Book Review On “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, And You”

Book Review On “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, And You”.

The purpose of the assignment is for you to provide a critical analysis of the reading.

What this means is that you will present what, in your opinion, are the strengths and

weaknesses of the book. Keep in mind that your audience has some knowledge of U.S. history.

Book Review On “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, And You”

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Racism Definition Essay

Racism Definition Essay.

Racism is something something we’ve all witnessed. Many people fail to believe that race isn’t a biological category, but an artificial classification of people with no scientifically variable facts. In other words, the distinction we make between races has nothing to do with genetic characteristics. Race was created socially, primarily by how people perceive ideas and faces we are not quite used to. The definition of race all depends on where and when the word is being used. In U.

S. history, the meaning of the label “white” has changed over time, eventually adding groups like the Italians, Irish and Jews. Other groups, mainly African, Latino, American Indian, Pacific Islander, and Asian descendants, have found the path for worldwide social acceptance much more difficult. The irregular border of ethnicities touch educational and economic opportunity, political representation, as well as income, health and social mobility of people of color.

So where did this type of behavior begin? There are many ideas thrown around as to how racism began, though the truth lies in the history of mankind.

Before people were able to travel and experience difference groups of people, we predominantly stayed in the same kind of area with the same kind of people. We feared things that were different, and were lacked the power to face those kinds of things. All this changed once we did, in fact, obtain this level of human advancement, but the fear never drifted. The truth is, racism began as soon as people faced those of different races. We’ve always the fear of change, not to mention the unknown.

It seems that is racism has been around so long we would have been able to overcome it as our species developed, but contact with those of whom we are afraid of often lead to disputes, which, in time, is what caused racism to transform from people simply disliking each other, to the permanent and indestructible foundation of common racism and prejudice.

Contemporary racism is said to have been derived from many places, one of the most common ideas being upbringing. As a child, you are reliant on your parents to help you become who you are. Part of that involves their own, distinct opinions, that of which children don’t have the maturity to form on their own. They need the help of their parents, and this is often where the problem starts.

If you were told that all Asians were sneaky or all Whites are evil or all Blacks are criminals, you can bet that you are going to feel this way about them. “Upbringing is the largest cause of racism”-Anonymous. Even if we allow yourself to get to know some of them, this will always be in the back of your mind.

Another suggestion as to how racism makes it’s way into our heads is through the almighty media. As we grow up, media becomes a factor of our lives whether or not we want it to be, and is also a major source of how racism keeps itself active. Since the 70’s the media has been giving us racial labels, one of the largest supplies coming from crime shows like “Law and Order”, and “CSI”. When dealing with crime, people of color are reflected in the demarcation of “them” and “us”. Whites are often represented as the “good guy”, or the strong, law obeying citizens. They often target people of color, sometimes without any sort of evidence. Directors and writers use racial stereotypes to make a more complex story with more suspects.

In the novel, “The Power of One,” by Bryce Courtney, a young, white, African boy named Peekay lives in a world where the government, the country, and the world revolves around racism. World War II is coming to an end, and in South Africa, the whites seem to hate the blacks just as much as the blacks hate the whites. Peekay was raised by a compassionate and loving black woman he refers to as “Nanny”, due to the unsafe conditions at home with his bad, mentally ill mother. He grew up with Nanny and his best friend, who was also black. To Peekay, racism didn’t exist.

The author, Bryce Courtney, didn’t intend on writing a book fully based on racism in South Africa. He grasps a trace of apartheid by Peekay’s experiences as a white boy by unhurriedly soaking it into South Africa as a toxin.

“Adapt, blend…develop a camouflage.” This thought went through Peekay’s mind once he had been exposed to racism, having been forced to attend a boarding school full of bigger, darker students. In Chapters One and Two, as a mere five-year-old, the bright protagonist Peekay is already addressing the necessity of affecting camouflages in order to survive the system. He is often forced to act differently around people of different skin colors in order to fit in better to prevent himself from getting beaten or teased.

Peekay faces his first taste of racism the very first night at the boarding school. One boy, known as “The Judge”, who was much older, stronger, and darker than Peekay, comes up with the nickname “PissKop” for Peekay, because of Peekay’s habit to wet the bed that was caused by The Judge’s, along with the help of many other older black students, tendency to beat Peekay and spit in his face. The Judge also convinces Peekay that Hitler is determined to march all Englishmen in South Africa into the ocean, and even forces Peekay to eat human feces.

Upbringing is a very strong factor of what influences people to become racist, or to have even slight racial views. In Peekay’s case, he had gone from one extreme to another. At home, Nanny and his best friend were the only people he could call family, besides his mother who spent time at what Peekay called “The Mental Breakdown Place”. When sent to the boarding school, he wasn’t expecting the black students to dislike him because of his skin color. He saw the black kids as merely bullies, and before they started bullying him hadn’t anticipated them to gang up on him because they were black. This is what caused Peekay’s neutrality with the racist society in which he lived. He gave each person a chance to be a good person, because he had seen the good in different ethnicities to which many people were stubborn to open up their minds.

The power of one, or the idea of how one person can make a significant difference, is an important idea in relation to challenge in the novel. Giel Piet, one of Peekay’s boxing coaches who had been sneaking tobacco to all of the prisoners, was forced to eat feces by Sergeant Ballman, a white racist who works at the prison. If Giel Piet had refused to eat the feces, the guards would have found the tobacco, resulting in the prisoners getting beaten along with Giel Piet . As Peekay witnessed this happen to his coach, he thought, “It made me angry. Angry it was done. Angry I couldn’t do anything to stop it.”

But how does racism really affect society? Visibly identifiable members of racial and ethnic oppressed groups continue to struggle for equal access and opportunity, particularly during times of stringent economics. Often, the targeted race has a harder time doing things such as finding a well-paying job or house. While there have been some sizeable gains in the labor force status of racial minorities, significant gaps remains. Racism is rampant in all areas of employment. For many members of exploited racial and ethnic unit, there is always an economic depression. Studies show that people of color are the last hired and the first fired. As a result, budget cuts, downsizing, and privatization may disproportionately hurt people of color. In February 1995 the unemployment rate for African Americans was 10.1 percent as compared to 4.7 percent for white Americans (Berry, 1995). The unemployment rate for adolescents of color is approximately four times that of white adolescents. What’s more, In America, the Majority of unemployed men are black, and compared to other races, Blacks and Latinos on average have disproportionately low income.

