What Is 'Race' and What Is 'Racism'? (3)

By Quist-Adade, Charles | New African, April 2006 | Go to article overview

What Is 'Race' and What Is 'Racism'? (3)


Quist-Adade, Charles, New African


We conclude Dr Charles Quist-Adade's three-part series on race and racism. "No one is born a racist bigot," he writes. "In other words, racial bigotry or racial prejudice is not genetically or biologically determined ... Therefore, if most people spoke out about racism, it would be the first step towards a revolutionary change." (The second instalment was published in the January issue).

**********

Contemporary Euro-American society has only temporarily repressed bone-chilling forms of racist evil and aggression. For example, racism in the USA has ceased to be the avowed commitment of Southern white supremacists. Now its insidious form is an unconscious habit corrupting legions of Euro-Americans, including some well-meaning ones among them.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

As Bernard Boxill, professor of Political and African-American Philosophy, points out, the power of the race idea to corrupt is based on a habit of deliberate disregard of what we all share with each other. "The danger to others," Boxill says, "comes when we develop a habit of repressing what we share with them and of accentuating how we differ. Such a habit develops into a habit of not seeing what we share with others, and if we do not see what we share with others, we will not see ourselves in them, and we must see ourselves in them to have sympathy for them."

Racism in Euro-America today has ceased to be the overt, crude, "in-your-face" form of racism of the past. The general consensus is that racism today is generally more subtle, sophisticated and covert. In Canada, some scholars even call it "democratic" racism, as if there could be anything democratic about racism. The problem is that the benign, smiling face of racism today has made too many people of all complexions complacent. They compare what was and what is and console themselves with the usual refrain: "We have come a long way indeed."

They take tokenism--the hiring of a handful of blacks for window-dressing by white employers, for example--as improved race re ations. They take a few black men and women cracking through the glass ceiling or the appointment of such figures as Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice to powerful government positions in the US, and the success and fabulous wealth of African-American entertainers and athletes such as Michael Jackson and Michael Jordan, as clear indications of race relations having "improved vastly".

The fact that racism has changed its appearance and form does not make it any better. Indeed, racism in its new garbs is even more insidious and treacherous. As it is said in Ghana, the snake under the grass is more dangerous than the snake on the tree, for you can see the snake on the tree and know how to handle it--kill it or run away--but you cannot avoid the snake under the grass since it cannot be seen and, therefore, bites you without your noticing it.

The next problem is that many people tend to think that one form of racism is better than another form, or that racism in one country is better than in another. However, racism is racism. In all cases, lives are destroyed. People are harmed physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Racism in any form, quantity, or shape must not be tolerated. It is wrong for victims of racism to think they can fight this malady alone. It takes two to tango, and, as the Ghanaian philosopher and educator, Dr James Kwegyir Aggrey once said, it takes both the black and the white keys to produce harmonious music on the piano.

Also, racism affects both the victimised and the victimiser. But both the victimised and the victimiser must not only know their proper roles, they must also be conscious of, and alert to, history and changing realities of today. The French philosopher, Jean Jacques Rousseau, said that "man is born free" but is "everywhere in chains". Infants not yet smitten by the "racial bug" tend to freely relate to and play with other children across the "colour line". …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

What Is 'Race' and What Is 'Racism'? (3)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.