Posted by admin as Essays
Sample essay on Racism:
Racism has been a problem since the very first day that two men of different races met. Racism is defined as “the belief in the superiority of one race over all others.” Often racism is a belief that one type of person has better physical attributes, or is more intelligent. This belief can have an enormous effect over the way that one group of people treat another.
In general, individual people are very friendly, but because of human actions throughout history or rivalling religious beliefs, people often see others as being a possible threat and treat every person of that race as if they were the same.
The first black people to be brought to Britain were slaves. The so-called ‘slave race’ were taken from their home countries to Britain and America. Although slave trading was mostly common in America, It was the British that first started the slave trade. The slaves were promised the chance of a new life and promised that they would become ‘good people’ and Christians. They were often falsely promised education and freedom if they would leave their homelands. However, the promises where rarely delivered.
People in Britain often get angry with the number of immigrants entering the UK. People and groups that are against immigrants usually claim that immigrants are taking jobs from them, these people usually have a poor knowledge and understanding of history and are unaware of why Britain has so many immigrants.
After World War II Britain had the task of trying to rebuild what had been lost in the devastation of war. One avenue of the rebuild of Britain was to run public transport again. However, the Britons who had fought in the war did not want low paid jobs like driving buses or trains; they felt that they deserved something better. To combat this problem Britain invited a huge number of West Indian people to Britain to take the unwanted jobs. The West Indians were grateful for the opportunity to work and many of them accepted the jobs and a life in Britain.
At the time, people of Britain welcomed the immigrants from the various parts of the British Empire and they were glad to see that the people who helped them defeat Germany were being rewarded in a way that pleased the immigrants and was convenient to the British people.
However, some people in Britain harboured jealous feelings and resentment towards the immigrants, once they began to set up their own businesses, buy houses and start families. Some Britons accused the immigrants of stealing their jobs and houses, using them as scapegoats for their own problems; the immigrants seemed to be blamed for many crises in Britain. Although most problems could be attributed to government policies, it was much easier to blame someone who was different from the majority; because of their skin colour, or because of their religion and even their success was criticised and blamed for various issues. A good example of this type of behaviour is demonstrated in Hitler’s rise to power. The German people wanted someone to blame for the economic crisis. Hitler singled out the Jewish people as being the cause because of their alleged skills with money and that there was a global Jewish conspiracy to control the world economy. He claimed that they has deliberately caused the depression. This satisfied the Nazi belief and want for a ‘Master Race’, and they believed that Jews were inferior. This resulted in the Holocaust, were over six million Jewish people were murdered simply because they were Jewish.
Many believe these atrocities no longer happen. Unfortunately though they do, people are still discriminated against because of their skin colour or religion. About two years ago, a young black boy, Damilola Taylor was killed in London. Many people believe that white gangs were responsible for his death, but police have stated that the Ј20 silver jacket he was wearing was the killer’s target. Damilola was caught on camera wearing the jacket but when he was found dead, the jacket had been taken from him. Many people could claim that this was not a racist attackand that the attackers were only after his jacket, but what sort of person would kill for a Ј20 jacket? It’s possible that the jacket was a reason, but Damilola Taylor was black and therefore it is also possible that he was killed in a racial attack, the jacket may have the excuse to carry out the attack, racism the spur to kill the child.
Racism is everywhere, including the judicial system and police force. Regrettably after the Stephen Lawerence inquiry 4 out of 10 white police officers admitted to being racist. Racism has probably hindered the investigations of crimes against the ethnic minority communities for a long time. Only through the high profile cases of Stephen Lawerence and Damilola Taylor has the racism issue been brought to the forefront and informed British people that racism is all around them, even in the judiciary system.
Another stream of racism in the judicial system is that ethnic minorities are often accused of crimes that they did not commit. It is a lot less likely that they actually committed them. A survey carried out by the Daily Mail newspaper showed that 70% of the crimes committed in 2001 where, in fact committed by white people.
Many people in Britain today claim that there are far more non-whites than there actually are. There are places in Britain with a high number of Asian, African or East European people. In places where there is a non-white community, people are led to believe that there are far more non-white people than there actually are. In 1981 in Britain the total population was 54 million, and barely over 2 million of the population was non-white. In 1998 the total population of Britain was 57 million, and 4 million was non-white; just 7%, showing that the ethnic population is not increasing and an expediential rate, as some may believe.
The democratisation of South Africa has demonstrated that the minority white population can co-exist with the majority black population peacefully. Although some pockets of ‘white supremacy’ groups exist, they are not a destabilising force on the community at large. Of course some conflicts break out between two different kinds of race because something has happened to them that has angered them so much that violence appears to be the only answer. Though exactly the same types of violence can go on between two people of the same colour or race for example the troubles in Northern Ireland between different religious denominations. These troubles have been going on for over 30 years and an unstable peace exists at the moment.
There is little evidence to prove ethnic minorities in segregated countries always cause violence; this has been aptly demonstrated throughout the history of black protest. People like Martin Luther King in the USA and Mahatma Ghandi in India proved this. Both these men were revolutionaries and they both fought for equal rights, but despite the resistance, sometimes violent, they never resorted to violence. Martin Luther King was one of the principal leaders of the American Civil Rights Movement. King’s studies led him to explore the works of Ghandi, which led King to peaceful protests. In 1955 Martin Luther King made his first major step into non-violent protest when he led hundreds of black people into a boycott of the Montgomery bus system. It was the arrest of a black woman, Rosa Parks that triggered the protest. She was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white person while travelling on the bus. The bus boycott was a tremendous triumph for King despite him being arrested and jailed for an astonishing 381 days. A subsequent mandate from the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed all segregated public transport. The civil Rights movement had gained a victory without the use of violence.
Nowadays, ethnic minorities are a part of British society, although they are the minority they have the legal right to be treated just like everyone else. Imagine how many fewer problems there’d be if racism were a thing of the past. Young people don’t see racism as a problem and they can look beyond someone’s skin colour. Unfortunately though, that child is likely to grow up around people who will make comments and look at black and Asian people as being different. People usually are usually racist due to their upbringing. How many times have you said you fancy a “chinkie” instead of a Chinese takeaway, or referred to the corner shop as the “Pakies”? Each time we use these terms we are being racist and teaching our children racial slurs. Racism is not just a problem for abused; it’s a problem for everybody. If society doesn’t change, then what sort of place will our children be brought up in?
Racism is still aproblem in the 21st Century, just like it was in the centuries before. However, there is hope for the future, Britain is changing. Britain has been a multi-racial nation for man y years and people are accepting this more openly than before. The schools and workplace are multi-racial and this can only diminish racism further in the future, education in the schools, workplace and home will all help reduce and hopefully eradicate this discrimination from British society. Racism in Britain is a lot less now than 20 yeas ago.