Most of us denounce racism as bad, evil, or destructive. But how many of us can offer more than one or two reasons why racism is so bad?
Here are seven major arguments against racism:
1. Racism is socially disruptive
Racism negatively affects ‘social cohesion’ and ‘national unity’ and in doing so, wastes resources and energies.
2. Racism is foreign
Racism does not emerge from our national history. It was absent from our community in the past.
3. Racism sustains the ruling class
Racism is one of the key elements that keep the ruling class in power. By creating division and enmity between the working class, racism hinders the unity of the oppressed and thus, sustains the control of the ruling class.
4. Racism hinders the progress of ‘our community’
By preventing a part of society from fully participating in the common goals, racism is an obstacle in the way of our community’s social and economic progress.
5. Racism is an intellectual error
While racial studies were around for a relatively long time (perhaps since the mid and late twentieth century), their relevance and soundness have been seriously challenged in more recent times. It is now viewed as a ‘bad science’, a way of thinking that uses scientific methodologies but in the wrong place.
6. Racism distorts and erases people’s identities.
This effect of racism influences the victims both at the individual level and collective level. Racism subverts the victim group’s abilities pertinent to their identity. It is racists that create and propagate the racial logic and discourse for the opposition.
7. Racism is anti-egalitarian and socially unjust
Almost all forms of anti-racism share the view that racism is anti-egalitarian. Racism challenges the political, philosophical, and religious beliefs that all people are essentially equal.
You might also enjoy: Anti-Racism – Universalist or Relativist?
If you found these arguments interesting and want to read more about them or if you like to familiarise yourself with anti-racism philosophies, arguments, and practices, have a look at Alastair Bonnett’s book, Anti-racism (Google Books or Goodreads). On top of the theoretical analysis of racism, the book provides an interesting study of anti-racism campaigns and practical movements.
Art by Natalia Podpora