To talk about the distinguishing features of racism and explain the connection between the race and concept and the European Enlightenment, I want to talk about what is racism firstly. In this week, we learned a lot lectures, videos and readings about racism, racialization from different aspects. It also clearly expressed that “racism exists when one ethnic group or historical collectivity dominates, excludes, or seeks to eliminate another on the basis of differences that it believes are hereditary and unalterable” (Fredrickson). From this clearly definition and other materials that we learned in this week, we could get the distinguishing features of racism. The first is one group of people think they are superior to the other group of people based on the differences of skin color, habits, language or other hereditary. The other feature is the unalterable of the differences. Usually, one group of people will think they are inferior to the other groups people. There are racial discrimination exist long time ago after the middle age. Before the World War II, Hitler hated Jews. In recent society, even whites people have the racism to other colored people.
As for the European Enlightenment, one of the facts is through the European Enlightenment, “European politics, philosophy, science and communications were radically reoriented during the ‘long 18th century’ (1685-1815)”. Since Enlightenment produced numerous books, laws, inventions, was and others, there has the notion that humanity could be improved through rational change. When people began to “realize” who they are and what are the differences between themselves and other groups of people, the racism then became more than before. Because of the differences of economic, cultural, political and other types of developments in the European Enlightenment, it generally appeared the concept of race. The differences from Enlightenment connect with the race concept tightly.