What Is Racism?

Racism is an issue that has the ability to touch all people regardless of race, and any notion otherwise is utter nonsense.

Earlier in the week, I saw an article published by BuzzFeed titled, “37 Things White People Need To Stop Ruining In 2018.” After reading the article, and seeing the overt racism displayed in it, I called the article what I believed it to be, racist.

This claim was met with mixed reviews.

Some agreed with me…

Others did not…

Some, went as far as to say that anyone who retweeted or liked my statement was deserving of death. This tweet came from the user @silk_twt, whose page has subsequently been suspended for, “violating Twitter Rules.”

However, this stark disagreement, brought up a few interesting questions. What is racism? What is considered racist? And what makes someone/something deserving of the title racist?

What is racism?

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines racism as, “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.”

So, in short, racism is the belief that a person’s race gives them attributes, skills, etc, that make them superior to another person of a different race.

And race on its most basic level is, “a category of humankind that shares certain distinctive physical traits.” This distinctive differentiating physical trait is most commonly skin color.

So, racism typically manifests itself as the belief that due to color of someone’s skin, they are superior to another person with a different skin color.

This believed superiority can allegedly be “manifested” in a multitude way, such as strength, intelligence, morals, etc.

What is considered racist?

So, when someone asserts that another person says or does something racist, they are typically asserting that the person views themselves as superior due to the color of their skin, and that this false belief manifested itself in the person’s words or actions.

What makes someone/something deserving of the title of racist?

This concept is universal, and applies to all people, of all races.

This also thoroughly debunks the notion that “reverse racism does not exist.”

This being the argument that a prerequisite for racism is oppression, which is a willful misinterpretation of the definition of racism and a conflation of the words superiority and oppression.

So, in summation, all people have the capacity to be racist, regardless of their race, and any notion otherwise, is simply not true.

 

 

Photo Courtesy of: ElIndignado653 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
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