Racism is the belief in the superiority or inferiority of people based on ethnicity, nation of origin, skin color, or religion.

 poster How important is a person's race?

  • The United States has been dealing with issues related to racism before and after it became a country.

  • South Africa instituted the practice of racism through the apartheid system.

  • Racism, bigotry, prejudice, and discrimination are problems faced by many countries around the world.


A person who believes that people are good or bad based on differences in skin color, religion, or ancestry is labeled as a racist.

  • Several racist comments were scrawled on the wall in the bathroom.

  • A Nazi salute is considered to be a racist gesture.

  • Members of the Ku Klux Klan are racists. They believe in the superiority of white, Christian Americans over other groups.

    Men wearing costumes


It is not illegal in the United States to be a racist or believe in the validity of racism. To have beliefs that are prejudicial is a form of thought or speech. That's legal.   However, it is illegal to take a form of action that hurts or discriminates against people because of race, religion, gender, age, or physical ability. Sometimes the offense is labeled a hate crime, depending on the city or state where it takes place.






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