front of social and single behaviors that appear irrational we have always to
wonder what are the reasons behind which gave them rise, look for the root
causes to correct, eradicate them. From the sociological point of view, racist
behaviors, apparently generally rejected, are largely widespread in all
societies although in different forms and manifestations. What we generally
term as racism is not just a sort of racial exclusion because within the same
ethnic group there can be different forms of discriminations by gender and
social class. Scientific research in the
field of psychology and sociology indicates that racism and prejudices are still
among the major problems our society faces. Though racism has deep
psychological motives and processes involved, a number of published studies
have demonstrated that people use prejudicial attitudes and discriminatory
behaviors to boast their own self esteem. Humans are social creatures that feel
safer being part of a group and like to see their group as important and
significant, so if someone is noticeably different they hold negative
has also been argued that prejudice and racism in particular may be driven, in
part, by basic survival motives. Humans evolved as a species that thrives in
groups, and groups compete over scarce resources. We do not have to look back at our ancestors
to see this in practice. Even today, nations and groups within nations fight
over access to limited resources.
Therefore, one cause of racism may be an innate proclivity towards group
conflict in the service of resource acquisition. Of course, this is extremely
problematic in a modern interconnected world. However, we must strive to have
belief systems that reject what may be a natural inclination not to trust or
hold negative attitudes about people who don’t belong to the same group.
of the most common reason leading to discrimination is due to the diversity of the skin colors, that’s of a different
pigmentation, depending on the geographical distribution of UV radiations. So
areas which receive higher amounts of UVR, generally located closer to the
equator, tend to have darker-skinned
populations whereas areas close to the
poles have lower intensity of UVR which
is reflected in lighter skinned populations. Research
also demonstrated that human populations can change from dark skinned to light
skinned and vice versa as they migrate to different UV zones. In spite of that,
many people fail to believe that race is not a biological category but an
artificial classification of people with no scientific variable parts.
all that was ignored by the Spanish and the English settlers of America. And
today we can read from the
history book about the miserable living
conditions of the Blacks in their colonies.
The treatment of the slaves was brutal and degrading: shackling,
mutilation, beating, and sexual abuses were common. But was racism against the
Blacks just because of the diversity or also because the American colonists
were in need of cheap labor for their cotton and tobacco plantations? Neither
thesis can be excluded. Man expresses
the need to feel part of a group together with his attitude to take for him
what he thinks to need. Both things
intertwine. And, was the termination of Jews during the Nazi regime because of
their different religion or just a
political gimmick to realize the Hitlerian plan to conquer Europe? The very
idea of racial cleansing, deportation, gas chambers, mass slaughters goes
beyond all human understanding, and I wonder why the world has not been able to
stop a man like Hitler, to recognize his madness in good time.
is said that history is teacher of life that man learns from it, but if we
simply turn our gaze around, we can realize that horrible things still happen.
So, let’s think too of the many new-born babies in some Asian countries
condemned to death if females. Small
defenseless human beings who are denied life: social behaviors that arouse awe
and horror. I do not think they can fall within the pure definition of racism, but they are certainly the most
brutal form of exclusion and discrimination, which would open the field to a
long debate on the status of women, especially in some countries of the
southern hemisphere. Discrimination practiced under the common roof!
of course the path of man on this planet is in eternal evolution and steps
forward to a more harmonious way of life have been made; but the road is still
long. Thousands of people continue to have an attitude of passive acceptance of
the status quo, perhaps suffering abuses themselves because unaware of their
human and social rights. Education, I believe, could play an important, crucial
role. I mean education to the acceptance, respect for differences, integration.
But we all witness the lack of a serious
reflection and commitment from the institutions responsible to it.
it becomes a duty on the part of the intellectuals, of those who hold the power
of a wider knowledge and sensibility to awaken consciences to a more active and
fair participation in the life I believe this is the primary objective of this
anthology which sees poets from different countries, speaking different
languages united in a common spirit
against racism and discrimination.