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The concepts of race racism and cultural relativism are distinct issues that have influenced race relations today and in the past This paper will describe each issue and its affect on slavery and the subjugation of Indians in America Race and racism are often confused concepts They do interrelate but they are separate issues Race can be strictly defined as the difference in human beings distinguished by physical features such as the color of skin hair and eyes and the shape of features and body The division of race by this definition can be very limited to the three primary divisions Caucasoid Negroid and Mongoloid These divisions are broadened when the definition of race is expanded to include the difference in human beings based on geographic area and similar habits beliefs and traits American Indians as a group do not fit into any of three primary divisions In theory Native Americans taken together belong to what most anthropologists would call a basic race Yet on the whole they tend to be a loose residue of tribes rather than a racial entity Hacker p 5 What is important to realize about the concept of race is that it is a human creation Hacker p 4 It is a concept that dates back to whatever time in history people first started noticing a difference in one another and associating that difference with physical characteristics and perhaps even languages and lifestyles Racism grew out of this recognition of differences between human beings Certain beliefs started to be formed about the differences and those beliefs were then assigned to the entire race as it was defined For example when discoverers first came to America they found the land inhabited by Indian tribes Compared to western civilization the Indians lifestyles tools customs etc seemed primitive Similarly African tribes were of a primitive nature in westerners opinion The white westerners failed to see any sophistication in these
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