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Are You a Racist? Understanding the evils of Racism to Eliminate it

In a progressive world, global society must eliminate racism

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Black Lives Matter protest, Pixabay

By Saksham Narula

  • Racism exists even today as we move towards a global society
  • In order to eradicate this evil, it becomes important to understand what it is

July 01, 2017: Racism is an age old phenomenon. It is so historic that people actually believe racism is innate in human nature. This is false. Racism has developed over time. Its evolution has been consistent with the evolution of human society in general. Racism exists in different forms over a period of time; Slave trade, feudal serfs, labor, etc.

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Simply put, racism is the discrimination of an individual or a group on the basis of their racial identity. The United Nations (UN) also puts ethnic discrimination under racism. Flipping through the history books, we will come to understand the instances during which racism was practiced and how. Romans used the Jews as forced labor. Adolf Hitler’s atrocities were committed against people of the Jewish race. The slave trade from Africa against the African race. The appalling system of ‘Apartheid’ in South Africa where racism was blatantly institutionalized. The ethnic cleansing of Rwanda and Yugoslavia was an extreme act of violence. These events are dark moments in the history.

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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) hence was a move by the UN which was later adopted by the General Assembly in 1948. Racism was gradually abolished, however, its elements still exist today. The UDHR promoted political, social, cultural, economic equality regardless of the race, identity, ethnicity, descent of the individual.

 

Martin Luther King was a strong advocate against racism. Pixabay

In the 1968 Olympics, the famous Black Power Salute incident took place when two Afro-American athletes raised a black gloved fist high in support of black freedom movement in America.

Racial discrimination on the basis of color became popular during the European conquest in different parts of the world. Today, it can be observed in the form of ‘Black Lives Matter’ in United States of America, which was a huge uproar in the Presidential Elections of 2016. Black Lives Matter highlighted a certain myth. The movement began with good intentions. However, when some violent incidents took place, it was heavily criticized. The critics stated that discrimination against an individual or group from white race is equal discrimination.

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The practice of racial discrimination can be seen in work, society, sports, entertainment and media. It can be said that the long history of racism is embedded in the modern day society and institutions. Surely it is not as violent or radical in its approach as it used to be, but it still aims against the inequality of a certain section of society.

It is indeed complicated to deal with the evils of racism. The issue cannot be tackled overnight. But it is the community as a whole that can show solidarity as one common race.

– by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt. 

 

  • Nikita

    Racism is in the roots of the world.We may think that we are not a racist but at some point in life,we do discriminate amongst people on certain basis and this fact can not be denied.

  • vedika kakar

    Now if after reading this article you feel you are somewhat stuck in between let me help you out.Where you are stuck – it is called pseudo-racism. You may not be against black or jews but probably against Muslims .You are probably only able to culturally accept the differences between your surrounding cultures, that too is not healthy. Pseudo racism is also racism and it should be stopped too. Every culture is different, that makes their thinking different.
    Deep down everywhere and anywhere it is just LOVE, HAPPINESS & POSITIVITY that matter.

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  • Nikita

    Racism is in the roots of the world.We may think that we are not a racist but at some point in life,we do discriminate amongst people on certain basis and this fact can not be denied.

  • vedika kakar

    Now if after reading this article you feel you are somewhat stuck in between let me help you out.Where you are stuck – it is called pseudo-racism. You may not be against black or jews but probably against Muslims .You are probably only able to culturally accept the differences between your surrounding cultures, that too is not healthy. Pseudo racism is also racism and it should be stopped too. Every culture is different, that makes their thinking different.
    Deep down everywhere and anywhere it is just LOVE, HAPPINESS & POSITIVITY that matter.

Next Story

Microsoft Rejects California Law Enforcement Agency’s Request To Install Facial Recognition in Officers’ Cars

On the other hand, Microsoft did agree to provide the technology to an American prison, after the company concluded that the environment would be limited and that it would improve safety inside the unnamed institution.

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Brad Smith of Microsoft takes part in a panel discussion "Cyber, big data and new technologies. Current Internet Governance Challenges: What's Next?" at the United Nations in Geneva, Nov. 9, 2017. VOA

Microsoft recently rejected a California law enforcement agency’s request to install facial recognition technology in officers’ cars and body cameras because of human rights concerns, company President Brad Smith said Tuesday.

Microsoft concluded it would lead to innocent women and minorities being disproportionately held for questioning because the artificial intelligence has been trained on mostly white, male pictures.

AI has more cases of mistaken identity with women and minorities, multiple research projects have found.

“Anytime they pulled anyone over, they wanted to run a face scan” against a database of suspects, Smith said without naming the agency. After thinking through the uneven impact, “we said this technology is not your answer.”

microsoft
Microsoft said in December it would be open about shortcomings in its facial recognition and asked customers to be transparent about how they intended to use it, while stopping short of ruling out sales to police. Pixabay

Prison contract accepted

Speaking at a Stanford University conference on “human-centered artificial intelligence,” Smith said Microsoft had also declined a deal to install facial recognition on cameras blanketing the capital city of an unnamed country that the nonprofit Freedom House had deemed not free. Smith said it would have suppressed freedom of assembly there.

On the other hand, Microsoft did agree to provide the technology to an American prison, after the company concluded that the environment would be limited and that it would improve safety inside the unnamed institution.

Smith explained the decisions as part of a commitment to human rights that he said was increasingly critical as rapid technological advances empower governments to conduct blanket surveillance, deploy autonomous weapons and take other steps that might prove impossible to reverse.

‘Race to the bottom’

Microsoft said in December it would be open about shortcomings in its facial recognition and asked customers to be transparent about how they intended to use it, while stopping short of ruling out sales to police.

Smith has called for greater regulation of facial recognition and other uses of artificial intelligence, and he warned Tuesday that without that, companies amassing the most data might win the race to develop the best AI in a “race to the bottom.”

AI
AI has more cases of mistaken identity with women and minorities, multiple research projects have found. Pixabay

He shared the stage with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, who urged tech companies to refrain from building new tools without weighing their impact.

Also Read: ‘Dirty Cops’ Ahead of Mueller Report Release, U.S. President Donald Trump Takes Stand

“Please embody the human rights approach when you are developing technology,” said Bachelet, a former president of Chile.

Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw declined to name the prospective customers the company turned down. (VOA)