As a species we are very good at solving problems. We adapt, modify, and circumvent nearly every difficulty that confronts us and our capacity for inventive flexibility is almost beyond compare. Yet within most of our lives there still remains one or two knotty problems which we seemingly cannot solve.
They just sit in front of us and stare. Some make us laugh, as they can be truly funny. Others make us more thoughtful, for though they may not cause us to much pain or damage they still give us cause for concern. There is one final group however, and they cause us real concern, as they are capable of producing the perfect storm. So perfect a storm that it seems to be beyond our power, or at times, desire to control
Such a problem sat before myself and a work colleague over a week ago, and it left us deflated as regards what might be done.
We were discussing racism and ethnocentrism (see definitions below), both historical and in the present, particularly in relation to the treatment of aboriginal natives within Australia and the stigma that they still endure
“I hear people say that racism is a dying force”
He told me
“but go to Australia, and a very different reality can be see. Australia will change however, because it has to, as now racism is banned by law”
I listened to him carefully, and part of me wanted to endorse what he was saying, as like so many others I loathe racism, but another part of me fell silent, as an unpleasant thought crossed my mind.
We may want to neutralise or destroy racism, as well as all other forms of ignorance and discrimination. We may have the will, the language, and the desire to reach such a resolution, as well as the legal system which stands by our side; but can we ever achieve the goal that so many of us continually fight for.
This might sound grim and negative, but, to begin with, lets sort out what we are talking about. It is not easy to find a definition that satisfies all parties but the following definition of racism and as good as any that I have found
Racism is generally defined as actions, practices or beliefs, or social or political systems that are based in views that see the human species to be divided into races with shared traits, abilities, or qualities, such as personality, intellect, morality, or other cultural behavioral characteristics, and especially the belief that races can be ranked as inherently superior or inferior to others, or that members of different races should be treated differently.
Ethnocentrism is judging another culture solely by the values and standards of one’s own culture.[page needed] Ethnocentric individuals judge other groups relative to their own ethnic group or culture, especially with concern for language, behavior, customs, and religion. These ethnic distinctions and subdivisions serve to define each ethnicity‘s unique cultural identity. Ethnocentrism may be overt or subtle, and while it is considered a natural proclivity of human psychology, it has developed a generally negative connotation. 
Now onto the nitty gritty, why can’t these problems, present from ancient antiquity, be solved.
May I suggest that they can’t be solved as, deep down, they may be present in us all.
Some individuals within any community will always be racist oe ethnocentric, regardless of education, persuasion, or possible social integration, and I fear that very little can be done for them. We may despise their attitude- or of course endorse them-, and we may well pass legislation so as to curb any activity related to their views, but if they are determined to hold such attitudes then all we can do is to monitor them so as to negate any harm that they may cause.
What of the rest of us though, us respectable, thinking, non racist members of society. When times are it is easy to maintain our position as regards individualism, human rights, equality, and a rejection of racism and ethnocentrism , but what happens when bad times fall upon us, and what happens when, under such circumstances, darker thoughts arise within our minds.
How many of us start to express concern about health tourists, benefit parasites, cheap foreign labour, alienation within our own community, and the influx of con-men and beggars from abroad. We’re not racist or ethnocentric, we tell ourselves, and anyone else that listens, but it is our country and our values which should shape society, and not the belief and customs of others who come in from abroad
Is this not racism or ethnocentrism by any other name?
Sadly nature, in all it’s, or in all her wisdom, possibly has an answer for us all, and one which we cannot ignore.
We may want to believe in racial equality, and non discrimination etc, and we may advance legal and moral arguments and statues to further stake our claim, but is it not the truth that nature simply doesn’t give a damn?
There is no equality when one pack of animals drives another from its territory so as to ensure it’s own survival, and there is no mercy shown in nature as the strongest animal in a confrontation kills. If food, water, and breeding area is plentiful then, on the whole, there are no problems; but when such resources dwindle then invariably trouble occurs.
Examples of this are all to easy to find regrettable, but should anyone doubt my words then I would recommend they access the link that follows-click here
This is an account of racial tension with the Czech Republic, a tension that goes back hundreds of years. Now I hear the same noises coming from Britain, and it hurts me, as by birth and nationality, I was once proud to bear its name
I refuse to believe though that such a good cause as an end to racism and all forms of discrimination are unachievable. I do not have all the answers, and I don’t know the true complexity or ramifications that such negative belief systems create, so I’ll throw open a discussion for all those who know more about such matters.
Can we ever beat racism, ethnocentrism, and discrimination or will such forces always with us until the end of time?