Racism and Genocide
by Rayni Joan

Racism is the belief that one's own race, nationality, or ethnicity is inherently superior to other races, nationalities and ethnicities. Here in the 21st Century, after extensive and detailed investigation of the human genome and genetics, scientists can find no objective or factual basis for racist beliefs. Racism is often an excuse offered to explain economic problems or to cover desperate power grabs.

Wrong-headed and factually incorrect as it may be, however, racism is responsible for the unequal and often brutal treatment of those belonging to that "other" race. Although skin color has been the precipitating factor in many racist attitudes within the United States since white Europeans arrived on North American soil and encountered copper-skinned natives, Racism is not confined to prejudice against skin color. For example, skin color plays no role in the ethnic violence seen in some parts of Africa, and in Europe hatred of certain races was often unconcerned with differences in skin color.

Racism may give rise to negative and fearful attitudes which result in the violation of basic human rights because people belonging to the so-called "inferior race" are considered less than human. Race violence in the twentieth century became so widespread that a new term was created to describe it. The word "genocide" was coined in 1944. It comes from "genos" which is the Greek word for race, and -"cide" which in Latin means killing. Down through the centuries, fairly simple and standard racist attitudes have resulted in countless wars, race violence, small- and large-scale atrocities, and massive deaths -- a pattern which continues today.

Here is a partial list of genocides in the 20th and 21st Centuries -

2002- Darfur, Sudan -- the Sudanese government and the Janjaweed, rogue guerillas hired by the Sudanese government have targeted three ethnic tribes of Darfur Sudanese people and are destroying their crops, poisoning their water, starving, murdering and raping them and preventing humanitarian aid from reaching them.

1915-1918- Armenian Genocide -- Racism became the excuse for the declining Ottoman Turks to murder two million Christian Armenians from 1915 to 1918 when the Armenian Independence Movement was making great strides.

1931-1933- Ukrainian Genocide -- After the fall of the Czars, as the agrarian Ukrainians began achieving a measure of independence, Stalin came along and interrupted that process, brutally starving and deporting seven million Ukrainians.

1933-1945- Nazi Holocaust -- Hitler and his Nazi Party started with racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic, anti-gay tirades and ended up murdering six million Jews and another six million Gypsies and other racial groups, used advanced technologies such as gas chambers.

1994- Rwanda -- In an effort to take over rulership, the Hutus attacked the Tutsis, who were historically the ruling elite in that country. Before the conflict ended, 800,000 Tutsis had been brutally slaughtered.