Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade October 2001

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Racism Racism is making the race of others a factor in attitudes or actions concerning them. Racism suggests an opinion in the superiority of one's own race. Racism includes prejudice and discrimination, because prejudice means to pre-judge, to form an opinion about someone or something without knowing the facts, and discrimination means actions based on prejudice. Racism exists because of the actions of individuals who either make or do discriminatory things, or who allow them to continue. Any person can be prejudiced or discriminate, but must belong to a group that has organizational power in order to be racist. One important thing to remember is that intention is not an essential factor in racism. It is an effect of a behavior, practice, or law that determines whether it is racist.

The history of racism in the United States is largely the history of people of color, mostly African Americans. It was the growth of American slavery and slave trade that started the concept of racism.

The abuse of blacks, Native Americans, Latinos, and Asians continued racism. Throughout history, racism has been a part of the laws and practices in this country. The history of racism in the United States will lead us to understand how it affects us in today's society.

Slavery had existed throughout human history, but mainly because of war until the eleventh century. Then, race became the main basis for slavery in the fifteenth century. After the Americas were discovered, the colonies decided to abandon the idea of using the Indians for slaves because they were more familiar with the land and could run away easier. Indentured servants, contract laborers, and Africans were brought to the colonies to work on the plantations. Some prejudices did exist in the colonies, but mostly among the wealthy, and discrimination was...