Can someone define this quote please? "The biggest problem throughout the history of man is the fact that racism is anything but an anomoly."I'm doing a big paper on racism and so many different...

Can someone define this quote please? "The biggest problem throughout the history of man is the fact that racism is anything but an anomoly."

I'm doing a big paper on racism and so many different quotes that I have to paraphrase, I've gotten through a good bit of them - could someone help me please

Asked on by readeal3

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bmadnick's profile pic

bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

The speaker of this quote is saying that racism has not existed during just one particular period of history or within a few cultures. Bigotry and racism has existed since the beginning of mankind. He/she believes that prejudice towards a group of people, whether based on race, religion, or gender, has always existed. Sadly, historians can look back on any period of history and within any society and find that racism has been the norm, not the anomaly.

Since racism stems from ignorance and fear, people within a society will blame a particular group of people for their problems. The best example of this is Nazi Germany. Hitler came to power at a time when Germany had severe economic problems and had been blamed for WWI. Hitler's promises to restore pride and prosperity resonated with the German people, and many were willing to allow him to blame the Jews. It was not just the German people, however, who turned a blind eye to Hitler's actions. The remainder of the world did as well.

The Holocaust is the most famous example of racism, but it was not the only period of time in which bigotry and prejudice existed. This is what the speaker of this quote means. It has always existed and always will unless mankind is willing to make an effort to stop it. Sadly, mankind hasn't learned from history; it has repeated the mistakes of racism again and again. 

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

An anomaly is something that is unusual or out of the ordinary.  It is something that goes against how things usually are or should be.  So a person who is 7 feet 6 inches tall is an anomaly -- there aren't that many of them.

What this quote is saying is that racism has not been an anomaly in the history of human beings.  Erik Hansen (author of the quote) is saying that racism has been sort of the normal condition for people all through history.  He is saying that this has been the worst problem for human beings -- that racism is more or less normal for us.

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