Anti-racism includes beliefs, actions, movements, and policies adopted or developed to oppose racism
Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term "racism" is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature...

. In general, anti-racism is intended to promote an egalitarian society in which people do not face discrimination
Discrimination is the prejudicial treatment of an individual based on their membership in a certain group or category. It involves the actual behaviors towards groups such as excluding or restricting members of one group from opportunities that are available to another group. The term began to be...

 on the basis of their race, however defined. By its nature, anti-racism tends to promote the view that racism in a particular society is both pernicious and socially pervasive, and that particular changes in political, economic, and/or social life are required to eliminate it.

American origins of modern anti-racism

The European discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus did not occur until 1492. However, two Papal bulls announced several decades before that event to help ward off increasing Muslim invasions into Europe affected the New World.

When Islam presented a serious military threat to Italy and Central Europe during mid-15th Century around the time of the fall of Constantinople, Pope Nicholas V tried to unite Christendom
Christendom, or the Christian world, has several meanings. In a cultural sense it refers to the worldwide community of Christians, adherents of Christianity...

 against them but failed. He then granted Portugal the right to subdue and even enslave Muslims whether white or any other race, pagans and other non-Christians in the papal bull Dum Diversas
Dum Diversas
Dum Diversas is a papal bull issued on June 18, 1452 by Pope Nicholas V, that is credited by some with "ushering in the West African slave trade." It authorized Afonso V of Portugal to conquer Saracens and pagans and consign them to indefinite slavery...

 (1452). While this bull preceded the Atlantic slave trade
Atlantic slave trade
The Atlantic slave trade, also known as the trans-atlantic slave trade, refers to the trade in slaves that took place across the Atlantic ocean from the sixteenth through to the nineteenth centuries...

 by several decades, slavery and the slave trade were part of African societies and tribes which supplied the Arab world with slaves long before the arrival of the Europeans.
Increasingly, the Italian Merchants from the wealthiest states in Italy, especially Genoa and Venice joined in the lucrative trade and some members sported exotic lackeys and few domestic or workshop slaves whereas before slavery was forbidden in Christendom and only formerly in Muslim Spain and Sicily and their buffer border marches were seen and legally allowed. Racial views of Superiority started developing and became more acute about these slaves, social views imported from the Court of Granada where they were highly stratified and classified.

The following year saw the Fall of Constantinople
Fall of Constantinople
The Fall of Constantinople was the capture of the capital of the Byzantine Empire, which occurred after a siege by the Ottoman Empire, under the command of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, against the defending army commanded by Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI...

 to Muslim conquerors of the ever growing Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 which left the pope as the undoubted contested leader of Christendom when the Orthodox Church leadership became under submission. Several decades later, European explorers and missionaries spread Christianity to the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania. Pope Alexander VI
Pope Alexander VI
Pope Alexander VI , born Roderic Llançol i Borja was Pope from 1492 until his death on 18 August 1503. He is one of the most controversial of the Renaissance popes, and his Italianized surname—Borgia—became a byword for the debased standards of the Papacy of that era, most notoriously the Banquet...

 had awarded colonial rights over most of the newly discovered lands by the Iberian Kingdoms of Castile
Kingdom of Castile
Kingdom of Castile was one of the medieval kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula. It emerged as a political autonomous entity in the 9th century. It was called County of Castile and was held in vassalage from the Kingdom of León. Its name comes from the host of castles constructed in the region...

 and Portugal. Under their patronato system, however, Royal authorities, not the Vatican, controlled as in Europe all clerical appointments in the new colonies. Thus, the 1455 Papal Bull
Papal bull
A Papal bull is a particular type of letters patent or charter issued by a Pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the bulla that was appended to the end in order to authenticate it....

 Romanus Pontifex
Romanus Pontifex
Romanus Pontifex is a papal bull written January 8, 1455 by Pope Nicholas V to King Afonso V of Portugal. As a follow-up to the Dum Diversas, it confirmed to the Crown of Portugal dominion over all lands discovered or conquered during the Age of Discovery. Along with encouraging the seizure of the...

granted the Portuguese
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

 all lands behind Cape Bojador
Cape Bojador
Cape Bojador or Cape Boujdour is a headland on the northern coast of Western Sahara, at 26° 07' 37"N, 14° 29' 57"W. , as well as the name of a nearby town with a population of 41,178.It is shown on nautical charts with the original Portuguese name "Cabo Bojador", but is sometimes...