Other than simply getting a job, getting and keeping a house is often a difficult task for those of color. The job of a landlord is to rent out houses to reliable people or families, though a racist landlord could make it difficult for a family of color to find a home. Widespread housing discrimination against Americans of color in U.S. neighborhoods is sometimes referred to as a “national” problem, something that must be fixed by new government policies. Housing segregation in the United States developed slowly and deliberately. By law, property owners may not refuse to rent or sell housing, make housing unavailable to, set different conditions or privileges for sale or rental of a property, impose different rates and terms on a loan, refuse to make a mortgage loan, or discriminate in appraising property due to a client’s ethnicity, and because racism cannot be seen, these rules are very vague. Available evidence suggests that blacks and Hispanics face higher rejection rates and less favorable conditions in securing mortgages than do Whites with similar credit characteristics (Ross & Yinger 1999). It has been reported that blacks pay more than 0.5% higher interest rates on home mortgages than whites do and that this difference persists with income level, date of purchase, and age of buyer.

During the Great Depression, people of color had a much harder time getting past the financial hardship because of the racial stereotypes that had before been thrown around. In the book, Whitewash Race: The Myth of a Colorblind Society, Michael K. Brown says “In the late 1930’s, black unemployment rates were two to four times higher than white unemployment rates.” Few Blacks had any financial savings to caution them from the full affect of the Depression. Blacks that had before has troubles getting a well paying job the faced the same challenge with a much larger margin for failure. Mrs. Roosevelt was particularly fretful about the financial difficulties encountered by racism.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred D. Taylor, is a story about a black family, the Logans, from the south, living frugally in order to preserve and keep their patch of farmland. Because the story takes place during the end of the Great Depression, one of the worst times in history to be a black farmer, money has become very sparse for the family and for the neighborhood. The children of the family, Cassie, Stacey, Christopher-John, and Little Man, live in a world where white kids rule and they know it. White kids had the freedom to do anything they wished to do, from threatening the kids they thought were inferior to hammering kids who socialized with black kids, or even walked with them to school. This was the case for T.J., a friend of the Logan kids who often walked with Cassie and her brothers to school, more often than not with a price.

While walking to school on the first day, Cassie and her brothers are cascaded in red dust as a bus full of white kids skids past, though they eventually get their revenge on the kids by sabotaging the bus. This is significant not only because it shows us just how boorish white kids were to black kids, but it also shows that black kids had to walk to school, and to some black kids, according to Cassie, the walk is so long they are forced to drop out of school. Cassie, being in fourth grade, attends a school especially for black kids. On the first day back to school, she and the other students are staggered to realize that that year they would be having books in the class, something that at that time was a luxury for an all-black school. Though once Cassie sees the books, she quickly sees why the books were given to them. The books were old and dirty, and on the inside of the front cover clenching to stay on was the label “Nigras.” Infuriated, Cassie refuses to take the book, and is ultimately whipped for her quarrel.

It isn’t until a black man is killed by a group of white men without consequence that the Logan kids grasp the idea of how dangerous living in a racist, white community could be. Racism becomes the problem revolving around the Logan family. Cassie doesn’t understand why they are treated differently and doesn’t want to back down because of the color of her skin. Stacey, on the other and, agrees to keep a low profile in the white community as to not trigger any alarms that may cause an issue.

This novel does a good job of showing how the effects racism on a specific race simply cause racism itself to stay functioning. After all they endure, at the end of the book the Logan family are a healthier family than they were at the start, mainly because of their capability to see through each other’s skin color, something the rest of the town was unable to do. The disruption of the school bus, though it was simply a small revenge, shows how close the kids had become because of everything they had been through because of the white kids. Racism brings races together, making races seem like a tighter bondage, and ultimately making it easier to target races.

Racism had existed throughout human history. It is regularly defined as the detestation, or belief that someone is less than human, because of skin color, place of birth, and mores. All of these arguments are based on a false understanding of race; in fact, some contemporary scientists could argue that the classification of races used today is inadequate, and that there are more meticulous and proper ways of categorizing humans. What may seem to be considerable “racial” differences to some people, such as skin color, hair, and facial shape, are not of much scientific significance. It has been said that there have been greater biological differences between people of the same race than if we were to compare the same trait to a different race. One philosopher writes: “There are few genetic characteristics to be found in the population of England that are not found in similar proportions in Zaire or in China….those differences that most deeply affect us in our dealings with each other are not to any significant degree biologically determined.”

Often what causes people to act racist is the fact that they have learned to conceal fear with racism. Many individuals react with fear towards those who look or appear different than them. Fear is what makes us uncomfortable, making us need to protect ourselves and defend, mostly causing pain and discomfort to the person or object of the fear. Instead of attempting to fix and deal with the differences, the wall between the two maintains; union and agreement are never attained.

So how do we put an end to this? The sad fact of the matter is that, during this age, we won’t. People were born differently, and it’s only human to retaliate negatively to things or people we aren’t used to. Scientists believe there is the tendency in all animals to selectively preserve their own kind even at the cost of a different animal type, which is in essence what caused racism, not to mention prejudice in general.

As humankind progresses, our way of thinking becomes more complex, as does the world around us. The values we once had aren’t forgotten, but replaced with new values as our old ways hide in the back of our minds. Though they are present and may re-emerge if a change in life conditions calls them up, they are no longer the dominant. This genuinely is the hope for mankind in their fight to end racism. In the future, if we can surmount the silliness of racism to the point where no one senses it, we will be in fine condition. The most effective way to begin this, through the words of Morgan Freeman, is to “Stop Talking About It.”

Racism Definition Essay

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Films Aftertaste: Homophobia, Militarism And Racism

Films Aftertaste: Homophobia, Militarism And Racism.


Discuss about the Films Aftertaste for Homophobia,Militarism and Racism.



