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Why is “Systematic Racism” the Only Definition of Racism?
The part of this conversation that some find confusing and others purposefully dismiss, is the very beginning. Before we get started, I want to say, racism is not a game to win. If your goal is to “get” to say that you’ve experienced racism too, there is a good chance that you are a racist who believes racism is simply a card to play. Something with no real consequences. Which in turn, proves that you’ve never been on the receiving end.
In the beginning, there was a system. This is very difficult to understand unless we break this down. While, the dictionary speaks of racism as a personal hate for another based on race, you have to remember that the “hate” came from somewhere. Racism is not something that sneaks up on you, it is something that is ingrained within. Our environmental queues help us, from day one, to know where we stand within any given population. The idea that racists woke up one day and said, “I just decided that I don’t like Latin@s” is absurd. None the less, let’s pretend that this is exactly what happened to Person A.
Person A, woke up this morning and for no apparent reason, decided that he hated Latin@s. Now, the question is, when you ask Person A why he doesn’t like or hates Latin@s, can you think of a single answer he could give you, that wouldn’t be directly ingrained within from the racist system?
Let’s take this a little further. Let’s say, the reason Person A now hates Latin@s is because a Latin@ person did something horrible to him. It doesn’t matter what the “something” is. Let’s just say it was something unconscionable. Now Person A has a reason. How would Person A sustain this hate for all Latin@s? Hate for a single person, yes. Hate for the entire group? That would take more than a single incident because our minds do not suddenly decide that all are bad, when we have seen that one was bad. Contrary to what many seem to believe, any negative interaction that we’ve had with someone from any given group, is backed up by what we’ve been taught systematically through out our lives.
Now, in a previous post, someone said that in order for the system to be a system it would have had to start with an individual. If you read that quickly and don’t think about it to much, it sounds almost reasonable, yes? Here’s where this logic falls short.
Let’s say, you have lived your entire life in one single room. There are 99 other people in this room. There is no outside information that enters the room. This room, as far as you know, is the entire universe. Everyone inside this room, is everyone that exists within the universe. You are a lone person who is a racist. No one else in the room is a racist. There are four racial groups within this room and you hate two of them based solely on the color of their skin. Why are you racist? Really think about this. There is no propaganda and you live in the kind of room that racists seem to think we all currently live in. A room where, yes, “We are all human.” There is no news coverage. If you want to know what’s happening, you can just walk across the room and ask. Any music that is playing, is made by the person sitting three feet away from you. There is no crime as there is no reason for it. Yes, you have arguments and disagreements, even fights from time to time. Why are you a racist? Could it be that you got into a fight with someone of another race and you were so upset that you wanted to punish anyone that looked like them? Okay, let’s go with that. If that were the case, how would you go about “BEING” racist? You see the “Hate in your heart” crap is nothing. “Hate in your heart” doesn’t matter unless it is acted on. If it is there, it can be denied. Whether it is or it isn’t, “Hate in your heart” cannot be proven.
So you want to make anyone that looks like this person pay. That will lead to action on your part. You need people on your side. You need….A SYSTEM. Your solitary, lone hate of another based on the color of their skin wouldn’t matter in this room if were a mere thought and/or feeling. It couldn’t even be construed as racism because you would have to argue about the “Racism” that was in someone’s thoughts. How? How can you KNOW what someone is thinking if they do not act, speak or react? Your lone racism would die when you die if there was no action. Racism is an action. Words, body language, fists or oppression of any kind. These are actions. You having “Hate in your heart” would make you a person with hate in your heart and nothing more.
All racism is the product of a racist system. All of it. Therefore, when a person (or the dictionary) says that racism is when Person A hates Person B because of the color of their skin, it is leaving out the REASON for the hate. It is leaving out what lead to the hate. It is leaving out where the hate was manifested from and how.
While it is possible for an individual to be a racist, it is not possible for an individual to be racist without first going through the system. In short, systematic racism is the only definition because any and all other forms of racism stem from this definition. Saying there is “More than one” definition or worse, that this definition isn’t the “Real” definition is like saying ice can exist without first having water. At best, you could accurately say that there are multiple types of racism. However, saying that there is more than one definition, is false. There is only one, from which all racist types stem.
On top of all of this, the number one argument racists make to say that the “Power + Prejudice” definition isn’t the sole definition, is to say that there are places on Earth where white people aren’t in power. This really speaks to how they see themselves. The definition isn’t “WHITE power + Prejudice.” It’s “Power + Prejudice.” The very idea that THEY think that “Power = white” says everything you ever need to know.
If after reading this, you still have doubts about the definition, I have an exercise for you. Name a single racist thought a person could have that can NOT be back up by racist propaganda that already exists as part of the racist system. Oh and for you not so clever racists, I said “Thought” not action. Even though a person can’t “Prove” a thought, it’s the thought that leads to action. So no cheating. Why would you need to anyway? You are so SURE that the definition is about hate in your heart and a noose and a moose and a caboose. Can you come up with even one thought?