Readers Against Prejudice and Racism discussion

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Group Discussions > Are wars the cause of racism and prejudice in the world?

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message 1: by Ronyell, Your Humble Creator! (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 688 comments Mod
This was an issue I wanted to discuss for a long time and it concerns how wars could be the cause of racism and prejudice in society. What do you all think about this?

I think that wars are the cause of such prejudice and racism because for example, during World War, Hitler caused a war by persecuting all the Jews and in that sense, Jews were outcast and murdered and that caused an intense prejudice against the Jews. In this case, innocent victims were outcasted because of the war that was started during that time.


message 2: by Tammy (new)

Tammy | 49 comments Mod
I don't believes wars cause racism in the beginning. They can most certainly stir hatred through the continuing violence.
The precedent is usually race and/or religion cause a large percentage.
Just my opinion.


message 3: by Sara (new)

Sara | 18 comments i actually think that ignorance is the main cause of racism & prejudice. Most people are afraid of what they don't know, and those feelings of fear lead to hatred.
I do believe that wars can lead to racism & prejudice, but I don't think they are the direct cause.


message 4: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) I think it's the universal 'us vs them' mentality that leads to both wars and to racism. It's only human to form tribes & territories - and then boundaries, with 'us' on the inside and 'other' on the outside.


message 5: by Darth (new)

Darth I dont feel that ignorance is a big factor.
Ignorance is a bit of a cop out in this context.
I think you have to have had some exposure, either directly, or indirectly to have a racist slant.
The most racist people I have ever met werent people with no exposure to other races.

Behavior is learned, very little we do or think is TRULY original. Much of it depends on just how insular ones upbringing was.

Let be honest though, there are levels and degrees involved here. If a friend of mine makes an off color joke, I might laugh, if its funny and matches something in my experience or imagination; or give a disapproving glance and tell them that is awful if it is just in poor taste...
If a friend of mine shaves his head and moves to a compound in Idaho to help the "Fight For Purity", then he will get a much stronger reaction...

As far as race and wars go, I think history is pretty clear, race wars are not unheard of, but they are far less common than just your good old go to war with your neighbors. Sometimes the "YOUR NEIGHBORS" are of a different race, but predominantly I do not feel that has usually been the motivating factor.
Despite all the press given to genocidal actions, they are the minority by far in the history of war.
Wars are generally about resources or religon AKA material or psychological hierarchy.
(War... War never changes...)

Also you need to distinguish between the perceived cause of something and the reality of the same situation. It can be more complicated on a personal level. Hitler may have hated lots of different races, but the average german soldier was most likely just concerned with not getting his head blown off once the coke or amphetamines wore off...

In the end, it is like the Hooker from the movie TANK said - If you want to hate, odds are you will find a reason.


message 6: by Ronyell, Your Humble Creator! (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 688 comments Mod
I agree with everyone about how wars are started. I think it's true that fear of another's culture does indeed stir up hatred which begins wars and ignorance about another's culture also stirs up hatred since some people do not know much about the other culture, just about what lies on the surface of the culture.


message 7: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) (OT - shout out to Reno from Carson City!)


message 8: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Davie (kathydavie) | 100 comments No, I don't think racism or prejudice has anything to do with war. When you break it down, it's economics and politics. Someone wants more than someone else. Hitler was successful in using economics and prejudice to start WWII. The harsh treaty we forced on the Germans after WWI had major economic ramifications on the Germans which caused the Germans to be more receptive to "getting their own back". The stereotypical attitudes of most people toward Jews, gypsies, Poles, etc. were used by Hitler to distract the Germans,IMHO.


message 9: by Ronyell, Your Humble Creator! (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 688 comments Mod
That's a great opinion Kathy! I always assumed that prejudice and racism would cause wars, but when it comes down to it, politics does have a major part in starting wars since somebody wants to be better than the other country.


message 10: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Davie (kathydavie) | 100 comments I think people create the racism/prejudice to make themselves feel better about starting war.


message 11: by Darth (new)

Darth Heh heh heh....
I am so dense lately it took me almost a day to figure out you meant me...
Of course it was kinda my own fault since I moved out of Reno for work a few months back.
I thought I had updated all my sites but I guess this one slipped through the proverbial cracks.
I never made it to CC is it nice?


message 12: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) Darth, nicer than Reno imo! A bookshop in Utah? I'm about due for a little trip east - I'll PM you then.

