What does our genes tell us about racism

Share This

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Racism or discrimination targeted on a specific group of people has never gone out of trend. From the inception of time for mankind, our history is full of genocides, abuse, and violence.  The reason and outlook of discrimination changed with time but the core idea remained constant. The first suspected genocide powered by differences in men dates back about 40, 000 years. When we, the Homo Sapiens met Homo Neanderthals, a massive massacre occurred and we came victories while wiping Neanderthals off the face of this planet.

A war to protect the herd.

Since then, Racism took different outlooks. But, the motives that power them drills back to the evolutionary traits humankind developed for survival. According to Historians, The reason why sapiens managed to win the war against Neanderthals was not physical superiority. We had inferior physical strength compared to Neanderthals. Still, our brain had a new trait which they had not developed. That was to gather people in large crowds.

 It was only us who were able to create systems where larger groups of people can work together to gain a common goal. How we managed to do so was by getting everyone to believe in something which they cannot see, or something greater than them. Historians believe that this was the inception of primitive religions.

One leader would have said a group of our ancestors that a particular tree has a power that represents everything that they could not explain. He would have managed to get people in hundreds to believe that. Ones they are obsessed with their own made-up idea, they would have seen other people who don’t believe in the same tree as enemies. And got motivated to either convert them or get rid of them. Sound familiar?  This is how religious wars began.

For about 30,000 years this was one of the defense mechanisms we had. The idea became a part of our evaluation. The world evolved, so does the concept of religion and race. After thousands of years of bloodshed, we now live in a relatively peaceful environment where equality is the common ground. We no longer need to call men for arms in the name of ‘our kind’. We have laws and systems to protect us. But with the smallest trigger, people tend to unleash our primitive behavior. 

Conclusion

The way of life changed significantly for the last 5000 years compared to the 700,000+ years in human evolution. Some of the core ideas that are embedded deep down in ourselves could not adopt to this fast moving world. But that is no reason to validate any behavior of violence. Because we made the changes in ourselves because we knew we could handle the consequences. Also, if we can plan on colonizing other planets, I am sure we can develop ourselves to a stand up to a point where we respect all humans with dignity and respect that they deserve.

Racism cannot exist in a single-sided ideology. It always coexists with other extreme ideas and feeds each other to survive. To get rid of violence one of the two parties has to be the bigger person and offer the arms of peace. Differences in us are what make this world going. One day or the other we all will have to come to peace with it.

Share This

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *