sad boy in sepia
"I had one last chance to make a decions...I could step into that alley, stand up for Hasaan--
the way he'd stood up for me all those times in the past...or I could run.
In the end, I ran...He was just a Hazara, wasn't he?"
Racism in The Kite Runner
amir & hasaanIn The Kite Runner, the lives of the characters were deeply affected by the strong sense of racism in Racism is defined as " The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others." The primary conflict of racism in the novel is against the Hazara, who practice Shi'a Islam. The dominant group is the Pashtuns who practice Sunni Islam. Some characters call Amir's childhood friend Hassan a "mice-eating, flat-nosed, load-carrying donkey." The Hazara are immediately identifiable, as they are thought to have stereotypically Mongoloid physical traits. Amir thinks of Hassan as just a Hazara more than once, even though Hassan is the only real friend he has in the story. Baba has a similar relationship with Ali, Hassan's father. Amir's grandfather adopted Ali as his own son, and Baba's brother, but his role is always as a servant. Amir and his father use the division between Pashtun and Hazara to oppress them in the most insidious of ways, as they pretend to be close to Hassan and Ali, while keeping them at an arms distance as servants. When Amir and his wife adopt Hasaan's son Sohrab, his father-in-law protests, "I have to deal with the community's perception of our family. People will ask. They will want to know why there's a Hazara boy living with our daughter. What do I tell them?" In some sense, the persecution is a prevalent theme all the way through the book because, according to the author Hosseni, the disenfranchised, displaced Afghanis find the need to hold on to some remnant of power, specifically by discriminating against the Hazara.
Racism in Society
radical muslimsRacism is present whether you see it or you don't. Racial jokes, slurs, and stereotypes are part of everyday life, and are all forms of racism. Most people don't even realize they are promoting racism. Some people just say, "I was only kidding," or "I didn't mean it!" But why say these things if they are hurtful? There are many hate crimes associated with race. Some of the more recent hate crimes have been against people of middle-easter desecent, after the 9/11 attack. Society has trained us to have certain opinions about different races, and because of those opinions, everyone has grown to judge and treat each other differently based on ideas that aren’t even true. We internalize these opinions which then reflect on our very own behavior. Some people are told that they are “bad people” because of some racial reason, so they grow up believing it and being it, because they were never taught anything else. Racism becomes a vicious cycle that needs to be stopped. All races have differences but having differences doesn't mean they have to lead to conflict.

Video Showing Victims of Racism

Understanding Race is a website that goes more in depth into the history and reasons for racism.
Link to Understanding Race