Definitions of Racism

Definitions of Racism, Racist

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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.)

A NON—RACIST: A non-term. The term was created by whites to deny responsibility for systemic racism, to maintain an aura of innocence in the face of racial oppression, and to shift responsibility for that oppression from whites to people of color (called “blaming the victim”). Responsibility for perpetuating and legitimizing a racist system rests both on those who actively maintain it, and on those who refuse to challenge it. Silence is consent.

AN ANTI—RACIST: (As applied to white people), an anti-racist is a person who makes a conscious choice to act to challenge some aspect of the white supremacy system: including her/his own white privilege, as well as some form of oppression against people of color. (As applied to people of color), some use the term anti-racist. Others use synonyms such as freedom fighter, activist, warrior, liberation fighter, political prisoner, prisoner of war, sister, brother, etc. In practice, it is difficult for an activist of color not to be an anti-racist activist, since the struggle against racial oppression intersects with every issue affecting people of color.

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