Definitions of Racism

Definitions of Racism, White Supremacy

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White Supremacy

White supremacy is an historically based, institutionally perpetuated system of exploitation and oppression of continents, nations and peoples of color by white peoples and nations of the European continent; for the purpose of maintaining and defending a system of wealth, power and privilege.

The most common mistake people make when talking about racism (White Supremacy) is to think of it as a problem of personal prejudices and individual acts of discrimination. They do not see that it is a system, a web of interlocking, reinforcing institutions: political, economic, social, cultural, legal, military, educational, all our institutions. . . By not understanding that racism is systemic, we guarantee that it will continue.

The need to recognize racism as being systemic is one reason the term White Supremacy is more useful than the term racism. They refer to the same problem but:

  • A. The purpose of racism is much clearer when we call it “white supremacy.” The word “supremacy” means a power relationship exists.
  • B. Although racism is a social reality, it has no biological or other scientific basis. Race is an unscientific term for differences between people; there is a single human race.
  • C. The term racism often leads to dead-end debates about whether a particular remark or action by an individual white person was really racist or not. We will achieve a clearer understanding of racism if we analyze how a certain action relates to the system of White Supremacy. The term White Supremacy gives white people a clear choice of opposing an inhuman system or not.

From Elizabeth Martinez, “Race: The U.S. Creation Myth and its Premise Keepers,” 1.

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