Racism and its different forms in society

Wadia Ayshi

Racism, the term itself is not only limited to skin colour, rather it connects the ideas of religion, physique, nationality and much more. 

Racism is the attitude, practice, and activity where people are believed to be divided socially into many races and at the same time it is believed that some groups are higher or lower for certain characteristics than the others; or entitled to authority over him; or more qualified or ineligible.

In principle and practice, Islam does not mean any difference of race, caste, region or colour. White and black, citizen and soldier, ruler and ruled, all equal; not only in principle or in theory, but also in practical work.  

Whether in the field or in the guest house, in the tent or in the palace, in the mosque or in the market, they associate and enjoy the facilities freely and frankly on the basis of freedom and equality.

The first muezzin of Islam was a Negro slave. To the white-skinned racist man, his fellow black people can be equal in the kingdom of heaven, why not in the kingdom of this earth? Such a drastic difference exists in the real life of the world. 

But Islam has denied racism and apartheid in all spheres of society, religion and life from day one. Racism has no place in Christianity as well. Racist beliefs, attitudes and actions have their roots in hatred. It is a sin in Christianity. Therefore, every human belong to one race – ‘Human Race'. 

Diagnosing its historical background, there have been many advances in material science in Europe. All are enjoying the benefits of improvement all over the world.  Human eyesight has also got light in it. Man is now able to visualise various material benefits, seeing thousands of worldly opportunities. 

But some of them are yet ignorant in their divine vision. Those who are blind to the eyes in terms of having humane feeling towards the other, having non-sectarianism are the real blind. Seeking a reference to the fact that, in South Africa, skin colour was at the root of this racist practice. 

Simply putting the social and state discrimination of white people against black people. Racism in Africa began about three and a half centuries ago, when the European white-collar merchant community first came to the Cape Town area. However, when it comes to the formal recognition of racism in South Africa, that is, the legalisation of racism began by law, in 1948, after World War II.

This is because the Nationalist Party formed the government in South Africa in 1948, whose election manifesto was to pass an 'apartheid' law that discriminated against black people. The concept of 'Apartheid' was first published in a well-known magazine in 1943.  'Apartheid' literally means separation. 

In other words, the word 'apartheid' was used to differentiate or differentiate blacks from all kinds of political, social and economic rights. After the world war I, different regions of the world were suffering with the oppression of European colonialism. Several European countries had established colonies in different parts of Asia and Africa. 

The Dutch were looking for a place that would be fairly in the middle of the Netherlands and the colonies, so that fresh meat, vegetables and food could be supplied to the colonies from this middle place on a long voyage. A Dutch sailor by the name of John Rybic was given the task of finding such a place.

One day in 1852, Raibik arrived in the Cap region of South Africa with an expedition.  Gradually he established a system of farm and food production there. He saw that the standard of living of the inhabitants of this region was very low. As a result, he easily recruited local blacks on his farm.  He lived in this area for about 10 years. 

During this time he built white settlements there on his own initiative. French and German whites arrived in the area a few years later. After 1820, the English also came to South Africa and settled there. 

The radical racism we saw in South Africa several years ago was largely made up of those European whites. European whites also legitimised this discrimination through a Christian doctrine called Calvinism. It was believed that whites were the only lucky ones chosen by God.  And only white people have the right to rule.

Between 17-1800, 200 Calvinist Frenchmen arrived in the region, all of whom looked down on black people. With the advent of the Calvin ideologues, apartheid became more pronounced, and oppression of blacks increased. The white people who came to South Africa from Europe were called 'Afrikaans', while many called the 'Afrikaans' whites 'Boer' for their agricultural occupation. 

After the French Revolution in Europe, many changes took place in South Africa as well.  Early Dutch merchants came to Africa and they also dominated the region. 

But after 1805 England occupied the Cap area, and they ruled for the next 100 years or so.  Although the socio-economic situation in Europe changed after the French Revolution, the standard of living of black people in South Africa did not change much. Although England abolished slavery in Africa in 1834.  

However, social inequality did not end. After the sudden discovery of gold-diamond-like mines in the region, foreign investment began to increase there. As a result, Africa's economy suddenly flourished. Since the British occupied Africa, the lion's share of the mines were naturally occupied by whites from England. 

The whole world changed after World War II. The touch of that change is also felt in Africa. By that time, the black people had become somewhat aware of their rights. They also started contributing in education, society, state. But racism was in every case. 

Large black communities were isolated through racism in every part of the state, from universities. In order to prevent them from becoming a threat to the rulers, their place of residence was fixed in certain underdeveloped areas of the country. The oppression of racism in South Africa lasted for almost three and a half centuries. 

It is true that many black liberators have contributed to the deletion of this black chapter, but one has to speak of whites as well. He is Clarke, the former president of South Africa, who first held a referendum in 1992 on whether anti-black laws should continue. At the end of the vote, 69 percent of whites wanted reform of the racism law.

Nelson Mandela, the great leader of the black people, was later released from prison and won the election. The last is the black chapter of racism in Africa.  Mandela did not retaliate against white people after winning.  

Instead, he forgot the difference between black and white and worked for the development of the country throughout his life. It is his generosity that transformed him from a leader of black people to a world leader. Anti-apartheid protests have been raging in 25 US states over the past few days over the killing of a black man named George Floyd by white police. 

In solidarity against the racist movement, the movement is spreading in many countries of Europe including Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom. Videos of the news and demonstrations are being published in the media all over the world, including the American media. 

Many intellectuals, including MIT Professor Noam Chomsky, a leading figure among American intellectuals, Professor Herbert, and Colonel West, the leader of the black movement, have written opinions on the subject. The wave of this movement is also coming in Bangladesh.  Many articles are being published in established media including social media. ( To be continued)

Wadia Ayshi is a student at Department Of English, University Of Dhaka.