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I suspect this subject has been well discussed and covered on this fourm before I became a member but I will ask because I wasn't around to witness the discussion.

About 10-15 years ago, there was a claim that Black people cannot be racist because racism requires power and blacks don't have enough power in this country to be racist. The definition of racism is :

1.a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
2.a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.

3.hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

Nowhere in the definition does it say anything about power so I've always wondered who came up with this idea and how & why did they come to this conclusion?

Your thoughts?

Kevin
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quote:
Originally posted by kevin1122:
I suspect this subject has been well discussed and covered on this fourm before I became a member but I will ask because I wasn't around to witness the discussion.

About 10-15 years ago, there was a claim that Black people cannot be racist because racism requires power and blacks don't have enough power in this country to be racist. The definition of racism is :

1.a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.

2.a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.

3.hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

Nowhere in the definition does it say anything about power so I've always wondered who came up with this idea and how & why did they come to this conclusion?



Isn't the possession of power implicit in notions like "rule", "policy", and "system of government"?
quote:
Originally posted by kevin1122:

Your thoughts?

Kevin


munch I've always wondered the same thing myself. 19

To me the word itself race + -ism, (with -ism being a dislike/hatred of -, or discrimination against) would indicate a hatred or dislike of someone based on race.

My answer to your question is ABSOLUTELY Black people can be and many, many are hardcore racists!! Eek

Me, myself .... I'm only this much --> <-- of one. Big Grin 'Cause while I don't diskike White people, I'm pretty confident that we are indeed the superior and chosen people of the earth! Razz
quote:
Originally posted by kevin1122:
(quote)
"Isn't the possession of power implicit in notions like "rule", "policy", and "system of government"?"

(reply)
Yes! And rules, policies and systems of government can be racist, but that's not what I am talking about; I'm talking about individual people

Kevin


Individual people? Isn't racism inherently about systems, and therefore collective, NOT INDIVIDUALS?

if we are talking about policies and systems, we're not talking about individuals here and there.
quote:
Originally posted by kevin1122:
(quote)
"Isn't the possession of power implicit in notions like "rule", "policy", and "system of government"?"

(reply)
Yes! And rules, policies and systems of government can be racist, but that's not what I am talking about; I'm talking about individual people

Kevin


But you said:

quote:

Nowhere in the definition does it say anything about power


And so I pointed out that "power" is indeed all over the definition you provided even though the word itself is not explicitly used. hat
individual whites get the power to discriminate against Black people via a system which protects them. Black prejudices don't impact whites as a group.

'Racial discrimination is defined by the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination as “any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life”.'
http://unesdoc.unesco.org/imag...4/001453/145364e.pdf
Negro Spiritual asks:

(quote)
"Individual people? Isn't racism inherently about systems, and therefore collective, NOT INDIVIDUALS?"

(reply)
Not quite; individual racists can pass laws and enact a system that is racist (thus the second defintion of racism) but the main definition of racism is about the attitudes and beliefs of individual people

Honest Brother says:

(quote)
"power" is indeed all over the definition you provided even though the word itself is not explicitly used

(reply)
I will agree that power is required to enact a racist system (2nd definition) and blacks may not have enough power to enact such a system, but that does'nt mean we can't be racist by the first definition; would you agree?

Ebony Rose says:

(quote)
so ... it's not like there's any really actual superiority or power involved ... it's just the idea .. a hallucination .. a figment of the imagination.

(reply)
Good point; I guess anyone can have such a hallucination; huh?

Listener does an excellent job of defining racial discrimination. I'm not quite sure what his point is, but I appreciate the imput

Kevin
quote:
Originally posted by kevin1122:
Negro Spiritual asks:

(quote)
"Individual people? Isn't racism inherently about systems, and therefore collective, NOT INDIVIDUALS?"

(reply)
Not quite; individual racists can pass laws and enact a system that is racist (thus the second defintion of racism) but the main definition of racism is about the attitudes and beliefs of individual people




Individual racists cannot pass laws or enact a system.

It requires an entire society.

Which is why it makes little sense to cast the third definition as the "main" definition. That begs the question.

Even the attitude and beliefs of individual people are strongly conditioned by the society of which they are members.

