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  1. – Is there a rationality behind holding racist belief






    “Is there a rationality behind holding racist beliefs?” Do you agree or disagree? Why? Provide reasons for your agreement or disagreement.





Subject Racism and ethnicity Pages 2 Style APA


Is there Rationality behind Holding Racist Beliefs?
When the word race is defined in the narrow sense, it can be said to refer to the biological construct of individuals that reflects in their physical appearance. This is then linked with the skin color, hair texture, or even eye color of individuals. In this respect, race is plainly about the physical attributes of individuals. However, because of the variance in skin color, coupled with the variance with respect to other economic and social factors, the scope of the meaning of the word race has since been expanded to encompass discrepancies in economic development, as well as, variance in socio-political hierarchy (Helms, Jernigan, and Mascher, 2005). Persons who belong to the distinctive racial groups tend to tend to harbor prejudicial racist beliefs against other races. There is no rationality behind holding racist beliefs.
Holding racist beliefs is irrational because race does not determine the behavior or abilities of an individual. The behavior of individuals, as well as, their skills and expertise is largely influenced by their environment and socialization (Helms, Jernigan, and Mascher, 2005). This essentially means that if, for instance, a white child and black child are raised in the same environment and they are provided with the same opportunities, they are both capable of exhibiting success depending on their unique physical capabilities in terms of IQ. It is further important to note that IQ is an independent construct and does not lean on any racial side. A white child and a black child are, for instance, both capable of having a high IQ or a low one. It then flows that race is merely skin-deep and there is no rationality for holding racist beliefs.
As noted above, in some countries in the world such as America, the concept of race has come to be associated with socio-economic discrepancies. This essentially means that the systemic apportionment of wealth based on an individual’s race has been ongoing to the extent that there is a huge wealth gap based on race. The discrepancies in wealth can be traced back to times such as the reconstruction era when government policies were specifically designed to favor the white majorities (Onkst, 1998). For instance, after the World War II when both African Americans and white soldiers returned back home, the GI Bill was passed which was geared towards providing financial support to veterans and their families through the provision of unemployment wages, schooling, and low-interest mortgages (Onkst, 1998). However, at this very time, the Jim Crow laws that were in place did not permit the enjoyment of these rights by African American veterans. The African Americans were essentially denied home equity (thus they could not borrow loans for the purpose of economic development), the initial chance at creating wealth, and their children were denied the opportunity to go through the normal schooling system (Onkst, 1998). Such are the factors that have led up to the economic discrepancies that are still felt up to today. It is, therefore, irrational to cluster minority communities as being poor without factoring in the long history of discrimination that has led to the discrepancies.
The behavior, skills, and expertise of individuals is largely influenced by their environment and socialization. There is no rationality behind holding racist beliefs.




Helms, J. E., Jernigan, M., & Mascher, J. (2005). The meaning of race in psychology and how to change it: A methodological perspective. American Psychologist60(1), 27.

Onkst, D. H. (1998). “First a Negro… incidentally a veteran”: black World War Two veterans and the GI Bill of rights in the Deep South, 1944-1948. Journal of Social History, 517-543.



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