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Friday, August 2, 2013

To Be Racist

Disclaimer: This is a rant since this entry does not have a clear direction.

What does it mean to be a racist? 


Merriam-Webster defines racism as a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and those racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. Racism is racial prejudice or discrimination.


Racism produces prejudice and discrimination. Merriam-Webster defines prejudice as injury or damage resulting from some judgment or action of another in disregard of one's rights; especially: detriment to one's legal rights or claims. Merriam-Webster defines discrimination as making a difference in treatment or favor on a basis other than individual merit.


Now, for my final word of the day. Stereotypes.

My dear friend, Merriam-Webster, defines stereotype as something conforming to a fixed or general pattern; especially: a standardized mental picture that is held in common by members of a group and that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment.

I agree with Merriam-Webster, but there is one word that was not mentioned in the definitions recited above. That word was HATE. On the other hand, maybe definitions do not seem to include cause and effect. Nonetheless, racism, prejudice, and discrimination is a result of or eventually will lead to hate.

I have heard the term ‘reverse racism’ and it makes me cringe. Racism is racism. No matter who it comes from.

Are you racist? Do you make jokes or comments at the expense of others? Do you have hate in your heart for a group of people? Can you blame a slave for hating his master? Could you blame the slave for identifying all  masters as white and then building a relationship with suppression and white men? It’s funny that it is almost 150 years since the 13th amendment ‘abolished’ slavery, and tensions still exist. Black and whites have always been on the opposite ends of the spectrum, even on a color grid we are polar opposites. But things have changed… Right? Do we owe to them more than they owe to us? Are we still waiting on permission to be free?

I think it is time we start taking a better look at ourselves. Changing the world starts one person at a time, and the first person should be you. With all the media attention on race it’s hard not to allow tensions to build, but that is counterproductive. Could we use or disposition for good? Turn the stereotypes around into old myths that have no truth or merit. 


The world may always be an ugly place, but we cannot fix it without fixing ourselves. 

Stop the hate. Do not tolerate it. Do not participate. 

Or am I being unrealistic here? Is it impossible to live color blind?