Look at it like this:

"Racism" would be a worthless concept altogether if it were a function of purely individual attitudes.

One person's attitudes don't have very much power to effect my life.

It would be like having a special term to describe people who don't like apples.

It's not individual attitudes that make "racism" a problematic social phenomena.

Rather it is the collective.
Honest Brother says:

(quote)
"Individual racists cannot pass laws or enact a system.

It requires an entire society."

(reply)
I disagree! An entire society is nothing more than a group of individuals

(quote)
"Look at it like this:

"Racism" would be a worthless concept altogether if it were a function of purely individual attitudes."

(reply)
I disagree! When you deal with individuals, their attitudes will have an effect on you.

(quote)
"One person's attitudes don't have very much power to effect my life."

(reply)
Suppose that person with the attitude just so happens to be a Police Officer, a Judge, your Boss, or even your neighbor; are you telling me that such people won't have an effect on your life?

Kevin
quote:
Originally posted by kevin1122:
Honest Brother says:

(quote)
"Individual racists cannot pass laws or enact a system.

It requires an entire society."

(reply)
I disagree! An entire society is nothing more than a group of individuals


OK. It's on you to show me the law that was passed with the vote of only one person.



quote:
Originally posted by kevin1122:

Suppose that person with the attitude just so happens to be a Police Officer, a Judge, your Boss, or even your neighbor; are you telling me that such people won't have an effect on your life?

Kevin


Sure. They'll have an effect.

But, taken in isolation, a minimal effect.

If one potential customer doesn't like your work... that has an effect. You lost a customer.

But then there are many other potential customers.

If a large number of those other customers don't like your work you're going to be going out of business.

A single individual is an inconvenience.

A society is a serious problem.
Last edited {1}
When I said: An entire society is nothing more than a group of individuals

Honest Brother replied:

(quote)
"OK. It's on you to show me the law that was passed with the vote of only one person"

(reply)
In this particular country laws aren't passed that way; even though there are countries where they are. But I never implied what you are suggesting; I am simply making the point that by definition; individual people can have racist attitudes, and even though those with no power may not be able to cause as much damage, it doesn't negate the fact that they can still have those attitudes.

(quote)
"Sure. They'll have an effect.

But, taken in a vacuum, a minimal effect.

If one potential customer doesn't like your work... that has an effect. You lost a customer.

But then there are many other potential customers.

If a large number of those other customers don't like your work you're going to be going out of business.

A single individual is an inconvenience.

A society is a serious problem."

(reply)
I am not arguing that a racist society is more of a problem than a racist individual; I am simply saying that racist individual's do exist!

Kevin
Okay .. I think I see where the confusion is.

The initial question was: Can black people be racist? Not, can they institute a condition of rac ism.

Racism would definitely be more institutional ... and a societal condition. But being a racist would be an individual designation.

On about 4 different online dictionaries, every time I typed in "racist" I would get the definition for "racism". sck So I consulted a real one and this is what it said:
quote:
racist:

noun

1. a person with a prejudiced belief that one race is superior to others

adjective

1. based on racial intolerance; "racist remarks"
2. discriminatory especially on the basis of race or religion


So, while I agree with HB that in order to perpetuate racism by one group over another, I would also say that as individuals, Black people could be racist against other groups.
I don't think it's a matter of whether or not black people can be racist, the question should be (imo) ARE they racist?

It goes without saying, the function of a dictionary is to define the meaning of words, but you have to look beyond a dictionary to understand how an ideology acts within a society because. . .

RACISM is an 'ideology'. . .

an ideology that has been the catalyst for hundreds of years of social, and political actions. . .

ideology fuels action.....

& racism is the ideology upon which this nation was built.

So to answer the question 'can' black people be racist? I'd have to say anything is possible. Smile

but if you ask me. . .

'ARE' black people racist? Well, IMHO, NO they are not.
quote:
Originally posted by Fabulous:
I don't think it's a matter of whether or not black people can be racist, the question should be (imo) ARE they racist?

It goes without saying, the function of a dictionary is to define the meaning of words, but you have to look beyond a dictionary to understand how an ideology acts within a society because. . .

