Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Race (regarding skin color)

"Racism" is a word that would, truly, make no sense if one really thought about it. While the term "race" has been used to separate social categories (originally based on location) since the 1700s, that does not make it any more accurate when one is really referring to something as simple as the quantity of melanin in one's skin. I don't know about you, but I belong to the human race.

"Reverse"?

You hear it everywhere these days. “It’s reverse discrimination!” “That’s reverse racism.”

No.

Discrimination, according to dictionary.com, is “treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit: racial and religious intolerance and discrimination.”

Racism, from the same source, is “a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.”

Logical Test: Since neither definition is specific as to race, group, class, or category, there is no way for it to be reversed. Each term describes an action and/or attitude regardless. The person who is being discriminatory or racist is being, regardless of race, group, class, or category, and regardless of the object of that discrimination or racism. A person with chocolate skin acting for or against someone because their skin is vanilla is every bit as "racist" (which I feel is a total misnomer anyway, but that's another post) as the other way around. In fact, I have seen very "racist" remarks made by people toward people of their OWN skin shade - that is still "racist" even though it is the same "race."

Accurate, or Alternative Needed? The word "reverse" should never be used with the terms "racist/racism" or "discrimination."