 "allowing to reduce pagans and other enemies of Christ to perpetual slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

" . Later, the 1481 Papal Bull
Papal bull
A Papal bull is a particular type of letters patent or charter issued by a Pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the bulla that was appended to the end in order to authenticate it....

 Aeterni regis
Aeterni regis
The Papal Bull Aeterni regis was issued on 21 June 1481 by Pope Sixtus IV, simply confirmed the substance of the Treaty of Alcáçovas, thereby reiterating that treaty's confirmation of Castile in its possession of the Canary Islands and its granting of all further acquisitions made by Christian...

granted all lands south of the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
The Canary Islands , also known as the Canaries , is a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are a Spanish autonomous community and an outermost region of the European Union...

 to the Portuguese Empire
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

, while in May 1493 the Aragonese-born Pope Alexander VI
Pope Alexander VI
Pope Alexander VI , born Roderic Llançol i Borja was Pope from 1492 until his death on 18 August 1503. He is one of the most controversial of the Renaissance popes, and his Italianized surname—Borgia—became a byword for the debased standards of the Papacy of that era, most notoriously the Banquet...

 decreed in the Bull Inter caetera
Inter caetera
Inter caetera was a papal bull issued by Pope Alexander VI on , which granted to Spain all lands to the "west and south" of a pole-to-pole line 100 leagues west and south of any of the islands of the Azores or the Cape Verde Islands.It remains unclear to the present whether the pope was issuing a...

that all lands west of a meridian only 100 leagues west of the Cape Verde
Cape Verde
The Republic of Cape Verde is an island country, spanning an archipelago of 10 islands located in the central Atlantic Ocean, 570 kilometres off the coast of Western Africa...

 Islands should belong to the Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

 while new lands discovered east of that line would belong to Portugal. These arrangements were later confirmed in the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas
Treaty of Tordesillas
The Treaty of Tordesillas , signed at Tordesillas , , divided the newly discovered lands outside Europe between Spain and Portugal along a meridian 370 leagueswest of the Cape Verde islands...


After the discovery of the New World many of the clergy sent to the New World, educated in the new Humane values of the Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 blooming but still new in Europe and not ratified by the Vatican, began to criticize Spain and their own Church's treatment and views of indigenous peoples and slaves.

In December 1511, Antonio de Montesinos
Antonio de Montesinos (Dominican friar)
Antonio de Montesinos was a Spanish Dominican friar on the island of Hispaniola who, with the backing of his prior, Fray Pedro de Córdoba and his Dominican community at Santo Dominigo, preached against the enslavement and harsh treatment of the Indigenous peoples of the Island...

, a Dominican friar, was the first man to openly rebuke the Spanish authorities and administrators of Hispaniola
Hispaniola is a major island in the Caribbean, containing the two sovereign states of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The island is located between the islands of Cuba to the west and Puerto Rico to the east, within the hurricane belt...

 for their "cruelty and tyranny" in dealing with the American natives and those forced to labor as slaves. King Ferdinand
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand the Catholic was King of Aragon , Sicily , Naples , Valencia, Sardinia, and Navarre, Count of Barcelona, jure uxoris King of Castile and then regent of that country also from 1508 to his death, in the name of...

 enacted the Laws of Burgos and Valladolid in response. However enforcement was lax, and the New Laws
New Laws
The New Laws, in Spanish Leyes Nuevas, issued November 20, 1542 by King Charles V of Spain regarding the Spanish colonization of the Americas, are also known as the "New Laws of the Indies for the Good Treatment and Preservation of the Indians", and were created to prevent the exploitation of the...

 of 1542 have to be made to take a stronger line. Because some people like Fray Bartolome de las Casas
Fray Bartolomé de las Casas
Fray Bartolomé de las Casas is a municipality in the Guatemalan department of Alta Verapaz. It is situated at 170m above sea level. It contains 31,611 people. It covers a terrain of 1229km2. The annual festival is April 30-May 4. It is named after the 15th century Spanish priest, bishop, and writer...

