GC5- Part 2

Forum: GC5 - Culture
Agenda Item: Taking actions to develop understanding on racial discriminations
and preventing racism
Student Officer: Deniz Aralan (President Chair)
Race, is a powerful concept, which is directly invented by society itself. It has
lead to inequality and discrimination between societies, groups and people for
centuries. It is seen that throughout human history, the value of a human being is
not determined by his or her characteristics and individuality but, instead,
determined by their well defined and stereotyped racial groups, which are
specified by physical traits and ethnicity people are born with. This ideology
creates the concept of racism. Racism is the belief that characteristics and
abilities are inherited biologically and can simply be established by their race. It
also supports the fact that one racial group can be superior then the other in the
society. This belief causes the unequal distribution of privileges and rights
among the society. This has been a topic that encourages feelings such as fear or
hatred towards others, which resulted in damaging cultures and ethnic believes
globally. There has been huge steps taken to prevent racial discrimination but it
is still a key issue that needs to be handle in the 21st century.
Key Terms
Race: Is a group of people who share similar and distinct physical characteristics.
Racial Discrimination: When a person is treated less favorably than another
because of their race, color, descent, national or ethnic origin or immigrant
Segregation: Is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life.
Prejudice: is prejudgment, or forming an opinion before becoming aware of
relevant facts of a case.
History & Major Events
There is no clear evidence of racism has been found in the world before the
Middle Ages. The first sign and probably the start of racism in the world was the
act of identifying Jews as witches and servants of the devil in the thirteenth and
fourteenth century. The official outset of such attitudes and ideology came in the
sixteenth century in Spain. Jews who choose to change their ethnicity to
Christianity and their descendants became the victims of discrimination.
Slavery in Europe & “Civil Rights” in USA- The period of the Renaissance and
Reformation was also the time when Europeans were increasing contact with
people of different pigmentation and culture in Africa, Asia, and America. This
lead to discrimination determined by skin color and culture and slavery. The
reason given for keeping Africans in bondage was that they were pagans and the
fact that they had pagan ancestors. This knew concept changed the idea of racism
from religious status to something approaching race. In the late seventeenth
century discriminative laws were also passed in English North America such as
forbidding marriage between whites and blacks. During the Enlightenment,
eighteenth century ethnologists began to think of human beings as part of the
natural world and subdivided them accordingly to the varieties of a single
human species. However, in the early nineteenth centuries, an increasing
number of writers, that defended slavery, believed and supported that the races
were separate species. The Nineteenth century was an age of nationalism and
imperialism. This characteristic of the century helped the growth of ideological
racism in Europe and the United States. In these years, the blacks were freed and
Jews from the ghettoes received support from believers for human equality. The
consequences of these reforms were that it intensify racism by making them less
oppressive but more competitive. The competition also claimed, based on
scientific facts, that Europeans had the right to rule over Africans, Asians and
other races. The climax of the history of racism came in the twentieth century in
the rise and fall of public racist regimes. The regimes included extreme
discrimination and status differences. In South America, the racial segregation
laws reduced and restrictions were made on black voting rights. Slavery and
lynching of African-Americans continued. This was rationalized by extreme
racist propaganda that represented black males as beasts running after white
women. Explicit racism also came from the new nations resulting from the
declarations of Africa and Asia independency and their representatives joining in
the United Nations. All these racist acts lead to the Civil Rights movement in the
United States. The movement succeeded by making racial segregation and
discrimination illegal in the 1960s.
Apartheid in South Africa- The one racist regime that survived the Second
World War and the Cold War which was enforced in South Africa from 1948 to
1991. Under this system of racial segregation, people were legally classified into
racial groups of four; White, Black, Indian and Colored. The laws passed banning
all marriage and sexual relations between different racial groups and residential
areas for families to live in and transportation was segregated. Non-whites were
not allowed to run business.
Anti-Semitism & Nazi Germany- The
growth of racism and racists in Europe
influenced the society in Germany. This
created the concept of “anti-Semitism” in
Germany in late 1870s. This concept meant
that to be Jewish in Germany was not simply
to believe in a set of religious beliefs but
meant belonging to a community that was
against the race to which true Germans
belonged to. This racist ideology was carried
to its extreme in Nazi Germany. Hitler, leader of the Nazi Germany, and his
companions attempted to exanimate an entire ethnic group, which was Jews.
