A Convenient Redefinition of Racism
During recent debates with social justice types, I’ve run across something I hadn’t heard before. Apparently, the definition of racism I always accepted is wrong.
I thought racism was “a belief in the inherent superiority or inferiority of a race”. Merriam-Webster defines racism as “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race; racial prejudice or discrimination”. Oxford’s definition is “Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior; the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races”.
So according to me, Merriam-Webster and Oxford, racism is an individual trait. Anyone can be racist if they believe their race is superior to others. This would seem true, since people of every race have committed horrible crimes based on racial hatred. I’ve personally had the misfortune to meet whites who hate blacks and Hispanics, Hispanics who hate blacks, and blacks who hate whites and Christians. I know an Asian raised by hillbillies who told me Asians consider pretty much everyone else inferior. I know a Hispanic man who refuses to have anything to do with his own grandchild because she’s half black. I met a Hispanic college professor who asked “what kind of a f**king Mexican marries a white woman?” Once I walked past a white child in a grocery store who suddenly blurted “You’re colored!”, then got really nervous when I stopped to talk to him about it. In Kosovo I had a very depressing conversation with someone who advocated killing every last member of an opposing ethnic group: “The adults committed crimes against us, the old ones used to commit crimes against us, and the young ones will commit crimes against us. So they should all be killed, from one until the end.” And I knew a lot of people from the other ethnic group felt the exact same way.
Racism, to me, seemed to be an individual trait that could be held by anyone. However, SJWs (social justice warriors) tell me I’m wrong about racism. Racism has been “redefined”, and now must include “systemic”.
A few days ago a comedian and CNN commentator explained to Stephen Colbert that blacks are literally incapable of being racist:
“We can be prejudiced, but racism implies power and institutions behind it. I can be prejudiced, I can be like, ‘I don’t like white people,’ but I can’t, like, not hire them or not give them their voting rights — you know what I’m saying? So it’s a very different thing.”
When I started researching the new definition, I ran across this 2009 Daily Kos article:
“Therefore, according to this institutional power definition, it is not possible in this country for black people to be ‘racist’. Yes we have a black president, and a few second/third generation black leaders in majority black areas, but African Americans and people of color do not have institutionalized power, established over centuries, to impose their prejudices and preferences on the majority culture.” [emphasis in original]
Even before that, the University of Delaware was teaching students that whites are automatically racist, while minorities are incapable of racism:
“A RACIST: A racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. The term applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality. By this definition, people of color cannot be racists, because as peoples within the U.S. system, they do not have the power to back up their prejudices, hostilities, or acts of discrimination. (This does not deny the existence of such prejudices, hostilities, acts of rage or discrimination.)”
So minorities hold no institutional power, which means they cannot be racist no matter what they personally believe, because racism is systemic. If it’s not systemic it’s prejudice, or discrimination, but not racism. Clear enough?
The new “systemic” definition of racism seems to be taught as unquestionable truth on some college campuses. And a LOT of white people are not just accepting it, but embracing it. Just in my personal experience, quite a few whites have told me that since I’m Hispanic I can’t be racist no matter what, but they can be since they’re white, and they probably are racist but just don’t know it, and they’re sorry for their white privilege, and if they don’t fight white privilege they’re just as guilty of racism as any white supremacist. On the extreme edge of that white guilt are people like these, in a video made by a flamboyantly annoying black racial activist.
(If you think that video is too insane to be real, think again. As near as I can tell, the “Uhuru Solidarity Movement” is a thing. If you’re white and want to “join and pay reparations,” please visit their site.)
The backstory on the following video is a little murky, but it pretty clearly seems to be two minority college students challenging white college students to explain why their lives matter. “Our argument is that white life is wrong. Our argument is that we should never affirm white life.” Remember, telling a white person their life doesn’t matter, because they’re white, isn’t racist.
So this whole redefinition of racism got me thinking. If only whites can be racist, what do you call a black person who actually calls for genocide of white people?
I find it sorta difficult to understand how someone can say white people should be killed, and even specifically talk about killing white infants, yet not be considered racist.
This man, a member of the New Black Panther Party named “King Samir Shabazz”, also said, “We gonna need preachers going into the cracker churches throwing hand grenades on early Sunday morning when the cracker got his hands up, ‘please white Jesus!’ Well we gonna throw a bomb in that God damn church, burn up the cracker, burn up the cracker Jesus, and burn up some cracker white supremacy…drag some of these god damn rusty dusty ass crackers out of their homes, skin their asses alive, hang their asses up by some damn rope in some trees, drag them up and down the streets by God damn trucks, sick the pit bulls on them, pour acid on their asses, dump them in a God damn river, bring them back up, bust them in the head with a rock.”