 questioned not only the Crown but the Papacy at the Valladolid Controversy whether the Indians were truly men who deserved baptism, Pope Paul III in the papal bull Veritas Ipsa or Sublimis Deus (1537) confirmed that the Indians and other races were deserving men, so long they became baptised. Afterward, their Christian conversion effort gained momentum along social rights, but while leaving the same status recognition unanswered for Africans of Black Race, and legal social racism prevailed towards the Indians or Asians. However, by then the last Schism of Reformation
- Movements :* Protestant Reformation, an attempt by Martin Luther to reform the Roman Catholic Church that resulted in a schism, and grew into a wider movement...

 had taken place in Europe in those few decades along political lines, and the different views on the Value of human lives of different races were not taken to correction in the lands of Northern Europe, which will join the Colonial race
History of colonialism
The historical phenomenon of colonisation is one that stretches around the globe and across time, including such disparate peoples as the Hittites, the Incas and the British. European colonialism, or imperialism, began in the 15th century with the "Age of Discovery", led by Portuguese and Spanish...

 at the end of the century and over the next, as the slow decline of Portuguese and Spaniard Empires waned. It will take only another century with the influence of the French Empire
French Empire
The term French Empire can refer to:* Two Empires of the French founded by members of the House of Bonaparte,** The First French Empire of Napoleon I and II ** The Second French Empire of Napoleon III...

 at its height, and its consequent Enlightment developed at the highest circles of its Court, from where these previous inconclusive issues would return to the front of the political discourse championed by many intellectual men since Rousseau, and from where they gradually permeated all the way to the lower social levels, where they were a reality lived by men and women of different races to the European racial majority.
The first great successes in opposing racism were won by the Abolitionist
Abolitionism is a movement to end slavery.In western Europe and the Americas abolitionism was a movement to end the slave trade and set slaves free. At the behest of Dominican priest Bartolomé de las Casas who was shocked at the treatment of natives in the New World, Spain enacted the first...

 movement, both in England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 and the United States. Though many Abolitionists did not regard blacks or mulatto
Mulatto denotes a person with one white parent and one black parent, or more broadly, a person of mixed black and white ancestry. Contemporary usage of the term varies greatly, and the broader sense of the term makes its application rather subjective, as not all people of mixed white and black...

s as equal to whites, they did in general believe in freedom
Freedom (political)
Political freedom is a central philosophy in Western history and political thought, and one of the most important features of democratic societies...

 and often even equality of treatment for all people. A few, like John Brown
John Brown (abolitionist)
John Brown was an American revolutionary abolitionist, who in the 1850s advocated and practiced armed insurrection as a means to abolish slavery in the United States. He led the Pottawatomie Massacre during which five men were killed, in 1856 in Bleeding Kansas, and made his name in the...

, went further. Brown was willing to die on behalf of, as he said, "millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments...." Many black Abolitionists, such as Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass was an American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement, gaining note for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writing...

, explicitly argued for the humanity of blacks and mulattoes, and for the equality of all people.

During the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, racial egalitarianism in the North became much stronger and more generally disseminated. The success of black troops in the Union Army
Union Army
The Union Army was the land force that fought for the Union during the American Civil War. It was also known as the Federal Army, the U.S. Army, the Northern Army and the National Army...

 had a dramatic impact on Northern sentiment. The Emancipation Proclamation
Emancipation Proclamation
The Emancipation Proclamation is an executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War using his war powers. It proclaimed the freedom of 3.1 million of the nation's 4 million slaves, and immediately freed 50,000 of them, with nearly...

 was a notable example of this shift in political attitudes, although it notably did not completely extinguish legal slavery in several states. After the war, the Reconstruction government passed the Fourteenth Amendment
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments.Its Citizenship Clause provides a broad definition of citizenship that overruled the Dred Scott v...

 and Fifteenth Amendments
Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits each government in the United States from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude"...

 to the Constitution to guarantee the rights of blacks and mulattoes. Many ex-slaves had access to education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

 for the first time. Blacks and mulattoes were also allowed to vote, which meant that African-Americans were elected to Congress in numbers not equaled until the Voting Rights Act and the Warren Court helped re-enfranchise black Americans.

Due to resistance in the South, however, and a general collapse of idealism in the North, Reconstruction ended, and gave way to the nadir of American race relations
Nadir of American race relations
The "nadir of American race relations" is a term that refers to the period in United States history from the end of Reconstruction through the early 20th century, when racism in the country is deemed to have been worse than in any other period after the American Civil War. During this period,...

