What do you understand by the term racism

What do you understand by the term racism? Using illustrations from one of the countries of policy we have covered, explicate the being of racism in modern-day Britain.


Hire a custom writer who has experience.
It's time for you to submit amazing papers!

order now

Racism, along with the similar and related footings bias, xenophobia and favoritism are all footings that are in common use today. In modern-day multi-cultural Britain the political relations of individuality and race are at the bow and after the onslaughts of 09/11 there is an even more heightened consciousness of racial and cultural issues than of all time before. Closer to home the enlargement of Europe, in-migration and refuge are all adding to the pot of racial political relations and making new challenges for multi-cultural, multi-racial Britain. But what precisely does it intend to be racist? Are all racists the same? Is at that place one-racism or many fluctuations of racism? For a term with such widespread use at that place seems to be small differentiation made. The first portion of the essay examines what precisely is meant by racism and in replying those inquiries provides a basic definition as to what is meant by the term racism amidst the confusion as to what it means to be racialist.

The essay so proceeds to look at how racism exists in Britain today through a instance survey of the being of racism in policing and offense. It draws upon the statute law in topographic point to forestall racism and the failure of this to make so as was seemingly illustrated through the Stephen Lawrence question. It contends the by and large accepted position that the constabulary are institutionally racist and argues that this has caused more harm than good by showing the constabulary this manner, as opposed to incompetent. It highlights that the issues with specifying what is and what isn’t racialist have impacted on the constabulary force as the instance and misdirection of the Stephen Lawrence enquiry clearly shows. It draws the decision that it takes more than statute law to alter the beliefs, ideas and actions of persons, although the statute law is a good measure towards minimising and supplying a agency to cover with any issues originating because of it. To get down with a narrower definition of the term racism would be a start and make a civilization of less sensitiveness would be a start, although easier said than done in the modern-day cultural clime in Britain.

Specifying Racism

As with many constructs in academe, the construct of racism is a hard one to specify. During the 19th century thoughts of domination and racism were rife in the scientific and academic universes but were mostly discredited after the Second World War. Set in a period of colonialism, it would look they were used to warrant the bondage and colonization of autochthonal peoples. However while they have been discredited there remains a little component of the high quality composite in a little proportion of society. The definition of racism is a topic of much argument and deliberation and it means different things to different people ( non in the least because it is predicated upon the premise of race which in itself is a disputed construct ) nevertheless it is possible to pull together a unsmooth definition as to what is meant by racism. A taking historian, Fredrickson states that ‘racism is excessively equivocal and loaded a term to depict my capable effectively.’ ( 2002: 152 )

Racism is normally referred to and means different things to different people and can be interpreted in different ways. A basic reading of racialist is person who hates another because of the coloring material of tegument or for some ground that they are different. The word bigot could besides be used here to depict that person. Racism is by and large accepted as incorrect ( observe by and large non entirely as there are still people who believe that it is right ) . It seems to travel manus in manus with thoughts besides of unfairness. While there are Torahs against racialist behavior and racialist actions yet it remains impossible to happen an existent legal definition of racism. A common apprehension of the word racism is that it is a bias against a race, a belief in racial high quality. However there are assorted definitions and readings of racism and besides assorted grade to which people are racist, some may be actively so others passively racist ( non taking action on their sentiments ) . The basic implicit in belief of racism is of the high quality of one racial group over all others. [ 1 ]

Taking the construct of race for granted a basic definition of Racism is provided as a get downing block by The Oxford English Dictionary which defines Racism as ‘1 ) The belief that all members of each race possess features or abilities specific to that race, particularly so as to separate it as inferior or superior to another race or races. 2 ) Prejudice, favoritism, or hostility directed against person of a different race based on such a belief: a plan to battle racism.’ ( 2008 ) In other words racism is a belief of high quality of one race other all others. What the dictionary definition doesn’t specifically specify is that racism is based on a biological believe that make one race superior to another. The footing of this belief was one time purportedly set in scientific discipline, and that there are biological differences that make the race superior. The history of racism is by and large that of white domination. The belief of familial high quality makes racism distinguishable from bias. However the term racism in modern-day society has become synonymous with bias and any action that is perceived to be in any manner negative to person who may merely go on to be of a different ethnicity. Looking to the jurisprudence for a definition it is found that while there is no specific legal definition of racism in the UK, there is plentifulness of statute law that makes it a condemnable offense to know apart on racial evidences and there are guidelines sing race. For illustration the UK Crown Prosecution Service refers to a racial group as ‘any group of people who are defined by mention to their race, coloring material, nationality ( including citizenship ) or cultural or national origin’ hypertext transfer protocol: //www.cps.gov.uk/publications/prosecution/rrpbcrbook.html accessed 20/04/08

In footings of how racism is played out, this is in the signifier of favoritism. Acting out the racialist beliefs that put the person in a worse of place because of that. This is now illegal in the UK. The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination provides the undermentioned definition of racial favoritism ‘In this Convention, the term “ racial favoritism ” shall intend any differentiation, exclusion, limitation or penchant based on race, coloring material, descent, or national or cultural beginning which has the intent or consequence of invalidating or impairing the acknowledgment, enjoyment or exercising, on an equal terms, of human rights and cardinal freedoms in the political, economic, societal, cultural or any other field of public life.’ ( hypertext transfer protocol: //www2.ohchr.org/english/law/cerd.htm Accessed 20/04/08 ) From this it can be ascertained that to be racialist is to keep either a bias or a belief in high quality on the footing of one of those distinguishing factors.

