1. The belief that "race" accounts for differences in character or ability.

2. Racial Prejudice + Power = Racism

People serious about the study of racism define it more strictly to mean the combination of racial prejudice + power. In other words, only the dominant group in a society can be racist because they have the power to oppress others. This forces the dominant group to recognize the dangerous side of their position of power and tends to make them upset. Some will avoid this issue all together and say that they are "colorblind", ignoring the very real effects of racial discrimination.

Marginalized groups of people can have racial prejudice towards members of the dominant group, (i.e., a black man calling a white man a cracker) but since they lack the power to oppress that group, it cannot be accurately called "racism." White people in America have not historically been called "crackers" and then been enslaved, denied work, imprisoned, framed, or hung by blacks.

In most cases, racism includes the social, political, and economic advantage of one group in relation to others. This can be seen in places where there is one group who has held control of essential positions in society. For example, America has existed for 230 years, but all the presidents have been white (males). Those who experience the effect of racism (minorities) often stick together to defend themselves against their harsh reality. They may form their own schools, newspapers, television networks and even create scholarships to help their people.

A person from the dominant group in society, however, doesn't need these specialized groups made just for them because they control the wealth and political/social/productive power and can always rely on these elements being there for their needs. From their perspective, things like Affirmative Action and the NAACP look like they perpetuate racism. In fact, these organizations are working to support marginalized, minority groups.

See Wikipedia's article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism for more information. Or read a history book.
Marginalized people, historically racial minorities, live with the presence of racism in their daily lives.

Racism is difficult to see from a position of privilege and difficult to live with from a position of marginality.

People who experience racism often become bitter or angry. They may last out at the dominant group and use against them, but they are still marginalized.

In America, racism continues to be perpetuated by dominant whites, knowingly or unknowingly, because they are blinded by their own privilege. Education and learning history are two sure ways to overcome racism.
by Zedster March 21, 2006
Discrimination or stereotyping based on the erroneous concept of race. By far one of the stupidest ideas ever conceived.
Right wing activists need our help and consideration. They don't have it as easy as us. Attempts at communication are much harder, leading to isolation and lonelyness. Bids at social recognition seldom meet with success. It is a fact often overlooked that most buildings aren't made with the needs of right wing activists in mind.
by Eddy December 23, 2003
I learned it in school as "Prejudice based on race". I learned it after school as "Discrimination based on Race.". I learned it on the Blogs, and therefore from several dictionaries as "The belief that races have different characteristics that cause some races to be superior to others".

Using the grey, I've settled on "Discrimination based on Race". The first is a more general version of the third. But if it is just a "thought", it can be talked about, discussed, and eradicated. Its when it is acted upon that people become harmed.

So it is the action of discriminating based on that racial prejudice that I call racism. First, it is applying power. Some people believe only those in power can discriminate -- it sounds like a logical fallacy. Instead of corner casing when the charge of racism is valid depending on some hypothetical power difference, lets just say it happens when someone applies power to act on a prejudice. The second, is it matches with the very pejorative connotation it has -- I hate the thought of punishing thought, or of people not being able to talk in general, or of people finding actual difference based on historical events and selection. Instead, by using definition 2, we can break it down to 'regardless of what you think, were you fair'. And if the answer is yes, there was no racism, even if there was a racial prejudice.

Conclusion: Racism is *discrimination based on race*.
Some feel Affirmative Action is a positive application of Racism; others, because of the soft bigotry of low expectations, consider Affirmative Action as an example of the negatives of all Racism.
by pureabsolute January 09, 2016
Racism is too judge someone as inferior to you because of the color of their skin. Any belief system that advocates superiority of one race over another, is racist. Any person who adheres to a set of beliefs which enables them to claim superiority over another based on race, is racist.
Racism is exemplified by the beliefs of the KKK.
by MATT_WOOD_NYC October 27, 2015
The greatest evil that humanity ever manifested. This scourge of the human race has caused bloodshed in every country and every continent. Racism is the greatest division between the human race that stops us all from coming together as one and achieving a common goal: To make the world a better place.
non-racist person: Hey I found out how we can make the world a better place!

racist person:Fuck you. I don't want to make the world a better place with you because of your skin color or ethnicity because I practice racism.

non-racist person:damn.
by jack mcgurn May 13, 2008
The act of discrimination between the human races, recognising their genetic differences both physical and mental, their behaviour and culture, and appraising those differences. Also the beleif that multi-culturalism is wrong.

In today's society the term is strongly political, and many people synonymize the term with hatred, bigotry and fascism.
"The Bell Curve" (by Harvard professors Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, 1994) was one of several scientific and intellectual studies that encountered strong political opposition because it concluded that the average African-American trails 15-20 IQ points behind the average European. All authors were accused of racism.
by free thinker June 22, 2007
the act of being racist
He used racism when he called a black guy nigga
by waterbottle189 March 27, 2015

Free Daily Email

Type your email address below to get our free Urban Word of the Day every morning!

Emails are sent from daily@urbandictionary.com. We'll never spam you.

×