Day by Day

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What Is a Racist?

What is a racist? Good question. The definitions of racism and the use of the term have grown over time. It once was rather simple - one who believed that his race was superior to another's.

Most often, and in the conventional wisdom, this was used in terms of whites who believed that blacks were inferior - based upon their race alone.

It could be used in terms of other cultures, too... for example, Japanese have long felt a superiority toward gaijin.

But now, it's a word that it thrown wildly about, and through PC, it quickly silences the opposition. It's a power word.

So, what IS a racist? We have a definition from the University of Delaware. Through their residential life program, they have given us this: “[a] racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. The term applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality.”

Lovely. It's like the concept of predestination. Apparently, all whites are racists... no matter what your thoughts, your beliefs, your life choices, or anything. You're doomed to the damnation of your racist attitudes.

Anyone else see the problem with this viewpoint? First, if you lump everyone into the racist category, then even those who aren't racists (contrary to the theory, but let's assume it's possible) may succumb to the inevitableness of their inherent racistness.

Second, why bother attempting to reform? Hey, you're already damned to be a racist... why try to reform? You're doomed. There's a chance some will revel in their inevitable racistness. Uh oh.

Third, can no one else be racist? The theory doesn't truly address this... Can we doom other races to inherent and inevitable racism?

And, lastly, isn't the concept of classify an entire race as being deficient... racism?

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