Is black a race or ethnicity?

"Race" / skin color & ethnicity

If it's in the lastYears ago there was a great victory in the fight against racial discrimination, then certainly the abolition of apartheid in South Africa in 1994. In some places, however, the escalation of ethnic conflicts led to tragic setbacks. In Rwanda and the Balkans, politicians called for attacks on members of other ethnic groups, and ethnic conflicts are the order of the day in the wars in Central Africa and elsewhere.
At least it was achieved that racial discrimination and incitement to racial hatred were banned in many parts of the world. Around 155 countries have ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, even though the 2001 World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa failed to form a common anti-racist front.

Racism does existin most countries and in most areas - whether in law, education, work, healthcare or politics. Institutional racism shapes educational systems, legal systems and the penal system on all continents.
In 2002, the UN complained about attacks by the police in the USA against members of minorities and foreigners and their disproportionately high proportion of the prisoners. In the UK, the prosecution of black and Asian murders has been hampered by institutional racism within the security forces. In the Canadian province of Ontario, for example, blacks are detained 27 times more often than whites.
In the health sector, racial discrimination can be recognized early on: child mortality among African-Americans in the USA is two and a half times higher than among whites. In Australia, Aboriginal life expectancy is 20 years below that of whites.

In the educational systema differentiated picture emerges. For example, while Asian girls have achieved remarkable academic achievements in the UK, many young Afro-Caribbean males are dropping out of school today without a degree. In Canada, the United States and India, empowerment measures for disadvantaged groups are now the norm, and Aboriginal and Maori rights are increasingly recognized in Australia and New Zealand. In the USA, funding measures and quota regulations have resulted in many more African American graduates. Ultimately, however, they earn far less than their white counterparts.
A proportional representation of minorities in the political system is rare. In Latin America, for example, the political stage is dominated by a white minority. After all, with Lula's election victory in Brazil in 2002, the number of non-white members of parliament increased.
Racism against asylum seekers is increasing in many rich countries. Within 18 months, 742 refugees, mostly from Africa, died trying to cross the EU's militarized borders. Most of the racist attacks against migrants are not registered.

After the terrorist attackOn September 11, 2001, there was a wave of racist attacks against Muslims, Sikhs and people of Middle Eastern or South Asian origin. In November 2001, 1,000 such attacks were recorded in the United States. New anti-terrorism measures in the US, UK and elsewhere have weakened safeguards against arbitrary arrests and threaten the rights of asylum seekers and migrants. Anti-Semitism is also on the rise, both in Europe and in Muslim-majority countries.

copyright New Internationalist


Sources: Human Development Report 2000 and 2003 (UNDP); Human Rights Watch 2002