RACISM is an 'ideology'. . .

an ideology that has been the catalyst for hundreds of years of social, and political actions. . .

ideology fuels action.....

& racism is the ideology upon which this nation was built.

So to answer the question 'can' black people be racist? I'd have to say anything is possible. Smile

but if you ask me. . .

'ARE' black people racist? Well, IMHO, NO they are not.


I like this response.


If, say, the 'Hottentot Venus' had began exhibiting behaviour that could be ascertained as 'racist', would she be 'a racist'?: especially given the treatment experienced during her 'stay' in England...
I think people are overlooking this fact:

while the dictionary 'defines', it doesn't explain what an ideology is. . .

also. . .

definitions are very limited within the scope of explaining psycho-social ideology. . .

As it relates to 'this' country, white privilege is a result or product of racism. . .

one would not exist without the other. . .
quote:
Originally posted by Cocoa Starr:
No. As a group/race, we have not had any significant power in the U.S. to disenfranchise any other group or block them from having any liberties.


Okay ... this means that we, as a group/race, cannot institute a system of racism against any other group. But ... can't we dislike or be prejudiced against other people without taking the action to actually oppress them? Confused
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
quote:
Originally posted by Cocoa Starr:
No. As a group/race, we have not had any significant power in the U.S. to disenfranchise any other group or block them from having any liberties.


Okay ... this means that we, as a group/race, cannot institute a system of racism against any other group. But ... can't we dislike or be prejudiced against other people without taking the action to actually oppress them? Confused



OK. I give.

If we accept as the definition of "racism":

quote:

3.hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.


Then I suppose black people can be racists ... even though we don't have the power to institute a system of racism.

giveup Big Grin
LOL ... Smile


Well, really, I wasn't trying to 'wear you down', HonestBrother! Smile


It's just that I've self-identified as a racist for years, now!! Eek And, if this is not true, it means I need to re-evaulate my whole self-image! Big Grin

Which would be difficult enough as it is .. but... it's also a little late to be trying to teach an old dog a new trick! Razz
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
quote:
Originally posted by Cocoa Starr:
No. As a group/race, we have not had any significant power in the U.S. to disenfranchise any other group or block them from having any liberties.


Okay ... this means that we, as a group/race, cannot institute a system of racism against any other group. But ... can't we dislike or be prejudiced against other people without taking the action to actually oppress them? Confused



OK. I give.

If we accept as the definition of "racism":

quote:

3.hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.


Then I suppose black people can be racists ... even though we don't have the power to institute a system of racism.

giveup Big Grin


There are African Americans who are indeed in a position of power to institute a system of racism, even on such highly esteemed and powerful bodies as the US Supreme Court.

http://africanamerica.org/eve/.../79160213/m/54910431
I know I've said this before but it bears repeating, Racism is an ideology. . .a way of living and believing. . .

it is one that was sanctioned by this very government at one time. . .

a common misconception is that racism is simply about disliking people based on their skin color.

IMO, the word racist is one of the most misused words around. . .

that's because some people who use it don't understand the ideology behind it.
quote:
Originally posted by Fabulous:
I know I've said this before but it bears repeating, Racism is an ideology. . .a way of living and believing. . .

it is one that was sanctioned by this very government at one time. . .

a common misconception is that racism is simply about disliking people based on their skin color.

IMO, the word racist is one of the most misused words around. . .

that's because some people who use it don't understand the ideology behind it.



thanks
Nayo says:

(quote)
“If, say, the 'Hottentot Venus' had began exhibiting behaviour that could be ascertained as 'racist', would she be 'a racist'?: especially given the treatment experienced during her 'stay' in England...”

(reply)
I don’t know who “Hottentot Venus” was but if she adopted a belief system or doctine that is defined as racist, then yes she would be a racist

Fabulous says
(quote)
“I think people are overlooking this fact:

while the dictionary 'defines', it doesn't explain what an ideology is.”

(reply)
An explanation of the ideology behind a person’s attitude isn’t necessary to determine if the person is racist or not

(quote)
“definitions are very limited within the scope of explaining psycho-social ideology. . .

As it relates to 'this' country, white privilege is a result or product of racism. . .

one would not exist without the other. .”

