Causes of raсism
The problem of racism even in the era of democracy has not lost its relevance. Nowadays, the topic continually appears in different parts of the world and provokes heated discussions. There is no country where the idea of racism would be eradicated entirely. Even if the majority of its inhabitants do not support this idea, then although in the minority, but there are still some followers of such a worldview. The extreme forms of racism, known from history, up to attempt of the destruction of the whole races were transformed to milder and veiled forms that have religious, ethnic or social backgrounds. The causes of racism can be dictated by historically created stereotypes, the opinion of the environment, and personal hostility.
One of the main reasons for racism is the immaturity of the personality or the whole society. A mature person who can admit the responsibility for his life, analyze the situation independently and form his own opinion, understands that everything depends not on the nation, but on the individual. A person who is not ready to take responsibility for his life thereby recognizes his inability to manage it and expresses his dependence on external factors. In this case, he is looking for someone to blame for his failed life, for such an external enemy who is supposedly guilty of his troubles, or better even the troubles of the whole society. For immature personalities, the root of their misfortunes can be represented by oligarchs, officials, immigrants or simply representatives of another nation/faith.
Another significant cause of racism is the individual’s falling under the influence of the masses, the fear of standing out from the crowd. If the persistent individual opinion is not formed, people feel their strength and superiority over the weaker through the belonging to a group. Uniting people into groups against any external enemy gives the illusion of unity, support, community, and security. And all these actions, in fact, cover their inconsistency.
Also, the popular reason is a historically formed stereotypical thinking and attitude towards representatives of some national, religious or social membership. The time is changing, but the same old stereotypes still pass from generation to generation with upbringing. A priori, the inherent in childhood hostility, which does not even have weighty arguments, can stay with a person right up to the moment he meets the “enemy” personally and only then, from his individual experience, he will be able to create his vision and change his attitude.
Based on these reasons, it can be concluded that the leading cause of racism is not in skin color, but in human thinking. And at this level, we also need to solve the problem. Only after realizing it and working out with the problem from the root of its appearing, we will be able to get rid of false and fictitious ideas that for so many years have been the source of incorrect concepts about the superiority or, other way around, the lower position of different groups among humankind. Tolerance and humanism require an effort of will, broadening of the outlook and maturity of the individual. With internal mature people it is easy to build relationships in any country, but with immature people, it is impossible to do even in your own country.
- Arthur Thompson, Jr. (1997) Racial Identity Theory: Applications to Individual, Group, and Organizational Interventions
- Andrew S Winston (2003) Defining Difference: Race and Racism in the History of Psychology