Historians and academics agree that the colonization of the New World saw extreme expressions of racism - massacres, forced-march relocations, the "Indian wars", death by starvation and disease. Today, such practices would be called ethnic cleansing and genocide. What seems even more appalling for contemporary minds is that the subjugation of the native peoples of the New World was legally sanctioned. "Laws" of "discovery", "conquest" and "terra nullius" made up the "doctrines of dispossession", according to Erica Irene Daes, chairperson/rapporteur of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations, in a study on indigenous peoples and their relationship to land.
-- The text above I cited is from the website of the UN.
"Racism has historically been a banner to justify the enterprises of expansion, conquest, colonization and domination and has walked hand in hand with intolerance, injustice and violence." - Rigoberta Mench?Tum, Guatemalan Indigenous Leader and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
"The Problem of Racism on the Threshold of the 21st Century"