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When and why did humanity become so racist?

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posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 08:21 PM
I've been meaning to ask this question for a while. I've been studying history the last year or so. In fact I'm taking an ancient world history class right now. One of the things I've learned was that slavery used to not be racial. In certain societies both males and females even had the opportunity to become freed men or freed women. Slaves could even own property. In modern society- only blacks were slaves and blacks were seen as inferior beings... and a subhuman race. I want to know when this shift occurred. For your conveniance I've provided some links to back up my claims.

Slavery in ancient greece:

Slavery in ancient Rome:

Slaves in ancient Egypt:

Slavery in other ancient civilizations (like Mesopotamia, Persia, etc):

Now in this topic I'm not defending slavery. I'm not defending the institution of slavery. Why? I don't agree with free labor. When people work for wages the labor is better. Mods- if this is in the wrong forum... please move it. I just merely want to know why humans became so racist in the first place... and even even went on to enslave others purely based on their race (white people enslaving the black race, Arabs enslaving others, etc). At what point in time did this whole mindset change? Yes. The institution of slavery is wrong and no human being should own one another to the point where they're the property of the owner... but it goes to show you that despite what people think that ancient societies were even more tolerant than ones in that of the 18th century and the 19th century.

I don't understand how this mental frameshift could have taken place. I mean. Here you have these ancient societies who don't even think too much about race who just think more about their individual nation and despise other nations. Then you got these people in modern times proclaiming the white race as superior... and on the other side of the spectrum the black race as superior... or the asian race as superior as so on. Before... in ancient times there wasn't so much of a distinction in race. Just when did it all begin?

[edit on 15-11-2009 by Frankidealist35]

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 08:54 PM
racism is a throwback to when we were living in small roaming hunter gatherer groups.

outsiders, not from our family groups posed a REAL threat. fear of outsiders is a defencemechanism based on survival.

as family groups expanded out, became villages, towns cities, city states, and nationans, we expanded upwards.

EVENTUALLY we will adapt beyond it as we did with family based exophobia.

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 08:58 PM
reply to post by okamitengu

okamitengu, the transformation from a hunting gathering society to a city like society happened well before our time. In hunting and gathering societies people were actually equal. They just had to fight for food and hunt and that's what they had to do to survive. There was no racism then.

As for in ancient societies...humans were able to get along with each other quite well without racism. Ancient societies like the ones I've posted didn't have too many race distinctions. All of a sudden in the 2nd millenia AD... now you have a whole bunch of people being racist. It's like people became less primitive actually when you think about it following the Midevil time period than thy were in ancient civilizations... and they became to view other people of other races as inferior... whereas in the past they just did it for women and other people of other nations.

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 09:08 PM
Easy, the Anglos conquered through more than physical forces. Psychological domination was also part of their set of tools. The domination was not only used on those they conquered but also on their generations to come. What I mean is, they indoctrinated their children to believe that they were greater than all others unlike them. The conquered people would be made to believe that they were inferior to the Anglos. This has progressed, and because of globalization all Euros are considered whites instead of just the Anglo Saxon people. Anglos are now able to claim that this and that is the white mans achievement when in truth the "white man" is a combination of people who were not even considered white in the first place..I'm rambling now, my point is that this new form of disrespectful nonsense can be attributed to the individuals who abused the system...the Anglos...though it is far too late to point fingers. We must united, hand in hand for a peaceful future full of love and oneness

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 09:17 PM
Slavery, as an institution, had to do with property and wealth. Race was irrelevant.

Racism, or racial awareness in terms of identity, belongs more as baggage to a caste system.

In fact, the reason slaves were branded had nothing to do with ownership, but to allow for the ability of a citizen to recognize a slave - which would have been unnecessary if the status could be determined by race.

When race became synonymous with status as slave; racism as a true social crime became a reality, especially since it became institutionalized in government.

When enough generations pass, it will as well.

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 09:35 PM
a simple answer is greed. Slaves was used for mass labour. Wars began becuase one person wanted more.
Not to mention that those peoples who hogged their treasures was always targeted by other races wanting a slice of the pie.
And now we have Capitalism and we have more racist issues than ever before..

and another thing Humans are not born racist it is something they are taught....

[edit on 15-11-2009 by loner007]

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 09:44 PM
Up untill now in recent history, Asians were slaves to developed countries to produce cheap goods under very archaic conditions.
Yeah, they weren't rounded up and shipped out like in the old days.
As the upkeep and housing would be astronomical unlike the slavery days.
Instead, they are paid a few dollars a month to fend for themselves.

So if you buy a cheap product from Asia then you literally are keeping the modern day slave trade alive. It's very insidious and it's easy to see how people in the old days found it just as easy as us today to turn a blind eye or justify it or pretend it isn't happening.

Now that Asia is becoming an economic force they are now looking around for new countries to take up the slack.
I believe Africa is in their sights. So is it the nationality of the slaves that is the issue or is it just because they focus on one country at a time to acquire these slaves from?

I think it's the latter myself. Like I said if you look at modern day slavery and how it works, it wouldn't be too dissimiliar to how it would've worked in the past IMO.

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 09:45 PM
Simply put, Frankie, despite all our protestations to the contrary - and all our ideals of "advancement" and "intellect", humans are pack animals who fear the presence of those who are not immediately like us.

And, in much the same way that pack animals have a societal hierachy, and will fight off those from outside, humans percieve anything that is different from what they are used to seeing every day as a threat.

