What is Racism?

The Racism is the belief that one race, ethnicity or certain physical characteristics are superior to others.

Ecological Racism

Racism can manifest itself at both the individual and institutional levels through policies such as slavery, apartheid, the holocaust, colonialism, imperialism, among others.

Although racism is associated with prejudice against blacks, it can manifest itself against any race or ethnicity, whether Asian, indigenous, etc.

Remember that the practice of racism in Brazil is considered an unenforceable crime, with a penalty of up to 3 years in prison.


Types of Racism

Let’s look at the main types of racism:

1. Individual Racism

Individual racism is expressed in individual discriminatory attitudes through stereotypes, insults, and rejection of a person who does not have the same ethnic characteristics as his own.

In this way we have expressions like “it ‘s black, but it’s clean” or “good Indian is dead Indian” that reveal deep contempt for an entire group.

2. Institutional Racism

Institutional racism is that exerted by institutions such as the state, the church, private and public enterprises, in which certain ethnic groups, such as blacks or Indians, are marginalized and rejected, either directly or indirectly.

One of the greatest examples was apartheid in South Africa, when blacks were forbidden to attend the same places as whites. Likewise, in the United States there were such laws that prevented blacks from studying in the same schools as whites, for example.

3. Cultural Racism

It results in the belief that there is superiority among existing cultures, in the broad sense that “culture” encompasses religion, customs, languages, among others.

Cultural racism has been used as a justification for colonizing and dominating territories since antiquity. In modern times this kind of racism may include elements of institutional and individual racism.

4. Communitarian Racism (Differentialist)

The concept of communitarianism gained strength in the 1980s, as opposed to individualism. This philosophy holds that community is more important than the individual itself.

Thus communitarian racism is linked to contemporary thinking and nationalism. He becomes racist as he always privileges his community over another.

As a result, communitarian racism addresses a group such as an indigenous village, a quilombola community, and not just specific individuals.

5. Ecological Racism (Environmental)

Ecological racism is detected when peripheral populations do not receive the same treatment as a central area.

An example of this is expropriation arbitrarily made to give way to dams or sporting event facilities. Or when a developed country company sells a product to a developing country that does not meet the same rules as its home country.

Also the destruction of the environment, affecting groups and communities based on unequal application of the legislation is considered as environmental racism.

One of the racist attitudes is social isolation.

Racist movements around the world

People called racists are based on the ideology of racial superiority. These ideas gained strength in the nineteenth century through Positivism and, later in the twentieth century, were harnessed by Fascism.

Even with all studies indicating that an individual’s race has nothing to do with intelligence or character, certain people still believe in it. The worst is when these people come together and start taking violent action against the groups they call “inferior.”

Some racist movements around the world today are the Neonazists and Skinheads. These groups harass, beat and kill people considered different, whether by race, color, culture or even sexual, religious, etc. preferences.

Racism against whites or inverse racism

It is important to clarify that racism happens within a specific historical context. Thus, not every insult – although always a reprehensible attitude – will be considered racist.

The fact that a white is called a “heart of palm” or “sour milk” is not characterized as racist. The reason is that in the modern and contemporary world whites have not been subdued or treated as slaves.

Likewise, they are not systematically treated differently in environments such as advertising, colleges, and workplaces in general.

How to fight racism?

Racism must be fought daily, first individually and then socially.

The most important thing is to recognize that we live in a racist society and this is very easy to prove by answering these questions.

  • Brazil has almost 50% of the population that declares itself black: in the National Congress we have 50% of black parliamentarians?
  • Are there 50% of black doctors in hospitals?

Thus, a self-assessment starting with our vocabulary would be interesting. We should take from our language expressions such as “denigrating”, “black with white soul”, “brunet hair brunet”, and many others.

Also, know other cultures, customs, people and religions. How many black or indigenous personalities do you admire? Having contact with different knowledge that we are used to, we open our heads and realize that humans are very similar.

Finally, let us remember that the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is celebrated on March 21st.

Related acronyms

Acronym Meaning
ANSWER Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
AFRA Anti-Fascism Racism Action
ARDN Anti-Racism and Decolonization Network
ARDI Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup
ARCHIVE Anti-Racism Campaign
ARC Anti-Racism Campaign
ARIS Anti-Racism Information Service
ARAF Anti-Racism, Anti-Fascism
ANAR Austrian Network Against Racism
CARF Campaign Against Racism & Fascism
CAERS Canadian Anti-Racism Education and Research Society
CEDRA Centre d’Etudes des Discrimination, du Racisme et de l’Antisémitisme
CERA Centre Europeen de Recherche et d’Action sur le Racisme et l’Antisemitisme
CARP Cities Anti-Racism Project
CARP Citizens Against Racism and Prejudice
CAR Committee Against Racism
CURE Committee to Undo Racism Everywhere
CREO Counter-Racism, Equal Opportunity
DARRTS Denver Anti-Racism and Reconciliation Team
DRIE Dismantling Racism Institute for Educators
ERASE Education, Research, Advocacy and Support to End Racism
ERACE Eliminating Racism and Creating Equality
ERASE End Racism and Sexism Everywhere
ERACE Eradicating Racism and Colorism in Employment
ECRI European Commission against Racism and Intolerance
EUMC European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia
ENAR European Network Against Racism
ERASE Expose Racism and Advance School Excellence
FARE Football Against Racism in Europe
FURD Football Unites, Racism Divides
FAIR Forum Against Islamophobia & Racism
FCR Forum contre le Racisme
IRR Institute for the Recovery from Racisms
ICSA International Committee Against Apartheid, Racism and Colonialism in Southern Africa
LACAR Latin American Coalition Against Racism
LICRA Ligue Internationale Contre Le Racisme et l’Antisémitisme
MCARF Merseyside Coalition Against Racism and Fascism
MRAP Mouvement contre le Racisme et Pour l’Amitie entre les Peuples
MNCR Mouvement National Contre le Racisme
NAPAR National Action Plan Against Racism
NAAR National Assembly against Racism
NOWAR Network to Oppose War and Racism
NOWAR Northwestern Opposing War and Racism
POWER People Organized Working to Eradicate Racism
RFZ Racism Free Zone
SAFER Sandwell Approach Forum for Eliminating Racism
SCAR Saskatchewan Coalition against Racism
SZR School Zonder Racisme
SR Scientific Racism
SHARP Sexual Harassment and Racism Prevention
SPAR Skins & Punks Against Racism
SHARP Standard for Harassment & Racism Prevention
STAR Students and Teachers Against Racism
SOAR Students Organized Against Racism
TPRS Telephone-Administered Perceived Racism Scale
TCR Tous Contre Le Racisme
UR Unintentional Racism
UER United to End Racism
WWAR White Women Against Racism
WCAR World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Tolerance
WCAR World Conferences Against Racism
YAR Youth against Racism
YRE Youth Against Racism in Europe
YARN Youth Anti Racism Network

ARC: Anti-Racism Campaign

Abbreviation Archives