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Racism is a term that is often used to describe a variety of social, culture and economic problems, but has, unfortunately, acquired “so many contradictory meanings that it takes on the aura of a myth,” it has become increasingly difficult to define . Although the term wasn’t officially featured in the Larousse Dictionary until 1932, racism had been a dark cloud hanging over the global horizon for centuries (de Benoist, 1999). Whenever there are people of different cultural and social characteristics introduced into the mix, a recipe for racism and the hostilities it generates is created. Because racism defies a singular definition but is usually represented by the categorizing of people according to certain criteria, it can…show more content…
In their zeal for prosperity, many countries have exploited lesser developed nations and their natural resources as well as so-called ‘inferior’ or primitive peoples for economic gain (Vorster, 2002). This is how slavery and colonialism, which have too often flourished throughout history, became the primary examples of racism or the development of the mentality that ‘white (civilization) was right.’ When this desire for wealth and the power it represented encouraged territorial expansion with a vengeance, the enslavement of indigenous peoples throughout Africa in particular was justified until well into the twentieth century. When Germany had suffered a staggering blow to its nationalist image after its humiliating defeat in World War II, a crazed dictator named Adolf Hitler was able to satisfy his lust for power and at the same time bring his vision of a supposedly superior Aryan race eerily close to realization through genocide or the extermination of Eastern European Jews. The third and possibly most compelling cause of racism is “collective fear” (Vorster, 2002, p. 296). This creates group solidarity particularly among minority groups and is centered around protecting their own interests (Vorster, 2002). It is this fear that ignites feelings of prejudice, an emotional rather than rational reaction to perceived biases (Vorster, 2002). These prejudices are formed by mistaken

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