Racism

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For those of you who are tired of hearing about racism, imagine how much more tired we are of experiencing it. ~ Barbara Smith

Racism may include prejudice, discrimination, belief in the superiority of one race over another, antagonism directed against other people because they are of a different race or ethnicity, and the belief that members of different races or ethnicities should be treated differently.

Arranged alphabetically by author or source:
A · B · C · D · E · F · G · H · I · J · K · L · M · N · O · P · Q · R · S · T · U · V · W · X · Y · Z · See also · External links

B[edit]

  • Racism is not something that is designated as an illness that can be treated by mental health professionals.

C[edit]

  • Sexual racism is a specific form of racial prejudice enacted in the context of sex or romance. Online, people use sex and dating profiles to describe racialized Sexual attraction through language such as “Not attracted to Asians.” Among gay and bisexual men, sexual racism is a highly contentious issue. Although some characterize discrimination among partners on the basis of race as a form of racism, others present it as a matter of preference. In May 2011, 2177 gay and bisexual men in Australia participated in an online survey that assessed how acceptably they viewed online sexual racism. Although the men sampled displayed diverse attitudes, many were remarkably tolerant of sexual racism. We conducted two multiple linear regression analyses to compare factors related to men’s attitudes toward sexual racism online and their racist attitudes more broadly. Almost every identified factor associated with men’s racist attitudes was also related to their attitudes toward sexual racism. The only differences were between men who identified as Asian or Indian. Sexual racism, therefore, is closely associated with generic racist attitudes, which challenges the idea of racial attraction as solely a matter of personal preference.
  • In the first place, an unjust law exists in this Commonwealth, by which marriages between persons of different color is pronounced illegal. I am perfectly aware of the gross ridicule to which I may subject myself by alluding to this particular; but I have lived too long, and observed too much, to be disturbed by the world's mockery... In the first place, the government ought not to be invested with power to control the affections, any more than the consciences of citizens. A man has at least as good a right to choose his wife, as he has to choose his religion. His taste may not suit his neighbors; but so long as his deportment is correct, they have no right to interfere with his concerns... I do not know how the affair at Canterbury is generally considered; but I have heard individuals of all parties and all opinions speak of it—and never without merriment or indignation. Fifty years hence, the black laws of Connecticut will be a greater source of amusement to the antiquarian, than her famous blue laws.
  • Racism tends to attract attention when it's flagrant and filled with invective. But like all bigotry, the most potent component of racism is frame-flipping - positioning the bigot as the actual victim. So the gay do not simply want to marry; they want to convert our children into sin. The Jews do not merely want to be left in peace; they actually are plotting world take-over. And the blacks are not actually victims of American power, but beneficiaries of the war against hard-working whites. This is a respectable, more sensible, bigotry, one that does not seek to name-call, preferring instead change the subject and straw man. Thus segregation wasn't necessary to keep the niggers in line; it was necessary to protect the honor of white women.

D[edit]

  • The colonization of the Southern economy by capitalists from the North gave lynching its most vigorous impulse. If Black people, by means of terror and violence, could remain the most brutally exploited group within the swelling ranks of the working class, the capitalists could enjoy a double advantage. Extra profits would result from the superexploitation of Black labor, and white workers’ hostilities toward their employers would be defused. White workers who assented to lynching necessarily assumed a posture of racial solidarity with the white men who were really their oppressors. This was a critical moment in the popularization of racist ideology.
  • That there have been in all ages and in all countries, in every quarter of the habitable globe, especially among those nations laying the greatest claim to civilization and enlightenment, classes of people who have been deprived of equal privileges, political, religious and social, cannot be denied, and that this deprivation on the part of the ruling classes is cruel and unjust, is also equally true. Such classes have even been looked upon as inferior to their oppressors, and have ever been mainly the domestics and menials of society, doing the low offices and drudgery of those among whom they lived, moving about and existing by mere sufferance, having no rights nor privileges but those conceded by the common consent of their political superiors. These are historical facts that cannot be controverted.
    • Martin Delany, The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States (1852), Chapter 1
  • Wherever there is arbitrary rule, there must be necessity, on the part of the dominant classes, superiority be assumed. To assume superiority, is to deny the equality of others.
    • Martin Delany, The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States (1852), Chapter 1

