Friday, September 20, 2013

Racism vs. racism

Definitions:

  1. racism:   pride in one's race
  2. Racism: negative instrumentalization of pride in one's race.

I reconstruct the definition of 'Racism' in my book, Is 'Black' Really Beautiful? because I've seen how it's been misappropriated in our contemporary usage. Racism now means what the speaking or the person in question wants it to mean. A person who's discontent with the action of someone who's not of his/her Race will always cite Racism as the mitigating factor even when she/he can't prove their interaction constitutes an act of Racism.

Racism is defined by some people as the attitude of  the Powerful White Men. Others define Racism as the perception that one's Race is more superior to that of others. Yet others believe strongly that Racism is just simply 'White Supremacy.'

Given the definitions we have in the above paragraph, it seems to me Racism is basically a definition which is a function of the unpalatable interaction between A &; B; all belonging to different Races.

To me, Racism is the attitude that one's Race is better than other Races. And this attitude doesn't have to be implicit or verbalized. It can be verbalized or internalized until it's spoken out. However, I don't have any problem with anyone saying that his/her Race is better than mine.

I don't have any problem with that sentiment because that's simply human nature. It's a feeling. I don't have any problem with that attitude of 'superiority' because I know it's not true that his Race is better than mine. In other words, Racism in itself is not the problem; that is, the attitude that one's Race is better than other Races is okay. It's healthy for whoever is speaking or claiming that state of affairs. Remember that state of affairs is fallacious though.

Pause: Pride in one's Race is basically racism; but a benign, necessary one.

However, Racism, becomes bad, grotesque, if other factors are used to instrumentalize it into dangerous parameters.

racism + Hatred = Racism (Bad)
racism +Hatred + wealth =  Racism (Dangerous)
racism + spite + power = Racism (disenfranchisement and dangerous)
racism + jealousy = bad

In the end, it's not racism (that one's race is superior) that is bad, but how that sentiment is used instrumentalized to affect to others.

See Is 'Black' Really Beautiful? on www.thenilepress.com

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SELF-ESTEEM AND DISCRIMINATION

As someone who grew up in war conditions and lived as a refugee for a long time, I'm sometimes considered by many people in the 'west' to be prone to (or have) low self-esteem, be poor or illiterate. Living as refugees or displaced persons, who depended on the good will of others put people in a situation where they don't think much about themselves. But that's not everyone though.

As I stood by our front desk at my place work talking about Race and Identity in relation to my book, Is 'Black' Really Beautiful?, the issue of why many African peoples in North America become so over-sensitive when racial issues come up! For many rational people, this owes its origin to slavery and racial segregation.

But one of my coworkers, a person of European descent, was surprised to realize that her 'black' friend, a very intelligent woman, easily becomes irritated by simple things she [friend] considers racist. The friend considers any mention of a watermelon racist; and complains a lot about 'white privilege.' This means that discrimination is considered something 'whites' don't face because of 'white privilege.' In any discussion between 'blacks' and 'whites', 'white privilege' issue comes up!