A Look at Racism Around the World

A Look at Racism Around the World

Kathryn Daigle ‘17, News Editor

In light of the crimes against ethnic minorities in the United States, the American mind is charged with opinions of racial treatment in the USA.  But a look at world cultures illustrates that we are not the only ones facing this dilemma.  Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines racism as “the poor treatment of or violence toward people because of their race.”  Unfortunately, the United States is by no means the only country with visible racism.

In South Africa, racism has outlived the anti-apartheid protester, Nelson Mandela.  The lighter-skinned people move when those with dark skin move in next door, and whites teach that blacks are inferior in their own churches.  It is uncommon to see an interracial couple or even see a black sitting in a coffee shop with a white person. There is a lack of trust between both races even among countrymen.  But there is good news: there are many in South Africa working to reduce racism, and the consequential prejudice, in their country.  But why must the injustice occur in the first place?

In Saudi Arabia, the struggle is not of white versus black, but of African versus Arab.  When the government of Saudi Arabia abolished slavery, the slaves were replaced with immigrant workers. There is great distrust towards these workers who bear the brunt of the prejudice in Saudi Arabia.  Human Rights Watch has declared the workers’ conditions as similar to slavery.  In many cases, the bosses of these workers hold back the papers (What papers?) for these people, so that they cannot leave without permission.  In addition to the injustice to immigrant workers, people with African and Arab descent are treated unfairly, with racial jokes, slurs, and violence directed at them.  Afro-Arabians are not allowed to be judges, security officers, diplomats, or mayors, but there is hope.  People are fighting against these seemingly unmovable barriers.

But what do we do?  Are we forced to watch from the sidelines while countries are split over this issue?  Do we have to see our fellow Americans suffer for no other reason than that they look different from the person held in authority over them? Absolutely not! You can make friends with people who are ethnically different than you are. You can join organizations that help disassemble prejudices and biases, or you can donate to these organizations.  You can keep your friends accountable; if they say any derogatory things towards anyone of a different race, make them aware of how it is offensive.  You can also change your own perspective – you’d be surprised on what a difference it can make.