F[edit]

H[edit]

  • Empire is the expression of white supremacy beyond our borders... into the Middle East... into Vietnam, Latin America, the Philippines... [to] steal natural resources and exploit cheap labor in the name of white supremacy. And of course, we have an American society built on chattel slavery and genocide against indigenous peoples... White supremacy hurts white folks. There are so many examples of this, from the way that federal and state resources are spent putting Black and brown people in prison in disproportionate numbers to how white racism hurts the overall economy. The police in Buffalo intentionally knocking down that older white man, who lay there bleeding from the head while the police walked over him... was such a profound metaphor for how racism hurts white people.
    With the George Floyd protests and people's uprising, white folks are seeing, again, that what Black and brown folks have been saying about police thuggery is true. Now the police are brutalizing white people... People of color always, throughout American history, suffer first. They are the first to suffer — and they suffer disproportionately. But de-industrialization has now hit the white working class. The tools of control are now being used against them. Overall, I don't so much fault the white racists. They are what they are. I fault the white liberals who really did not pay attention to what was happening to primarily poor people of color in urban areas...

J[edit]

K[edit]

  • This idea of a post-racial society was quite possibly the most sophisticated racist idea ever created. Because unlike previous racist ideas, that specifically told us how we should think about particular people of color, or how we should think about this particular racial group. What post-racial ideas did was it said to us racism doesn't exist, racist policy doesn't exist, in the face of all of these racial inequities. And so then it caused us to say, OK, this inequity, like, the black unemployment rate being twice as high as the white unemployment rate, it can't exist because of racism. It must exist because there's something wrong with black workers.
  • And if we are to open employment opportunities in this country for members of all races and creeds, then the Federal Government must set an example…. The President himself must set the key example. I am not going to promise a Cabinet post or any other post to any race or ethnic group. That is racism in reverse at its worst. So I do not promise to consider race or religion in my appointments if I am successful. I promise only that I will not consider them.
    • John F. Kennedy, campaign speech, Wittenberg College, Springfield, Ohio (October 17, 1960); Freedom of Communications, final report of the Committee on Commerce, United States Senate, part 1 (1961), p. 635. Senate Rept. 87–994.
  • When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies, to be met not with cooperation but with conquest; to be subjugated and mastered. We learn, at the last, to look at our brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community; men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear, only a common desire to retreat from each other, only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force.
  • Let's start with a simple definition of the concept: racism is the belief that there are differences in the abilities and characteristics of people according to the colour of their skin. Sometimes it may be expressed as a distinction between different religious beliefs.
  • It is reprehensible, but not unusual for a girl whose skin is dark or "brunette" as we say in Egypt, to hear racist comments from Egyptian men who are dark-skinned themselves.
  • Your accepted conceptions of cosmogony — whether from the theological or scientific standpoints —do not enable you to solve a single anthropological or even ethnical problem and they stand in your way whenever you attempt to solve the problem of the races on this planet... Go on saying, Our planet and man were created — and you will be fighting against hard facts for ever, analyzing and losing time over trifling details—unable to even grasp the whole.

M[edit]

  • Racial discrimination in the United States is a product of the colonialist and imperialist system. The contradiction between the Black masses in the United States and the U.S. ruling circles is a class contradiction. Only by overthrowing the reactionary rule of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class and destroying the colonialist and imperialist system can the Black people in the United States win complete emancipation. The Black masses and the masses of white working people in the United States have common interests and common objectives to struggle for. Therefore, the Afro-American struggle is winning sympathy and support from increasing numbers of white working people and progressives in the United States. The struggle of the Black people in the United States is bound to merge with the American workers’ movement, and this will eventually end the criminal rule of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class.
  • It would be a great mistake to look upon racism as an irrational doctrine: racism is not a doctrine of irrationalism, it is the very surging up of irrationalism as an elemental force, getting rid of all doctrine, truth and rational structure.
    • Jacques Maritain (1939), The Twilight of Civilization (La crépuscule de la civilisation), translated by Lionel Landry. London: Sheed & Ward, 1946, p. 21.

