Racism

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  • Race
  • Social Evolution/ Darwinism
  • Herbert Spencer's Social Darwinism Theory
  • Race is a way of categorizing people based on their physical and biological differences. These differences include skin colour, hair texture and facial features. Race was created to justify the abuse of slaves and other people, by saying they were lesser beings and not human. Race today either gives certain privileges or denies them. Racism is the discrimination and prejudice towards another purely due to the belief that different races are lesser to others. Racism still largely exists today.
  • Steryotypes
  • The theory of “Social Darwinism” says with competition of resources, simpler societies must develop into complex societies to survive. The societies that succeeded were called the majority group and the societies that struggled were called the minority group.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird Example One
  • Herbert Spencer is an English sociologist who developed the concept of evolution from Charles Darwin’s work. Spencer established a hierarchy of races and their potential for evolution. He compared humans to animals and believed, like animals, humans would survive based on the idea of “survival of the fittest”. Spencer believed that western society - in other words white people - were superior as they obtained scarce resources and developed into a more complex society.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird Example Two
  • Stereotypes are usually exaggerated truths to include everyone apart of the larger group. Steryotypes are a large part of racism. They help create the belief that differences exist between races even when they don't. Stereotypes also contribute to the idea that some races are more advanced then others.
  • Dolphus Raymond is a white man in Maycomb who is married to a black woman. When he goes into town he pretends to be drunk so people will have an explanation for his behaviour. In reality he is tired of the white hypocrisy and prefers to spend time with the black people of maycomb.
  • Tom Robinson is an African American man living in Maycomb and is convicted of a crime purely due to his race. He is on trial for allegedly raping a white women. Even though the evidence is in Tom's favour like the fact that she was beaten by someone who was more adept with their left hand, and Tom's left hand was crippled. The only reason Tom was accused in the first place was because of his race, and the only reason the trial went as far as it did was because of his race. Just because a white person said Tom did it ultimately meant he did it.
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