Racism vs. Racism
Have you ever hear the word 'racism' thrown around in a context that doesn't seem to make sense? Or that it only can be applied to white people? You're not alone. Because the word has serious implications, it’s easy to get angry, frustrated and defensive when confronted with a seemingly out-of-context use. Perhaps that was the intent? So often I hear:
"There's work to be done,"
"Do not bother people of color by asking them to explain themselves or define their terms." “They're burdened enough already.” A key facet of Critical Theory (CT) is the redefinition of words to fit its own narrative. Convenient to say the least. However, this intricate - yet crucial - detail isn’t often clearly explained by those that advocate for its forceful adoption. The discourse from those holding the mic assumes that the narrative is default which therefore negates the requirement to define terms. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 explicitly prohibits any kind of discrimination - that alone should be enough to justify that demonizing one racial group is unacceptable.
Merriam-Webster's Dictionary definition of racism was recently updated in response to a 22 year-old Missouri college graduate's request that it should include 'prejudice combined with social and institutional power’ to more accurately reflect the current social context.
Let’s wrap our heads around the two incongruent definitions of this word:
Definition 1 (traditional): A belief that race is a fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
Definition 2 (championed by Critical Theory):
"The systemic oppression of a racial group to the social, economic, and political advantage of another, specifically: WHITE SUPREMACY..."
In the context of the latter, only Whites can be racist. Although it may appear subtle, there is a profound difference between these two definitions which makes the flippant use of the word reprehensible. Definition 1 allows for individual accountability. For example: a white man that believes and acts as though he is superior to a Black man simply because of skin color would be considered a racist. But, another white man that didn't believe or act on that assertion would not be considered a racist. It very much accounts for the whole individual.
Definition 2 strips individual identity from a person and replaces it the their identity with belonging to a specific racial group. Identity in this context is synonymous with power. Simply put, using this definition, it is assumed that white people have the most power and people of color have lesser levels (a deeper look at this hierarchy can be described as intersectionality which will be covered at a later time). Therefore, the same two white men from the example above would both be considered racist because the base of their identity is reduced to the color of their skin rather than any other qualifiable characteristic(s). Racism then becomes inherent and inescapable for whites. As you'll learn throughout the course of this show, the evidence supporting this definition is weak to say the least. It's entirely based on a theory rather than factually backed truth.
We're seeing that this rhetoric and behavior is becoming for frequently justified by all levels of government and the courts. More on this to come.