October 25, 2016
Racism and the Superiority Complex
As said by John Donne in his poem No Man is an Island, “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent.” Racism is an “island” that isolates one from their fellow human beings. What is racism? Why does the concept of racism exist? What role does the need for superiority play in the way we as humans interact with others around us? How does one’s superiority complex cause them to see themselves as better than others? This is an exploration about how racism factors into the human need for superiority.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, “racism is the belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another, …show more content…
The main reason for why racism exists is due to the human need to feel superior/dominant over the individuals in one’s environment called the Superior Complex (Mehta). This Superiority Complex can come from many different things such as narcissism and even a lack of self-esteem. An example of this “superior complex” can be seen in India during daily routines. In India, maids, taxi drivers, and waiters are considered to be inferior to those that they are serving. People who hold these occupations are regarded as nothing better than slaves ready to serve a master (Mehta). This idea of superiority ties into racism because through racism, the victimizers have been able to assert their positions as dominant beings while the victims are just simply regarded as an inferior race. For example, in South Africa during the Apartheid, a period in which the minority (whites) ruled over the majority (Africans), was at its height of influence across the country. During this time in the country, “1% of the population, the white immigrants, were seen as the dominant and superior race,” while the rest of the 99%, the indigenous Africans, were marginalized and pushed down to the bottom of the totem pole …show more content…
The Superiority Complex causes one to see others are inferior due to their lack of self-esteem. According to the North American Society of Adlerian Psychology, where there is a superiority complex, there is usually an inferiority complex. Because of this inner feeling of inferiority, the individual projects an attitude of superiority/arrogance so that it can cover up their true sense of inferiority. Moreover, when one speaks to a person with a superiority complex, they might be talked down to or treated