N[edit]

  • The inequity of minority imprisonment is not only one of greater numbers, it is also one of greater duration of confinement once imprisoned. It has become increasingly evident that, proportionally, minority group members convicted of crimes are at greater risk of being: (a) sentenced to a term of imprisonment, (b) sentenced to a longer term of imprisonment, and (c) forced to serve a longer portion of any given term of imprisonment.
    • National Minority Advisory Council, "The Inequality of Justice: A Report on Crime and the Administration of Justice in the Minority Community", Office of Justice Assistance, Research and Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., September 1980, p. 243), as qtd. in Joan Petersilia, "Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System", National Institute of Corrections, Department of Justice, (June 1983), p. 63.

O[edit]

  • The emotions between the races could never be pure; even love was tarnished by the desire to find in the other some element that was missing in ourselves. Whether we sought out our demons or salvation, the other race would always remain just that: menacing, alien, and apart.
  • The colonists are by the law of nature free born, as indeed all men are, white or black... Does it follow that tis right to enslave a man because he is black? Will short curl'd hair like wool, of christian hair, as tis called by those, hearts are as hard as the nether millstone, help the argument? Can any logical inference in favour of slavery, be drawn from a flat nose, a long or a short face.

P[edit]

  • Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike: as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups. By encouraging Americans to adopt a group mentality, the advocates of so-called "diversity" actually perpetuate racism. Their obsession with racial group identity is inherently racist. The true antidote to racism is liberty. Liberty means having a limited, constitutional government devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than group claims. Liberty means free-market capitalism, which rewards individual achievement and competence, not skin color, gender, or ethnicity.
  • We are led to believe that racism is prejudicial behavior of one party against another rather than the coagulation of socioeconomic injustice against groups. If the state acts without prejudice (this is, if it acts equally), then that is proof of the end of racism. Unequal socioeconomic conditions of today, based as they are on racisms of the past and of the present, are thereby rendered untouchable by the state. Color-blind justice privatizes inequality and racism, and it removes itself from the project of redistributive and anti-racist justice. This is the genteel racism of our new millennium.
    • Vijay Prashad, Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting: Afro-Asian Connections and the Myth of Cultural Purity (2002), p. 38

Q[edit]

  • Black brothers often travel in droves; they are out at night out on the streets, nightclubs, and remote areas. They engage in drug trafficking, harassment of women, and fighting, which seriously disturbs law and order in Guangzhou… Africans have a high rate of AIDS and the Ebola virus that can be transmitted via body fluids… If their population [keeps growing], China will change from a nation-state to an immigration country, from a yellow country to a black-and-yellow country.

R[edit]

  • Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man's genetic lineage—the notion that a man's intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.
    • Ayn Rand, "Racism", The Virtue of Selfishness (1964)
  • Racism claims that the content of a man's mind (not his cognitive apparatus, but its content) is inherited; that a man's convictions, values and character are determined before he is born, by physical forces beyond his control. This is the caveman's version of the doctrine of innate ideas—or of inherited knowledge—which has been thoroughly refuted by philosophy and science. Racism is a doctrine of, by and for brutes. It is a barnyard or stock-farm version of collectivism, appropriate to a mentality that differentiates between various breeds of animals, but not between animals and men.
  • Racism is used by those with wealth and power to divide those with neither, so they won’t see where all the wealth and power have gone.
  • We are a nation of many nationalities, many races, many religions, bound together by a single unity, the unity of freedom and equality. Whoever seeks to set one nationality against another, seeks to degrade all nationalities. Whoever seeks to set one race against another seeks to enslave all races. Whoever seeks to set one religion against another, seeks to destroy all religion.
    • Franklin D. Roosevelt, campaign address, Brooklyn, New York (1 November 1940); The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1940 (1941), p. 53
  • I cannot consent to take the position that the door of hope — the door of opportunity — is to be shut upon any man, no matter how worthy, purely upon the grounds of race or color. Such an attitude would, according to my convictions, be fundamentally wrong.