“Sports and politics do not mix”, this is the statement that has been critically explored in the documentary. The documentary is based on Dave Zirin’s book, A People’s History of Sports in the United States, Not Just a Game showcases the political scenario that is prevalent on the screens. The documentary focuses on athletes like Billie Jean King, Jackie Robinson, and Pat Tillman — athletes who, hardly set as examples in the American sports and politics scenario. Where there is money and power involved politics will surely crop up. Dave Zirin states that, “American sports culture shapes cultural attitudes, norms and power arrangements.” Sports are a “cultural force, a shared social space and a political force,” The plot of the documentary discusses several political and societal issues faced by sports personalities in their career (Zirin, 2008).

The film covers the careers of famous American sports personalities like Jesse Owens to Howard Cosell, the documentary “Not Just a Game” exhibits that sports encompasses the concepts of  nationalism, militarism, and patriotism which is the exact opposite of politically nonaligned aspect of the perception of sports. With the help of images and footages of old and new interviews of popular athletes, the director points out a series of issues which lead to the conformation of the topic that politics is very well prevalent in American sports community (Briley, 2010).

A number of issues are discussed in the movie which was deemed to be glamorous in the sports arena for the longest time, for example: sexism, homophobia, militarism and racism. Not only that the screenplay of the documentary explores the forgotten history of some of the athletes who has a revolutionary career. These people went beyond the field of play to stand up against power anarchy and power misuse and also fought for social issues. The plot of the movie is intensely moving and has a rational flow of knowledge and understanding of the sports culture in the country (Briley, 2010).

Sexism and gender discrimination has been an issue in the country for a prolonged period of time until rules and legal framework were set up to support the interest of women in the country, sports is also not an exception, the writer has cited several examples throughout the movie that highlights the issues faced by women athletes and the kind of “politics” they had to face in the field facing a male opponent. The career of Billie Jean King (famous tennis player) is used as an example to categories and demonstrates the issue further. She had a lasting impression on the game of tennis as she revolutionized the game and was a vocal revolutionary about the woman and gay rights. Title IX of the legal framework of America has encouraged women’s participation in sport from a 1 out of 35 share to the currently 1 in 3, the media is also criticized in emphasizing on male sports personalities than female and this has been highlighted in the documentary (Brake, 2012). Media has been recorded to dedicate 1.6 percent of sport air time to women in 2009. In a span of five year the Magazine published by ESPN had only six female covers models.  Media coverage of women in sports lack respect and use the female sports personalities as secondary (O’Reilly, 2012).

Another social issue that has been highlighted in the documentary is Homophobia. Acceptance of homosexuality has been one of the major issues that the American society and the impact of it have been observed in the sports industry as well. The documentary traces the fact that not a single athlete had accepted their sexuality during the tenure of their career this fact is of course stated during the period this documentary was made. The silence of male athletes of the period on the issue of violence towards women as well as any kind of activities towards homosexuality, this situation was observed throughout the sports community (Sherkat et al., 2014) The scenario has changed for better now and acceptance of homosexuality has also been legalized in several states of America and the sports community has also shown acceptance of homosexuality with time. Jason Collins, for example is the first NBA player who has openly accepted his sexuality in 2014 (Zirin, 2008).

Dave Zirin achieved a lot of critical acclamation for the screenplay and the movie discusses the issue of militarism in the sports arena. American football is used as a platform to discuss the examples. There are a number of images from the Fox Sunday NFL anchors in military camouflage as well as the F-14 pre-game flyovers. It also focuses on how a sportsperson uses military expression to illustrate their experience on the field; the examples state that football in America is regarded as the major game. The football culture in the country as described in the documentary is dominated by the traditional male behavioral model some of the examples of this theory are the idea to impose and undergo pain in order to gain success, to succeed at any cost and win in the game regardless of the consequences (Briley, 2010). There are also a lot of militaristic jargons used in the sports like football for example: the term quarterback is actually a rank in among the military generals and is used in football to indicate a position of a player. The role of a player is this compared with the role of a soldier in the battlefield which indicates the militarism in sports. The documentary shows how these ideas are used to glamorize the sport and bring a sense of masculinity in the sports community. But Zirin shows that militarism is not only prevalent in football but is also prevalent in other sports as well. Indeed, all American sports are either uncritically patriotic or wholly militaristic (Zirin, 2008).

The gap that has been identified in this audiovisual representation of the topic of politics in sports is the issue of racism. The documentary discusses a brief of the history of racism in sports with the example of the successful career of Jack Johnson (boxer). Prior to that, men of color and women were treated as secondary and their careers were not followed by the media as well. This was because they were viewed to be physically incapable, lacking mental skills and physical capabilities. The success of Johnson was a benchmark in the American sports history as well as in American society (Zirin, 2008). He ranked as one of the top boxers in the world. In 1910, Johnson even defeated a white male boxer, this becoming a representation of black masculinity and a threat to whites. After the success of Johnson, several other men of color were inspired to join the sports community and take sports as a career option. The documentary states the situation that is revolutionary but does not go further deep in to the issue of how people were treated previously.

The film takes a broad perspective of the collective meaning for social justice therefore lacking individual focus on severe issues. The career and success of popular athletes such as Muhammad Ali, Jack Johnson, Jackie Robinson and John Carlos have been discussed but the issue has been highlighted the solution or the revolution in the situation has not been mentioned. Civil rights are used as the overall concern of that the documentary deals with thus reducing the emphasis on individual issues. The documentary portrays the Black Power salute of John Carlos and Tommie Smith on the podium during the Mexico City Olympic Games in the year 1968. Zirin, the narrator of the film, states by mistake about these athletes showing their showing their respect for Civil rights movement when in actuality they expressed their solidarity with Black Power and Human Rights (Briley, 2010).

The approach of the narrative of the documentary look forward to place these sports personalities as revolutionaries, who not only strive to make the situation in the sports community better but also fit into the reforming the American society. The documentary uplifts the true spirit of sportsmanship and commemorates the efforts of the athletes who has strived the make the sports community in America a diverse and better opportunity for the young aspirants irrespective of their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation etc (Zirin, 2008).

It can be concluded form the above example that the documentary is not like any other sports documentary that focuses on a sports legend and follows the career prospect of a sport, but rather the content is intensely mixed with the political and societal conditions of America which was also impacting the sports community by and large. The personalities who have been discussed in the documentary reformed the community as well as changed the way the sports were depicted even a decade ago. There have been reforms in the community as well as in the society, as these people have strived to put their perspective across and have traced a successful sports career as well. Power, politics and American sports are depicted to be interred connected and the influence of sports in the society has been analyzed to be significant.

