Racism is emphasized and inspired by the notion of superiority. But superiority isn’t what defines it.

Those who make their decisions based on the notion that another genetic breed is superior to themselves, are still racists.
Those who make their decisions on the notion that there is no distinction in races, are the worst of all racists.

I agree with the first statement, and admit that growing up, I did think other races were superior to my own and there’s likely still lingering affects of that in the person i am today.

However, I’m not sure I agree with your second statement. If a person treats all equally, and to their mind, does not draw distinction between what you or I may call separate races, it’s hard for me to see that they’re being racist.

Is it because they’re not taking into account the existing distinctions that others make? The finer details? Or that they might be treating all as they would treat themself, which assumes that all is the same as one?

Denying reality is the only real problem.
Denying by an appealing and subtle way, is the worst way such as to keep the denial eternal.

The issue isn’t really that there are differences.
The issue is how to discern and handle them properly (void of gross generalizations).

 Those people who rate awareness to distinctions other's make have to overcome another hurdle of seeing their own evaluations of those distinctions.  Apart from those, the question need to be asked is, what are the traits which those distinctions apply to? In regard to what those traits inherently are, before the question as to what they mean can be answered.

Is this in response to my post? How does that relate? Who’s unwilling to deviate from what, and what new information is there about racism that people “blind” themselves to? I don’t understand.

But prejudice isn’t peculiar to racism; it’s making a judgment prior to knowing the facts. I could be prejudiced about fractional read tape measures, snowboarding, and salt water taffy without being racist.

I think you’d be trivially wrong, and it would be simple to show that. Insofar as it’s a viewpoint that could lead you, say, to prejudice against non-African Americans on the basketball court - and more generally which enforces stereotypical thinking that makes race a factor in decisions where it has no place (which will always unjustly affect opportunities for some group), it’s undesirable. If you’re reading off a sheet of results that show that African-Americans on average perform significantly better at basketball than other groups, it’s not racist to note that. But not all African-Americans etc. etc, unless you have some sort of 8-sigma difference in distributions.

It depends. If you don’t intend to do any harm to anyone with them, I’d say not. If you’re part of some odd Christian fringe that does Nasty Things with Chainsaws, I don’t mind not selling you a chainsaw. It’s down to whether you have a reason.

Discrimination is of course necessary in some areas, and not in others. Whether it’s in matters of taste or birth. One can discriminate between West Africans and the rest of the world in providing funds to counter sickle-cell anaemia - that’s not a bad sort of discrimination, nor is it racist.

Presumption = Rush to judgment = Pre-judgment = Prejudice
…the bane of the limited mind; the El of old and the seed of sin, error, and terror.

Idk what you mean by ‘only anatomical’. Only anatomical as opposed to what? Spiritual?

How can you say ‘based on my take, [something about ethnicity]’ when I didn’t even use the word ethnicity, nor did I refer to culture or nationality in my post? The ‘take’ that I provided said nothing about those things, so…I don’t see what information you used to derive that statement.

It’s like if someone said “I like Mexican food” and someone else said, “Oh, based on that take, French food must not be very good”. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t follow from the information the person gave. You can’t base something on my ‘take’ that has nothing to do with the ‘take’ I gave.

Idk if every person in a race has to have the characteristics that distinguish said race. I consider an albino African to be of the same race as a black African. I’m not really sure about all the subtleties involved though.

I wanted to go into more depth on this, because I found it a kinda silly comment.

If ethnicity is in fact based on culture and nationality, then presumably discrimination based on ethnicity is not racism.
Imagine this:
I have a bar, and I have a sign up saying “No South Africans Allowed,”
A black guy walks into the bar and says he’s South African, and I say “Well then get the fuck out.”
And then a white guy walks into the bar and says he’s South African, and I say “Well then get the fuck out.”

That doesn’t sound like ‘racism’ to me. Race obviously wasn’t an issue. White or black, brown, whatever, he kicks out people form South Africa. That doesn’t have anything to do with race…so no, it’s not racism, is it?

And you can obviously construct a similar scenario involving Culture as opposed to nationality, and it still wouldn’t be racism.

So no, if ethnicity is ‘culture and nationality’ then discriminating based on ethnicity is not racism. Seems pretty obviously the case to me.

 It is odd to call someone a racist , if he is biased against a member of a certain nationality, except when such a person is also member of a race which is of overwhelming majority in that nation. Thus comes the confusion between race and nationality.

If you think that is bad, just try speaking against Israel.
You get to be anti-Semitic, racist, anti-religious, anti-socialist, AND anti-national.

 The whole idea with Israel being exceptional is the fact that their "nationhood" is so new, as to afford an excuse that the" nation hood" has not yet differentiated from their racial consciousness.  Actually this seeming newness is based on an oft forgotten historical nation hood. So the point is, once everybody knows that they are a nation and a race, the minority excuse can not be made based on race.  The whole idea of nation hood, is to be able to overcome racial prejudice based on lack of borders.(Both psychologically and demographically)

Supposed in a newly emerging world, the process of borders breaking down, realigned, etc.--but then the least can be said, that this process has it's antithesis as a consciousness-raiser.

