Racial Dynamics in History: a Tapestry of Incidents and Relations

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Updated: Sep 08, 2023
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Race relations is an extremely important social interaction. A few people who identify as white deem themselves as superior to other groups. The prior global belief in white supremacy has grown faint but people of color often face social, political, and economic barriers and prejudice. In race relations history, there is a visible involvement of white people reigning over non- whites, but there is definitely other oppressions within other races and cultures.

Often, people like this will use the color of their skin as justification for their actions.

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People of color have faced discrimination, police brutality, and even unjust laws in certain countries. For example, over the summer of 2018, a woman called the police on a young black girl innocently selling lemonade and received much backlash for it; this woman likely would not have done so if that child was not of color. Racism can lead to people of color obtaining a personal prejudice to viewing themselves as lesser.

Trauma or revenge can be associated with race. For example, Liam Neeson admitted in a February 2019 interview that for a short period in his life, he wanted to kill a black man- with revenge as his justification. Neeson revealed that he had this strong urge after someone close to him was raped; he revealed that he was hoping for a black man to attempt to harass him so he could lash out and kill him. He wanted to murder any black man for revenge, regardless if he was the one who did it.

This immediately sparked criticism; Kuba Shand- Baptiste of The Independent stated the first response she had to this was “how deeply the white supremacist trope of the ‘black brute’ versus the ‘helpless woman’ appears to have permeated society”. This is an interesting response because in many people’s minds today, that idea is still present. Neesons drive proves how insignificant some people view black lives to be- enough where they believe killing an innocent black man is acceptable to satisfy their need for revenge. Some have reported they believe it was white privilege and racism conjoined that gave him the confidence to admit this when at the time he was likely thinking he could possibly get away with it.

Throughout world history, there has been many events where one targets a particular race. For instance, the idea of racism first became apparent in the Americas when Africans were being used for slave labor and mixed races were appearing. Because of native labor being exhausted, colonizers resorted to African slave imports to provide work. This led to views of white superiority as Europeans at the top and slaves were at the bottom of the social order; Europeans would often randomly and excessively end the lives of innocent black or mixed people if they were unsatisfied.

Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas recently were married in December of 2018 in India. Chopra is an Indian woman and Jonas is a white man; this was quite controversial considering both are very famous and it is not that common to see an interracial marriage within Hollywood. When they got married, a journalist from The Cut wrote an article claiming that Chopra is a scam artist. Many people quickly responded to this- stating that this is merely an act of racism, sexism, and jealousy.

The writer had no real claims to prove Chopra was such and was generally basing it off of her being an Indian woman. She began to argue that Chopra was only marrying Jonas as a contract to raise her status. She soon received much backlash for her insensitive article; some people argued that marriages such as theirs should be normalized. Others within the media demonstrated disbelief in their relationship, thinking there is no way such different people from such different backgrounds could even be together.

Today, many of these type of couples are subject to criticism and hatred for simply choosing to be with the person they love, who just happens to be of another race. In North America between 1450’s- 1750’s, interracial marriages began occurring between Native Americans and Europeans. This was normalized fairly quickly due to there being a greater number of European men than women who arrived into North America, so they had to marry Natives to ensure they had children. From these intermarriages, the idea of racism arose with the new mixed children. Within royal families, such as Meghan Markle and Prince Henry, it can be quite surprising considering how uncommon it is.

Some people who view others of another race to be inferior to them might use racial slurs in a highly offensive manner. In September 2018, the Escondido Union High School District exposed students who posed for their senior picnic pictures with shirts displaying a racial slur used against black people. The school usually pre- approves of the letters, but they did not know of this one; they were very disappointed to see this from their own students- claiming it did not reflect their values in the least. Other students agreed and were disappointed with their fellow classmen for being so ignorant and insensitive.

Many feared this would put their schools name to shame. Racial slurs and insults are either said without ill- intentions or fully with them, but it is just as offensive either way. Throughout history since racism became apparent, many racially targeted insults arose. Often times when someone owned a black slave, they would refer to him/her by an racially insulting name rather than their real name in a degrading and offensive manner. Due to this, many people faced emotional/mental trauma from constant barrages of disrespect.

