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Reply to "Are You a Racist?"

quote:
Racism, as defined by Sanchez, is about power and money, and people are not racist if they simply dislike you. The definition of racism, Sanchez writes in her opinions article, is using a race or ethnicity-based belief to hurt someone economically. If someone is denied a job, a bank loan or a promotion because of their race, that is racism. Everything else, Sanchez writes, is simply bias or prejudice. And we all do that.


I only have one problem with this. By my understanding, racism is simply a specific form of prejudice. At its core, its no different than classism or sexism. The question is "What is the bias?" not "Is there a bias?" For a person to say they are not racist, they are saying that they are not prejudice, that they do not pre-judge.

But, as she said, we all do that. Prejudice is one of the ways we quantify our suroundings with the small amount of information given in a short amount of time. I don't think it's a question of "Am I racist?" Of course I'm racist, as much as I am classist and sexist. The question is how much do I allow it to control my life. I think racism and other forms of prejudice only do damage when we forget what it is, a PRE-judgment. When we do that we close ourselves off to new information, so we never get past the prejudice itself.

Prejudice is like a backseat driver. So long as it remains in the backseat, it can't hurt us or anyone else, and it might even be an occasional help. But if we let it get behind the wheel it can cause incredible amounts of damage, to us and anyone around us.
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