For Social and Public Art Resource Center,
When we speak about racism we are really talking about racialism; "a doctrine or teaching, without scientific support, that claims to find racial differences in character, intelligence, etc., that asserts the superiority of one race over another or others, and that seeks to maintain the supposed purity of a race or the races." Racism, Webster's Dictionary states, is "any proc, or practice or racial discrimination, segregation, etc., based on racialism."
For me, the history of racism began with slavery. Many early cultures he slaves. The history of slavery extends further back than the early Greeks because that culture played such a profound role in European ideology it is important to consider it as laying the ground work for early racist think - Aristotle spoke of the power of slavery and how people in slavery deserved be there. He, therefore, insisted that slaves were inferior. Europeans looked upon the Greeks and Romans as "great thinkers", thus their belief systems were incorporated throughout European culture.
Many European countries were involved with and became rich because of the African slave trade. The African slave trade thoroughly popularized the horrible notion of the inferiority of Africans. That thinking still exists beyond all boundaries. Today we find racist thinking within every immigrant group in the United States. Many have bought into the belief systems stereotypical thinking promoted by racist history texts, newspaper teaching or just plain "hearsay".
Racism is illogical. Why must we discriminate because of someone's color?-Sexism is illogical. Why do we discriminate because someone is a woman? We discriminate against fat people, and the disabled. We discriminate against gay persons. Discrimination is totally illogical. When does a person's character, intelligence, honesty, sensitivity, training, education become the determining factors for jobs? When will we all have direct access to all that this country's early governing body determined to be our "rights"? Or are the words power, control and economics so powerful for so many that we will never see our way to a "Utopian society"? CONTROL, be damned!