Re: Racism and ancient history

Wilford M. S. (
Sat, 18 Jan 1997 23:14:41 -0500

> When you start talking about lower wages, unions, etc. it seems to me you
> are taking a modern perspective. From that modern perspective, I would
> tend to agree with you on the economic basis of racism. However, if we
> want to talk about the roots of racism, which surely preceed the modern
> era, I think the economic analysis falls flat. Why did the Crusading
> Christians hate the Moslems so much? Surely not because Arab tribesmen
> would work for lower wages back in Europe.
> I think this is a very interesting thread and look forward to reading more,
> Dean

Gorounday Onzima 5, 65 AH, 17+1

It's natural for people to be suspicious of strangers and if that
stranger is identifide by skin colour or other features the strangeness
becomes even more apparent. This is a human condition that is
manipulated by all kinds of media to create what we call racism.
Scientificly, the concept of race cannot be defined. However the media
use the term "race" to describe religious groups like the Jews, for
cultural groups like the French as well as for people who simply look
like some accepted stereotype.
In my experience the idea of race is learned from TV. It is the media
that segregates and defines cultures. It is done by the way characters
are written into the plot lines and also in the kind of shows that are
Most of the evening TV here features all white people. Then there a
couple of black sitcoms where everybody is jiving and cool. Orientals
are always depicted as intelectual.
It seems to me that this idea of racism is a social construction that
amplifies our natural suspicions of others and codifies them.