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Racial and Cultural Difference - Essay Example

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Racial and Cultural Difference Racism is a very serious issue in the world today. The term ‘racism’ indicates the division of people based on their skin color and other physical features. The concept of racism has undergone a lot of changes, and a lot of stereotyping occurred in the years passed…
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Download file to see previous pages The concept of racism has become so deep-rooted in the minds of people that when two races exist together, there is the possibility of racial conflicts as racial feelings get stronger. The first reason that gives birth to this racial problem is the existence of ‘personal racism’ that is the result of years and years of conditioning. Personal racism, in simple terms, is the ideas and feelings one holds in ones mind and the consequent behavioral outcome towards other races. It can be a feeling of superiority or inferiority, hatred towards color, lifestyle, language, or any other distinguishable feature. It can also include mere mistreatment of people. Admittedly, the whites are the creators of this race theory in order to justify their maltreatment of the blacks and the use of the blacks as slaves. Admittedly, a person who lives in a white-only society is fed the concept that whites are superior. While such a person comes to a mixed society where many races exist, it is natural that the person will reflect his beliefs n his actions. One can see this built-in personal racism in a number of situations in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. One such example is Simon Legree who is an evil and violent man. He treats his slaves like animals, and makes them work till they die. When they die, he buys new ones. For him, slaves are nothing but a commodity that should be exploited fully. Though there are other people like George Shelby who show compassion, what Simon Legree possesses is extreme personal racism that comes out through his actions. 1. (Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. In addition, one can see Legree’s claim that he will never be punished for the death of Tom. In total, Legree possesses the ‘native antipathy of bad to good’ (412) in the case of slaves. The very same thing is true about blacks to. They possess the feeling of inferiority and some possess the belief that they are there to be slaves. The belief in their inferiority has become their personal belief. For example, one can see Tom deciding not to run away because he feels he is supposed to be with his master Mr. Shelby. Here, though there are other people like Eliza who want to escape to Canada, Tom wants to stay because he has become a slave in his mindset. Admittedly, in a mixed society, such personal beliefs and prejudices are reflected. In addition, as the various races possess various concepts, any action or talk that hurts the other groups will ignite the problem of racism that already exists in the minds of people. For example, a Hispanic worker may be denied a job by a company because they think the person is an illegal immigrant though, in fact, the person is a legal immigrant. On the other hand, the Hispanic legal immigrant who is maltreated gets one more reason to believe that the whites treat their race badly. Thus, by not being ready to remove the personal racism that is often the result of prejudices that exist in society, the interactions only help in increasing the already existing problems. The second point is the efforts to exploit the inferior one by the superior one. In Uncle Tom’s Cabin, one can see Mr. Haley trying to catch the run-away slaves as if they are stray animals (p. 34-62). Thus, racial issues arise when various racial groups possess various demands which are contradicting in nature. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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