Racialists can commonly be identified by noting their tendency towards bringing the topic of race into every discussion concerning members of different races, especially in cases in which race has no basis.
Racism is not the same as racialism, though they are occasionally used interchangeably. One may often imply the other, though in many cases, racialists are often the most avowedly anti-racist people in the room.
Jonathan: "A short, fat, black guy wearing a face mask broke into my apartment and stole my television"
Shelley: "Wow, of course you would assume he's black you racist, how would you know if you couldn't see...?"
Jonathan: "What? I saw him, he was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, being black was just part of the description... more importantly my TV is gone."
- In this case, Shelley is demonstrating racialism.
College Instructor: "And of course, in the case of Australians purchasing aboriginal art, racism is an integral part of the discussion. After all, what does it mean for a white Australian to purchase a black aborigine's artwork, a part of their cultural heritage. It's like saying that a white man could buy a black, which I think has implications reminiscent of slavery."
Student: "Wait, not all Australians are white or european. They do not come from an American culture or even a culture that involved slavery at any time during their history as their own country. What if a black aborigine -still an Australian- purchased art from another aborigine, would that still be a symbol of ownership? Furthermore, aborigines aren't even from Africa, they migrated to Australia through Indonesia. You're assuming that because their skin color is black that they're from Africa, thus allowing you to draw a connection between . That's possibly the most idiotic and racist thing that I've heard today."
- In this case, the college instructor is both racist and racialist.