"Racism" in America began in the early 1600s when the English were in need of a cheap, durable labor source to build colonial foundations that they themselves were not capable of building. The concept of slavery was not unknown in the world, but the lack of morality involved in institutionalizing such a concept required justification.
In order to make slavery morally justifiable, economic interests came up with the concept of discrimination based on the color of one's skin. By dubbing Africans inferior and inhuman, the "good Christians" of the new world were able to appease their sense of righteousness in spite of the atrociousness of their actions. Previously no one had assigned race or ethnicity based on one's skin color, and the concept of such has had far-reaching and almost unbelievable consequences.
Further justification of racism was created by deliberately misconstruing biblical versus. The "Curse of Ham" is supposedly a biblical proof saying that Noah commanded the servitude of Africans.
Closer inspection of the specific verses reveal that the man who was cursed was actually an Arab; in no part of the bible is Ham or his descendants in any way linked to Africa or African Americans.
In the 1700 and 1800s the white populous attempted to prove that Africans were intellectually inferior to whites. This is known as the 'Pseudo Science of Racism'. Racist whites came reasoned that although the constitution held that all men were created equal, this was a moral and philosophical statement, and they were determined to prove that science would indicate otherwise.
By abusing statistics bigot scientists were able to misrepresent facts that would seem to indicate African inferiority. Africans were not the only minority to undergo such twisted critiquing. Women, Native Americans, European foreigners, and Asians were subjected to the same study. Scientists...