(reply)
The cause or product or racism is not the question at hand; the question is can blacks be racist

Coco star said:

(quote)
“No. As a group/race, we have not had any significant power in the U.S. to disenfranchise any other group or block them from having any liberties.”

(reply)
As I explained earlier, a racist is an individual, not a group. Power, the ability to disenfranchise, or disruption civil liberties is not necessary to be a racist.

Kevin
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
LOL ... Smile


Well, really, I wasn't trying to 'wear you down', HonestBrother! Smile


It's just that I've self-identified as a racist for years, now!! Eek And, if this is not true, it means I need to re-evaulate my whole self-image! Big Grin

Which would be difficult enough as it is .. but... it's also a little late to be trying to teach an old dog a new trick! Razz


EbonyRose, you are not a racist even IF black ppl 'could be' racist, 'you' are not.

You may have your 'likes' & dislikes but from what I've read of your postings over the two years I've been here, a 'racist' you are not.
quote:
Originally posted by kevin1122:
Nayo says:

(quote)
“If, say, the 'Hottentot Venus' had began exhibiting behaviour that could be ascertained as 'racist', would she be 'a racist'?: especially given the treatment experienced during her 'stay' in England...”

(reply)
I don’t know who “Hottentot Venus” was but if she adopted a belief system or doctine that is defined as racist, then yes she would be a racist

Fabulous says
(quote)
“I think people are overlooking this fact:

while the dictionary 'defines', it doesn't explain what an ideology is.”

(reply)
An explanation of the ideology behind a person’s attitude isn’t necessary to determine if the person is racist or not

So 'YOU' say but here's what a book "Race and Ethnic Relations" by Maring N. Marger says about it: *snip*

"Racist ideology then promotes an ethnic status quo in which one group predominates in the society's economy, polity, and other key institutions and thus receives the greatest share of the society's wealth and power."

so you see. . .an explanation of the ideology is INDEED necessary (imo).


(quote)
“definitions are very limited within the scope of explaining psycho-social ideology. . .

As it relates to 'this' country, white privilege is a result or product of racism. . .

one would not exist without the other. .”

(reply)
The cause or product or racism is not the question at hand; the question is can blacks be racist.


I felt it necessary to expound cause guess why? I CAN. Wink

As for the original question, I answered that as well.


Coco star said:

(quote)
“No. As a group/race, we have not had any significant power in the U.S. to disenfranchise any other group or block them from having any liberties.”

(reply)
As I explained earlier, a racist is an individual, not a group. Power, the ability to disenfranchise, or disruption civil liberties is not necessary to be a racist.

Kevin


As 'YOU' explained? Confused Tell me, what qualifies you as an authority on the subject?

Please provide your qualifications or reference at least ONE academic book or study that qualifies your statement.

You can't, so. . .

don't try to minimize the comments, thoughts & opinion of others. It ain't all about you & what 'you' think. What you explained 'earlier' does not negate countless studies on Racism that prove you wrong.

Personally, I couldn't care less about what people think as long as their thoughts do not translate into actions that support inequality and injustice.

Without the institutions/power their thoughts are just that - 'their thoughts'.

That said, a black person who thinks black people are superior to whites is simply. . .

a 'prejudiced' black person. Wink

And I base my assertion on several studies & books I've read on the subject.
quote:
Originally posted by Fabulous:
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
LOL ... Smile


Well, really, I wasn't trying to 'wear you down', HonestBrother! Smile


It's just that I've self-identified as a racist for years, now!! Eek And, if this is not true, it means I need to re-evaulate my whole self-image! Big Grin

Which would be difficult enough as it is .. but... it's also a little late to be trying to teach an old dog a new trick! Razz


EbonyRose, you are not a racist even IF black ppl 'could be' racist, 'you' are not.

You may have your 'likes' & dislikes but from what I've read of your postings over the two years I've been here, a 'racist' you are not.


LOL ... well, while I certainly appreciate your attempt to 'save my soul', Ms. Fab, I would have to say that by definition (understandably not yours), but my own included, I would call myself a racist.

It's not merely about likes and dislikes ... as those don't run along racial lines for me. There is good and ugly in every race of people, and I attempt to like or dislike on a more individual basis.