Reference list:

Brake, D. L. (2012). Getting in the game: Title IX and the women’s sports revolution. NYU Press.

Briley, R. (2010). A People’s History of Sports in the United States: 250 Years of Politics, Protest, People, and Play. Journal of Sport History, 37(1), 192-193.

O’Reilly, J. (Ed.). (2012). Women and sports in the United States: A documentary reader. UPNE.

Sherkat, D. E., Powell-Williams, M., Maddox, G., & De Vries, K. M. (2011). Religion, politics, and support for same-sex marriage in the United States, 1988–2008. Social Science Research, 40(1), 167-180.

Tomlinson, A., & Young, C. (Eds.). (2006). National identity and global sports events: Culture, politics, and spectacle in the Olympics and the football World Cup. SUNY Press.

Zirin, D. (2008). A people’s history of sports in the United States: 250 years of politics, protest, people, and play. The New Press.

Films Aftertaste: Homophobia, Militarism And Racism

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American History X: A Critical Look of Racism in America Essay

American History X: A Critical Look of Racism in America Essay.

American History X is arguably among the best movies that tackled on the issue of racism in America. Directed by Tony Kaye and written by David McKenna, the setting of the movie is Venice Beach, Los Angeles. It revolves around two brothers, Derek Vinyard and Danny Vinyard.

Derek (Edward Norton), a promising teenage student is forced to join the neo-Nazi movement after his father is killed by an African American criminal. His oratory skills coupled with his blatant hate towards other races saw him rise quickly to the ranks of leadership in the movement.

In a blotched up plan to rob Derek, two African American criminals end up on the wrong side of his wrath. As a result, he is sentenced to three years in prison for violently killing them.

In prison, he is easily adopted by white supremacy groups, owing to his controversial reputation- evidenced by his swastika tattoos. However, things get complicated for him when he befriends Lamont (Guy Torry), an African American.

The white skinheads view this as utter disrespect towards their cause and brandish Derek a traitor. They plot against him and Derek is molested by multiple skinheads, as a result. Professor Sweeney (Avery Brooks) visits him after his brutal ordeal and convinces him to stop his racial hatred.

He eventually comes out of prison a changed man. He is faced with the challenge of converting his younger brother, who is passionately following in his footsteps as a neo-Nazi. Danny (Edward Furlong) supports his brother’s new quest after he learns of the ordeal he went through in prison at the hands of his fellow neo-Nazis. In the end, Danny is shot by a black student before submitting his paper that renounced neo-Nazism to Professor Sweeney.

Analysis of the Movie

Although American History X has a lot of elements of violence and foul language, the movie has a positive message of hope and transformation. Derek and to some extent Danny, represent a section of people who are easily brainwashed into believing that their race or religion or ideology is superior to others. Unfortunately, they take to heart these misconstrued ideologies, willing to die and commit all forms of atrocities to advance them. Their only justification to these evil deeds is that they are superior to others.

Derek justifies his hate for black Americans because one of them killed his father. However, his hate for the race can be attributed to parental indoctrination, although he does not know it yet during the first half of the film. The seeds of hate were already sown into their hearts by their father- his untimely death was only a spark that ignited the hate. Derek, like other racists generalize a whole race based on a few negative events, while completely neglecting a horde of positive things from that same group.

For instance, Derek goes into a tirade of hate towards the whole race, because a single member of the race killed his father. When two black persons try to rob him, he kills them in the most inhumane way possible. It makes you wonder how deeply rooted is his hatred for the African Americans. He ignores black role models in his life, such as Professor Sweeney, who ironically plays a big role towards his redemption.

As is common in all criminal enterprises, a leader who is incarcerated is only propelled to greater heights of popularity among his adherents. This is exactly what happens to Derek when he is jailed. His popularity increases both inside the prison and outside- within racist circles. A black man befriends him, despite the controversies that surround him. They develop a friendship bond that proved vital towards Derek’s survival in prison. When he took an in-depth look at Lamont, he realizes that there is more to these people than meets the eye. They are not as bad as he is made to believe.

On the other hand, his skinhead comrades seem one dimensional. They have no other outlook in life apart from creating havoc among nonwhites. His life takes a humbling U-turn, when he is molested by his own people. The people that come to his aid are the ones he is busy fighting and demonizing- African Americans- Lamont and Professor Sweeny.

The problem with hate is that it is initially directed towards an enemy. However, when it is continually fueled it is redirected towards loved ones. This is profoundly highlighted by Derek who starts insulting his family and treats them like crap. He is also shown this form of hatred by the people he loves and considers family, when they gang up and rape him in prison.

The truth of the matter is people ride race trains as a means to an end. As Danny vividly puts it, “I hate anyone that isn’t white protestant. They’re a burden to the advancement of the white race.” Hiding under the pretense of preserving American society from aliens, who are threatening its existence, they are actually scared of minority groups that are working tirelessly to advance themselves in all spheres of life. The white supremacists believe that in order for their race to advance, they must trample everyone else down. But, as the movie clearly shows: every action is followed by a counter reaction. Hate leads to violence, violence leads to more violence, which leads to scores of unnecessary deaths and suffering.

Derek’s turnaround is probably the best element in the movie. He is able to achieve this by looking at the racial issue from both sides of the divide. While his own people put him through hell for having an open mind, he is welcomed and shown compassion from a people he has been conditioned to hate all his life. We realize that two wrongs do not make a right. In order to change a hateful person, you must show him love. The concept of karma brings this movie to a horrific end when his brother is killed in a racial attack. The neo-Nazi movement was therefore Derek’s Frankenstein’s monster.


  • 15 Facts About American History X – Mental Floss
  • American History X Movie Review (1998) | Roger Ebert
  • American History X – Movie Reviews – Rotten Tomatoes

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American History X: A Critical Look of Racism in America Essay

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Ethnic Groups and Racism Essay

Ethnic Groups and Racism Essay.


Race and ethnicity are important concepts in the field of sociology and are ones that are studied a great deal. Race plays a large role in everyday human interactions and sociologists want to study how, why, and what the outcomes are of these interactions. A race is a human population that is believed to be distinct in some way from other humans based on real or imagined physical differences. Racial classifications are rooted in the idea of biological classification of humans according to morphological features such as skin color or facial characteristics.

