countries. Moreover, the wars also led to impoverishment of the countries.
Racism and colonialism usually have traumatic consequences on the lives of the people who are subjected to the practices. However this practice is usually creates opportunities for various capitalists to venture into the countries. As the people try to come to terms with the effects different people use the opportunity to venture into the areas since the people are usually concerned with the effects of the tragedy.
This people exploit the countries concerned for their own benefit. This people exploit the countries leading to further impoverishment of the countries. The disasters provide an opportunity for the capitalists to venture into those economies during the times (anon. the shock doctrine: an excerpt from the introduction para 9).
The views of the above scholars are strongly opposed by the W.E.B Du Bois, Obama and Edward Rhymes. These scholars point out the negative effects of racism, which was formed due to one group having the perception that they are superior to the other races. W.E.B. Du Bois points the fact that society usually corrupts people. A child is usually born with an innocent heart society is the one that teaches it to be racial (Dubois 2).
This is clearly illustrated by the statement that “he knew no color-line, poor dear–and the Veil, though it shadowed him, had not darkened half his sun; he loved the white matron, he loved his black nurse; and in his little world walked souls alone, uncolored and unclothed” (Dubois 2). Obama also argues against racism but sees that the problem can slowly be eradicated.
These scholars see racism as a vice which must be eradicated in the society. Dubois is of the view that racism will never be eradicated. In his essay the death of the child signifies the loss of hope for the end of racism (Dubois 2). However, Obama is of the view that racism will be eradicated but the process will be gradual and may take many generations to end. In his view the union between the two groups – one which sees itself as superior and the other which is perceived to be inferior – is perfected generation after generation (Obama 2007).
The problems posed by racism are complicated by the double standardness of different groups towards racism. Actions of specific groups are perceived to be wrong due to their race. However, if a different race does the same action they are not perceived to be wrong (Rhymes 2007)
A recent ideology is the fact that people currently use the excuse of disasters to enter into different areas and establish enterprises which lead to further impoverishments of the areas. Instead of venturing into the areas to provide humanitarian aid, these people go there to exploit the people. They form ties with the administration to ensure that they achieve their goals. These practices have been effectively used by different administrations to exploit the people (Klein Para 8).
During the periods when there are disasters, the administration may take measures, which will generally not be acknowledged by the citizens as they are reeling from the effects of the disasters. The administration may liberalize the economies paving way for the capitalists to venture into the countries. This practice has effectively been used in Chile (Klein Para 11).
Racism and colonialism are two aspects which are closely related to one another. The two aspects lead to the impoverishment of different nations hence affecting their economic position. The vice of racism leads to very many other adverse effects and therefore it should be discouraged at all costs since are all equal regardless of race, colour, sex or beliefs. The world is slowly being healed from racism and its effects and in future it is expected to have been completely eliminated or reduced to very minimal levels.
Anon. “Darwin and Natural Selection.” Darwin and Natural Selection. 2010. Web.
DuBois, W.E.B. “Of the Passing of the First-Born.” Of the Passing of the First-Born. 1903.
Fredrickson, George M. Racism: a short history. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. 2002. Web.
Hitler, Adolf. “Nation and Race.” Nation and Race. Web.
Klein, Naomi. The Shock Doctrine: An Excerpt from the Introduction. Web.
Kozlowski, Darell J. Colonialism. MN: Infobase Publishing. 2010. Web.
Obama, Barack. “A More Perfect Union.” Organizing for America. 2008. Web.
“Racism, Colonialism, and the Emergence of Third World.” Racism, Colonialism and the Emergence of Third World.
Rhymes, Edward. “Caucasian Please! America’s True Double Standard for Misogyny and Racism.” Black Agenda Report. 2007. Web.
Strong, Josiah. The Anglo-Saxon and the world’s future.