What is racism?

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This post started out differently. However, after some discussion with Joey, I found out I was wrong in some of my assumptions so I changed it. Now, the post defines the term for reference.

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Racism defined.

Wikipedia-

Racism, by its simplest definition is the belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. People with racist beliefs may resent certain groups of people according to their race. In the case of institutional racism, certain racial groups may be denied rights or benefits, or get preferential treatment. Racial discrimination typically points out taxonomic differences between different groups of people, even though anybody can be racialised, independently of their somatic differences. According to the United Nations conventions, there is no distinction between the term racial discrimination and ethnic discrimination.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism

Anti-Defamation League-

Racism is the belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another, that a person's social and moral traits are predetermined by his or her inborn biological characteristics. Racial separatism is the belief, most of the time based on racism, that different races should remain segregated and apart from one another.
<broken link removed>

And, I suppose one that practices racism is a racist.
 
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Racism means you are against the entire human RACE. The correct term is ethnicism, e.g. you are against different ethnicities. There is no such thing as the Asian race, African race, etc.
+1, although in the interest of not splitting hairs, I think that the term "racism" is the commonly accepted word to use in the place of ethnicism or ethnocentrism. Kinda like how everybody calls a cotton swab a Q-tip even if it's not that brand.
 
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Oh good grief. :rolleyes:

Yes, let's all pretend that there has never been conflict, discrimination, or hatred between different races and that one race has never perpetuated injustice upon another.
There always has been and there always will be hatred and injustice practiced by all groups of people it's just the human condition, look at Mayoral candidate Bob Ball a gay man being called a bigot for accusing Sam Adams of the Breedlove affair. Ist's and Ism's are used more for political bank than to defend the oppressed these days, so though somewhat misdirected mike sr's comment has some merit.
 
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It is human nature for any group of people to eventually divide themselves. Members will drift toward those with similar characteristics (race being the most immediately obvious). Other divisive characteristics include--but are not limitied to--language, wealth, education, religion, and politics.

Instinctively, similarities = survival, and differences = danger.

Because we have the capacity for reason and logic, we are able to dismiss this tendency and develop a system of judgment based on other qualities; particularly a person's words and behavior.

Racial favoritism is a pre-existing condition. I say "favoritism" because it's more of a mild tendency. "Racism" as we know it, is the overdevelopment and refinement of this favoritism into a doctrine that dehumanizes an entire group of people based on their shared racial heritage. Racism has to be taught.

Some people enjoy power, fame, and privilege because they lead the "crusade against racism" here in America. But there is a conflict of interest, because if racism truly dies out, these crusade leaders will lose all that. There is also an ironic element to it: They fight racism by encouraging it in the reverse direction.
 
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+1, although in the interest of not splitting hairs, I think that the term "racism" is the commonly accepted word to use in the place of ethnicism or ethnocentrism. Kinda like how everybody calls a cotton swab a Q-tip even if it's not that brand.
Words have meaning, and when you let people/groups redefine words to suit their needs, then you have lost the ability to communicate because language has now been altered. Cotton swab is a generic term, Q-tip is a brand. RACISM vs ETHNICISM doesn't fit into generic vs specific.
 
OP
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2 parallels and semi-synonyms in the development of racism-

Competition: Is a rivalry between individuals, groups, nations, or animals, for territory, a niche, or allocation of resources. It arises whenever two or more parties strive for a goal which cannot be shared. Competition occurs naturally between living organisms which co-exist in the same environment. For example, animals compete over water supplies, food, and mates, etc. Humans compete for water, food, and mates as well, though when these needs are met deep rivalries often arise over the pursuit of wealth, prestige, and fame. Business is often associated with competition as most companies are in competition with at least one other firm over the same group of customers.

Nationalism: Is a sense of identity with the nation. It is similar to tribalism, and like the family, is held together by a sense of kinship. Liah Greenfeld, Professor of Sociology at Boston University has defined nationalism as "an image of a social order, which involves the people as a sovereign elite and a community of equals". The original use of the term nationalism refers to elite groups, but in modern useage it refers usually to a very large group, sometimes as large as an empire.
 
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How about different groups within the same ethnicity? You could take 100 people from the same place that are the same color and that are the same age, but there will be differences between them, and they would ultimately divide themselves into their own groups.
 
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It is human nature for any group of people to eventually divide themselves. Members will drift toward those with similar characteristics (race being the most immediately obvious). Other divisive characteristics include--but are not limitied to--language, wealth, education, religion, and politics.

Instinctively, similarities = survival, and differences = danger.

Because we have the capacity for reason and logic, we are able to dismiss this tendency and develop a system of judgment based on other qualities; particularly a person's words and behavior.

Racial favoritism is a pre-existing condition. I say "favoritism" because it's more of a mild tendency. "Racism" as we know it, is the overdevelopment and refinement of this favoritism into a doctrine that dehumanizes an entire group of people based on their shared racial heritage. Racism has to be taught.

Some people enjoy power, fame, and privilege because they lead the "crusade against racism" here in America. But there is a conflict of interest, because if racism truly dies out, these crusade leaders will lose all that. There is also an ironic element to it: They fight racism by encouraging it in the reverse direction.

I agree with most of your point, it seems that human nature causes us to be drawn to groups where we would most experience a comfort level absent of fear and cognizant of that groups interests.

I believe that racial grouping is further effected more by demographics rather than an initial reaction to this grouping phenomenon. Given a well balanced mix of race you will see social groupings begin to intertwine including members of all races.

Perhaps mere skin color is not a major player in this social grouping or that its pull recedes based on a persons education or knowledge of other races and ethnic groups.
 
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In my experience all races are racist so I don't listen to the whining.
+1 to that!! You should hear some of the things my hispanic wife has to say about her dealings with an "asian" boss lady she once had! :s0114: :s0114:

Bottom line though... that term is thrown around WAY to casually these days because everyone seems to have forgotten how to laugh at stupidity of ANY color.
 

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