In the course of history, there have been instances of one group of people discriminating against the other. It is an animalistic tendency that we as a society have been trying for long to do away with but are failing in attempt over and over again. In today’s modern times, the majority of the world has accepted this complex problem. A problem complicated by long-standing hatred, bloodshed in past and stereotypical notions formed years earlier and still being carried on. Though racism is a global phenomenon and is found in varying amount on every continent and country, sadly some countries suffer from it more. Here are some countries which are relatively more in the grasp of this complicated problem!
- South Africa
Racism in South Africa, like in many other African nations is an important factor in Post-Colonial context. The most probable reason of its existence in the region is due the formation of national allies as well as European Colonialism which has, over the period of centuries reshuffled the dwelling locations of closely knit tribes and populous, under the horrid living condition that colonialism entails, thereby giving way to racial attitudes and tribal warfare. Apart from Colonial racism, Apartheid or the system of Racial Segregation in South Africa was also enforced by the National Party (NP) in 1948. Officially, apartheid was abolished in 1991, but the right to votes was not given to the non-whites until 1993. Though, much progress has been made against racism in South Africa, the cup of racism-free South Africa remains far from being full.
- The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The Racism related to the United Kingdom can be classified into two parts. The first one is the racism perpetuating in the UK since the beginning of World War 2. The United Kingdom exhibited discrimination against Immigration, specifically of Jewish descent after the second world war. Since then there have been many instances of racism up until early 2000 though many laws such as Race Relations Act 1965 had been passed. In the new millennium, there have been growing instances of race hate crimes against the South Asian immigrants, mostly in Ireland and Scotland. The second part was the seeds of racism, planted by the British Empire during its colonial rule in Asia, Africa, and America.
Germany in the past has been one of the most racist countries in the world. To name a few, Germany committed organized race crimes in what now is Namibia, which has come to be known as Herero and Namaqua Genocide. The policies against the Polish people were motivated by racial sentiments and then there is the Holocaust, which was the epitome of Racial Hatred in human history. The Eugenics and white supremacist sentiment is still present in few rather small factions of Germany and are known by the names of Neo-Nazi. Even the political party National Democratic Party of Germany has been said to have Neo-fascist leanings though the statement is controversial and debatable.
Racism in Jordan is quite prevalent in the way similar to Southeast Asia and certain other middle eastern countries. After the establishment of the state of Israel and multiple invasion by the Israel over the Palestinians, there has been an influx of immigrant from Palestine in Jordan. Such a high, immigration has resulted in a sentiment of hate towards the foreigners as well. Though, American and European foreigners are not subjected to racial bias, there have been instances of discrimination against dark-skinned people.
Racism in Russia is generally directed towards the People of Caucasus or Caucasians, Jews, Africans and Central Asians. Fiercely nationalist, the Russians have been known to be extremely xenophobic and according to a survey in 2008, close to fifty percent of the people were found to express racist thoughts. According to Amnesty International in 2006, there were more than 85,000 Russian Neo-Nazis in Russia and the racism was getting out of control. Many racially fueled crimes were committed during this period. Though, since 2008, Russia has seen a gradual decline in hate crimes.
Racism in the USA can be talked in two contexts, first the historical one in which the atrocities committed against people of African American community as well as against the native Americans is well known. Up until the 1960s, the social atmosphere for people of African American and Native Americans was quite toxically charged and many crimes were committed in the name of the race. Second is the present one. Over the period of time, USA has developed such a taboo of talking about race, that it even refuses to admit that it has institutional racism still present in the country. Rather an opinion expressed in mainstream media is that only racist talk about racism. Though legally abolished, racism exists in the USA, which can be seen by the fact that majority of the incarcerated populace in the country comprises of the minorities, yet America refuses to accept it.
The main racially fueled sentiment in Pakistan is that of Anti-Semitism. Though it is not that prevalent in the younger generation, but historically at the time of Israel’s independence in 1948, the Jewish community suffered racial hatred of exponential measure. Also there’s a mutual friction between Pakistan and India, but that can not be described as racist because both share an overlapping heritage, rather it is more political and religious in nature. There’s also the stereotype prevalent in Southeast Asia of considering fair skinned superior and darker skin as inferior. Thus, this notion has been inbred in the thought process of Pakistan Nationals as well.
India has an extremely complex societal structure. Many religions, ethnicities, and other groups dwell here and thus filling it with an extremely diverse group of people and that too in large numbers. Apart from the Hindu-Muslim conflicts inside the country, which are not as much racist because of the common ethnicity but rather religious bursts of friction, India indeed has racism deeply embedded in its system. First, there is the racial discrimination of the North Eastern people of the country, who have been mistreated by the national government and a lot of citizens over the years. Secondly, there is the racial hatred towards the people from slightly stereotyped states like Bihar. The foreigners in India are subject to similarly segregated treatment as is prevalent in Southeast Asia, the fairer skin is automatically favored upon while dark skinned people both non-natives and even natives are considered inferior.
- Saudi Arabia
There are many forms of Racism in Saudi Arabia. The prominent of which are the racism against the non-citizens or the foreign labor workers. There is a prevalent xenophobic sentiment in Saudi Arabia. Racism against the Non-tribalist and people of Non-Bedouin origin is also common. Apart from this, religious sects, particularly the Shia sect of Islam in the southern and the eastern part of the country face racism. Saudi Arabia is one of the most racist countries of the middle east. About ten percent of the people are are denied equal rights and no black person can hold a governmental position. Saudi Arabia has been named as the Middle East’s Apartheid state.
Iranian Racism is an extremely complex cobweb of hypocritical notions, which has its roots in the Hitler’s quest of Aryan supremacy. Historically, during 1786, it was controversially but popularly established by many scholars that the roots of white Nordic is linked to parts of Asia and Iran, this race later came to be known as the so-called ‘Aryans’. Even after the fall of Nazism, the Iranian elite scholars and government built on the notion of Aryans having Iranian roots and recreated the definition of Arya as a purely racial group and how the Iranians were the true carriers of this “superior bloodline”. This gave way to the racism against the Non-Aryans, the Turks and the Semites of the country. In 1934, the name of the country was changed to Iran and defined as the “The land of Aryans”. The idea of fixed Aryan/Persian identity has been deliberately imposed on Iran with no thoughts to its diversity and social dynamism. Since 1979, Shi’ist fundamentalism and Khomeinism have been added to the existing Aryanist racism in Iran.
One must not forget that the manifestation of racism depends on the racial diversity and polarity in the region. In other words, it can not be measured in a simplistic way and depicted through colors like it was done by the Washington post. A complicated problem deserves more than a cursory glance!