An individual is usually externally classified (meaning someone else makes the classification) into a racial group rather than the individual choosing where they belong as part of their identity.

Conceptions of race, as well as specific racial groupings, are often controversial due to their impact on social identity and how those identities influence someone’s position in social hierarchies. Ethnicity, while related to race, refers not to physical characteristics but social traits that are shared by a human population.

Some of the social traits often used for ethnic classification include:


religious faith
shared language
shared culture
shared traditions

Unlike race, ethnicity is not usually externally assigned by other individuals. The term ethnicity focuses more upon a group’s connection to a perceived shared past and culture.


Race is a socially defined category, based on real or perceived biological differences between groups of people. Ethnicity is a socially defined category based on common language, religion, nationality, history or another cultural factor. Sociologists see race and ethnicity as social constructions because they are not rooted in biological differences, they change over time, and they never have firm boundaries.

Example: White

The distinction between race and ethnicity can be displayed or hidden, depending on individual preferences, while racial identities are always on display.


The classification of people into races and ethnic groups carries deep implication on the social and political life of different racial and ethnic groups. These classifications led to the notion of racial superiority and racial inferiority, culturally advanced groups and culturally disadvantaged, the use of derogatory undertones and parody, apartheid policy, discrimination and prejudice, and stereotyping of groups of people. Ethnic conflicts have been regular process within the same territorial borders and among the nations of the world. Ethnic conflicts have been pervasive and dangerous because they cause massive humanitarian suffering, civil wars, and destabilizing effects.

Sociologically, “race” refers to a group of people whom others believe are genetically distinct and whom they treat accordingly. This term is commonly used to refer to physical differences between people brought about by physical characteristics of genetic origin. This commonness of genetic heritage may be manifested in the shape of the head and face, the shape and color of the eyes, the shape of the nose, lips, and ears, the texture and color of the hair, the skin color, height, blood type and other physical characteristics. Among the significant racial categories studied by early social scientists were the Caucasoid, Mongoloid, Negroid, and the subgroups of primary and derived races. Racial differences are seen as physical differences singled out by the community or society as ethnically significant.

It is preferable to refer to ethnicity or ethnic groups rather than race for its historical and biological connotations. An ethnic group represents a number of persons who have a common cultural background as evidenced by a feeling of loyalty to a given geographical territory or leader, a feeling of identification with and unity among historical and other group experiences, or a high degree of similarity in social norms, ideas and material objects. Members of ethnic groups see themselves as culturally different from other groups in the society and are viewed by others to be so. SOCIAL CONSEQUENCES OF MEMBERSHIP IN RACIAL AND ETHNIC GROUPS Membership in racial and ethnic groups influences people’s social status and roles as they interact with others. Physical characteristics, especially skin color and certain distinctive cultural traits, complexes, and patterns, become badges for social and economic status.

Frequently, they establish a person’s or groups position in the social stratification system and make up the foundation for prejudice, discrimination, and other forms of differential treatment. Furthermore, when an ethnic group becomes a target of discrimination, such group may utilize the unique physical or cultural traits as the rallying force for promoting common loyalties and enhancing collective action. When people’s definition of physical characteristics greatly affects their relationship, such definitions generally become interlinked with cultural differences. A classic example is the white man’s justification of his technological, economic, political and military superiority. Examples are such ideologies as the God-chosen race, the white man’s burden and more recently, the apartheid policy.

Since the early days of the United States, Native Americans, African-Americans and European-Americans were classified as belonging to different races. But the criteria for membership in these races were radically different. For Africans, the government considered anyone with African appearance to be purely African. Native Americans, on the other hand, were classified based on a certain percentage of Indian blood. Finally, European-Americans had to have purely white ancestry. The differing criteria for assigning membership to particular races had relatively little to do with biology; it had far more to do with maintaining a group’s defined roles and position.

Racial and ethnic membership leads to a sense of people-hood. By this, we mean a sense of identification with a relatively small segment of the world’s population- those who by virtue of common ancestry or heritage we consider “our own kind”.

Erich Fromm wrote in 1941:

“The identity with nature, clan, religion, gives the individual security. He belongs to, he is rooted in, structuralized whole in which he has an unquestionable place. He may suffer from hunger or suppression, but he does not suffer from worst of all pains- complete aloneness and doubt.”


People who occupy a subordinate status are usually called a minority group. What determines a minority group is not the unique racial or ethnics traits nor their great number but the relationship of different groups in the society of which they are a part. A minority group, then is one that, because of the power of differences among the groups, is singled out for unequal treatment in the society. A minority refers to a group which, because of physical and cultural characteristics, occupies a subordinate position in the society and subjected to collective discrimination, in some cases, even segregation, oppression, slavery, peonage, military subjugation, religious persecution, and economic, political, educational, and social suppression. The patterns of ethnic group relations include the following:

1. Patterns of Racism

a. Prejudice and discrimination

Racism – is behavior that is motivated by the belief that one’s own group is superior to other groups that are set apart on the basis of physical characteristics Structural racism refers to inequalities built into an organization or system. An example of structural racism can be seen in recent research on workplace discrimination.[37] There is widespread discrimination against job applicants whose names were merely perceived as “sounding black.”

These applicants were 50% less likely than candidates perceived as having “white-sounding names” to receive callbacks for interviews, no matter their level of previous experience. Prejudice – prejudged negative attitude or opinion about a group without bothering to verify the merits of the opinion or judgment The relationship between prejudice and discrimination is complex. Robert Merton’s study and typology of the relationship between prejudice and discrimination

Four patterns

1. Unprejudiced nondiscriminatory – integration
2. Unprejudiced and discriminatory – institutional discrimination

3. Prejudiced and nondiscriminatory – latent bigotry
4. Prejudiced and discriminatory – outright bigotry

In his study, (1974), Bulatao listed impressions on some ethnic groups by respondents from five Philippine cities: Ilocanos and Chinese were viewed as most industrious, serious, thrifty; Tagalogs, progressive; Bicolanos and Cebuanos, humble, friendly, warm, and peaceful; Warays, lazy but strong; and Ilongos, proud and extravagant.

