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Racism is one of the many words whose application and use generates a lot of controversy. Racism refers to a mental condition that attempts to justify why people with different racial background should be discriminated against (Chisom 45). Racism is associated with a number of negative activities such as exploitation, separation, mass murder, hate, crime and terrorism among many others. Although the term refers to a belief, its application in day- to-day life differs immensely from place to place. The term racism is used concurrently with racial segregation, a common practice that was experienced during the era of colonialism and slave trade.
The word racism is used in politics to refer to all kinds of discrimination including but not limited to tribal isolation. It is commonly used to refer to scenarios such as ethnicity, sexism and other forms of discrimination. In countries like France, racism is illegal. In many other places however, people still consider it beneficial in diverse ways. There are those who subscribe to the belief of racism as an evil, while others oppose such beliefs and consider it a beneficial to society (Chisom 39).
The term has a long rooted history, with the first dictionary meaning adopted in 1932. Many theories and research endeavors have been developed in an attempt to solve the mystery associated with racism. Such theories include: social racism theory, scientific racism theory, biological racism theory among others. Scientific racism theory, for example, considers some races superior to others. This and other theories continue to be disputed widely. Racism, owing to its misconception and diversity, is a matter of global interest. No matter its use and application, racism has diverse impacts to the society. This influence is both positive and negative.
Scholars such as scientists and historians agree that racial discrimination causes: crime, terrorism, anti Semitism, hate and civil unrest among others. Discrimination along the above named factors manifest itself in a variety of areas and is a common practice in Europe. South Africa is one country which stands dominantly as a region of racial discrimination (Chisom 55). Racial segregation occurred in South Africa in terms of access to social amenities, job opportunities, resources, and education among others. Such discrimination is only known to benefit certain groups while tormenting others. The racial segregations are a major cause of human disputes. At its severe stages, racism leads to intolerance and yields to terrorism, mass killings among other events known to claim many innocent lives.
During the pre-colonial and colonial era, racism was used as a source of cheap labor and thought to yield better results. Today, racial, tribal and education discrimination are used by politicians to ascend to power. Political affiliations based on tribal alignments are common in third world countries. Those playing tribal cards against nationalists often prevail and attain political power and consider the practice an advantage. Discrimination is also considered beneficial to majority groups in view of exploitation of limited natural resources. Although those practicing it consider racism inhuman, they feel that it is the only way to benefit from the scarce resources.
Martin Luther king, in one of his famous speeches, refereed to racism as a giant. He pointed out that it was an immense contributor to retrogression. He said that racism always yielded nothing but crime against humanity. According to Luther, war has never been a demonstration of might but rather a reflection of weakness. Many other people do agree with such sentiments, while a variety of others continue to consider some groups of people superior to others.