Racism Conquering Us

           Chalize Theron, an Hollywood actress recently revealed in an interview to a magazine that she had thought of leaving the US for the sake of her  adopted African – American children due to rise in racism. It sheds light on the real scenario of racism and discrimination that is prevailing in a dream destination like US.  It is a country where people from developing countries look with awe and respect. “There are places in this country where, if I get a job, I wouldn’t take. I wouldn’t travel with my kids to some parts of America, and that’s really problematic,” she opined.  She further added, “They are going   to have to know that it’s a different climate for them than it is for me, and how unfair that is.”

This is the staggering reality of U.S.  Are other developed countries free from racism ?. In Europe also things are not different. Immigration, refugees and national identity are sensitive issues in Europe. The equilibrium is vulnerable, it is unpredictable and in some areas it is explosive too. People think that a better educated Western European nation to be more tolerant than those in the Eastern Europe, but it is not the reality.  Studies revealed France as the least racially tolerant countriy in the continent, with 22.7 percent opened up their minds and said that they didn’t like to a have a neighbor of another race. Many former Soviet States like Belarus and Latvia are much tolerant than  much of Europe according to studies. Many Balkans were also rated in lower racial tolerance.

When the word racism comes to a person’s mind, the stark image  pops up is that of anti-black attitude, AfroPhobia etc.  As per statistics there are 15 million people of African descent in Europe today. European Union can do a lot in preventing racism, it 

can urge its member states to take steps against racism and for the inclusive of Black  people in the social fabric of the European society.  In the modern world more words are adding to its ambit – Islamophobia etc

It is a fact that racism is prevailing all over Europe. For example in Sweden, Afro-Swedes as a minority was vulnerable to hate crimes. There was 24 percent increase in hate crime during the period 2008-2017.  Police violence against Blacks also showed a steep increase and the death of Rashan Charles in the U.K. in July, is a perfect example for this. The violent and abusive arrest of Theo Luhaka in France in February is another example. Germany also had its fair share in such cases. ‘Oury Jallow, died in a police cell in 2005.

Racial profiling by Police is another cruel ill treatment that is faced by people of African descent. Reports in this area revealed that in Paris, Black people has chances of overall six times to be stopped and searched by police than the white race.

In employment also the black people face such oppression and discrimination. Studies revealed the fact that in United Kingdom, African sounding surnames requires sending twice or more than twice job applicants than those of white British sounding names. Many with top qualifications also go through this racial dilemma of segregation and discrimination as they were blacks.

Prejudice still continues, European countries still show no remorse or shame of their legacy of slave trade and colonization. They may tend to deny it, but stereotype images about black people still prevail.   European Union should take concrete steps to address racial inequalities and discrimination.

In Australia racism is alive.  Moreover it is ethnocentric. British classified themselves as a superior race. The attitudes of the settlers towards aborigines are the perfect example for this. It is said that the crux of this attitude are rooted in the long bond between government and church. Criminal offences against aborigines are still looked upon with leniency. Recent example for this is the case of Elijah Doughly. Elijah was violently pursued by a man in utility truck, was hit and killed. He was not convicted of man slaughter but slapped with traffic offence.

There were cases of Africans facing attacks in Noida, Bangalore etc. in India.  It can be termed as rare incidents, but still India must keep vigil. In India racism is more of communalism, vegetarianism, casteism, crony capitalism, dalit atrocities etc.

Many people free from racist feelings are searching   place  where there is no such tendencies. The search for a safe haven free from all this remains a utopian concept. People in one way or another  is ruled by such complex feelings that are carried to the present from the past.

Racism continues to be a core social issue in the modern world. The strange factor about it is that many are not still aware on how far it exists around them.  For example in schools, work places, playground, sports, social life, etc.  It really exists and people should seriously think about it and address it to reduce.

Racism is there,  worldwide,  in various shades and forms.  For example India,  caste discrimination still prevails. A school text book published back in 1925 described the natives of India as half-civilized, thieving… primitive race etc. It explained further and said that the natives were transformed to be civilized by the tall race called Aryans. (Refer: CB Thurston, An Economic Geography of the British Empire, London 1925 P. 153)

Racism happens when characteristics and abilities are simply attributed to people on the basis of race and when they believe themselves as superior and others as inferior. It is a powerful tool during conflict or war to instill fear or hatred.  An example is,  Hitler of Germany and their war propaganda.                       Bonnie Basil


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