. The period from about 1890 to 1920 saw the re-establishment of Jim Crow laws. President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

, who regarded Reconstruction as a disaster, segregated the federal government. The Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as the Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically...

 grew to its greatest peak of popularity and strength. D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation
The Birth of a Nation
The Birth of a Nation is a 1915 American silent film directed by D. W. Griffith and based on the novel and play The Clansman, both by Thomas Dixon, Jr. Griffith also co-wrote the screenplay , and co-produced the film . It was released on February 8, 1915...

was a movie sensation.

In 1911 the first Universal Races Congress met in London, at which distinguished speakers from many countries for four days discussed race problems and ways to improve interracial relations.

Racial equality proposal of Japan in Paris Peace Conference, 1919

(For more detiled information, see Racial Equality Proposal, 1919
Racial Equality Proposal, 1919
The Racial Equality Proposal was a Japanese proposal for racial equality at the Paris Peace Conference.-The proposal:After the end of seclusion, Japan suffered unequal treaties and demanded equal status with the Powers. In this context, the Japanese delegation to the Paris peace conference proposed...


Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 first proposed articles dedicated to the elimination of racial discrimination to be added to the rules of the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

. This was the first proposal concerning the international elimination of racial discrimination in the world.

Although the proposal received a majority (11 out of 16) of votes, the chairman, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

, overturned it saying that important issues should be unanimously approved. It is said that behind the scenes, Billy Hughes
Billy Hughes
William Morris "Billy" Hughes, CH, KC, MHR , Australian politician, was the seventh Prime Minister of Australia from 1915 to 1923....

 and Joseph Cook
Joseph Cook
Sir Joseph Cook, GCMG was an Australian politician and the sixth Prime Minister of Australia. Born as Joseph Cooke and working in the coal mines of Silverdale, Staffordshire during his early life, he emigrated to Lithgow, New South Wales during the late 1880s, and became General-Secretary of the...

 vigorously opposed it as it undermined the White Australia Policy
White Australia policy
The White Australia policy comprises various historical policies that intentionally restricted "non-white" immigration to Australia. From origins at Federation in 1901, the polices were progressively dismantled between 1949-1973....


Revival of racial equality in the United States

Opposition to racism revived in the 1920s and 1930s. At that time, anthropologists
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

 such as Franz Boas
Franz Boas
Franz Boas was a German-American anthropologist and a pioneer of modern anthropology who has been called the "Father of American Anthropology" and "the Father of Modern Anthropology." Like many such pioneers, he trained in other disciplines; he received his doctorate in physics, and did...

, Ruth Benedict
Ruth Benedict
Ruth Benedict was an American anthropologist, cultural relativist, and folklorist....

, Margaret Mead
Margaret Mead
Margaret Mead was an American cultural anthropologist, who was frequently a featured writer and speaker in the mass media throughout the 1960s and 1970s....

, and Ashley Montagu
Ashley Montagu
Montague Francis Ashley Montagu was a British-American anthropologist and humanist, of Jewish ancestry, who popularized topics such as race and gender and their relation to politics and development...

 argued for the equality of humans across races and cultures. Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was the First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945. She supported the New Deal policies of her husband, distant cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and became an advocate for civil rights. After her husband's death in 1945, Roosevelt continued to be an international...

 was a very visible advocate for minority rights during this period. Socialist organizations like the Industrial Workers of the World
Industrial Workers of the World
The Industrial Workers of the World is an international union. At its peak in 1923, the organization claimed some 100,000 members in good standing, and could marshal the support of perhaps 300,000 workers. Its membership declined dramatically after a 1924 split brought on by internal conflict...

, which gained some popularity during the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

, were explicitly egalitarian.

Beginning with the Harlem Renaissance
Harlem Renaissance
The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned the 1920s and 1930s. At the time, it was known as the "New Negro Movement", named after the 1925 anthology by Alain Locke...

 and continuing into the 1960s, many African-American writers, including James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson was an American author, politician, diplomat, critic, journalist, poet, anthologist, educator, lawyer, songwriter, and early civil rights activist. Johnson is remembered best for his leadership within the NAACP, as well as for his writing, which includes novels, poems, and...

, Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes
James Mercer Langston Hughes was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form jazz poetry. Hughes is best known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance...

, Richard Wright
Richard Wright (author)
Richard Nathaniel Wright was an African-American author of sometimes controversial novels, short stories, poems, and non-fiction. Much of his literature concerns racial themes, especially those involving the plight of African-Americans during the late 19th to mid 20th centuries...

, and James Baldwin
James Baldwin (writer)
James Arthur Baldwin was an American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic.Baldwin's essays, for instance "Notes of a Native Son" , explore palpable yet unspoken intricacies of racial, sexual, and class distinctions in Western societies, most notably in mid-20th century America,...

 argued forcefully against racism.

During the Civil Rights Movement
Civil rights movement
The civil rights movement was a worldwide political movement for equality before the law occurring between approximately 1950 and 1980. In many situations it took the form of campaigns of civil resistance aimed at achieving change by nonviolent forms of resistance. In some situations it was...

, Jim Crow laws
Jim Crow laws
The Jim Crow laws were state and local laws in the United States enacted between 1876 and 1965. They mandated de jure racial segregation in all public facilities, with a supposedly "separate but equal" status for black Americans...

 were repealed in the South and blacks finally re-won the right to vote in Southern states. U.S. Civil Rights movement leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an influential force, and his "I Have a Dream
I Have a Dream
"I Have a Dream" is a 17-minute public speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered on August 28, 1963, in which he called for racial equality and an end to discrimination...

" speech is an exemplary condensation of his egalitarian ideology.

Anti-racism's influence

Egalitarianism has been a catalyst for feminism
Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women. Its concepts overlap with those of women's rights...

, anti-war
An anti-war movement is a social movement, usually in opposition to a particular nation's decision to start or carry on an armed conflict, unconditional of a maybe-existing just cause. The term can also refer to pacifism, which is the opposition to all use of military force during conflicts. Many...

, and anti-imperialist
Anti-imperialism, strictly speaking, is a term that may be applied to a movement opposed to any form of colonialism or imperialism. Anti-imperialism includes opposition to wars of conquest, particularly of non-contiguous territory or people with a different language or culture; it also includes...

 movements. Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau was an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, and leading transcendentalist...

's opposition to the Mexican-American War, for example, was based in part on his fear that the U.S. was using the war as an excuse to expand American slavery
History of slavery in the United States
Slavery in the United States was a form of slave labor which existed as a legal institution in North America for more than a century before the founding of the United States in 1776, and continued mostly in the South until the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in...

 into new territories. Thoreau's response was chronicled in his famous essay "Civil Disobedience
Civil disobedience
Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government, or of an occupying international power. Civil disobedience is commonly, though not always, defined as being nonviolent resistance. It is one form of civil resistance...

", which in turn helped ignite Gandhi's successful campaign against the British in India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. Gandhi's example in turn inspired the American Civil Rights
Civil rights
Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.Civil rights include...


As James Loewen
James Loewen
James W. Loewen is a sociologist, historian, and author whose best-known work is Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong .-Early life and career:...

 notes in Lies My Teacher Told Me
Lies My Teacher Told Me
Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong is a 1995 book by sociologist James Loewen. It critically examines twelve American history textbooks and concludes that textbook authors propagate factually false, Eurocentric, and mythologized views of history...

: "Throughout the world, from Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 to Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

, movements of oppressed people continue to use tactics and words borrowed from our abolitionist and civil rights movements." In East Germany, revolutionary Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square is a large city square in the center of Beijing, China, named after the Tiananmen Gate located to its North, separating it from the Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square is the third largest city square in the world...

, and South Africa
History of South Africa in the apartheid era
Apartheid was a system of racial segregation enforced by the National Party governments of South Africa between 1948 and 1994, under which the rights of the majority 'non-white' inhabitants of South Africa were curtailed and white supremacy and Afrikaner minority rule was maintained...

, images, words, and tactics developed by human rights supporters have been used regularly and repeatedly.

