Republicans and Republicans (71%) say much more often than Democrats and Democrats (29%) that the country has made great strides in racial equality over the past 50 years. About six out of ten Democrats (61%) say the country has made some progress over the past half century to ensure equality for all Americans, regardless of race or ethnic origin.
Finally, the most common way in which science is used to support racial discrimination is through statements that some groups are systematically less gifted than others in important cognitive or behavioral traits. This does not mean that there are no group differences in these characteristics, but that there are currently no clear conclusions, which would in any case be irrelevant to the problems of social and political equality. In the first quarter of the 20th century, there was particular concern about the results of the first intelligence tests, which reportedly showed that Southern and Eastern Europeans were not only intellectually inferior to their northern counterparts, nor were they suitable for self-government. Some of the most important scientists of the time explained that the Nordics, characterized by greater self-affirmation and determination, as well as intelligence, were destined for their genetic nature to rule over other races. In the past half century, the controversy over intellectual and moral traits has focused primarily on differences between blacks and other races, often cited by those who wanted to preserve the white minority government in South Africa and legal segregation in the United States.
Those who campaign for the interests of ethnic minorities usually reject the concept of reverse racism. Scholars also often define racism not only in terms of individual prejudices, but also in terms of a power structure that protects the interests of the dominant culture and actively discriminates against ethnic minorities. From this perspective, while members of ethnic minorities may be disadvantaged against members of the dominant culture, they lack the political and economic power to actively suppress them and therefore do not practice “racism”. Supported by mid-19th century scientific racism, a branch of pseudoscience called eugenics has helped further legitimize the social belief in the biological superiority of those considered white and the submission of other groups in descending order as the skin color darkens.
Along with revolutionary ideas of freedom and equality, concerns about slavery began to arise when black settlers embraced the meaning of freedom and the British abolished slavery within their country. The young United States tried to settle and struggle with the tension that stems from the paradox of freedom. It became necessary to develop new foundations and arguments to defend the institution of slavery. Prominent political leaders and thinkers of American history promoted theories of difference and degeneration over non-white people who grew up at the end of the 18th century.
Based on speeches, diaries, letters and other original documents, Paula Giddings portrays vigorously how black women have transcended racist and sexist attitudes, often confronting both white feminists and black male leaders, to initiate social and political reforms. From overt contempt for slave rights to examples of today’s most secret racism and sexism in civil and women’s organizations, Giddings highlights the crusade of black women towards equality. She paints unforgettable portraits of black female leaders, such as anti-lynchend activist Ida B. Wells, FDR educator and advisor Mary McLeod Bethune, and heroic civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer, who fought against overt oppression. American political thinking was formed by those who fought against social inequality, economic exclusion, denial of political representation and slavery, the country’s original sin.
The term is often used in relation to what is seen as prejudice within a minority or a subject group, as in the concept of reverse racism. “Inverse Racism” is a concept often used to describe discrimination or hostility against antiracist members of a dominant racial or ethnic group, while preferring members of minority groups. This concept has been used mainly in the United States in debates on color-conscious policies aimed at remedying racial inequalities.