PSA TIME: THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT DEFINITIONS OF "RACISM"

The word "racism" can be used to refer to generally any racial bigotry, or specifically to systemic racial bigotry. The former definition is used in sociology, but it's not the only definition. "Racism" is one of many words that have different meanings in general usage vs. academic usage. (Think of "just a theory" vs "theory of gravity.")

Personally, I don't think that limiting the definition of "racism" to systemic racial bigotry would help in non-academic discussions of racism, because most white Americans think that white people--and not black people--are systemically oppressed.

Also, if you want to encourage people to think of the word "racism" only in terms of the academic definition, I think you need to give more of an explanation than "that's not racism, that's racial prejudice." A statement like that is just going to be really confusing, since most people aren't familiar with the academic definition of the word.

Last edited by Eilonwy; 11-27-2011 at 03:02 AM.