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Nov 8, 2017 in Sociology
Race in Our Everyday Lives
Race is an organization system used to classify people into huge and distinct masses based on cultural, racial, physical, historical, language, religious or social attachment. It is worth noting that there Race is an organization system used to classify individuals into large inhabitants or groups by structural, is no connection between races and biological or genetic make-up. The skin color, which is mainly the basis of race, is as a result of non-significant hereditary alleles. This, therefore, brings out the idea that there is no relationship between race and certain features such as intellect, ability and aptitude. Race is in most cases socially created and, the legitimate systems within the society are substantially responsible for the racial segregation that we see on a daily basis. The idea of race gets magnified by some individuals who have racist mindsets, whereby people within a certain group perceive themselves as superior and take other people as inferior. As a consequence of this, groups with little influence and power always find them disadvantaged and at are times oppressed by the larger group. Race has numerous adverse effects ranging from social, economic and even political. In some instances, race has led to many tragedies such as enslavement and death.
Racism has been evident in many parts of the world: from Africa to Asia, in Europe and America. According to CNN and the Wall Street Journal, this phenomenon affects not only the so called inferior group but also the superior group. A very good example of racism is the apartheid system in one of the southern African countries as it was noted by the CNN interview with the former president of the country. This article was written on 11th May 2012 and it features an interview with the former president who was in power during that period of apartheid. Fredrick De Clerk is seen as the main initiator of Apartheid rule in South Africa. South Africa is an African country situated at the southern part of Saharan desert. It is one of the countries that were colonized by the British the longest. Apartheid system was a scheme whereby racial segregation was the key element. Racism in South Africa was so rampant that it even got international attention. The apartheid policy existed between 1948 and 1994 when South Africa finally got full independence. During this period, it is worth noting that about 31.5 million blacks received harsh treatment and got totally despised because of their color. Though they were the majority in that country, they were mainly on the receiving end as the inferior group while the whites were the superior. The system resulted to a lot of political and economic instability as well as social.
The racial segregation in South Africa manifested itself in different forms. To begin with, the white man’s government imposed rules which banned black people from taking part in certain jobs. At the same time, a white man was to earn more than the black one even if they are working at the same level and both have same qualifications. This implies that there were certain levels that an African could not reach even if they had qualifications. This further meant that the white man was more economically empowered than the Africans. There was also a widespread segregation in the urban areas. In most cases, the cities were mainly for the white men and an Africans could only stay in the cities if he or she had a permit. This ensured that the Africans did not get any pertinent information and services and could only receive substandard services available in the rural areas.
The white man’s government also imposed some regulations that prohibited mixed marriages between people of different skin colors. Following this, the blacks could only marry the blacks and the whites married their fellow white partners. This portrays the boundary that existed between the hybrid superior white colored men and the inferior black Africans. This ensured that there was no way for a black African to attain a status like that of whites. In addition to that, there was a law that banned any sexual act between people of different races. This greatly prevented any social interaction between individuals of different ethnic groups.
To ensure that the blacks did not demonstrate, there was an act that prohibited any strike, boycotting, incitement or any other action that would bring instability. This was a nail hit on the head since the Africans could have only raised their views and concerns through such methods. It is worth noting that the white man banned any African representation in the parliament. Having no representation means that there was no formal way of Africans raising their grievances. Therefore, banning strikes, demonstrations and boycotting was an enormous disadvantage to the South Africa’s indigenous people. The parliament had chambers for whites and Asians while there was no representation of the black Africans. The climax of this discrimination was when the Minister of Labor was to given the power to reserve the most prestigious jobs to the whites. This made the Africans only do the lowly considered jobs. The minister was also not supposed to allow or register any trade unions which constituted of people of mixed skin colors.
The Africans could not have just sat down and watch as this was happening. The racism and its magnitude made many African elites organize themselves as nationalists in South Africa. The African elites like Nelson Mandela came up without fear, and they mobilized their fellow Africans to strike, boycott and even hunger strike. Following the law that had prohibited such actions, majority of these Africans ended up serving long jail terms. A good example is Nelson Mandela who spent more than 20 years in jail. This did not discourage the blacks as they continuously raised their grievances using other diverse methods.
Racism has many adverse effects and these effects evenly impact both the oppressor and the oppressed though the magnitudes of the impacts vary. Taking the case of South Africa, both economic and social aspects of the society suffered immensely out of this. To start with, many people who participated in all the prohibited activities ended up spending most of their lives in prison. This significantly increased their suffering not forgetting what their families went through. The economy suffered tremendously as people refused to work and children could not go to school. A lot of property got destroyed, and this left the people in a state of extreme poverty. Those who took part in demonstrations were massacred, leaving children as orphans and this further increased suffering within families.
To conclude, it is quite noticeable that racism comes from all of us and having a world free from the race can only be attained when people themselves agree to change such discrimination mindset. Racism does not benefit anyone, nor an individual or the society. The effects of racism are numerous, and this gives a good reason why each and every one should fight it.