Racist ideas in modem thinking have their roots in the 18th century and are intimately connected with colonialism and the rise of national states in Europe. The introduction of “race” as a category of human classification completely changed the European way of describing the “Other”. Europeans began to understand their difference from others in terms of an unchangeable genetical determination. It was during the period of the Enlightenment that racist ideas were integrated into European culture. Understanding the Janusfaced character of the European Enlightenment is a clue to the understanding of modem European history in general and of the rise of racism in particular. Racism is not an accident of history nor a more phenomenon of mass-madness but an integral part of European experience. Thus, the Enlightenment as a movement of social and political emancipation of the individual is intrinsically split between critical reason, recognizing the diversities of human beings and cultures, on the one hand, and instrumental reason, glorifying the superiority of the white man, on the other. Racism, in the emerging capitalist society, become an ideology veiling the existing class structure. The universality of the ideas of the Enlightenment, like liberty, equality, and fraternity, was sacrificed for the sake of the economic interests of the rising bourgeoisie. Today, we need a new political Enlightenment in order to develop a humanistic rationality, serving the interests of all human beings and putting an end to all kinds of discrimination.