S[edit]

The degree to which it is hard or uncomfortable for you to have the issue raised is the degree to which you know inside of yourself that you aren't dealing with the issue. ... This is not a "guilt trip." It's a fact trip. ~ Barbara Smith
  • The real tragedy is that there are some ignorant brothers out here. That's why I'm not on this all-white or all-black shit. I'm on this all-real or all fake shit with people, whatever color you are. Because niggas will do you. I mean, there's some niggas out there; the same niggas that did Malcolm X, the same niggas that did Jesus Christ; every 'brother' ain't a brother. They will do you. So just because it's black, don't mean it's cool; and just because it's white don't mean it's evil.
    • Tupac Shakur, from an interview, as quoted in Tupac: Resurrection (2003)
  • For those of you who are tired of hearing about racism, imagine how much more tired we are of experiencing it. ... The degree to which it is hard or uncomfortable for you to have the issue raised is the degree to which you know inside of yourself that you aren't dealing with the issue. ... I want to say right here that this is not a "guilt trip." It's a fact trip.
    • Barbara Smith, "Racism and Women's Studies," Speech delivered at the 1979 National Women's Studies Association Annual Conference, as cited in Black Feminism Reimagined After Intersectionality (Duke University Press: 2018), p. 86

T[edit]

  • We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.
  • Among these widely differing families of men, the first that attracts attention, the superior in intelligence, in power, and in enjoyment, is the white, or European, the MAN pre-eminently so called, below him appear the Negro and the Indian... The most formidable of all the ills that threaten the future of the Union arises from the presence of a black population upon its territory; and in contemplating the cause of the present embarrassments, or the future dangers of the United States, the observer is invariably led to this as a primary fact... You may set the Negro free, but you cannot make him otherwise than an alien to the European. Nor is this all we scarcely acknowledge the common features of humanity in this stranger whom slavery has brought among us. His physiognomy is to our eyes hideous, his understanding weak, his tastes low; and we are almost inclined to look upon him as a being intermediate between man and the brutes.
  • The other problem with saying that people like that are just a product of their time is that not everyone at that time did think like that, and it kinda lets them off the hook. A lot of people thought that slavery was okay, but you know what: The slaves didn’t. And they said so, pretty loudly and often. So if other people thought that slavery was alright, it wasn’t ‘cause they didn’t know, it’s because they chose not to listen to that. They chose not to know.
  • I have black guys counting my money! I hate it. ... The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. ... Laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that.
    • Donald Trump, "Recalled" by John "Jack" O'Donnell, former president of Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino in "Trumped!: The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump -His Cunning Rise and Spectacular Fall", (1991-01-01), John R. O'Donnell, James Rutherford, Simon & Schuster, New York, cited in "Ignoring Trump's Record of Racism", Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (2011-05-06).
  • Nearly all black and brown skins are beautiful, but a beautiful white skin is rare.
    • Mark Twain, Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World (1899).

W[edit]

  • There is patently no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination which justifies this classification. The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy. We have consistently denied the constitutionality of measures which restrict the rights of citizens on account of race. There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the Equal Protection Clause.
  • Ethnic cleansing was orthodox socialism for a century or more... So the socialist intelligentsia of the western world entered the first world war publicly committed to racial purity and white domination, and no less committed to violence.
    • George G. Watson "The Lost Literature of Socialism" (1998), UK: Lutterworth Press, Cambridge, pp. 78-79
  • The authority of science … promotes and encourages the activity of observing, comparing, measuring and ordering the physical characteristics of human bodies.… Cartesian epistemology and classical ideals produced forms of rationality, scientificity and objectivity that, though efficacious in the quest for truth and knowledge, prohibited the intelligibility and legitimacy of black equality…. In fact, to "think" such an idea was to be deemed irrational, barbaric or mad.
  • Racism should be viewed as an intervening variable. You give me a set of conditions and I can produce racism in any society. You give me a different set of conditions and I can reduce racism. You give me a situation where there are a sufficient number of social resources so people don't have to compete for those resources, and I will show you a society where racism is held in check. If we could create the conditions that make racism difficult, or discourage it, then there would be less stress and less need for affirmative action programs. One of those conditions would be an economic policy that would create tight labor markets over long periods of time. Now does that mean that affirmative action is here only temporarily? I think the ultimate goal should be to remove it.

X[edit]

  • In the past, yes, I have made sweeping indictments of all white people. I will never be guilty of that again — as I know now that some white people are truly sincere, that some truly are capable of being brotherly toward a black man. The true Islam has shown me that a blanket indictment of all white people is as wrong as when whites make blanket indictments against blacks.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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