Racist Redefined

Last week I covered two blogs on racism, one being about Social Media and the other was hinted at in my move review of Get Out. So, I figured, why not discuss the topic itself…

What exactly is racism? What’s a racist? Once upon a time, a racist was defined as the “belief that some races are inherently superior (physically, intellectually, or culturally) to others and therefore have a right to dominate them.” – dictionary.com

In today’s world, especially in the United States, the term racist has taken on a new meaning. People seem to be confusing it with racial prejudice, discrimination, and hatred and lumping them into one word. Why?

I think certain things have changed. Nowadays, more social injustices occur within a given community verses the clear-cut racism experienced in the distant past (such as Jim Crow). People are more inclined to make snap judgments based on racial biases and learned hatred. Moreover, Social Media has brought out the middle ground. People who once didn’t have a voice suddenly have the freedom to speak their mind freely. And so now here we are with everything out in the open. Due to this influx of a more perceived racial hatred, (‘perceived’ because the hatred has been there all along just not displayed in an open forum aka “Facebook” “YouTube”), the term racist has taken the mantle. It’s a harsh term to use against someone who is cruel and a bigot. So, just call them a racist. Why not? I can’t think of a more brutal insult.

Also, I think it’s the word itself. Racist is pronounced with the word “race” in it. So if someone says something derogatory against a race, then that person must be “race-ist”. It makes sense, but it’s wrong according to its true meaning. I do wonder, since so many people use the word incorrectly, should it be time for a change in definition entirely? …if it hasn’t been already.

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