Defining Raicsm, Again? Well, Yes.

Do you know that there is a serious conflict over the basic definition of racism in schools, organizations and general discussions?

  1. Does Racism = Prejudice + Power?
  2. Does Racism = Classification by “Race”?
  3. Does Racism = Ranking by “Race”?
  4. Does Racism = Raking by “Race” + from a Position of Power?

Does Race = Ancestry = Royal Power = Political Power?

Does Race = Skin Color + Physical Appearance?

The same discussion can be had over definitions of Power, Royalty which is important in ancestry, which includes families, of course, and Rank which goes to Power, Wealth and Royalty. Definitions matter.

Now, when considering racism it depends upon who you read, who you believe and what you were taught in school and in your family for whatever your personal definition of racism may be. The best full discussion I have found on the topic is here by Hoyt. This is important because if, from the very beginning of any conversation two individuals have different meanings for basic words an interaction which is well meant, one which could be a calm exploration of ideas can turn heated in an instant.

Example: Person of one color to another person of one color: “You know, of course, In America and Europe especially, only white people can be racist, right?” Depending upon the skin colors of the people involved it is easy to see a highly disruptive moment in the making. Everyone is some color after all.

The speaker assumes power is part of the definition of racism as in #1 and #4 above since in both Europe and America it is largely white people who hold positions of power in both societies. If the hearer of the question understands racism to be identification of “races” as in #2 or ranking of races on superior and inferior hierarchies as in #3 the conversation is in conflict before the real discussions even begin.

Global Currencies = Wealth Measures = Economic Power

Euro, Pound, Dollar, Yen

Royal Crowning = Privilege + Power + Wealth

Military Leadership Today = White Male

NFL Power Rankings

NLF Team Owners Ranks = White Male

Harvard Graduates = Achievement + Power + Diversity

To both sides of the discussion I have a question: if you cannot reach agreement on the very definition of the word racism how can there be any real successful movement forward to solutions on the actual world issues of exploitation, oppression, degradation and physical violence based on racial identity? Does success in one forum = success everywhere? Does one success = STOP?

I prefer clarity whenever possible, and chose simplicity as my goal. So I will keep my definition of Racism  = a classification of humans into a hierarchy of superior and inferior beings based on external physical characteristics with an emphasis on skin color as the primary identification of race. I will use Racial Oppression, White Privilege and White Supremacy to indicate the American and European white dominated societies. Now, it is time for us all to deal with the negative effects of this structure on everyone in those societies, in the entire world if we are honest.

Are you ready?

Turning the Corner

We are all some race, the Human Race. External stereotypes harm everyone. 

In today’s world, more connected and shared that at any time in history our lives are intertwined. Everywhere. Everyday. To claim to respect people while profitting from a stereotype is wrong. To deliberately turn an entire group of people into silly cartoons is wrong. To include brutal violence in a team fan behavior, even pretending it is “fun” is wrong.

We can do better. We should do better. What will you do today to move the change forward? 

NFL Do the Right Thing Now

It is time for the NLF to do the right thing, if MLB will not. Both sports are followed and enjoyed by their fans but finally they are businesses. It will be a sad day if it takes threats of financial loss to motivate the organizations to make the needed changes.

The newly submitted bill to remove the NFL non-profit status is a strong step yet the change should happen no matter what happens to the bill. Thanks to Sen. Cantwell, Sen. Reid and Sen. Johnson for taking a stand. We all can and must:

Yes Racism Is Real–as if we need confirmation

Racism continues in sports. In the NBA. As long as any major league sport has the divisions in ownership, management, players, fans and team identities so clearly divided along racial lines racism will continue. 

What is racism again? To keep the air clear and any discussion focused I’ll stay with the major dictionary definition: 

  a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race

Notice the basic act upon which the belief is founded is beyond the control of each and every person alive today. It is the thinking which says “by my birth I am better than you, or worse than you, always and forever, no matter what I do or do not do in life.” Who I am, what I can do, what I have done and what I will do is irrelevant. Who you are, what you can do, what you have done and what you will do is also irrelevant. This belief is factually wrong, as current science well proves. We are one race, the human race. 

 

 

It is time for the major sports teams in all sports to face this, open the discussion and begin by formally renouncing all racist team identities be they racist and endorsing racial ranking or exploitation in name, logo. mascot or fan behavior.

What actions can you take if you support identifying and changing all racism in sports? Keep reading, more coming soon, specifics and an open discussion for real changes, sooner rather than later. 

Thinking Ahead about a Head

When a child is involved the adults need to be adults. This did not happen here. While it is easy to blame the school district in my experience most mothers do understand if something aobut their life or their family’s life is a bit unusual. Why did the mom not read the handbook carefully and at least ask a question before sending her son to school? Does the school district have the children come to the registration or meet the children before the first day of school? My children visited the teacher for kindergarten before the first day, to learn the classroom and meet the teacher. 

The child’s view of school is something to see. Add to a rather unusual perspective the stress of new faces, new places and lots of excitement some advance thinking can keep the first day positive. Cultural challenges can be well managed with a bit of forethought. Folks, with children we do have to think ahead. That is what being an adult is all about.