Racism universal?

Racism in this world may have its roots in the most basic parts of our human nature. To some extent all species prefer their own kind. It is totally understandable that humans in primitive societies would naturally prefer their own tribe/group and their perception of the universe would be based upon the bias of their tribe. Observing nature we see that animals use a system of what we might call stereo typing to distinguish between safe or dangerous species, a lamb encountering a predatory lion will stereo type the lion as unsafe. This is a basic system of survival for groups to identify each other. So our aptitude to stereo type by race, tribe, clan or culture may be deeply imbedded within our DNA. This basic understanding of human nature is an important starting point, or premise for me if I want to understand the issues of real racism.

If we accept this premise about human nature then maybe we should look closer at what we call racism for a more clear definition. If it is natural to see the world and other people from the bias of my own group what is racism? Racism is distortion of the universal natural preference for one’s group, making one’s own group superior to other groups, to oppress or cause them harm by any means. This definition is broad enough to encompass all groups, majority or minority, who use their bias to harm or oppress others.

However, some people may use the premise above as a reason to justify racism, saying that survival of the fittest is the normal course of nature. This leads us to consider a serious difference between animals and human animals. Humans have a dilemma because we have to make choices that other animals may not be required to make. Regardless of your stance on evolution or creation humans are held to a higher standard of conduct. A social evolutionist may conclude that mankind has learned that for true survival our species needs to learn cooperation and the creationist may conclude that the creator of all humans expects cooperation between the human groups; anti-racism. Choice is another essential aspect of human nature as we consider the problem of racism.

Christmas festival in Kobe Japan

My theory for overcoming racism is not based on denying the differences between the human groups, but we overcome racism by a choice to respect. Denial of differences may actually be way of forcing assimilation into a dominant group. Acknowledging our differences does give us the difficult task of not considering one group superior, which in our human history has been a problem. Acknowledging our differences also means that we realize that stereo types in humans are never 100% true. Stereo types are built on partial truths and exaggerated. So as humans we have the choice to look beyond a stereo type and risk getting to know and trust the individuals. As humans we may prefer the friendship our group, seek the wellbeing of our group, see life from the perspective of our group, but never at the cost of oppressing or harming another group. This is the responsibility that our common Creator gives us. Or if you prefer to ignore our Creator, it is still the only viable path for the survival of our species.


CLARIFICATION; Some people are misunderstanding me.

I do not support racism. I am careful to define racism as a distortion or perversion of a natural tendency to prefer our own group; social or ethnic. This natural tendency could be universal. And the evil of racism is widespread but I do not support it.


About maaark

Carpenter, student, interested in beliefs and cultures of the world View all posts by maaark

3 responses to “Racism universal?

  • jonolan

    The huge flaw in your assertion is that it is largely based upon a pernicious lie. All cultures are not equal and not all countries deserve respect except for respect fro the danger that they pose to their neighbors.

  • Katrine Dugas

    “God is invoked… and He is invoked against the God of the spirit, of intelligence and love─ excluding and hating this God. What an extraordinary spiritual phenomenon this is: people believe in God and yet do not know God. The idea of God is affirmed and at the same time disfigured and perverted.” ─Jacques Maritain

    The universal racist is the man who twist religion so far to his advantage that being a racist is a virtue. Through this ideology, the religious “virtues” overpower logic, knowledge and wisdom. These people are probably those who consider themselves the most Christian, whilst in fact, they couldn’t be further from what the Church teaches us. It seems to me that racism is a part of every culture, and so, part of our human nature. We all have this need to be the best, and how can you be the best if there is no one below you?

    Hope this pushes your reflection further! 🙂 You should read “Black Like Me”, it really gives a great inside look on racism in the Deep South in the 1960’s.


  • Mind Out

    Yes, I agree that racism is universal and I have experienced this with real life examples by traveling throughout the world. What isn’t universal though is a desire to address racism. In fact, many cultures are completely unaware of their own racism and feel it is their duty to punish people because of their race, without having the intelligence to see their own hypocrisy.

    Furthermore, as ethnicity is a driving force behind almost all cultures, I think it is necessary to acknowledge that not all cultures are compatible and that a lot of poverty and violence is caused by incompatible cultures trying in vein to collaborate. What looks like exploitation and conspiracy to one group, or uselessness and depravity to another, is in fact incompatibility.

    Diversity is a wonderful thing when it works, but in reality it only benefits the wealthy who get to enjoy the talents that emerge from the poor of all the different ethnic groups in their so-called ‘multicultural society’, which in reality is a tiny club of wealthy elites.

    While, on the other hand, it is obvious to the poor, who are forced to struggle in violence and hatred, constantly fearing for their safety and needing to use force to protect their property from endless crime and pointless poverty in the real multicultural hellholes that litter the globe of the 21st Century, that the net result will be decline and fall for civilization. I guess the rich and the blind believers in the ‘we can all get along’ myth will get a shock when they realise a new dark age is upon us.

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