But remember, that’s not racist. According to our friendly SJWs, even if King Samir Shabazz al-Qaddafi X (or whatever name he gave himself) actually did throw hand grenades into a white church while busting a white infant’s head with a rock and yelling “Kill all white people!” it wouldn’t be racist.
But Shabazz was just speaking hypothetically. So let’s look at a real case of racially-motivated murder that wasn’t racist (honest!).
In San Francisco in 1973 and 1974, a group of black radicals murdered at least fifteen people, almost all whites, and tried to murder eight more. One of these white victims was kidnapped, bound, and dismembered while still conscious. Two more victims, a husband and wife, were kidnapped and hacked with a machete after the kidnappers fondled the wife. The group responsible was “a splinter group of the Nation of Islam, called the Death Angels, [which] required the murder of several ‘blue-eyed white devils’ for membership.”
Wrap your mind around this: according to the modern redefinition of racism, the black radicals who kidnapped, bound, and chopped a conscious man’s limbs off because he was white weren’t racist.
Since racism must be systemic or it isn’t racism, I’m curious about something. If a KKK Grand Dragon is kidnapped, put on a plane and dropped into downtown Tokyo, is he no longer racist? After all, there is no systemic racism again the Japanese in Tokyo. Presto, Mr. Grand Dragon is no longer racist. Right?
I’m Hispanic, a minority which automatically “has no power”, and can’t be racist. So I could change my name to Chris Herndriotti, claim I’m Italian, join the Klan, burn crosses and lynch black people, but I still wouldn’t be racist. Right?
If a black man named John Smith and an otherwise-identical white man named John Smith joined forces to beat an Asian man to death while yelling “We hate Asians!”, did the white John Smith commit a racist murder but the black John Smith didn’t?
What about biracial people? Is President Obama automatically racist because he’s half white, or automatically never racist because he’s half black?
I’m so confused!
What I love (and by that I mean hate) about the SJW movement is its desperate quest to define people by racial, ethnic or religious identity. The very same people who say they oppose treating people a certain way because of their race treat people differently because of their race. Non-white SJWs have defined away their own racism, while white SJWs have embraced their own irrational white guilt and labeled themselves practitioners and beneficiaries of racism even if they personally have done nothing wrong. Individual actions and beliefs mean nothing to these people.
Perhaps these SJWs have a valid point hidden somewhere in the stupidity; maybe they’re reasonably pointing out that blacks have suffered worse than others, and that many whites don’t recognize advantages most of them have. Those things are true. But SJWs, like activists everywhere, dilute their own message with hysterical overreach and hyperbole, and create conflict where none is needed.
I’m not educated. I’m just a community college non-graduate who spent almost 27 years in the military and is still a cop after over twenty years. I’ve lived with, worked with, and served in combat shoulder to shoulder with people of different ethnicities, religions and races, in several countries. And here’s what I’ve learned:
Racism is an individual belief. Redefining racism so that “no minority can be racist” is a transparent, convenient, self-serving way for minorities to be racist without having to admit it. Minorities who hold all whites accountable for past wrongs are just as racist as a hillbilly Klansman with a swastika tattooed on his neck. Yes, systemic racism exists, and blacks have historically borne the brunt of it in America. Yes there are white racist douchebags. Real racism, especially systemic racism, needs to be exposed and defeated.
But plenty of “oppressed minorities” are also racist, and the endless search for a white racist under every rock only perpetuates racial tension we don’t need. Dammit, can’t we admit things have gotten better? Can’t we at least acknowledge that we’ve come miles from the systemic racism of the Jim Crow era, light years from slavery, and that all whites aren’t the eternal enemy of all of us with darker skin? The experience my parents had in the 60’s in north Texas, when they were kicked out of a restaurant – while my father was serving in the Air Force – because “we don’t serve Mexicans here”, hasn’t and won’t happen to me. And if it did, the public backlash would be so intense the restaurant would shut down. This country is better now than it was then.
I’m grateful that my country is better. I’m grateful to all the people, even the whites, who fought and sacrificed to make it better. I won’t poison my children’s minds with the lies that the system is rigged against them, or that all whites are their enemies. And I damn sure won’t tell them that if they become racist, they’re somehow better than white racists.
Chris Hernandez is a 22 year police officer, former Marine and recently retired National Guard soldier with over 25 years of military service. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and also served 18 months as a United Nations police officer in Kosovo. He writes for BreachBangClear.com and Iron Mike magazine and has published three military fiction novels, Proof of Our Resolve, Line in the Valley and Safe From the War through Tactical16 Publishing. He can be reached at email@example.com or on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ProofofOurResolve).
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Tags: racism, SJW stupidity, veteran writers