New racism emerged in the context of the ideologies supporting Margaret Thatcher’s rise in the UK, it referred to the racist public discourse depicting immigrants as a threat. Martin Barker (1982) stated that this racism is a new theory of human nature which connects ‘race’ and nation. “It was a racism that combined a disavowal (deny) of biological superiority or inferiority with a focus on ‘a way of life’, of cultural difference as the ‘natural’ basis for feelings of antagonism towards outsiders”.(p.17) In this case national consciousness tended to be an instinct for self-preservation and national survival. Cultural racism could be silent or even deny any notion of biological superiority or inferiority, but what characterizes it specifically as racism is the subtext of innate difference that implicitly or explicitly serves to denote a group as a ‘race’.
How are these new formations to be understood? What are the particularities of this neo-racism? How is this racism to be distinguished from older forms?
New modality of racism: ‘racism without race’ 1970s.
According to new understanding of racism, this phenomenon tends to be focused on ‘cultural differences’. “It surfaces in debates about immigration, assimilation, and multiculturalism and although its tone tends to be respectful its intent is always to preserve the pillars of racial segregation both ideologically and practically. Indeed, the very question of whether or not immigration might cause ‘cultural’ difficulties is neo-racist in form according to Balibar”.(oxfordindex.oup.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803100228471)
Neo-racism is described by the researcher as a phenomenon having its dominant theme not biological heredity “but also the insurmountability of cultural differences, a racism which, at first glance, does not postulate the superiority of certain groups or peoples in relation to others but ‘only’ the harmfulness of abolishing frontiers, the incompatibility of lifestyles and traditions.” The points of neo-racism are that races are not isolable biological units and that there are not in reality any human races. Neo-racists claim that people’s behavior cannot be explained with the reference to their blood or genes but are the result of cultural belonging. Neo-racism pretends to argue that skin color does not matter, as long as one is prepared to abandon one’s primitive culture in favor of the assimilation of the superior culture of individualism.
There are several examples of racism in Europe: anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, anti-Arab, anti-Turk, anti-African and anti-Gypsy racism. Each of them has their own history, characteristic features, and has different ways of development. Moreover, it depends on the position of a person and conditions in which he or she lives, how this person is perceived by the society. For example, if it is a Black Jewish woman, she will collide with anti-Black racism and anti-Jewish. “The specific consequences for an individual or a group who is the bearer of multiple racialized significations would depend upon which particular racism(s) achieve prominence in a given context”. (p.20)
Example (comments on the picture)
· Jordan and India named the world's least tolerant countries
· U.S., Britain, Canada and South America are among the least racist
· Survey asks people if they would want neighbours of a different race
Britain is one of the most racially tolerant countries on the planet, a survey claims. The global social attitudes study claims that the most racially intolerant populations are all in the developing world, with Jordan and India in the top five. By contrast, the study of 80 countries over three decades found Western countries were most accepting of other cultures with Britain, the U.S., Canada and Australia more tolerant than anywhere else. The data came from the World Value Survey, which measured the social attitudes of people in different countries, as reported by the Post. The survey asked individuals what types of people they would refuse to live next to, and counted how many chose the option 'people of a different race' as a percentage for each country. Researchers have suggested that societies where more people do not want neighbours from other races can be considered less racially tolerant. The country with the highest proportion of 'intolerant' people who wanted neighbours similar to them was Jordan, where 51.4 per cent of the population would refuse to live next to someone of a different race.Next was India with 43.5 per cent.Racist views are strikingly rare in the U.S., according to the survey, which claims that only 3.8 per cent of residents are reluctant to have a neighbour of another race. Other English-speaking countries once part of the British Empire shared the same tolerant attitude - fewer than five per cent of Britons, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders showed signs of racism.People in the UK are also tolerant of other differences such as speaking a foreign language or practising an alternative religion - for example, fewer than two per cent of Britons would object to having neighbours of a different faith to them.Similarly, fewer than one in 20 people in most South American countries admitted harbouring prejudice against other races.The Middle East, which is currently dealing with large numbers of low-skilled immigrants from south Asia, seems to be a hotbed of racial tension, however.Europe is remarkably split - the west of the continent is generally more tolerant than the east, but France is a striking outlier with 22.7 per cent of the French rejecting neighbourhood diversity.Some have pointed out problems in the survey data, claiming that because the polls span a long period of time they are an unreliable guide to current attitudes.However, a more serious flaw could be the fact that in most Western countries racism is so taboo than many people will hide their intolerant views and lie to the questioners.Max Fisher of the Washington Post suggested that maybe 'Americans are conditioned by their education and media to keep these sorts of racial preferences private, i.e. to lie about them on surveys, in a way that Indians might not be'
THE LEAST RACIALLY TOLERANT COUNTRIES
40% + (of individuals surveyed would not want a person of another race as a neighbour) India, Jordan
30 - 39.9% Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Vietnam, Indonesia, South Korea
20 - 39.9% France, Turkey, Bulgaria, Algeria, Morocco, Mali, Zambia, Thailand, Malaysia, The Philippines, Bangladesh, Hong Kong