posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 12:58 PM
A person I know (I hesitate to call them a friend) recently told me something which made me think a little about different perspectives.
This is not my view, but I would be interested to know what othe members made of it.
First, lets start with the wikipedia definition of racism
When racism is applied in practice, it takes forms such as prejudice, segregation or subordination. Racism can more narrowly refer to a system of
oppression, such as institutional racism.
Organizations and institutions that put racism into action discriminate against and marginalize a class of people who share a common racial
designation. The term racism is usually applied to the dominant group in a society, because it is that group which has the means to oppress others.
The term can also apply to any individual or group, regardless of social status or dominance.
Racism can be both overt and covert. Individual racism sometimes consists of overt acts by individuals, which can result in violence or the
destruction of property. Institutional racism is often more covert and subtle. It often appears within the operation of established and respected
forces in the society, and frequently receives less public condemnation than the overt type.
W.E.B. DuBois argued that racialism is the belief that differences between the races exist, be they biological, social, psychological, or in the realm
of the soul. He argued that racism is using this belief to promote the idea that one's race is superior to the others.
A 1963 essay by Ayn Rand denounced racism as a crude form of collectivism. Rand said racism "is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political
significance to a man's genetic lineage — the notion that a man's intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his
internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions
of a collective of ancestors."
This person I know, argued that all societies are guilty of racism to a greater or lesser extent, dependant on the dominant culture and that we should
accept that as a fact, rather than treating it as a "white only crime".
He pointed out as an example, the problems in Zimbabwe, where white farmers were being forcibly removed from their farms.
Now personally, I am of the opinion that a decent person is a decent person and an arsehole is an arsehole, regardless of race, colour or creed, but I
am curious to find out if other members can shed any light on what, to me, seems a rather fantastic claim.
I do agree with his point that racism exists in every culture and that it is not a "white only crime", but a lot of what he says makes very little
sense to me.