Racial Discrimination And Ethnic Groups Essay

1619 Words Oct 16th, 2015 7 Pages
A countless number of different ethnic groups exist in the world and the interaction between them can often lead to experiences of racial discrimination. There is however a difference between prejudice and systemic racism and within that there exist different types. As a nation that multiple racial and ethnic groups call home, New Zealand is not exempt from accusations of racism at all levels, though the extent of which is subject to debate. Racial discrimination is treating someone differently based on their perceived racial or ethnic identity and no single group is immune to this treatment. The term includes prejudice that is both ‘upward’ and ‘downward’, meaning that it is felt against all groups regardless of their standing in society. Racism however describes the unequal treatment of minority groups only and is rooted in the belief that one racial or ethnic group is inherently superior. While all ethnic groups can be discriminated against, racism can only be performed against a minority group as it contributes to a pre-existing system of oppression in that society (University of British Columbia, 2010). The concept of fundamental differences between races was constructed as part of colonization when European settlers separated themselves from indigenous peoples by assigning racial markers. These markers are typically physical traits, most commonly skin colour, which are supposedly based in biology that shows essential differences between races (McLennan, et al.,…

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