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  Why was race created? Did racism always exist?    I am seeking help for a "The...

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loola555 | (Level 2) Honors

Posted September 29, 2009 at 8:13 AM via web

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  Why was race created? Did racism always exist?  

 

I am seeking help for a "The Beginnings of Racism Essay" for U.S. History.

 

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted September 29, 2009 at 9:03 AM (Answer #2)

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It is not that races were deliberately created by anyone. It is just that people living at different people developed their distinct characteristics associated with races. The main force binding together people of a race was initially only their common interest. However, with development of racism their culture and their physical characteristics such as colour of skin and facial features also became important factors for differentiation between different people.

Racism, or the practice of unjust and ill treatment of people based on their ancestry or race has existed for thousands of years. Perhaps the earliest reference to racism is in Second Book of Bible, which describes liberation by Moses of people of his race from the slavery of their Egyptian masters. Roman and Greeks also enslaved, more than 2000 years back, the people they considered inferior to them.

The rivalry between different people and the racism has existed between tribal people also. For examples tribes in Africa captured and enslaved people from other tribes. The worst type of such discriminatory behavior is perhaps the practice of cannibalism.

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hi1954 | Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted September 29, 2009 at 9:52 AM (Answer #3)

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There is only one race, the human race.  Genetically, all humans are fourteenth cousins or less in degree of relationship. Interestingly enough, the US Army did a study in the mid-1960s using the Cray Supercomputer network which came to the same conclusion based on the Biblical account of generations from Adam and Eve, so apparently no matter which way you look at it we're all family whether we like it or not.

Racism has been with us ever since some people first met others who had a different skin tone or spoke a different language or had different cultural conditioning.  It's not just skin color, it includes close familial differences, such as Arabs and Jews, or French and Germans.  The caste system in India was originally based on the distinction of both skin color and degree of relationship to Aryas or Dravidians; Esau and Jacob's families, the sons of Noah, Babylonians and Assyrians, lighter skinned or darker skinned Asians, white Europeans and everyone else in the world has fallen prey to this.  We tend to view racism as the problem at the heart of America, with our history of slavery and the War of Secession, but racism and ethnocentrism are really the central problems of human interrelationships throughout history.

Ethnic religious differences are included, perhaps the most extreme example being the former Yugoslavia.  Three ethnic groups, Croats, Serbians and Bosnians, who are actually the same ethnic group with the same language but tend to belong to different religions or denominations.  In Madame Blavatsky's writings and those of some other writers who followed her the theory is put forth that different "races" are not related, but developed at different times and places in the world, in some unspecified way or other, making them completely seperate.  Jews are deemed to have come from some other planet entirely.  Blavatsky's The Secret Doctrine was Adolf Hitler's favorite book, which just goes to show what can be accomplished with foolish ideas and hard work.

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ekmattke | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted September 30, 2009 at 11:57 AM (Answer #4)

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From a theological perspective, race was created to draw people to God.  From every tribe, tongue, nation, and language, everyone was created to glorify Him.  All these different races came about from the beginning of the world as seen in Genesis 1.  However, in Genesis 3, man fell, but later on man chose to build a tower and act like a god, so God confused their language, and no one understood each other since then.  We have had trouble since because man has sinned, and chosen to become racist towards its own kind.  This is when man can step up to the plate, and learn from their mistakes from the past, and choose not to be that way.  This takes a lot of time and patience, but I believe it can be done.  All you have to do is believe. 

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donjohn8 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted October 1, 2009 at 11:57 PM (Answer #5)

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The Time-Life series on Lost Civilizations "aFICA" asserts that racism was created in the 17th and 18th centuries by europeans looking for excuses to justify their colonization of Africa. Up to that point, their had been little written about the "races", but a branch of pseudo-science which purported that Africans were genetically subhuman implanted the notion that it was all right to take over their land because they weren't capable of becoming civilized on their own. Christian concepts still held sway in European society, therefore murder was still forbidden, so dehumanization was necessary to move them off the most desireable lands in South Africa to make way for white settlers.

When evidence of a centuries-old civilization became apparent, a rush to discount Great Zimbawe as having been built by blacks was necessary to maintain the racist fiction. This is where we get the wild "Allan Quartermain" stories and those of the "Lost Solomon Mines." With the flimsiest of evidence, German and Dutch scholars tried to prove that only a spread of Biblical culture could account for its complexity.

Find the film and support it (or debunk some of its more vague assertions) and you've got yourself a good paper.

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donjohn8 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted October 2, 2009 at 12:22 AM (Answer #6)

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It is not that races were deliberately created by anyone. It is just that people living at different people developed their distinct characteristics associated with races. The main force binding together people of a race was initially only their common interest. However, with development of racism their culture and their physical characteristics such as colour of skin and facial features also became important factors for differentiation between different people.

Racism, or the practice of unjust and ill treatment of people based on their ancestry or race has existed for thousands of years. Perhaps the earliest reference to racism is in Second Book of Bible, which describes liberation by Moses of people of his race from the slavery of their Egyptian masters. Roman and Greeks also enslaved, more than 2000 years back, the people they considered inferior to them.

The rivalry between different people and the racism has existed between tribal people also. For examples tribes in Africa captured and enslaved people from other tribes. The worst type of such discriminatory behavior is perhaps the practice of cannibalism.

Such broad statements as you first make should be avoided unless you can provide direct evidence one way or another. Plenty of evidence suggests that racial identification was deliberately made in order to dominate a more numerous African population, paving the way for Eruopean colonization. Substantial societal change often has a significant economic basis which encourages rationalizations that pervade into religious expression.

Your second paragraph confuses race and culture. The former is hardly defensible from a scientific perspective and the latter entails value judgments that often lead to clashes. By confusing the two, one may assume you to be perpetating racist stereotypes rather than assessing them.

The Bblical treatise that you launch seems to justify the horrific treatment of human beings as Biblically sanctioned. The Bible makes no mention of "race" that I know of. Scholars occsionally point to references in the Song of Solomon that suggest the Queen of Sheba was, "black, but comely."

The cannibalism comment is the worst type of perjorative that can be made about a culture and has no part in this discussion whatsover.

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted October 2, 2009 at 4:54 AM (Answer #7)

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In reply to post #6:

  1. Creation of races is not same as racial identification or racialism.
  2. I do not know the basis of your conclusion that I am confused about race and culture. Are you denying that each race has its distinctive culture? Or are you implying that culture is not used as basis to differentiate between races.
  3. Bible may not make mention of "race". But then "race", by whatever name called smells as bad.
  4. I am not clear what you mean by "prejorative". I thought perjury is connected with speaking falsehood under oath. Have put that word there just because it sort of sounds bad? Because my statement you refer to is neither made under oath, nor a falsehood.
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donjohn8 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted October 2, 2009 at 8:18 AM (Answer #8)

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In reply to post #6:

  1. Creation of races is not same as racial identification or racialism.
  2. I do not know the basis of your conclusion that I am confused about race and culture. Are you denying that each race has its distinctive culture? Or are you implying that culture is not used as basis to differentiate between races.
  3. Bible may not make mention of "race". But then "race", by whatever name called smells as bad.
  4. I am not clear what you mean by "prejorative". I thought perjury is connected with speaking falsehood under oath. Have put that word there just because it sort of sounds bad? Because my statement you refer to is neither made under oath, nor a falsehood.

1) A definition of "race" must frist be agreed upon before this discussion can proceed. I assume you are referring to a person's phenotype. Since it has no definable scientific basis, I would like to know how you use it to describe people and where you draw your lines.

2) People of the hispanic cultures may be any color. Muslims, likewise, do not exclude anyone based on skin hue. Culture and race need not have anything to do with each other.

3) If you're postings are based solely on your interpretation of the Bible, we're going to have dead end discussions.

4) Please look up words that you don't know when I've spelled them right in context.

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted October 2, 2009 at 7:43 PM (Answer #9)

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My point wise response to Post #8 is given below.

(1). "Race is a fairly common English word with a fairly clear meaning. I am referring to just that meaning. For your ready reference here is the meaning as per Websters's Student Dictionary.

1. A subdivision of mankind having a relatively constant set of physical traits. 2. Any grouping of people according to geography, nation, etc. 3. A genealogical or family stock.

(2) I see you have some confusion about meaning of culture also. This is how Websters's Student Dictionary explains it:

The sum total of the attainment and activities of any specific period, race or people.

(3) donjohn8, do you really think that my posts # 2 or 7 are based on interpretation of Bible. At least I do not make any such tall claims. These posts contain just my humble views.