As a sociological phenomenon racism is defined at a much deeper degree than a disfavor for a peculiar race or a feeling of high quality. Racism is a agency of control as Hick outlines ‘racism can be used as a tool of domination, of one group over another.’ ( 2004 ) Sociologists Cazenave and Maddern define racism as ‘a extremely organized system of ‘race’-based group privilege that operates at every degree of society and is held together by a sophisticated political orientation of color/’race ‘ domination. Racist systems include, but can non be reduced to, racial bigotry.’ ( Cazenave and Maddern 1999: 42 ) While this may be the instance the term racism that is bandied about in the media today does non look to associate to the sociological definition of a deep sitting signifier of control.

As this subdivision has shown there are fluctuations on the subject of racism and what it means to be racialist, the verse form included at Annex 1 provides a different position of the all across-the-board nature of racism and the many ways in can play out in modern-day society, it’s words indicate that potentially everyone can be or is at some point racist even unwittingly through their actions in the hyper-sensitive universe we live in. The article from which it is taken intimations at the absurdity of how the construct of racism has been blown up. It is this deficiency of definite definition of what precisely is racism that makes it debatable in society. This confusion of whether one is racialist or non is epitomised in Leith’s article and his ain inquiring of whether he is racist. He asks ‘I ‘m about to take a racism trial, and it ‘s doing me uncomfortable. Why? I ‘m non a racialist. For the record, I am an anti-racist. If you asked me, I would state that, while the races may look different, they are equal. I would state that racism, the theory that one race is superior to another, is fallacious.’ ( 25/02/07 ) The confusion over what and what isn’t racialist is the footing for the issues that are being faced in society today. Green neatly summarises this issue in relation to the Stephen Lawrence question ( which will be examined in more item at the instance survey at the undermentioned subdivision ) . He clearly pinpoints that the job with the construct of racism in modern-day Britain is that no 1 is certain what precisely it is and if they are being racialist. Green provinces that ‘the culprits of racialist activity may non cognize they are racist at all. All they have to make to be so called is to handle people in a manner that is interpreted as being racialist. Racism, in short, is insensitiveness to the feelings of members of cultural minorities. It is a cultural failure.’ The Macpherson Report itself has a chapter on specifying racism and what is meant by it, the definition is 15 pages long. ( 1999: pp. 20-35 ) This would bespeak that while there may be complexnesss to the definition of racism certainly this has got out of manus in the culturally sensitive, politically right epoch that we now live in modern-day Britain. In drumhead it can be taken that to be racialist is to move against another on the footing of some portion of their background or civilization including their faith. The undermentioned subdivision examines the being of racism in Britain through a instance survey analysis of policing and offense.

Racism in Britain Today: Crime and Patroling

In looking at racism in offense and patroling in Britain today the first subdivision examines the policy context and the statute law in topographic point to assist forestall racism. It is argued that while racism can be defined in many different ways as the old subdivision has shown and it can be legislated against every bit is shown here it takes a alteration in the perceptual experiences and the actions of society in order to acquire drive of racism and racist behavior in it’s most basic signifier the thought that difference makes one group superior over another. The instance survey challenges one of the chief perceptual experiences of racism in patroling based on the Macpherson study in the instance of Stephen Lawrence. It argues that there has been a deceit of the constabulary as institutionally racialist and that this has had an every bit negative impact on race dealingss in modern-day Britain as if they had been racialist.

Despite the statute law that exists at national and supra-national degree favoritism persists in the workplace in Britain. While the statute law is in topographic point to halt favoritism, it can non halt racism in itself ‘the European Union adopted a Council Directive implementing the Principle of Equal Treatment between Persons irrespective of Racial or Ethnic Origin in June 2000 ; and, in December 2002, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, a organic structure of the Council of Europe, adopted General Policy Recommendation no 7 on National Legislation to Battle Racism and Racial Discrimination.’ ( Howard: 2005, 468 ) This statute law applies to Britain as it does to all members of the EU and across both public and private sectors it is all embracing. At the British Level The 1976 Race Relations Act made it unacceptable in society to do racialist comments or behaviour. However it has non eradicated racism, this subdivision examines whether racism does be in the constabulary force in Britain and finds that while the institutional racism may hold been a myth, however that myth has still had a negative consequence on society and that racism would be evident despite statute law to battle it.