Often times when a person has an ethnicity and/or race that differs from the dominating one of the country they are residing in, they might face acts of covert racism. For instance, bank BBVA of Spain was recently caught freezing their Chinese customers accounts. Eulvaro Calleja, bank spokesperson, later sent out a vague apology about the inconvenience. Most citizens are not buying this apology, as it is too much of a coincidence that it is solely affecting Chinese customers. A customer complained that they blocked her personal and business account a few months previous as well.

This company is stripping innocent customers from their right to their own money solely because they are of Chinese descent. This demonstrates the prevailing discrimination coming from official businesses on race. This also points out that Spain does not consider their Chinese citizens to be equal to themselves. This is an act of clear racism, and puts the banks name to shame; the company has lost a multitude of customers who have decided to sign up for a different bank. Similarly before, when Europeans arrived in North America, they were met with an unfamiliar race.

The Native Americans were given only few rights because there was so much division between class and race. Once mixed races starting appearing, they also had significantly less rights than pure Europeans. In addition, Japan created banks in the late 1800’s. At this time, Japan was still mostly isolated and uninfluenced by the rest of the world, so they did not have different race groups to have division among.

On September 8, 2018, Serena Williams played against Naomi Osaka during the United States Open Women’s Final. A few days later, an Australian newspaper decided to publish a cartoon created by Mark Knight. Knight misportrayed Williams with large lips, a big nose, big and frizzy hair, and a larger body. Further in the picture, he drew Osaka talking to the umpire. Osaka was represented as a white woman, but she is Japanese and Haitian. Critics instantly reported back their thoughts on the cartoon, stating it was foul, sexist, and racist.

Knight’s wrongdoing not only was within the fact he represented both women in such inaccurate and offensive manner, but also due to him deciding to show Williams in such a degrading form because she is an African American woman. Previously, there was a painting made in the early nineteenth century displaying the Haitian Revolution. In the painting, there is a Haitian man shown hanging a white man who had tried to colonize his country. Although Williams did not take any actions to get revenge on Knight, this event shows similarity because it was the white man who had initially attacked the man of color.

For years, people of color have been discriminated for their natural hair, especially African Americans who are surrounded by European beauty standards. Black women have been sent home from work for wearing their hair naturally, and told to return once they are up to standard. They are expected to wear their hair straightened or pinned up, otherwise they are considered “unprofessional”. The high amounts of heat applied to their hair is extremely damaging. In February 2019, New York City passed a law outlawing the discrimination of hair in hopes of fighting racism even though no other law similar to this was passed in any other cities.

This was a huge step for race equality and has received much applause and approval. African American women are becoming more confident with their natural beauty; they feel more socially accepted and are losing the harmful mindset that they have to meet a certain standard to be able to properly present themselves. In a similar sense, in the early 1800’s, countries such as Great Britain and Spain began to ban slavery despite it being widely popular at the time and not everyone agreeing to end it. Enlightenment thinkers began to consider the humanity of slavery, leading others to start consider it as well. They also passed laws, such as the Slave Trade Act, which forbade Atlantic slave trade with the British.

Jonquiere Marquis Quebec hockey player, Jonathan Diaby, was attacked with racist slurs and taunts while attending his hockey game in February of 2019. Other players have attempted to apologize for theirs and the crowds behavior, but it does not make up for the racist comments. Diaby released a video talking about the incident and states this should not be tolerated. He revealed that he was shouted insults, some so harsh they even compare him to a baboon. Diaby wanted to continue playing, but he learned the attacks were starting to be directed towards his family.

He had found out someone had taunted his father and told him to return to where he is from. He chose to not return to the ice because he felt his family was unsafe. Diaby mentioned he wanted to see and make changes, but understood this was going to be a long process towards equality. When European first came to North America, they were confused to see people of color. The only exposure they had to anyone that did not share their skin tone was with communications to India. Thus, they began to call them Indians. When they saw the Native Americans, Europeans would later make remarks about they way they looked- calling them names such as redskin and would refer to them as unintelligent, savage, and uncivilized.

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Racial Dynamics in History: A Tapestry of Incidents and Relations. (2019, Jul 18). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/racial-dynamics-in-history-a-tapestry-of-incidents-and-relations/