BLOG SURF: Race and racism

Even in their simplest forms, race and racism are slippery terms, difficult to explain. As George Fredrickson, explaining this word in an easily comprehensible manner, says, “The term ‘racism’ is often used in a loose and unreflective way to describe the hostile or negative feelings of one ethnic group or ‘people’ toward another and the actions resulting from such attitudes”.

While it seems a straightforward statement, in real life, “racism” can almost never be understood merely through mere words and phrases such as the above one, the underlying complexities go much beyond than that which can be explained through language.

The fact also exists that we rarely view “racism” from the viewpoint of the minorities, for it is often the prerogative of the majority group.

For example, when we talk of racism in America, our first thought is the racist tendencies historically inflicted by the whites upon the blacks (or, in today’s terms, Afro-Americans).