Back on-topic - Kathy, msg 10, I agree.


message 13: by Ronyell, Your Humble Creator! (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 688 comments Mod
Another thing that I don't like about wars is that it separates family members from each other. I mean, I have seen many military commercials where the people in the military tell their love ones that they will come back once the war is over and the sad thing about those commercials is that sometimes, the people in the military get killed in wars. Imagine the tragedies that every family whose loved ones are in wars has to go through whenever their loved ones are killed. Just imagine...


message 14: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) In Across Five Aprils a family was torn apart by the American Civil War because some fought for the Union, others for the rebels. The first time I thought about that scenario I cried.


message 15: by Ronyell, Your Humble Creator! (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 688 comments Mod
That sounds like an interesting book Cheryl! I'll have to put it in the bookkshelf to read!


message 16: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Davie (kathydavie) | 100 comments Dear Nell , a book I recently finished, is similar. Biographical, the author has used her ancestors' letters to create an interesting read of the lives of one family torn between one sister married to a plantation owner and the rest of her New York family.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Ronyell wrote: "This was an issue I wanted to discuss for a long time and it concerns how wars could be the cause of racism and prejudice in society. What do you all think about this?

I have a theory that wars come about as a way of getting the population down. When an area becomes too crowded people tend to look for any excuse to kill others. Recently I saw a book on goodreads I thought I might read which was something like The Highroad to the Stake and I attempted to read it but it is so awful that I couldn't. It was bout the time in Europe when many people were murdered with the excuse that they were witches. Whole villages in Germany were murdered! This was hundreds of years before the Holocaust happened.
I have some wild theories.

Highroad to the Stake: A Tale of Witchcraft



message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Kathy wrote: "Dear Nell, a book I recently finished, is similar. Biographical, the author has used her ancestors' letters to create an interesting read of the lives of one family torn between one sister married ..."

I recently read Henry Knox and his wife's family abandoned her totally due to being on the wrong side in the Revolutionary War. It was so sad as none of them ever contacted Lucy again after they left and went back to England.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Now this war would definitely be about freedom, right? (Revolutionary War)


message 20: by Ronyell, Your Humble Creator! (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 688 comments Mod
Lady OT Lavender wrote: "Ronyell wrote: "This was an issue I wanted to discuss for a long time and it concerns how wars could be the cause of racism and prejudice in society. What do you all think about this?

I have a the..."


That really is an interesting theory Lavender! It is a shame that some people would look for any excuse to cause war onto others.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Ronyell wrote: "Lady OT Lavender wrote: "Ronyell wrote: "This was an issue I wanted to discuss for a long time and it concerns how wars could be the cause of racism and prejudice in society. What do you all think..."

Well, we have to remember that man is basically a predator. Sad to say the most dangerous predator of all.


message 22: by Ronyell, Your Humble Creator! (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 688 comments Mod
Lady OT Lavender wrote: "Ronyell wrote: "Lady OT Lavender wrote: "Ronyell wrote: "This was an issue I wanted to discuss for a long time and it concerns how wars could be the cause of racism and prejudice in society. What ..."

Yes, it is a shame that man is the greatest predators of the world.


message 23: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Davie (kathydavie) | 100 comments Actually, I've heard a theory that the real purpose for the Crusades was to get nobles out of their particular countries and off to the Middle East to kill off power-mad, loot-hungry, possible problems


message 24: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 147 comments Lady OT Lavender wrote: "Ronyell wrote: "Lady OT Lavender wrote: "Ronyell wrote: "This was an issue I wanted to discuss for a long time and it concerns how wars could be the cause of racism and prejudice in society. What ..."

No other predator is able to blow up thousands of people with one bomb, or have the devious cleverness to create ever more horrible methods of torture and mayhem.


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

Kathy wrote: "Actually, I've heard a theory that the real purpose for the Crusades was to get nobles out of their particular countries and off to the Middle East to kill off power-mad, loot-hungry, possible prob..."
Sounds like a good plan to occupy them in some other way! I could never figure out the Children's Crusade tho. Baffled by that one completely.


message 26: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Davie (kathydavie) | 100 comments Lady Lavender wrote: "Kathy wrote: "Actually, I've heard a theory that the real purpose for the Crusades was to get nobles out of their particular countries and off to the Middle East to kill off power-mad, loot-hungry,..."