Many of these uses have been controversial. For example, the pro-life
Opposition to the legalization of abortion is centered around the pro-life, or anti-abortion, movement, a social and political movement opposing elective abortion on moral grounds and supporting its legal prohibition or restriction...

 movement often draws connections between its goals and the goals of abolitionism. In Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

, Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe
Robert Gabriel Mugabe is the President of Zimbabwe. As one of the leaders of the liberation movement against white-minority rule, he was elected into power in 1980...

 has used anti-racist rhetoric to promote a land distribution scheme which has resulted in widespread starvation. However, President Mugabe himself heads a racist government that carries out blatant acts of hostility and oppression toward white Zimbabweans (see Land reform in Zimbabwe
Land reform in Zimbabwe
Land reform in Zimbabwe officially began in 1979 with the signing of the Lancaster House Agreement, an effort to more equitably distribute land between the historically disenfranchised blacks and the minority-whites who ruled Zimbabwe from 1890 to 1979...


See also

  • Affirmative Action
    Affirmative action
    Affirmative action refers to policies that take factors including "race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or national origin" into consideration in order to benefit an underrepresented group, usually as a means to counter the effects of a history of discrimination.-Origins:The term...

  • Allophilia
    Allophilia is having positive attitude for a group that is not one's own. The term derived from Greek words meaning "liking or love of the other"....

  • Anti-racist mathematics
    Anti-racist mathematics
    Anti-racist mathematics is a branch of education reform theory that sees a need to form a curriculum to counter a perceived bias in mathematics...

  • Racism
    Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term "racism" is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature...

  • Civil Rights Movement
    Civil rights movement
    The civil rights movement was a worldwide political movement for equality before the law occurring between approximately 1950 and 1980. In many situations it took the form of campaigns of civil resistance aimed at achieving change by nonviolent forms of resistance. In some situations it was...

  • Color blindness (race)
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
    National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
    The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, usually abbreviated as NAACP, is an African-American civil rights organization in the United States, formed in 1909. Its mission is "to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to...

  • Political correctness
    Political correctness
    Political correctness is a term which denotes language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, certain other religions, beliefs or ideologies, disability, and age-related contexts,...

  • Racial realism
    Racial realism
    Racial realism is a view held by some political groups and individuals which holds that racial divisions of humans are based in biological reality, and that racial distinctions are enduringly important because racial groups differ genetically with regard to such important behavioral tendencies as...

  • Social criticism
    Social criticism
    The term social criticism locates the reasons for malicious conditions of the society in flawed social structures. People adhering to a social critics aim at practical solutions by specific measures, often consensual reform but sometimes also by powerful revolution.- European roots :Religious...

  • Teaching for social justice
    Teaching for social justice
    Teaching for social justice is an educational philosophy designed to promote socioeconomic equality in the learning environment and instill these values in students. Educators may employ social justice instruction to promote unity on campus, as well as mitigate boundaries to the general curriculum...

Anti-racist organizations

  • European Commission against Racism and Intolerance
    European Commission against Racism and Intolerance
    European Commission against Racism and Intolerance is the Council of Europe’s independent human rights monitoring body specialised in combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance. It consists of 47 experts, one from every CoE member state. ECRI publishes...

  • UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance

  • Les Indivisibles (France)
  • SOS Racisme
    SOS Racisme
    SOS Racisme is a French anti-racist NGO, founded in 1984. Its Spanish counterpart, SOS Racismo, is based in Barcelona.-Activities:SOS Racisme's main goal is to fight racial discrimination. Often the plaintiff in discrimination trials, the organization also offers support to immigrants and racial...

  • Aktion Kinder des Holocaust
    Aktion Kinder des Holocaust
    Aktion Kinder des Holocaust also known by its initials AKdH is an international community of descendants of survivors of the Holocaust and World War II antifascist resistance, together with their relatives and friends. It is constituted as a club under Article 60ff CC of Swiss law...

  • Anti-Fascist Action
    Anti-Fascist Action
    Anti-Fascist Action was a militant anti-fascist organization founded by members of Red Action and other left-wing groups in the United Kingdom in 1985....

     (United Kingdom)
  • Campaign Against Racism and Fascism
    Campaign Against Racism and Fascism
    The Campaign Against Racism and Fascism is an anti-racist group based in London with a history going back to the mid-nineteen-seventies...

     (United Kingdom)
  • Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism
    Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism
    The Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism , also referred to as Centre for Equal Opportunities and Fight against Racism or translated as Centre for Equal Opportunities and Struggle against Racism The Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism (CEOOR), also referred...

