Why are people racist?

People aren’t born with racist ideas or attitudes. Racism is something that is learned.

There remain a small minority of people who believe that some races are superior to others. While most people in Australia today accept the diversity of our society, some also believe racial groups should not mix. A belief in racial superiority or purity can lead to racial hatred.

However, not all racism comes from hatred. Some of it can come from fear and anxiety. People may worry that some groups pose a threat, whether to the safety of the community, or to the national identity.

Ignorance can play a part in feeding people’s racial attitudes, as can a need to belong to one’s own group. Racism isn’t always malicious. Sometimes the harm of racism can be done innocently, because someone may not know better.

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