Defining Racism





Defining Racism

Part 1: Summary

What does the author argue?

The author makes a number of arguments in the article. Most importantly is the fact that racism still exists, even though some people may argue that racism is a matter of the past. According to the author, the element of racism roots from a person’s socialization process. In their early age, most people are socialized to develop stereotypes about different races.  The media or the culture of the person is responsible for instilling these stereotypes, which turn into prejudices, then racism.
Brief summary of main themes

The article primarily addresses racism and the different aspects of racism. First, the author argues that racism is real and is still being experienced today. Although some people think, racism was a matter of the past, the society today, and how it is structured depicts a clear evidence of racism. For instance, the neighbourhoods that have people of a particular race only, among other social aspects, depict racist elements in the society today.

Racism is viewed as a system of advantage based on race. With this kind of opinion, the whites are considered racist and not the people of colour. Basing on advantage, it is a fact that most whites will admit to, that they are entitled to many privileges in society by virtue of them being white. The people of colour do not enjoy any privileges in society because of their race. Therefore, while only the whites can be racist basing on this definition, the people of colour might only be involved in racial bigotry, which are actions motivated by race.

The author has also addressed the effects of racism. Racism in society comes with a cost. This cost can be social or economic in nature. Socially, the victims of racism are always traumatized and affected psychologically. They may therefore, lack a normal social life, especially if their environment is full of racist people. This therefore, influences their social capabilities negatively. On the other hand, racism affects the economy negatively. Considering the racial advantage of the whites, most people of colour are denied jobs, a situation called institutional racism. These could be well-qualified and productive individuals; capable of contributing significantly to the economy, yet they are denied this opportunity based on racial grounds. Racism therefore, causes institutions to lose productive employees, who could have positively affected them.
Part 2: Reaction
Was there something in the reading that resonated with you or made you uncomfortable?

Reading about the white male student who claimed that he would not do anything to stop racism made me uncomfortable. It is true that racism is an enemy of development. Good citizens should aim at developing their nations in all ways. Therefore, claiming that one cannot do anything to stop a negative practice in society is quite disturbing.
What had you not thought of before?

Before reading this article, I had never imagined that racism could be tied to the whites only. I always figured out that even the people of colour, who hate the white people, are also racists. However, this article has taught me different ways of defining racism. That I can define racism from the basis of white advantage or privilege. I have learnt that the racially motivated behaviours of the people of colour is racial bigotry and not racism
What do you have a question about? /What are you confused about?

From this article and other many articles I have read about racism, I learn that the element of racism has existed in society since many years ago. Leaders, writers, and many other people have talked about the need for society to drift away from racism and treat all races equally. However, it seems racism has been changing its faces through the years. One time it was obvious, and today, it is hidden deep in society that one has to be keen to notice it, yet it still happens. Therefore, will the society completely kill racism at some point, or is it here to stay?
Bonus: Favourite quote 

My favourite quote from this article is, “Racism is racism, no matter who does it.” This means that it does not matter one’s position in society. If they are racist, nothing can justify their racism; hence need to change, just like everyone else.

Part 3: Relation

Relate this reading to yourself OR another work (another article from this class, a discussion from a different course, a TV show/ movie/ advertisement, etc.)

This article has an immeasurable relationship with some articles I have been reading about racism. For instance, historic articles about the era of Martin Luther depict racism as having been on the peak. By reading this article, I can relate most of the racial elements discussed with the experiences that happened in history. One important aspect that is easy to notice is the white privilege. This happened during Luther’s time as well, as whites were guaranteed the best social amenities and treatment, while the people of colour were not given any consideration for this.

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