  • Félag Anti-Rasista (Iceland)
  • Institute of Race Relations
    Institute of Race Relations
    The Institute of Race Relations is a think tank based in the United Kingdom. It was formed in 1958 in order to publish research on race relations worldwide, and in 1972 was transformed into an 'anti-racist think tank'....

     (United Kingdom)
  • Mouvement contre le racisme et pour l'amitié entre les peuples (France)
  • National Assembly Against Racism
    National Assembly Against Racism
    The National Assembly Against Racism is or was a British anti-racist and anti-fascist group.-External links:...

     (United Kingdom)
  • Newham Monitoring Project
    Newham Monitoring Project
    Newham Monitoring Project is a grassroots community-based anti-racist organisation in the London Borough of Newham, London, England with a remit to provide support work against racial discrimination and violence, police misconduct and around civil rights issues. It provides advice, support,...

     (United Kingdom)
  • Residents Against Racism
    Residents Against Racism
    Residents Against Racism is a group that lobbies on behalf of asylum seekers in Ireland. Residents Against Racism has been campaigning since 1998 and is not connected to any political party and does not receive any state funding. It is frequently critical of populist politicians and An Garda Síochána...

  • Show Racism the Red Card
    Show Racism The Red Card
    Show Racism the Red Card is an anti-racism education charity, established in England in January 1996 to harness the high profile nature of footballers as anti-racist role models to educate against racism throughout society in the United Kingdom....

     (United Kingdom)
  • The Night Watch  (United Kingdom)
  • UNITED for Intercultural Action
    UNITED for Intercultural Action
    UNITED for Intercultural Action is the biggest European network against nationalism, racism, fascism and in support of migrants and refugees, in which over 560 organisations from 46 European countries cooperate...

     (all of Europe)

North America
..........Branch of Anti-Racism and Hate
  • By Any Means Necessary (BAMN
    BAMN stands for By Any Means Necessary, and its full name is the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary...

    ) (United States)
  • Anti-Racist Action
    Anti-Racist Action
    The Anti-Racist Action Network is a decentralized network of anti-fascist and anti-racists in North America. ARA activists organize actions to disrupt neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups, and help organize activities against fascist and racist ideologies. ARA groups also oppose sexism,...

     (North America)
  • Copwatch
    Copwatch is a network of activist organizations in the United States and Canada that observe and document police activity while looking for signs of police misconduct and police brutality...

     (United States)
  • Human Rights First
    Human Rights First
    Human Rights First is a nonprofit, nonpartisan human rights organization based in New York City and Washington, D.C....

     (United States)
  • One People's Project
    One People's Project
    One Peoples Project is an organization founded in 2000 to monitor and publish information about alleged racist and far right groups and individuals...

     (United States)
  • Roots of Resistance
    Roots of Resistance
    Roots of Resistance was an anti-racist organization active in Vancouver, Canada from 1992 to 1996. The organization was formed shortly after a Vancouver demonstration in support of Rodney King during the 1992 Los Angeles riots, fusing an affinity group called Anarchists of Colour with Langara...

  • Southern Poverty Law Center
    Southern Poverty Law Center
    The Southern Poverty Law Center is an American nonprofit civil rights organization noted for its legal victories against white supremacist groups; legal representation for victims of hate groups; monitoring of alleged hate groups, militias and extremist organizations; and educational programs that...

     (United States)
  • Antifa
  • Red and Anarchist Skinheads
  • Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice
    Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice
    Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice are anti-racist skinheads who oppose neo-Nazis and other political racists, particularly if those racists identify themselves as skinheads....

  • World Conference against Racism
    World Conference against Racism
    The World Conference against Racism are international events organised by the UNESCO to struggle against racism ideologies and behaviours. Four conferences have been held so far, in 1978, 1983, 2001 and 2009...

     (United Nations)
  • Friends Stand United
    Friends stand united
    Friends Stand United is a national organization in the United States which is classified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a street gang, a distinction that FSU members deny...

     (United States)

  • FightDemBack! (Australia and New Zealand)

Further reading

  • Bonnett, Alistair (1999) Anti-Racism, London: Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-17120-5.
  • Wright, W. D. (1998) "Racism Matters", Westport, CT: Praeger, ISBN 978-0275961978.

External links

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