b. Discrimination refers to the act of disqualifying or mistreating people on the basis of their group membership or on ascriptive rounds rationally irrelevant to the situation. Whereas prejudice is a state of mind, discrimination is actual behavior. Prejudice and discrimination work hand in hand to create and sustain racial and ethnic stratification, (Jarry J. 1987)


Light gives the following explanations on the origin of prejudice: 1. Economic Theory- assumes that racial prejudice is a social attitude transmitted by the dominant ethnic majority class for the purpose of stigmatizing some group s as inferior so that the exploitation of the group resources will be justified. 2. Symbolic Theory- asserts that prejudice arises because a racial or ethnic group is a symbol of what people hate, fear, or envy. 3. Scapegoat theory- maintains that human beings are reluctant to accept their mistakes for their troubles and failures so they look for an ethnic-minority to shoulder the blame. 4. Social norm theory- asserts that ethnocentrism is a natural development of group living. Hatred and suspicion for the out-group are the standard and normal way of doing things, particularly in dealing with people.

c. Stereotypes are often simplified and unsupported generalizations about others and are used indiscriminately for all cases. A few examples are Ilokano, “bantay kuako” (heavy smokers) and “kuripot” (stingy); Pampangueno, “dugong aso” (dog blood or traitors); Batangueno, “balisong” (knife-wielding); Bicolanos, “sili” ( pepper or hot people). 2. Patterns of Competition, Conflict and Domination

When ethnocentric attitudes are coupled with intergroup competition for territory and scarce resources, an explosive social situation may arise. When two groups both strive for the same things- and they perceive their respective claims to be mutually exclusively and legitimate- the stage is set for conflict. In modern societies, the state has become the vehicle that enables one group to dominate and keep the other group subordinate. In sum, competition supplies the motivation for systems of stratification, and ethnocentrism directs competition along racial and ethnic lines, but power determines which group will subjugate the other (Noel, 1972; Barth and Noel, 1975).

3. Economic and Political Subjugation

The economic takeover of one nation by a more powerful one and the subsequent political and social domination of the native population is called colonialism. If the takeover of one nation is trough the military superiority of the more powerful one for the purpose of territorial expansion and establishing colonies, it is termed as military colonialism. On the other hand, if the economic takeover is made through the great technological superiority of the more powerful one, the institutionalization of their businesses in their former colonies, the control and domination of most of a colony’s natural resources, the imposition of trade policies and economic treaties favorable to their side; the establishment of outlets for their surplus capital; the need for more cheap labor, raw materials, and markets to fuel their growing economy, the process is termed neo-colonialism or economic imperialism.

4. Displacement and Segregation of the Native Population

Economic and political subjugation of a minority population by a more powerful group is not the only pattern of conquest that occurs when different racial and ethnic group meet.

Displacement of native population can be made possible through the influx of powerful settlers or invaders with their vastly superior weapons. It is typically found in areas rich in natural resources and similar in geography and climate to the homeland of the invading group. Displacement takes the following forms: a.) by attrition, that is, numbers of the weaker group may die of starvation or disease either deliberately or not; b.) by population transfer; and c.) by genocide- deliberate and ruthless extermination of the weaker group.

Segregation involves the enactment of laws and/or customs that restrict or prohibit contact between groups. Segregation may be ethnic or racial or based on sex or age.

5. Patterns of Accommodation and Tolerance

Interracial and interethnic accommodation can be carried out through miscegenation or amalgamation- the intermarriage of members of the majority and minority groups. This can result in the blending of their various customs and values and the creation of a new cultural hybrid. This involves a cultural and biological blending in which the customs and values of both groups are to some extent preserved and their biological characteristics appear in the offspring.

6. Patterns of Acculturation and Assimilation

Acculturation and assimilation are two very important concepts in sociology and anthropology that describe cross cultural effects on both minorities as well as majorities in societies that are multi ethnic and multi cultural in nature. Assimilation is a broader concept as described by sociologist Jean Piaget and refers to the manner in which people take new information. There are many people who think of the two concepts as same and even use them interchangeably. If you belong to a minority community in a country and retain your own culture but cannot remain isolated and are affected by the majority culture in such a way that you adapt to some aspects of the majority culture, the process is referred to as acculturation.

Assimilation is a process whereby people of a culture learn to adapt to the ways of the majority culture. There is a loss of one’s own culture as a person gives more value to the cultural aspects of the majority community in the process of assimilation.

What is the difference between Acculturation and Assimilation?

• Meeting of cultures always produces results in terms of changes in both the cultures, and acculturation and assimilation refer to two important and different changes in these cultures. • Assimilation refers to the process where some of the majority community’s cultural aspects are absorbed in such a manner that the home cultural aspects get mitigated or lost. • Acculturation is a process where the cultural aspects of the majority community are adapted without losing the traditions and customs of the minority community. • Minority culture changes in the case of assimilation whereas it remains intact in the case of acculturation.

7. Patterns of cultural Pluralism or Ethnic Diversity

Cultural pluralism refers to the coexistence of different racial or ethnic groups each of which retains its own cultural identity and social structural networks, while participating equally in the economic and political systems. (Light, 1985) In pluralistic society, each group retains its own language, religion and customs, and its members tend to interact socially primarily among themselves. Yet all jointly participate in the economic and political systems and live in harmony and peaceful “coexistence”. A prime example of such an arrangement can be found in Switzerland. There, people of German, French, and Italian heritage preserve their distinct cultural ways while coexisting peacefully and equally. No one group enjoys special privileges or is discriminated against.


Ethnic groups in the Philippines are classified according to certain physical, cultural, linguistic, religious and geographic criteria.

A. According to distinctive physical traits
1. The Negritoes who are regarded as the aborigines of the Philippines.
2. The Indonesian- Malayan stock which is predominant among the Filipinos.
3. The Chinese who make up the largest national group.
4. The Americans and the Spaniards, and a few other Europeans who came as colonizers.

