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Racism is the belief that different "races" (a term which does not have a universal or specific definition) may generally be rated in terms of their superiority or inferiority to each other, and that members of races which are deemed "superior" should enjoy greater privileges than members of those deemed "inferior".

Those who adhere to such beliefs tend to consider themselves as belonging to the race they consider "superior".

Racism is distinct from prejudice or bias in that most people work to overcome their prejudices, while a racist nurtures and protects such prejudices from the evidence, experiences, and rational criticism which would otherwise reduce or eliminate them over time. Conscious racism is therefore, by nature, counterfactual.


There are multiple types or levels of racism, including at least the following (and using white-against-black racism as the example):

  • Type 1 Supremist: KKK, white supremacy, tries to restrict rights of non-white people via means legal and illegal; may openly use racial slurs, or more subtle expressions such as concerns about the fate of "Western civilization" in the face of multiculturalism; views other races as not fully human
  • Type 2, Separatist: Doesn't actually wish harm to non-whites or necessarily believe they are inferior, but doesn't want anything to do with them. Supports "separate but equal" segregation.
  • Type 3, Reactive: Has nothing against black people per se, but doesn't understand why black people are angry at white people, doesn't see the need for programs and policies to counter existing discrimination. "All lives matter", "I'm colorblind", "the race card", election of Obama proves that racism is over. (This is distinguished from type 2 in that a type 3 white racist would be fine with living next to a black person, while a type 2 white racist would not.)

Types 2 and 3 are typically expressed via unacknowledged bias in one's choices or perceptions, rather than overt statements (shouting slurs, or stating that one "race" is superior to the other); in early 21st-century America, for example, it more commonly takes the form of going to much greater lengths to prosecute or exclude a member of a disempowered race than would ever be done for someone of the dominant race – "eagerly looking for reasons why a black kid needed to die", as one comment put it.




Filed Links

many of these need to be moved to US racism



  • 2008-02-02 Amazing Racism: A study of the English football (soccer) league between 1978 and 1993 showed that "Clubs that bucked the norm and fielded several black players did not suffer lower attendance or revenues as a result. But they did enjoy a higher league position with a lower wage bill than the typical club – clear evidence that black players were underpaid on racial grounds."