“The foundation of white supremacy can be traced back to the 17th-century theory of scientific racism. It justified racism and carried scientific credence…”
With a seemingly racist individual taking on a high position in one of the most powerful countries of the world, greater talks about racism have bubbled up.
White Supremacy is a racist ideology that believes that white people are superior to people belonging to other races. This idea supports the belief that since white people are higher in many ways, they should also dominate other races. White supremacists support this claim through pseudoscientific arguments.
A bane since ages
From an academic perspective, a political and socio-economic system wherein white people enjoy structural privilege over other races also comes under the ambit of white supremacy.
The foundation of white-supremacy can be traced back to the 17th-century theory of scientific racism. It justified racism and carried scientific credence until the Second World War, after which it was formally denounced. In 1950, UNESCO released an antiracist statement ‘The Race Question’ in an attempt to neutralise the spread of racism.
Although racism was formally condemned, it never died. Hence, while overt individual racism still exists, systematic racism also subtly made a home in the society. In 1999, Sir William Macpherson defined systematic racism as:
“The collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture, or ethnic origin. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantage minority ethnic people.”
White Supremacy and Systematic Racism hurt the fabric of our society. The institution of racism is real and pervasive but is hardly acknowledged. Many believe that racism existed only in the pages of history but fail to identify the stains of racism in the current times.
Take the Charlottesville Incident for example, where a series of violent clashes erupted at a white supremacist rally. The incident occurred on 11th and 12th August (2017) in Charlottesville, Virginia, US. Anticipating the gravity of the clash between “Unite the Right” rally members and counter-protestors, the Governor of Virginia had to declare a state emergency. It resulted in 3 deaths and over 38 injuries.