B. According to cultural standpoints
1. Cultural minorities or cultural communities
2. Muslims
3. Christian groups

C. According to linguistic groupings

PANAMIN reports that there are about 87 ethno linguistic groups in the Philippines-e.g., Tagalog, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon, Kapampangan, Ilonggo, etc. D. According to religion
1. Roman Catholics
2. Muslims
3. Aglipayans
4. Protestants
5. Iglesia ni Cristo
6. Buddhists
7. Jehovah’s witnesses
8. Other religious sects.
E. Muslims of Southern Philippines

The Muslims make up the largest single non-Christian group. They have nine ethno-linguistic groups, namely:

1. Taosug
2. Maranao
3. Maguindanao
4. Samal
5. Yakan
6. Sanggil
7. Badjao
8. Molbog
9. Jama Mapun

From the Spanish regime to the present, Muslim and Christian intergroup relationships have been characterized by animosity and suspicion. This has been expressed in the Muslims’ ongoing resentment of Christian settlers and attempts at secession to form an independent Mindanao. Muslim revolutionary groups the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Bangsai Moro Liberation Front (BMLF) want Mindanao, Sulu, and Palawan to secede from the Philippines.


The non-Christian Filipinos now known as cultural communities make up 10% of the total national population. They have maintained their culture in their clothes, art, religion, ethnic dialect, customs, traditions and other superficial differences. There are 77 major ethno-linguistic groups in the Philippines.


Within sociology, the terms race, ethnicity, minority, and dominant group all have very specific and different meanings. To understand the sociological perspective on race and ethnicity, it is important to understand the meanings of these concepts. An ethnic group is a social category of people who share a common culture, such as a common language, a common religion, or common norms, customs, practices, and history. Ethnic groups have a consciousness of their common cultural bond. An ethnic group does not exist simply because of the common national or cultural origins of the group, however. They develop because of their unique historical and social experiences, which become the basis for the group’s ethnic identity. For example, prior to immigration to the United States, Italians did not think of themselves as a distinct group with common interests and experiences. However, the process of immigration and the experiences they faced as a group in the United States, including discrimination, created a new identity for the group.

Some examples of ethnic groups include Italian Americans, Polish Americans, Mexican Americans, Arab Americans, and Irish Americans. Ethnic groups are also found in other societies, such as the Pashtuns in Afghanistan or the Shiites in Iraq, whose ethnicity is base on religious differences. Like ethnicity, race is primarily, though not exclusively, a socially constructed category. A race is a group that is treated as distinct in society based on certain characteristics. Because of their biological or cultural characteristics, which are labeled as inferior by powerful groups in society, a race is often singled out for differential and unfair treatment. It is not the biological characteristics that define racial groups, but how groups have been treated historically and socially. Society assigns people to racial categories (White, Black, etc.) not because of science or fact, but because of opinion and social experience.

In other words, how racial groups are defined is a social process; it is socially constructed. A minority group is any distinct group in society that shares common group characteristics and is forced to occupy low status in society because of prejudice and discrimination. A group may be classified as a minority on the basis of ethnicity, race, sexual preference, age, or class status. It is important to note that a minority group is not necessarily the minority in terms of numbers, but it is a group that holds low status in relation to other groups in society (regardless of the size). The group that assigns a racial or ethnic group to subordinate status in society is called the dominant group. There are several sociological theories about why prejudice, discrimination, and racism exist. Current sociological theories focus mainly on explaining the existence of racism, particular institutional racism.

The three major sociological perspectives (functionalist theory, symbolic interaction theory, and conflict theory) each have their own explanations to the existence of racism. Functionalist theorists argue that in order for race and ethnic relations to be functional and contribute to the harmonious conduct and stability of society, racial and ethnic minorities must assimilate into that society. Assimilation is a process in which a minority becomes absorbed into the dominant society – socially, economically, and culturally. Symbolic interaction theorists look at two issues in relation to race and ethnicity.

First, they look at the role of social interaction and how it reduces racial and ethnic hostility. Second, they look at how race and ethnicity are socially constructed. In essence, symbolic interactionists ask the question, “What happens when two people of different race or ethnicity come in contact with one another and how can such interracial or interethnic contact reduce hostility and conflict?” The basic argument made by conflict theorists is that class-based conflict is an inherent and fundamental part of society. These theorists thus argue that racial and ethnic conflict is tied to class conflict and that in order to reduce racial and ethnic conflict, class conflict must first be reduced.

Ethnic Groups and Racism Essay

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Controversies of Racism Essay

Controversies of Racism Essay.

The subject of racism is a continual controversial issue within everyday society. It’s inevitable. Everywhere you go, you’ll come across some sort of discrimination or racism. It’s like we’re programmed to judge instantly, it’s in our human nature. Religion, age and racial discrimination literally surrounds us and we can’t do much to stop it until we change ourselves, and let’s face it that’s probably not going to happen. So the main questions I normally ask myself are: Why are we prejudiced? Is being different that bad? And are we really that different?

Hitler definitely seemed to think that we were.

So did America back in the 1600’s where the first of racism and black slavery began and half the world’s population in the 21st Century think so too. It was said for many years that Hitler was obsessed with racial “purity” and spread his beliefs in speeches and writings pronouncing that his race needs to remain pure in order to rule the world.

What was his definition of pure? To have blue eyes, fair skin and blonde hair. Who is to say that makes you the perfect being? Absolutely no one.

When Hitler and the Nazis came to power, these beliefs became the government motto and were spread publicly in posters, on the radio, in movies, in classrooms and in newspapers. After Hitler took power, Nazi teachers in school classrooms began to apply the principles of racial science. The teachers measured skull size and nose length and recorded the colour of the student’s hair and eyes to determine whether students belonged to the “true race”. This constant negative message that was being sent out influenced the younger students to continue with racism.

The Nazis also began to put their ideology into practice with the support of German scientists who believed that the human race could be improved by limiting the reproduction of people considered “inferior” such as Jews, people with disabilities, gypsies, black people, and people with skin diseases, Jehovah’s Witnesses and any other flaws humans are born with. Hitler viewed the Jews not as a religious group, but as a poisonous, disgusting “race”, which “lived off” other races and weakened them. And so began the Holocaust.

Hitler threw innocent Jewish people into concentration camps letting them starve to death, gassing them, burning them alive and countless other torturous acts because they weren’t what he saw to be the ‘’perfect being’’. That may have been around sixty years ago but why does genocide still happen? After the Jewish Genocide, the cold war genocide, Rwanda genocide and just recently the genocide in Darfur occurred. Slavery is a black eye on the soul of America’s history. There has never been an excuse for one human to own another. We humans as a species should always have been treated equally.

