6 comments

  1. My own personal favorite definition of “racism” is “Thinking that ‘race’ is, or should be, important”.
    But, that definition means that some of the most racist people are those who publicly claim to be against racism.

    • I’d argue that we’re ALL racist. Me, you, Jesus, Hitler, Jesus, Trump, Clinton….racism is but a sometimes-unsavory aspect of human instinct. We evolved into different subspecies to fill a certain ecological niche, just as most other animals. And many other animals experience conflict when different subspecies overlap.

      • Well, I suspect that racism along with other in-group/out-group dichotomies is endemic to human nature like substance abuse. But also like substance abuse, it’s best to aim for harm reduction rather than jihad in the name of moral purity.

    • I tend to agree in the sense that there is no inherent reason why race should be any more important than eye color. But obviously many people don’t feel that way for a wide variety of reasons. Racism may not be rational, but then neither is the way people get so worked up over sports teams. Fortunately, I don’t think most people really obsess over race that much in their day to day lives. Although those of us who have spent inordinate amounts of time around right-wing and left-wing extremists could easily get a skewed view of racial opinions. It has long seemed to me that the way modern societies handle religious conflict might be the best way to handle ethnic conflict as well, i.e. the state should stay out of such issues, and the law should remain value neutral. That way, different racial/ethnic communities are no different from church denominations.

      • “Racism may not be rational,”

        Consider this: Humans, and really any animal, must occasionally encounter new, unknown rivals. Danger or not? Over the last 100,000 years, Evolution has had its influence. People who are cautious about the arrival of others have had an advantage: They’ve tended to be more protected from sneak attackers. We cannot learn all the details of 7 billion people before we leave the door. Apparently we must observe others for clues as to our likely safety with such new-arrivals.
        One identifiable characteristic would be hair and skin color. Another is language.
        What else can we do?

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