What is the actual meaning of the word “Racism”?

We live in a world where people belong to different cultures, beliefs, and race. In order for us to peacefully co-exist in this one planet we all live in, it is important that we respect each others’ cultures, beliefs, and race. In an ideal world, mutual respect reigns supreme and that all races are treated equally. Unfortunately in the real world, wars have been waged since time immemorial due to racism. What then is the actual meaning of “racism”?

Wikipedia defines racism as “…actions, practices or beliefs, or social or political systems that consider different races to be ranked as inherently superior or inferior to each other, based on presumed shared inheritable traits, abilities, or qualities.” Racism occurs when a group of people consider themselves to be of superior race compared to other races.

Throughout history, the issue of racism has caused so many conflicts among nations. To recall World War II history, Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany considered themselves as superior race so much so that they tried to occupy neighboring countries with the intention of expanding their race. Hitler is infamous for singling out the Jews as an inferior people. He sent thousands of Jews to be killed by gas poisoning.

Nobody or no country has the right to kill anyone just for having a different set of beliefs. Nobody should be persecuted, tortured, and forced to recant his or her belief to the point of death.

Racism had also muddled the history of the United States. As shocking as it may seem, the United States, considered as the land of the free, once fought a deadly and costly domestic war to ensure freedom and equality among all people in the land. Some states in the Southern part of the United States believed that it was alright to maintain black people as slaves. Many black people were maltreated, tortured, and killed by their masters because black people were considered as an inferior group of people.

The Northern states tried to convince the Southern states to abolish slavery and give black people equal rights and opportunities. The Southern states didn’t give in to the request but instead severed ties from the rest of the United States to form the Confederate States of America. The American Civil War broke out in 1861 and lasted until 1865. The Northern states eventually won the war and consequently abolished slavery paving the way for freedom and equality for all black people in the United States.

Even today, racism is unfortunately persisting. Stories and news can be found on the Internet about black people being the subject of racist jokes. There are reports of Asian people being discriminated in places just for being different. Social networks, such as Facebook, are full of racial jokes and comments.

There is much to be done to educate people on racism. Getting all people to understand racism is not an easy task. It’s probably easier to buy more instagram followers than make people understand the seriousness of racism.