The Macpherson Report purportedly stood testament to the institutionalisation of racism in the really machinery that is supposed to protect and function society – the constabulary. The term ‘institutionalised racism’ with regard to the constabulary force came to the bow in the wake of the slaying of Stephen Lawrence and the subsequent question by the constabulary into his decease. As a consequence of this the constabulary force made a pledge that they would free the force of this racism. Green et Al ( 2000 ) contest the opinion of institutionalized racism within the force on the footing that it was non racism that was either the motive for the onslaught of Stephen Lawrence nor for the carelessness in the abilities of the constabulary to cover with it ( pp.3-5 ) . Rather it was incompetency on portion of the constabulary force and the onslaught was non so much motivated by race but of a violent nature it merely happened to be on a colored individual. These are points that seem to hold been lost in the public amidst media describing which it would look make more injury than good in footings of the prolongation of a civilization of racism in Britain. It is argued that the impact of the Stephen Lawrence question was to widen and broaden the definition of racism in Britain as O’Brien ( in Green ) articulates ‘it showed that racism manifests itself non merely in the barbarous onslaughts by people like the pack of white racialist hoods alleged to hold killed Stephen Lawrence, but besides in the less obvious ways, such as the evident intuition and deficiency of understanding which followed Stephen’s stabbing.’ ( 2000: 25 ) It would look that this question and an entree that the constabulary force is institutional racialist ( as opposed to merely incompetent ) has existent done more harm in footings of race dealingss in modern-day Britain than good.


This essay has noted and discussed the differences and the multiple fluctuations of definitions of racism from the more simple construct that it is a belief of high quality of one race over another to the more complex sociological analysis that it is a agency of control through which that high quality is really achieved. The whole thought of what it is to be racialist has become hyper-sensitised in modern-day Britain, as potentially everyone could be accused of racism at some grade or degree. Multi-cultural or multi-racial Britain today faces a spot challenge particularly in the aftermath of the 09/11 onslaughts and increased sensitiveness to different faiths or instead the rise of Islamopobia. This is non helped by the stigmatization of the constabulary force, who are at that place to function and protect and overall should be puting an illustration, as institutionally racialist. Despite the multiple beds of statute law that exists to prosecute against racialist behavior, this does non move to forestall it. To the contrary the confusion about what it is to be racist merely adds to the inaccuracies in the categorizations of racist action as was exemplified by the Stephen Lawrence question.


Braham, P. , Rattansi, A. and Skellington, R. ( explosive detection systems. ) ( 1992 )Racism and Antiracism: Opportunities and Policies, London: Sage

Cazenave, N. A. and Maddern D. A. , ( 1999 ) ‘Defending the White Race: White Male Faculty Opposition to a White Racism Course.’ Race and Society 2: 25-50.

Green D. G. ( Ed ) ( 2000 )Institutional Racism and the Police: Fact or Fiction?Institute for the Study of Civil Society: London

Howard, E. , Anti Race Discrimination Measures in Europe: An Attack on Two FrontsEuropean Law Journal, Vol. 11, No. 4, July 2005, pp. 468–486.

Macpherson W. , ( 1999 ) The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry: Report Of An Inquiry

Miles, R and Brown, M ( 2003 )Racism,London: Routledge

Skellington, R. and Morris, P. ( 1996 )‘Race ‘ in Britain Today, London: Sage

Fredrickson, G. M. ( 2002 )Racism: A Short History. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP

Hick, S. Social Work with Peoples of Colour

hypertext transfer protocol: //socialpolicy.ca/52100/m17/m17-t3.stm

The Parekh Report ( 2000 )

hypertext transfer protocol: //www.runnymedetrust.org/projects/meb/report.html

The Guardian – Racism Section

hypertext transfer protocol: //www.guardian.co.uk/racism/0, ,180308,00.html

Annex 1


It’s In the Way

It’s in the manner you patronise

The manner that you avert your eyes

The manner that you can non mask

Your expressions of horror and surprise

It’s the premises that you make

On my behalf and for my interest

And in the manner you do non hear

The things we tell you loud and clear

It’s in the manner you touch my hair

The manner you think, The manner you stare

It’s right at that place in your history

Merely like bondage for me

It’s in the linguistic communication that you use

The manner that you express your positions

The manner you ever acquire to take

The manner we lose

It’s when you say ‘No offense to you’

And so pique me, as you do

It’s in your paper policy

Designed by you, for you, non me

It’s in the power you abuse

It’s on Television, it’s in the intelligence

It’s in employment, in your school

The manner you take me for a sap

It’s in the manner you change my name

The manner that you deny my hurting

It’s in the manner that you collude

To state me it’s my attitude

It’s in your false democracy

It’s in the ironss you can non see

It’s how you talk equality

And so you put it back on me

It’s in the manner you get annoyed

And state I must be paranoid

It’s in the manner we have to contend

For basic cardinal homo rights

It’s in the invasion of my infinite

It’s how you maintain me in my topographic point

It’s the subjugation of my race


Andrea Cork Quoted inJohn G.D. Grieve & A ; Julie French‘Does Institutional Racism Exist In the Metropolitan Police Service? ’ in Green D. G. ( Ed ) ( 2000 )Institutional Racism and the Police: Fact or Fiction?Institute for the Study of Civil Society: London


Dr Jekyll and mr Hyde<< >>A Critical Analysis of the Work and Approach

About the author : admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.