However, I DO believe (rightly or wrongly) that in many aspects, Black people are indeed superior to Caucasians in several areas of life.

While I also believe that each race has certain superlatives where they are better at somethings than other races are (based on certain mental or physical conditions or attributes), I think in a head-to-head competition we are better at more things than they are!

And we won't even talk about the intellectual and character differences! Smile

To me, being *prejudiced* casts a wider net of dislike and/or hatred and isn't as specific as race. And while I would never dream of wanting to oppress White people because of what I believe is their weaker or inferior state (which to me signifies evil), it does cause me to think less of them and lowers my expectations of them as a race, which is probably unfair on a more individual level.
quote:
I'm not quite sure what his point is, but I appreciate the imput


my point is that Black people can't be racist according more accurate definitions about racism, I posted one example, which is more than just being biased. The result of racism is (white) dominance in all aspects of life, culture, economy, education etc.
I also think that it is a white/Eurocentric attitude, no other group feels such a "need" to dominate the entire world and when you think about South Africa where whites are just about 9% of the entire population there must be a cultural 'agreement' or how to call it to be able to create an oppressive system like apartheid and to keep it alive up to today. There is definitely a certain ideology behind, which is much more than just being prejudiced.
...."However, I DO believe (rightly or wrongly) that in many aspects, Black people are indeed superior to Caucasians in several areas of life.

While I also believe that each race has certain superlatives where they are better at somethings than other races are (based on certain mental or physical conditions or attributes), I think in a head-to-head competition we are better at more things than they are!

And we won't even talk about the intellectual and character differences!

To me, being *prejudiced* casts a wider net of dislike and/or hatred and isn't as specific as race. And while I would never dream of wanting to oppress White people because of what I believe is their weaker or inferior state (which to me signifies evil), it does cause me to think less of them and lowers my expectations of them as a race, which is probably unfair on a more individual level....."[EbonyRose]

ohsnap very interesting. Then racism, is more about [and being abled to] being 'actively engaged in keeping the 'other'down/oppressed', based on your ethnocentrism, but with a virulence.
quote:
Originally posted by nayo:
...."However, I DO believe (rightly or wrongly) that in many aspects, Black people are indeed superior to Caucasians in several areas of life.

While I also believe that each race has certain superlatives where they are better at somethings than other races are (based on certain mental or physical conditions or attributes), I think in a head-to-head competition we are better at more things than they are!

And we won't even talk about the intellectual and character differences!

To me, being *prejudiced* casts a wider net of dislike and/or hatred and isn't as specific as race. And while I would never dream of wanting to oppress White people because of what I believe is their weaker or inferior state (which to me signifies evil), it does cause me to think less of them and lowers my expectations of them as a race, which is probably unfair on a more individual level....."[EbonyRose]

ohsnap very interesting. Then racism, is more about [and being abled to] being 'actively engaged in keeping the 'other'down/oppressed', based on your ethnocentrism, but with a virulence.


LOL ... well, yeah, I guess you could put it that way! Smile

I do believe that racism is better defined as being institutional in scope. However, I don't believe that (as in my case) being a racist has to come attached with hate .. although, of course, historically that has been the case with Whites towards Blacks. And is also the case with the way Black people's racist attitude towards Whites (as a whole).

Zimbabwe's President, Robert Mugage, kicked White colonizers off of the farmland they *owned* in order to give it to native Africans. He did that because they were White and he felt that African land should belong to African people. He had the power to implement a system dominance over another race of people.
Was what he did *racism*? Confused
Black people can be and some are racist, and not just against white people.

Black people just do not wield enough power in this country (or anywhere else in this world) to usually, to be able to exact any (or any noticeable) harm upon whites (or any other group) by acting on any racism they hold for whites (or others).

(But, the Mugabe reference--- I don't see what he did in that instance as being racist---taking back what has been stolen from you could not be racist, in my opinion.)

I can say that I do know some (a few) Black people that ARE racist, (not just everyday venting against or about racism or racist experiences), truely racist against whites; and the TRULY racist Blacks I have known, give me the creeps just as much as the TRULY racist whites I have known because I personally believe that at some point between personal preferences, ignorances, TRULY racist people cross the line there into to world of sociopathy or psychopathy.

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