Description of the pattern
Racism is the overt and covert, conscious and subconscious, belief that people of different ethnicities are not inherently equal. As seen in Anglo Americans treatment and view of Africans in the past and the present, a racist assumption of ethnic superiority supports and underlies exploitation, actual and monetary enslavement, and denying basic human rights to those in need.
How it Works
Racism has historically been the internalized belief that Europian Anglo-Americans have used to justify their conquest, capture, enslavement, killing, and rape of Indigenous people and their land.The belief that certain ethnicities are inferior or superior can become internalized and expressed subtly through actions or words that demean or dehumanize others. It allows one group, race, of nation to justify their domination of another people while believing that they are "civilizing" them. Racist beliefs and behavior are often learned from parents and/or role models. As a form of dehumanization, racism denies that humanity is one species and that what one does to another they do to themselves.
Early in American history, slaves were brought over from Africa. They obviously looked, talked, and acted differently than the Europeans colonizing the West at the time. These Africans were treated as property and had no standing in society. Overtime and through legislation, slaves were freed and granted rights. However, many people have not accepted these people and their descendants as equals, particularly in the South early on, where the slave trade was most prominent for farming.