Accusations of Racism – Part 1

I’ve rewritten this post at least five times.  The subject is one that can make my blood boil or can result in a sad shake of my head.  I’ve debated whether or not to post it.  I may have missed the opportunity to post this in the most timely fashion… but I have decided to share it.  It’s become long enough that I will post it in two parts.

Racism.  Saying it’s a hot-button topic is an understatement of planetary proportions.  Merriam-Webster Online defines racism as follows:

1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
2 : racial prejudice or discrimination

Wow.  That’s a wide-ranging definition.  Especially for something so contentious.  Here’s my take:  true racism takes place when individuals or organizations step over the line from prejudice to discrimination based upon ethnicity, race, or skin color.  When racial discrimination and race-related violence rear their ugly heads, we need to put a stop to it.  True racism makes my blood boil.  When people voice prejudices based upon skin color, when they use nasty racial epithets… that’s when I find myself disappointed in those individuals.  That’s the sad shake of my head.

Racism played a role during some of the periods of greatest internal strife faced by our country: from the Civil War to Civil Rights.  I believe that undergoing those difficult times has made us a stronger country.  But that doesn’t mean that racism has disappeared entirely in America.  The ugliness still exists.

So, why this post?  Why now?

Accusations of racism become grenades hurled through our political landscape. Racism is an explosive topic. It should be.  Too often, though, somebody unnecessarily pulls the pin and lobs that racial accusation grenade into the open.  Usually, we see it in the political realm.  For the purpose of this blog post, I have examined two recent incidences.  I’m not convinced that my definition of true racism exists in either case, but the grenades are no less damaging.

Get the details in Part 2.

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  1. Accusations of Racism – Part 2 « This Ordinary Citizen

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