Power point presentation on racism

Essay by misshellkittyA, April 2004

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Definition of Racism

rac*ism n (1936) 1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race 2 : racial prejudice or discrimination

Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary


The separation of groups of people by custom or by law. It is often based on differences of race, religion, wealth, or culture.

The first major challenges to racial segregation in Canada occurred in 1946 when Viola Desmond, a black businesswoman, refused to sit in the balcony of a New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, theater but instead sat downstairs, an area designated exclusively for whites. Viola Desmond's action occurred nine years before Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama

Causes of segregation

Media examples of racism

What is racism?

The holding of derogatory social attitudes or cognitive beliefs towards members of a particular group on the account of their membership to that group

What is racism?

The ICERD (International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination) defines racism as follows:

"Any distinction, exclusion, restriction, or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment, or exercise, on equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, or any other field of public life."

Social function of prejudice & racism

Prejudice and racism may be a necessary means of creating scapegoats for individual or groups that feel threatened

It may be due to socialization (e.g. authoritarian personality)

It may be the animal instinct of territoriality and feral restraint.

It may be mere bigotry and ignorance...