Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What is Racism???

Last night I was working with a group of teenagers that I mentor and we were discussing stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. This brought up interesting conversation and thoughts that everybody had. It was good to get thoughts out even if they were wrong because this is how they felt or things they thought. How can we change problems if we do not know the exist???

During the conversation there was an older mentor who really irked my nerves (she usually does, but last night was worse) because of statements she made. She has a problem of going on and on and on and on...Get my point??? Okay. She first made me upset because she called my Alma Mater racist...they got me real heated. Then she made the statement that you can only be a racist if you have power. I was like serious??? I have heard this argument before, but it is so flawed. I then had to look up the definition of the word to make sure I was not crazy. Merriam Webster's dictionary defines racism as follows:

1. a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and
capacities and that racial differences produce and inherent superiority of a
particular race.
2. racial prejudice or discrimination

With this being stated...what does power have to do with it? I am pretty sure some of the people who did not vote for our President because he is African-American are racist and they have no power. Then you might argue that everyone has some type of power so therefore everyone can be racist.
So what is your definition of racism? Do you think it has to do with power?

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