Nazis killed over millions of Jews in concentration camps in the bases of racist
Japanese-American Internment- During World War 2 the American
government decided that Japanese people were a treat because of the different
skin color and ancestors from an enemy nation they had. Because of this idea
they deported all Americans with Japanese ancestors to internment camps
where they were kept under “control” and, according to some references,
21st Century Racism
1. Europe: Europe is a complex area with many cultures in a small area.
Europe is alarmed by the rebirth of racial hatred in the 21st century.
Extreme racist groups have gained more power in countries like France,
Germany, and Austria as a result of the remains of the Nazi Germany.
There have been violent racist attacks to Arabs and Jews, as a result of the
increasing hatred towards enemies in the Middle East. In countries such
as Greece, Italy and UK, racists groups are developing hatred towards the
immigrants from other countries such as Tunisia, Albania and Poland,
which build the idea of anti immigration.
2. Australia: Australian Aborigines are the native peoples of the continent
and they were mistreated because of the social status they had in the
community in the past. In the 18th century, Great Britain took control of
Australia and the laws passed did not offer full citizenship to the
Aborigines. Today, Aborigines have lost a lot of their lands and are still
the poorest group in Australia and have been the victim of segregation.
3. Africa: Many African countries have been in long-term civil wars since
they gained their independence from colonies. There has been strong
racism in the area towards the non-Africans that migrated during
Europe’s colonialism and imperialism over Africa. In Zimbabwe, there has
been increasing racism against white farmers due to the poverty.
4. Middle East: The major consequence of racism on the area is the Palestine
and Israel crisis. The tension between the Arabs and Jews is still
increasing because of the two races’ religious and cultural differences.
There is also a high-rate of racism in Lebanon towards foreigners. The
Lebanese system follows different laws for each community. The terrorist
attacks that took place in America and Europe lead to a violent racial
hatred towards the Middle East. Additionally, the majority of the worlds’
population has been labeling people that look Middle Eastern as terrorist.
5. Asia: Cambodians Indonesians show extreme prejudice against the
Vietnamese and Chinese and blaming them for economic problems. India
is still dividing society to statuses from low two high and treating them
according to the Hindu system.
6. North America: There is an extreme and still increasing racial hatred
towards the Middle East. In the United States, is still dealing with the
traces of the racial competition between Americans and AfricanAmericans. The country is still trying to prevent the racial generalizations
and issues such as police brutality and the history of slavery.
Major Parties Involved
-IMADR (International Movement Against Discrimination and Racism): The
International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism
(IMADR) is an international non-profit, non-governmental human rights
organization devoted to the elimination of discrimination and racism. It is
founded in 1988 by one of Japan’s largest minorities, the Buraku people. It has
grown to be a global network of concerned individuals and minority groups with
regional committees and partners in Asia, Europe, North America and Latin
-ENAR (European Network Against Racism): is an EU-wide network of nongovernmental organizations in all European Union Member States and Iceland.
ENAR stands up against racism and discrimination and fights for equality for all
in Europe. It voices the concerns of ethnic and religious groups in European and
national policy debates.
Evolution of Previous Attempts
A UN Global Conference (also known as Durban 1) was held between August 31
and September 7, 2001 in South Africa. The conference discussed racism racial
discrimination and prejudice. The conference was a challenging one for UN to
handle because some countries were against criticism and discussion on specific
topics, because of their policies, such as United States, India and Israel. At the end
of the conference the delegates voted to reject the final documents language that
was found accusing Israel of racism. The conference was followed by Durban 2 in
Geneva and Durban 3 in September 2011 in New York. Over 10 countries
boycotted both conferences. That is why there was no effective resolution
developed as a result of the discussions and the delegates’ decisions.
Possible Solutions
As a solution for the issue, the first thing that can come to mind is education of
the society. If the community is educated about different races, ethnic and
cultural groups they will have awareness on the topic. Tools that can be used for
the education can be media, schools and culture groups that share their cultures
and believe to each other. Another possible solution can be the passage of laws,
in countries, which are dealing with extreme acts of racism that can include a
variety of punishments including fines and arrests if violated.
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