In the definition of “racism”, the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, to distinguish it as superior to another race is primary. Prejudice, discrimination, and antagonism directed against someone of a darker hue based on the belief that one's own race is superior has dominated the behavior of many Americans in the United States.
Racism has existed throughout human history- hatred of one person by another because of skin color, language and customs influenced wars, promotion of slavery and the formation of nations. When Portuguese sailors first explored Africa in the 15th century, they came upon empires and cities as advanced as their own and they considered Africans to be serious rivals. Over time, as European powers began to plunder the continent and forcibly remove its inhabitants to work as slave laborers in new colonies across the Atlantic, Africans came to be seen as a deficient "species," as "savages." This view was necessary to justify the slave trade at a time when Western culture had begun to promote individual rights and human equality.
Black people are seen by racists as merely subhuman, more like beasts than men. American scientists and philosophers devised a false racial "science" to "prove" the supremacy of non-Jewish whites. While the Nazi annihilation of Jews discredited most of these supposedly scientific efforts to elevate one race over another, small numbers of scientists and social scientists have continued throughout the 20th century to argue the inborn shortcomings of certain races, especially Black people. What may seem to be significant "racial" differences to some people - skin color, hair, facial shape - are not of scientific significance.
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