There are a couple of ways humanity deals with threats - destroy or subdjugate.

History is littered with both examples.

Racism is a form of subdjugation. Its an illusionary method of control by categorisation. It allows those who preach it to artificially create a barrier that makes them feel morally and physically superior.

Unfortunately, the extreme examples of racism also lead to destruction.

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 09:48 PM
reply to post by Frankidealist35

I'm not defending the institution of slavery. Why? I don't agree with free labor. When people work for wages the labor is better.

I hope I'm not going too off topic but slavery comes in many forms, there's sexual, physical, debt, even illusory slavery among others.

It's not really about the best social or economic model than it really is about power and control and doing the right thing, which in this case is not exploiting anybody and excusing it by saying that it's a system that works and that 'I have the power to do it and if people are too stupid or too cowardly to be slaves then they deserve it' When they're just being a waste of oxygen by sabotaging humanity on purpose for their own gain and should to be shot.

Back on topic, I think racism started to really take off since the industrial revolution since it also fuelled the growth of media and with it divide and conquer tactics like ideals of beauty enforced by fashion magazines, negative portrayal of certain races in the media, race-based employment problems, the idea that people who come from a country is different than the people in the country next to it, perpetuated by courtesy of organized religion and royalty who separate people with illusory barriers.

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 09:51 PM
reply to post by Flighty

I think others have hit it on the head. Propaganda from conquering nations spread propaganda about how people of different race or different nationality were unequal to them and inferior to them. But as to your point... if you study ancient civilizations you'll find that reality differs from what you claim. In fact... ancient civilizations weren't just getting slaves from one country at a time... they were getting it from multiple states... multiple countries. So they could pull their slaves from different countries... and it wasn't entirely based on nationality then. So perhaps maybe you're right to a degree...

Could it be when Europeans stopped using each other for slaves they went outward and went to Africa? Could that be the reason? And then... due to the color of their skin the Europeans thought of them as inferior... but wait why would the institution of slavery change just because they went to another continent... with different people of another race? Was it the difference that struck them as being alien? I just don't understand... because racism didn't exist among the Egyptian civilization long ago- which was predominantly black... I assume... and like in Rome... there weren't race distinctions among races... so but like I'm just wondering why the sudden shift in ideology took place. It's not like black people never did anything before then so they couldn't really claim that black people were inferior to them...

I just saw Neformore's post... so would it be the European's outward expansion and unfamiliarity with the unknown and their belief in manifest destiny that lead to this? This issue... I don't fully understand how it got to be that way.

[edit on 15-11-2009 by Frankidealist35]

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 09:53 PM
You might look into the countries that actually still use slaves in large numbers. You will find that most of them are enslaving their own races but different cultures.

The idea that only black people are used as slaves is erroneous and ignores most of what goes on in this world every day.

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 11:21 PM
reply to post by Frankidealist35

Funny, no one brought up the point that 99.9% of everyone alive is either a financial slave, a slave to debt driven economies, a slave to a cast system or a slave to some hierarchal oligarchy. You don't own property, you lease it, if you don't pay your taxes, poof, it's gone. People who are not slaves have freedom and the absolute litmus test to find out if you are free and therefore not a slave is, can you say NO.

NO to taxes
NO to license fees
NO to government controls

If you can't say NO to those three simple things, you my friends are not free and are therefore slaves.

Now on racism, it is blown way out of proportion by the MSM. Being called a racist is now worse than being called a murderer and just short of being called a terrorist. Humans have breeds, just like dogs and cats. Some dogs are pretty smart like Poodles and Border Collies, others are as dumb as sticks, some are social butterflies and others can perform incredible amounts of work, some are just plain useless but somehow managed to not go extinct through human intervention. They all have a place in the world, but they all are NOT equally intelligent or can do equal amounts of work.

It's nature and you don't want to screw with mother nature. Everything has its place in the great scheme of things.

The real problem with racism is it seems to be applied to Caucasians only, like it's some trait only white people have, which in itself is racist, duh. I hate to tell you this but there are a lot more racist breeds than Caucasians. Xenophobia runs rampant on other contents and generally results in hundreds of thousands if not millions of deaths every year. So if anyone wants to go take up a torch to fix this mess, I suggest you go to the "front lines" overseas. But don't be surprised when they disembowel you and eat your heart. Unfortunately, I have seen this first hand. Funny how PC's bitch and moan about the state of their world but you'll never find one in the real world.

Racism is simply labeling, much like profiling. You take a series of atypical traits and generically apply them. A good example is blonds. why do you think there are so many blond jokes? When they are beautiful, it's like a dream come true, but when they are dumb, well, I've met smarter trees. I actually had one in a pool and I told her how she could breath under water, it took her almost a minute to figure out she couldn't, but she did try really hard. Any blonds out there?

How does a blond's brain cell die? Alone and in the dark. How do you get a blond's eyes to light up? Shine a flashlight in her ear. What do you call 12 blonds in a circle? A dope ring.

A brunette, a red head and a blond are in an elevator. The brunette notices a stain on the wall and says, "Hey, that looks like semen." The red head looks at it, sniffs it and says, "You know that smells like semen." The blond walks up and licks it and says. "That is semen, but it's nobody on our floor!"

I've got thousands of '

Cheers - Dave

[edit on 11/15.2009 by bobs_uruncle]

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