RE: Definition of Racism (without rent-a-riot)

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Sat Aug 11 2001 - 10:37:15 MDT

Mike Lorrey wrote,
> Come ON Harvey! Did I say that they were genetically predisposed?

Mike, you are ignoring the fact that genetics is not part of the definition
of racism. I can find no dictionary definition that says racism is based on
genetics. All the definitions I can find describe racism as any attitude
that groups, distinguishes, prejudices or discriminates based on race. Any
such grouping is racism.


> No, I
> did not. Recognising that members of certain cultures, as a result of
> being canalized in those cultures, have predispositions toward certain
> activities, behavior, attitudes, etc. is NOT racist. If you think it is,
> your definition of racism is HIGHLY messed up.

Sorry, but you are using a revisionist definition. I can find no dictionary
that agrees with you. If you dispute all dictionaries and use your own
nonstandard definition for a word, it is you who have your definition all
messed up.

Based on all my research, I must stand by my assertions. The only
compromise I can make is to concede that by YOUR definition the examples you
give are not racist, while by all the DICTIONARY definitions I can find your
examples are racist.

> Is saying "Americans have
> a cultural predisposition toward baseball and apple pie" racist?

No, because "Americans" are not a race. If you claimed that blacks like
chicken more than whites (for any reason, genetic or otherwise), this would
be racist. You would be grouping people's food preferences by race.
Grouping nonphysical attributes by race is racist.

> Are these racist statements?:
> "White guys can't dunk"
> "White folk can't dance"
> "Only blacks have soul"
> "Jews are a gutter race"

Yes, all these are racist. They are all evaluations of worth based on race.
This is the definition of racism.

> Every one of these statements have not only been made by prominent black
> leaders, but are generally accepted among the black minority as true.

If black leaders claim that whites can't dunk, whites can't dance, whites
don't have souls and that Jews are a gutter race, this is clearly racism. I
don't see how someone could argue otherwise.

> Ah, but liberals say that this IS, in fact, racism. For example, a
> recent court case actually said that these 'risky zip' policies are
> racist, and court cases have also ruled that banks that make loan
> decisions (especially for mortgages and cars) even partly on zip code of
> the customer are practicing racism.

I don't know the zip-code case, but from what you describe the zip code
determinations were made without reference to race. I would disagree with
those liberals who say it is racist As for the bank loans, I can't imagine
what effect a person's zip code would have on their credit rating or job

Harvey Newstrom <> <>

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