Elizabethan Racism

Elizabethan Racism

…Racism during the Elizabethan Era…

What types of racism were there during the Elizabethan era?

In society, the issue of racism can be very destructive. It disempowers people by devaluing their identity. It destroys community cohesion and creates divisions in society. It is the opposite of the democratic principle of equality and the right of all people to be treated fairly.

During the Elizabethan era, there were two primary types of racism.

• Racism that discriminates (cultural, institutional) This form of racism was common in the workplace as well as in public places all over England.
• Racism that kills mainly as a result of extreme poverty. This type of racism is generally referred to as paternalistic racism. Paternalistic racism implies that white people have the right to interfere in the lives of blacks for their own good and the power to define that good.

A number of ethnic groups were subjected to racism and suffered as a result. These include:

• Racism against towards the presence of Moorish, Black and Asian immigrants coming into England
• These ethnic groups were disadvantaged as they were given limited employment opportunities/entitlements and forced to take some form of domestic service. They were paid below the minimum wage which did not give them an adequate income to support themselves and their families
• They were seen as second-class citizens, often treated with little respect and value.
• They were perceived and treated as lesser beings and brutally persecuted for minor offences.


Institutional racism - racism that occurs in institutions such as public bodies and corporations, including universities. This type of racism usually involves the introduction of policies and practices that have an effect of disadvantaging certain ethic groups

Cultural racism - are the cultural values and standards that disadvantage people because of their race, colour or ethnicity.

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