Why should people own other people? Are human beings animals? How can you hate someone so much by the colour of their skin? There simply is no answer. Slavery began around the 1600’s when the first black man was used as a servant. The slavery continued on, all the way through to the 1900’s where the servants were used to clean, cook food, babysit and do the dirty work around the house while a racist extremist group called the Ku Klux Klan that believed in Hitler’s message abused them with hate crimes and acts of domestic terrorism.

Black people were treated like they were the scum of the earth; they were abused, spit on, beaten and in worst case scenario, murdered. They weren’t allowed to go to the same stores, schools, diners, and churches as the white people in America which was a huge disadvantage to the African-American race. When the racial segregation happened, which was a big milestone in history, the African–Americans were allowed to have the same facilities as everyone else, much to Americas disdain.

Their freedom was limited; the African-Americans resorted to sitting at the back of the bus, or were only allowed to go to certain public areas. So why it is that racism still exists? What will it take for mankind to realize that despite the colour of a person’s skin, we are all amazing, complex people, who have wonderful characteristics that should be admired and loved? But people also need to realize that some people that were born black didn’t CHOSE to be black. I mean, I’m a black girl but that doesn’t make me hate the whites and love the blacks.

Both races are the same to me. I guess equality is such a new concept within everyday American society that many raw emotions still cloud their judgment. Now in the 21st Century, racism still exists and in varying forms. Not only is there racial discrimination, religion is discriminated against also. When you see a Muslim man walking down the street or a woman wearing a burka, do you cower in fear? There is this new phobia called Islamophobia where there is hatred, prejudice or fear of a Muslim person and this term came to use fter the September 11 terrorist attack. But why be scared of only Muslim’s? Everyone is capable of causing great harm to society and just recently the Norway attack occurred and this attack wasn’t done by a Muslim. It was by a Norwegian citizen that no one suspected. This man, Breivik planned the attack to annihilate multiculturalism in Norway and to preserve a Christian Europe. His political views were to conserve his culture and promote Islamophobia, he also urged Europeans after this attack to restore the “historic crusades” against Islam as in the Middle Ages.

You could say that Islamophobia is the new form of black racism as it is a practice of discriminating against Muslims by excluding them from the economic, social and public life of everyday society. The new law that was passed down in France of not being able to wear the burka is an example. French police arrested two veiled women just hours after the country’s new ban on wearing the burka in public came into force. This law is the first of its kind to be enforced in Europe, and the French police said they will be extremely cautious as there are fears of Muslim women provoking violence while the burka.

The law should not push minorities around. I believe that people should be allowed to wear what they want, free of coercion. The burka is a Muslim practice and I do not see the big deal, it is not a security risk. It is believed that Islam has no values in the Western society and is an inferior and violent religious belief. On the contrary, the violent belief is this new phobia. What do you think? Far too many of us speak of equality and hope, yet secretly have hate. Most people will tell you, that they are not racist individuals.

Many of these people though, are either fooling themselves, or just don’t want to make a bad reputation for themselves. Everyone is based on little more than stereotypes and stories of that what happened years ago with Hitler and the black slavery. So we need to put aside all the things that happened generations ago. It happened out of ignorance and right now what we need to be doing is unite as one race, stop the negative attitudes and beliefs that permeate around us and try to make the future brighter. Some people believe that racism is in our human nature. Do you think so?

Controversies of Racism Essay

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Ethic Studies – how race and racism manifest in contemporary American society.

Ethic Studies – how race and racism manifest in contemporary American society..

In this 3-5 page paper, students will examine how race and racism manifest in contemporary American society.

Choose ONE of the following three assignments:

1) An immersion project. This assignment provides white students with an opportunity to experience being a racial minority. You may need to be mindful about how you will do this in the Oregon context. Do not bring a bunch of friends with you to this experience because it will lessen the impact.

2) A one-on-one interview. This assignment requires the student-writer to interview someone of a different race about their racial experiences. Write this as a narrative connecting what you learn during the interviews to course concepts, not a list of questions and answers. If you are choosing this option, please check in with your GE about who you are interviewing and your plan. (My ethnicity is white and let me know if you decide to choose this one as I need to message my GE about the plan whatever that might be.)

3) A critical analysis of an article (not included in the course packet). This assignment requires the student-writer to use course materials to analyze an article that has been published in a reputable newspaper or journal in the past three months. The article should be relevant to ES 101 course content.

The paper must be/have: 
double spaced
12pt Times or Helvetica font
1 inch margins 
correct citations (all three options should have citations for when you are connecting to course materials((Doesn’t exactly specify how many sources so I’d say at least 3 or so))

Course materials/concepts can be found in the following articles from the class(It’s preferred that the writer who accepts this assignment has knowledge on some of the following short articles or is willing to read them) :

Michael Omi and Howard Winant’s “Racial Formations”
Erin Aubry, “the butt”
Joseph Graves, Jr. “How Biology Refutes our Racial Myths”
Andrea Smith, “Heteropatriarchy and the Three Pillars of White Supremacy”
Anna Kegler, “The Sugarcoated Language of White Fragility” 
Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, “Racism without Racists”
George Lipsitz, “The Possessive Investment in Whiteness” 
Karen Brodkin Sacks, “How Jews Became White”

Also some other course concepts discussed in class to help you out: Cultural racism, Institutional racism, Individual racism, Intersectionality, Stereotypes, & Essentialism 

If you have any questions please feel free to ask! Thank you very much,

Ethic Studies – how race and racism manifest in contemporary American society.

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Discuss the link between the slave trade and racism

Discuss the link between the slave trade and racism.

choose any 1 of the following two questions (answers to a minimum of three-quarters of a page and 1.5 pages) :

1.  Discuss the link between the slave trade and racism. In your discussion include the factors of the profit-motive, methods of controlling slaves during the middle passage, slave plantations, and other aspects of  the system of slavery, such as slave auctions, which dehumanized Africans who had been enslaved. Include details from the autobiography of Frederick Douglass as to the treatment of slaves.

2.  Discuss the economics of slavery beginning with the crops grown in the earliest settlements through the invention of the cotton gin. Link the growth and spread of slavery during the first 60 years of the 19thcentury to the growth of populations, wealth in the north and south, industry and the growth of resistance. Be specific in identifying the causes and types of resistance that were engaged in by enslaved African Americans during this period.

Discuss the link between the slave trade and racism

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