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By Judith Ramirez

CSMS Magazine

Racism, in many ways, is an extension of stereotyping and prejudice, as you can see in the following definition advancing by Leone:

Racism is the belief in the inherent of a particular race. It denies the basic equality of humankind and correlates ability with physical composition. This, it assumes that success or failure in any societal endeavor will depend upon genetic endowment rather than environment and access to opportunity.

It is important to notice the word “superiority” built into the definition. It is this idea of superiority that allows one group of people to mistreat another group on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, or sexual preference. A more detailed explanation of the unfounded beliefs and misleading arguments behind racism is offered by Nanda and Warms:

There are biological fixed races, different races have different moral, intellectual, and physical characteristic; and individual’s aptitude are determined primarily by his or her race; races can be ranked on a single hierarchy; and political action should be taken to order so that it reflects this hierarchy.

The folly of the racist thinking described above is that it is not only unethical and cruel, but it is also constructed on false premises. It is now common knowledge, for those who are willing to be receptive to the knowledge, that “the big differences among human groups are the result of culture, not biological features essential to human life are common to us all. Yet in spite of this truth and wisdom, racism remains a major hindrance to successful intercultural communication.

Note: Judith Ramirez lives and works in suburban Atlanta. She is a social activist and immigrant advocate.

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