Perspectives on Race

A Discussion about Events Concerning Race

Can Calling Someone Racist be Racism?

with one comment

I was watching some videos on youtube, trying to find an idea to blog about, when I had a sudden thought while watching a video from during last year’s presidential elections. Can calling someone racist be racism? This may sound weird, but let’s see if I can explain this adequately.

Let’s say that a white male makes some haphazard remark directed toward a black male, but he does not mean it in a racist manner nor would it be racist were it directed at a white male. Then, the black male calls the white male racist. Is this remark in itself racist? I say this because I believe that the black male is assuming that the comment was racist based upon the fact that the speaker was white. Is it racist to assume that someone is making a racist remark or is racist based upon the fact the they’re white?

Or, what if the assumption of racism was even more vague? What if a minority assumes that a white person is racist without having talked to them based upon the mere fact that they are white? I personally see this as a rather odd form of racism. Thus, is racism basically any  bad quality or action toward a person based merely upon skin color?

We may  be making the subject of racism even more taboo and awkward by constantly accusing people of racism when it is unwarranted. In order to eliminate racism, we must be able to speak plainly about it without constant fear of being called racist. Give credit where credit is due and only give the racist label to those who deserve it.


Written by victorianelson

September 27, 2009 at 3:10 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I believe that social scientists and psychologists refer to this type of gaffe as transference. When one person assumes the other is racist before all the facts are in. I think this is because they are scared of being considered racist themselves, so they go on the offensive before their opponent; or it could be a simple case of not having anything important to say, so they want to get the public’s attention by bringing up a hot button issue. Everyone assumes that the first person to accuse the other of being racist is the one who is more diversified and accepting. Only as of late do I think that we have begun to see past this tactic and view it for what it really is, a political ploy to garner attention at the political cost of your opponent. Either way, I consider it dirty politics, if it is unfounded.


    October 3, 2009 at 3:15 pm

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