Racism.  What is it?  Who is it? 

Do you know it if you see it?

In most cases, if you aren’t sure of something, baby boomers like me do what were taught…we look it up.  In the 1940’s, 50’s, 60’and 70’s, that meant a dictionary or encyclopedia.  Now…we have “Google” and the Internet.  The term “Google it” has become the culturally ubiquitous meaning for cyber research.   My, how our culture has evolved in the last 60-70 years!

Or have we?

Back to the topic….

Wikipedia defines racism:

Racism is the belief that the genetic factors which constitute race are a primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. Racism’s effects are called “racial discrimination.” In the case of institutional racism, certain racial groups may be denied rights or benefits, or receive preferential treatment.

So…believing that genetic factors determine the inherent ability of an individual or if choices are based on those genetically determined racial differences…it would fit the bill for racism.

Of course it would!

Really?  So anyone can be a racist?  Racism isn’t limited to one group or defined sub-set of people?  It isn’t limited to majority over minority?

That would mean, if someone gets a job, a raise, college admission, or even a better table at the restaurant because their skin is of a certain color, in the existence of others equally or more qualified of a different color, it is a racist decision?

That would mean ANYONE who is subjected to preferential, or derogatory, treatment based on race has been the victim of racism.  Someone better tell Al Sharpton.  Send the memo to Rick Romley, Jack Harris, and Carlos Galindo while you’re at it.

There are still those who “look it up” in their full set of the Encyclopedia Britannica, with the hard, cracked, yellowing cover and volumes of obsolete information.  But, that is what they know and on what they base their information, no matter how irrelevant it may be today.  It serves their purpose, even if it is unnecessary and does not procure the best result.  In fact, it probably gives the holder of such beliefs a false sense of knowledge that is based on old, out-of-date, and possibly misleading “facts”.   

This is 2010.  Internet, Barrack Obama, Sarah Palin, cell phones; diversity and intellectual advancements abound.   

Prop 107…you decide.  But if you don’t know what Prop 107 is, you won’t find it in your Funk and Wagnall’s….that was then, this is now.


  1. I know racism when I see it. My eyes don’t see differently because of my skin color.

    I know racism when I hear it. My ears work the same as every other human.

    I know racism. I’m from the human race and I know humans.

    I don’t have to be from a particular racial heritage to see it, hear it or feel it.

    I’m voting for Prop. 107.

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