 Of course the same can be argued for the Palestinians.  So maybe there is an undrlying broader question: what constitutes a nation? ; and how to do it : and what are the perimeters, borders, and the objectives? (Of newly emerging nations)

Race (Wiki) - Race is a classification system used to categorize humans into large and distinct populations or groups by anatomical, cultural, ethnic, genetic, geographical, historical, linguistic, religious, or social affiliation.

Race (TheFreeDictionary) - 4. Humans considered as a group. (As quouted by James)

As in “human race”.

Actually “race” refers to a competition toward a common goal, as in a foot race, horse race, ethic race, human race.
But seldom is the word used to refer to the competition between nations or ideologies such as the Communist race or Socialist race, even though it might be even more appropriate.

My point is that ‘racism’, as a word and concept, is inseparable from its historical and social contexts, and that discussion of what ‘racism’ is in purely abstract terms is most usually a pretext, and where it is not a pretext, it is simply futile. The meaning of ‘racism’ can’t be seen by any set of abstract definitions.

People often say ‘It isn’t racist to say xxx’, (often where ‘x’ is some positive sentence about people from one race). But they are most often ignoring the social contexts involved. The very act of distinguishing between black people and white people is socially charged in most Western countries, and can be a form of racism. This is part of what the abstract definitions won’t ever be able to fully encapsulate.

I think that if you think wikipedia and the online free dictionary are going to tell you what ‘race’ and ‘racism’ are, then you are living in a far more ‘black and white’ world than I am. And if you think my opinions are somehow ‘bad as the worst racist’, then I think you have an odd sense of morality.

Medical contexts are different. Medical contexts are capable of treating ‘race’ in purely anatomical terms, something which non-medical fields can’t do.

No, I am generally skeptical about discussions of racism which treat it like its some abstract concept, rather than a reality. I a very interested in discussions of racism in general, and think it is a topic very worth discussing on a number of levels.

I guess some people mix race and other categorization because what we tend to feel bad about “racism” is essentially the same whether it’s against races or other group of people.

A person we tend to regard as a “racist” is someone who thinks s/he is superior simply because s/he belongs to supposedly “superior” group, and who look down, hate, and discriminate others who belongs to “inferior” group.

It’s a silly over generalization, and usually the result of inability to create (the delusion of) self-worth by other means.
We can consider it as the self-declaration (or self recognition, to be more precise) of “I’m a looser”.

I’m a male. I’m stronger than women.
I’m a woman. I’m superior and I hate inferior pig males.
I’m a white. I’m superior and I hate black, Jews, and whatever.
I’m a black. I have soul and white people don’t have it.
I’m an European. I hate Brits.
I’m a Scot. I hate Brits.
I’m an American. I hate Brits.
I’m a British. I hate Brits.

The question of ‘race’ is a sociopolitical, sociocultural question. The word ‘race,’ taxonomically, implies a ‘subspecies’ and there is no genetic evidence indicating there’s any further differentiation between Homo sapien sapien and any Homo sapien subspecies other than sapien. In other words, there’s really no such thing as ‘race.’ There’s no single set of genes that determine ‘race.’ There’s an interesting discussion of this at:


Readers of British newspapers (tabloids?) should also be familiar with this story:


So why does the US still use racial classification? Census data are used to identify areas of localized need, which information can be utilized by states to help determine how to proportion their Federal tax monies. A lot of times, what the state does backfires and that can lead to reverse racism.

In the US, black/white racism combines Jeffersonian democracy and European ideology. As a result, ‘race’ and racism are firmly etched into the American persona. Borrowing from the lyrics of South Pacific, we’ve been carefully taught.

lizbeth, it’s [url = link] without the spaces before and after ‘=’.

Quote me to see what it should look like:

Anyway, on topic, your politically correct dismissal of race as a social question seems like it comes more from a place in your heart the desires that to be the case, rather than an impartial intellectual investigation into the question. Hence linking to PBS of all places, and an irrelevant story about twins. It’s a feel-good position. It’s nice to feel good, and if that position makes you feel better about the world…I can see the appeal.

Not that your beliefs wrong, just that you apparently believe them for the wrong reasons.

I never said that, this is what I said:

I meant that to me your close minded view of the world sounds as close minded as that of the worst racist’s. I never implied you share anything else in common. I certainly wasn’t implying that you’re closed minded in the same way, or that you share some “moral equivalency” with extreme racists. I don’t think your the least bit racist, the problem is that you seem to think the race issue is so important that one must not bother with it’s subtleties even if such an honest dialogue would help prevent other forms of discrimination. That’s what I mean by close minded.

If I was only worried about some dictionary definition, then I’d have no notion of the vile hypocracy surrounding the word, which I’ve been speaking throughout this thread.

I’ve read all of you posts on this thread, if you had taken the time to read all of mine you’d know I had already challenged the standard defintions. Of course, I agree that the meaning of the word racism goes beyond a quick dictionary defintion. The signifgance of the history of the issue is far from lost on me. In fact, I must ask, did you even read the entirety of the post of mine that was addressed to you? There I mentioned the historical context of the issues to some degree, you didn’t even address what you thought of that. You basically threw out my whole argument with a responce that simply corrects one small misunderstanding.