racism

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

English

Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Pronunciation

Etymology

From French racisme.

Noun

racism (countable and uncountable, plural racisms)

  1. The belief that each race has distinct and intrinsic attributes.
  2. The belief that one race is superior to all others.
  3. Prejudice or discrimination based upon race.
    Malcolm X and Martin Luther King both spoke out against racism.
    • 2007, Joseph Godson Amamoo, Ghana: 50 years of independence
      For, if racism against non-whites is morally wrong and unjustifiable, then how can racism against whites be morally right and justifiable?

Quotations

For usage examples of this term, see the citations page.

Usage notes

  • Different people define race differently, so, naturally, different people define racism differently.
  • Racism is generally accepted as wrong in English-speaking societies, and the word racism carries strong negative connotations. Therefore, those opposing a certain practice might characterize it as "racist" in order to try to take advantage of those connotations, and conversely, those defending a certain practice might try to mitigate it by claiming that it is not racist.
  • While racism is, per se, usually tied to race, some speakers will (controversially) use the term in other cases as well:
    • 2002, Tom Carter-Smith, Sex – an Apology for Love, NORDISC Music & Text, ISBN 87-88619-09-5, page 99,
      The reason for this was the general prejudice (read: racism) against gays among “straight” people; the government simply didn't want the public to be appalled by posters and TV adds with “queers”.
  • The term reverse racism has been used to describe racism (in one sense or another) by a group that has traditionally been oppressed, against a traditionally more-empowered group. However, some argue that this distinction does not need to be made, and advocate using simply the term racism; others have argued conversely that the term racism should not be used at all in such cases.
  • For many speakers, the term racism implies conscious belief or behavior, but this distinction is not universally held.

Derived terms

Related terms

Hypernyms

Coordinate terms

Translations

See also