(4) Neither of the two dictionary i have lists the word "perjorative" used by you. I shall be thankful to you for looking posting on this forum the meaning as per your dictionary. But if you meant "pejorative", I definitely find the practice of cannibalism rather disgusting, and I am happy that it is not practiced any longer. But I must make it clear that so far I had made no value judgements about it. It was described as perjorative (sic) by donjohn8.

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donjohn8 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted October 3, 2009 at 10:32 PM (Answer #10)

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My point wise response to Post #8 is given below.

(1). "Race is a fairly common English word with a fairly clear meaning. I am referring to just that meaning. For your ready reference here is the meaning as per Websters's Student Dictionary.

1. A subdivision of mankind having a relatively constant set of physical traits. 2. Any grouping of people according to geography, nation, etc. 3. A genealogical or family stock.

(2) I see you have some confusion about meaning of culture also. This is how Websters's Student Dictionary explains it:

The sum total of the attainment and activities of any specific period, race or people.

(3) donjohn8, do you really think that my posts # 2 or 7 are based on interpretation of Bible. At least I do not make any such tall claims. These posts contain just my humble views.

(4) Neither of the two dictionary i have lists the word "perjorative" used by you. I shall be thankful to you for looking posting on this forum the meaning as per your dictionary. But if you meant "pejorative", I definitely find the practice of cannibalism rather disgusting, and I am happy that it is not practiced any longer. But I must make it clear that so far I had made no value judgements about it. It was described as perjorative (sic) by donjohn8.

This dictionary definition does not specify which "traits" make up the "black race" or whether any such thing actually exists. Similar physical traits can be found among Kenyans and Brazilians, yet that does not necessarily mean that they share a common gene pool nor that it in any way promotes similar behaviors.

Race in America has a specific meaning since it had to do with marking those who did the work Americans at the time couldn't or wouldn't do, and when the pseudo-science of "race" was cooked up, it became a convenient means to permanently mark those brought here from Africa rather than from Europe and deviously became institutionalized with the Church playing a role in their subjugation.

While race and culture may seem synonymous, many times they are not. Latin American contains every conceivable gradation of skin and eye color, yet most speak the common Spanish or Portugese languages of their countries.

It is "perjorative" to label Africans cannibals since this pernicious form of stereotyping tends to marginalize an entire continent of human beings reducing them to "subhuman" status. You present no specific examples of where it's practiced or even if. Such statements reek of "value judgments."

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted October 4, 2009 at 12:21 AM (Answer #11)

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In reply to # 10

Yes, dictionary definition of race defines only race. Dictionaries are not expected to give the descriptions of all the races in the world. In your post #8 you stated:

A definition of "race" must frist be agreed upon  before this discussion can proceed.

That is why I gave the dictionary definition of race. Now do you want to talk only about "race" as understood by you?

And what is this "pseudo-science of race"?

Yes, culture and races are not synonymous. What makes you think that I am saying so?

You have still not clarified what you mean by "perjorative".

It is racist behavior to label all Africans cannibals or to think that they are so. I have never called them cannibals. I do not know why you insist that if some African tribes in the past practiced cannibalism, it makes all African cannibals.

As to your following remark:

You present no specific examples of where it's (cannibalism) practiced... - donjohn8

Please take a look at the discussion topic. It is about past. It is "Why was race created? Did racism always exist?"

donjohn8, please stop tilting at the windmills.

 

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rgalva2006 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:14 PM (Answer #12)

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    One greatest misconceptions of our time has been, racism has always exist? And I don't give biblical perspective because the bible itself is a derivative. But I won't get into all of that today. So with that said, I'm talking to you and all of America. No, racism did not exist over 500 years ago,  it is something that was systematically created by the white man of then, of the old European world. Many people believe that it always has been, but the truth is, it didn't. And what people are mainly confused about are two things: there were clashes between nations, cultural differences, hate, but the seclusion of racism was never in existence. So, people must not mix up racism with hate. The word racism comes the root word-Race, and so this word racism is something of the other day because it's not even a 19th century word, being created in the 20th century. America so lets probe this for a minute. Don't ya think for one moment that hundreds and hundreds of years ago, people would've been using this word? And if so, what was the word being used for it? Here's why, there wasn't any need for the use of this word, therefore, the world of then didn't even understand what it was to be a racist.

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