Current theory is that pueri, a Latin word meaning "boy" was misinterpreted as referring to children when actually it was a derogatory term for the poor. Due to economic issues, a lot of farmers had to sell or give up their land so there were all these groups of poor people roaming around Europe.

By about 1252, 1262, these groups were "converted" into "children" and with all the excitement about Crusades, it became the Children's Crusade 'cause it just sounds so much better than that the Church left all these people wandering around without helping them.


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

Kathy wrote: "Lady Lavender wrote: "Kathy wrote: "Actually, I've heard a theory that the real purpose for the Crusades was to get nobles out of their particular countries and off to the Middle East to kill off ..."

Thanks for this good info.



message 28: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 147 comments By the way, and the fact notwithstanding that there is now rather much doubt about the historic validity of an actual children's crusade, I would like to recommend the following time-travel novel (for older children and young adults), written in the early 70s by Dutch children's author Thea Beckman Kruistocht in spijkerbroek (English version is called Crusade in Jeans), a really interesting and exciting tale of adventure, treachery and superstition, filled with not only excitement and adventure, but also interesting historical details and conjectures regarding the Middle Ages and the Crusades.


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Gundula wrote: "By the way, and the fact notwithstanding that there is now rather much doubt about the historic validity of an actual children's crusade, I would like to recommend the following time-travel novel (..."

Isn't it amazing how history is so slanted and much of it is lies? I recently read about Henry Knox and learned so much I never knew.

Henry Knox: Visionary General of the American Revolution



message 30: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 147 comments Lady Lavender wrote: "Gundula wrote: "By the way, and the fact notwithstanding that there is now rather much doubt about the historic validity of an actual children's crusade, I would like to recommend the following tim..."

History is only as true as the records, as what was and is written. Mistakes can happen, words can be misinterpreted, but most importantly, history is usually written by those who won the wars, so it is slanted towards the victors and their vision.


message 31: by Ronyell, Your Humble Creator! (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 688 comments Mod
Most of the time, I do get annoyed with some history books where its based on only one person's point of view on various wars rather than having it from both sides of the story because whenever you read only one side of the story of a war that has happened, you probably would not know what really happened during that war or what both sides were thinking when they started the war and I always feel that it is important to hear from both sides of the story rather than one side of the story in history books just to get a better understanding about the effects that these wars had on the people.


message 32: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Davie (kathydavie) | 100 comments Lady Lavender wrote: "Gundula wrote: "By the way, and the fact notwithstanding that there is now rather much doubt about the historic validity of an actual children's crusade, I would like to recommend the following tim..."

This is exactly why books should NEVER be "adjusted" to suit the current generation's desire to look good or better!


message 33: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Davie (kathydavie) | 100 comments Ronyell wrote: "Most of the time, I do get annoyed with some history books where its based on only one person's point of view on various wars rather than having it from both sides of the story because whenever you..."

Yeah, part of what irritates me is journalists. When I was going for my journalism degree, one of the major tenets was objectivity. I guess that's another one of those "rules" that only applies in class!


message 34: by Ronyell, Your Humble Creator! (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 688 comments Mod
Also, I think another reason that certain wars get started is because of clashes of political ideals. Like it's always about Communism vs. Capitalism or Captitalism vs. Socialism. It's a shame that we can't just combine these ideas or something.


message 35: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Davie (kathydavie) | 100 comments War is about power. Racism and prejudice is about insecurity.


message 36: by Ronyell, Your Humble Creator! (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 688 comments Mod
That's a good point Kathy. I think most of the prejudice does stem from fear or lack of understanding of other cultures and also, politics does play a huge role in promoting fear among the citizens if done right.


message 37: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 147 comments Ronyell wrote: "That's a good point Kathy. I think most of the prejudice does stem from fear or lack of understanding of other cultures and also, politics does play a huge role in promoting fear among the citizens..."

Although wars are partially about power, insecurity and fear also have a part to play; it's interrelated.


message 38: by Ronyell, Your Humble Creator! (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 688 comments Mod
That's also a good point Gundula. Sometimes wars get started because of insecurity about other cultures.


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