Thursday, December 01, 2005

What is Racism?

I read online that tomorrow is a day to blog against racism. I'm not sure how I want to partake in that. I thought I'd post a definition of racism today:

Racism: (n) 1. 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 2. racial prejudice or discrimination --racist (n)

This is from Webster's Collegiate Dictionary 1981.

So racism means that people are using race is the main way to prejudge other people. Everyone is terrified of being called racist and I am not saying that this sort of prejudice is appropriate. However is prejudging anyone by race any better than prejudging them because of their religion or the way they vote or the state that they are from?

Racism is not the only "ism" we battle in our world today. The main issue with all of the "isms" and what makes these issues a problem is that it is about prejudice. We are judging people as part of a group, not as individuals. Given our propensity to want to categorize people and things quickly and easily, we will always have certain prejudices, whether it be by the way someone wears their hair, their accent, or the color of their skin. Some of these prejudices are so offensive we hide them in the closet and refuse to let ourselves think that we would judge someone just because they are _________.

It's important to examine the way we prejudge people because as soon as we refuse to look at something, it becomes a problem. Its only after examining where our prejudice comes from that we can see it for what it is and stop making assumptions about another because of the group that they are from and start actually getting to know the other human beings around us.


Blogger Glyn (Zaphod) Evans said...

Very good! I didn't know about that, so I will have to post methinks :)

Thank you!

6:09 PM  

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