Racism is an ideology based on the existence of races and considers that there are races which are superior to others. This thought leads to favoring one category of people over others. This general definition gives us an idea of what racism is but if we dig into this concept we identify that racism is a belief system that can be collective or also individual where there is a hierarchy between races, and where individuals are reduced to a set of identity criteria based on value judgments.
Racism is a phenomenon of the past which extends into the present and is gaining momentum in our contemporary societies and manifests itself in different ways, including slavery, anti-Semitism and others. The question of racism is always linked to the problems of the origins and category of racism, and also to ethnicity. We are then faced with the problem of contradictory evaluations encompassing political and institutional consequences.
The abolition of slavery has not changed mentalities; post-slavery societies in America allow deep social integrations linked to differences to persist. The rule of colonization gives an unequal racial conception; the "superior races" justify the conquests and the warning of the Africans by a civilizing mission, with regard to the inferior races. At the same time, an intriguing image of blacks was broadcast. Colonial literature and exhibitions were aimed at conveying clichés that the black-skinned man was a savage and cruel. The colonizing discourse is part of a perspective that seeks to elevate the colonized to the civilized at the same time it locks blacks into an inferior racial status.
— Souhail Arfaoui