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The Link Between Racism and The Attachment Theory

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Racism is discrimination against someone of a different race based on a belief that their own race is superior. Racism is further explained by the Attachment Theory due to children who are raised by their caregiver in early age to be racist, children grow with hatred towards other races which later on can lead to physical or verbal abuse towards others and make it hard to form relationships.

The problem is that racism causes hate crimes against other races and, the evidence that it exist is police brutality, people being discriminated because of their skin color, people getting killed or beat. In the article “Why are people still racist? What science says about America’s race problem.” by William Wan and Sarah Kaplan it says “Charlottesville was hardly the first time this thinking has led to violence. Dylan Roof, who shot and killed nine people at a historic African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., justified the killing with a hate filled rant in his journal in which he wrote that he wanted to “take action for my race.”” The most recent act of racism is the New Zealand mosque attack which killed fifty people and fifty others wounded in a terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The consequences that racism has on the affected group is that they are afraid of getting hurt or being called a racial name. Racism can lead to people being stressed, low someone’s self-esteem, and depression. My friend told me when he was 13-14 years old playing on Xbox 360 someone was telling him racist things and that persons friend would just laugh and encourage him. It made him stop talking because he thought how could be like that saying all those mean things.

The environment and people around us contribute to racism by encouraging other people and supporting others to be racist. An example is a police officer shooting and killing someone of color and not facing any serious consequences. People contribute by not speaking out against racism. In the article “ the toxic notion of cultural appropriation breathes new life old racist attitudes” by David S. D’amaro he says “President Trump has repeatedly mocked Sen. Warren’s claim, calling her “Pocahontas” and even promising to donate one million dollars to the charity of Warren’s choosing if she could prove she was “an Indian.” The president has a ton of eyes on him and some people will follow his example and cause more racism.

Racism connects to the Attachment Theory because it has to do with the way you are being raised. Being brought up on those views will be how you treat others and see yourself. Individuals adapt to what they are taught at infancy and they carry it out throughout their life. So if someone is taught to be racist as a kid they more than likely will be racist as an adult.

The Attachment Theory is a physical and emotional connection that starts at infancy (9 months) and carries throughout adulthood. It’s a social connection that is sometimes beneficial and sometimes negative to mental health. It’s why we seek a relationship with one another for survival and security. In the article “Attachment in Cultural contexts” by Suzanne Metzger it says “Feeney and Noller (1996) identified four functions of attachment behavior: (a) proximity maintenance, to establish and maintain contact with the attachment figure; (b) separation protest , to resist separations from the attachment figure; (c) secure base, to use the attachment figure as a base from which to explore and master the environment; and (d) safe haven, to return to the attachment figure for comfort and support.”

The cause and effect of racism is that children will grow up to be racist towards other kids, which will make the kids getting attacked feel stress, anxious, and sometimes lead to depression. For example if a kid being racist towards another kid at school the kid getting called racist names will not want to attend school become more anxious and sad about themselves because they might believe all the racist things they are hearing. It can have a negative effect on both individuals future because the person affected by it as a grown up might not take a chance at something because they might believe they will be able to do a good job because of all the racist things they heard as a kid. While the other individual may believe he is going to get every job he applies for just because his parents taught him as a kid he is better than every other person of color which will be a downfall for them.

It affects the individual throughout her or his life because they grow up thinking they are better than someone else just based on the color of their skin. They lose out on having good friendships or relationships. In extreme cases someone can lose their life for being racist against someone who doesn’t like racist people. In the article by William Wan and Sarah Kaplan it says “In fact, Richeson in recent years has been studying how white people react to the fact that America is shifting into a majority country (where minorities make up more than 50 percent of the population). In those studies, young white subjects responded just as strongly as older white ones with anxiety and uncertainty, expressing more negative explicit and implicit racial bias in test. After reading about the coming demographic change, for example, white subjects, including college students, were more likely to agree with the statements like “I would rather work alongside people of my same ethnic origin.” It can make it hard for them to find a job they enjoy or certain hobbies because there may be conflicts.

The connection between Attachment Theory and racism is how the caregiver of the child raises them to be. The child learns what they are taught as they go into adulthood whether it’s negative or positive. That can affect how they treat others and the dynamic of long or short term relationships. 

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The Link Between Racism And The Attachment Theory. (2021, Jun 09). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 22, 2022, from
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