Would Racism Exist After an Apocalypse?


Last Sunday, a small group from Sub/Urban Justice was having a conversation about current events surrounding race when the question, “would racism exist after an apocalypse?” was posed.  After some consideration, the group concluded that in order to best prevent the formation of racial divisions within this post-apocalyptic society, some ground rules must be met. First, the society would have to consist of a very small group of people who were of all different races—no two people could be of the same race. This would prevent the formation of a power structure behind any particular race and would force all of the individuals to coexist interracially. Second, all prior memories of a world with racial prejudice must be wiped from existence. In other words, this would be a fresh start for humanity and a new beginning to history.  After some time discussing, the group posed many theoretical outcomes of this new world. One being that all racial differences would be eliminated, after a few generations of interracial relationships, and therefore racism would no longer exist.  Another theory was that people would find other physical characteristics to use as a form of prejudice, and a hierarchy of oppressive power would quickly develop within the society.  After some time discussing this theoretical situation, the group came to the realization that the questions they were posing were not actually so hypothetical, but rather questions about the root of human nature. Will racism and other forms of prejudice and oppression always exist in society?  Is human nature driven towards divisions based upon physical identities, or is it possible to overcome racial prejudice?

–Megan, College Support Staff

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