Larry Mitchell, of Indiana writes on his GoFundMe page:
“Send me ‘back’ to Africa fund … If you want me to go back to Africa I will gladly go …you can help make your dream and mine come true … accepting all donations … KKK, Skin Heads and anyone else with like mind thinking are welcome to donate … Thank you.. God bless you and America … #putyourmoneywhereyourhateis.”
So far, he has raised $2,152 and people have left hateful and hurtful comments paired with their donations.
While others have called out Caucasians, with one commenter saying:
“Where are all you people at? I constantly read comments online from thousands of people saying they will gladly pay the way back to Africa. $25 in 5 days is all? Put your money where your mouths are. No wonder he wants to go you cannot even trust white people to commit to their hate,” a Roy Sisson wrote.
The hate sparks a conversation and begs the question: why does racism exist in the first place?
According to evolutionary psychology, racism is prevalent because it benefited early human beings to deprive other groups of resources.
That being said, if we are thinking in this mind-frame, there would be zero benefit for our ancestors to be altruistic and allow other groups to share their resources as it would have decreased their own chances of survival.
But if they could oppress other groups, this would increase their own access to resources.
And according to Pascal Boyer, in this scenario, racism is “a consequence of highly efficient economic strategies,” enabling us to “keep members of other groups in a lower-status position, with distinctly worse benefits.”
Another idea of racism is to see one’s own group as special or superior.
Another view is that racism (as well as xenophobia of all kinds) does not just have a genetic or evolutionary basis but is primarily a psychological trait.
More specifically, it is a psychological defense mechanism generated by feels of both insecurity as well as anxiety.
A psychological theory from this point of view is coined “terror management.”
According to research, studies have shown that wen people are given reminders of their own mortality, they feel a sense of anxiety and insecurity which they respond to by becoming more status-seeking. They also experience heightened feelings of materialism, greed, prejudice as well as aggression.
They are more likely to conform to culturally accepted attitudes to identify with their national or ethnic groups.
These behaviors attempt to enhance one’s sense of significance or value in the face of death or to gain a sense of belonging or a sense of security as a defense mechanism in the face of mortality.
Racism can also be a similar response to a more general sense of insignificance, unease or inadequacy.
Long story short: racism of any kind is a symptom of poor psychological health as well as low self esteem and inner security.
People who are mentally healthy have a strong sense of self and inner security that is not racist as they do not need to strengthen their sense of self through group identity.
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