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Black's Law Dictionary (no pun intended) defines "racism" as follows: "A set of policies that is exhibited by a person or persons toward a group of people of a different race. Often antagonistic and confronting. The assumption of lower intelligence and importance given to a person because of their racial characteristics".
The Oxford English Dictionary defines "racism" as follows: "prejudice, discrimination or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior".
Black People in America can be, and often are, prejudiced or bigoted. As such behavior pertains to white Americans, it can be argued that blacks have valid reasons to be so; but, alas, that is another essay. However, Black People in America cannot be "racist" in the United States. The Black's Law definition of racism is quite interesting in that it refers to "a set of policies". And, of course, from the word "policies" we get the words "police" and "politics". It is more than coincidental that the police in the United States are particularly "antagonistic" towards Black People in America in a way that they are with no other racial group; for they are a direct result of slave patrols and the Ku Klux Klan. I will never forget an F.T.O.'s (Field Training Officer) reference to blacks as "Jungle Bunnies". That was thirty years ago. Needless to state, my foray into law enforcement was brief. White man was not going to use such terminology in my presence; especially with me being as well equipped as he was.
Don't shoot the messenger.
Racism, inherently, implies power; Black People in America have virtually no institutional power. They do not control the government, courts, policing, transportation, housing, finance, employment, corporations, commerce, utilities, banking, publishing, the media at large, education nor politics; and sure as hell don't print any currency (I have always said, somewhat tongue in cheek, that "you might have had a black President, but you will never see a black Federal Reserve Chairperson"). All of which are the things from which "power" is resultant.
I have often asked my white counterparts if they have ever come into contact with a "black racist". I always ask questions before the formation of any hypothesis. Inevitably, many of those white people stated that they, indeed, have come into contact with a black racist (which makes me chuckle). My academic training has formed me into a person that asks preemptory questions; and that preemptory question is a set-up for the more substantive question, which is: "and how did that racism affect you"? I don't mean some lame thing like "I got my ass whipped', or 'my feelings were hurt'". I mean, did you not get the loan? Were you denied living in a certain neighborhood? Were you given an illegal sentence? Did the police immediately attack you because some n-word said "I'll call the police"? Is your child relegated to an inferior school/district because the black racists have the better schools? Do black police officers routinely gun down your white children (or white people in general) in your neighborhoods? Was your child abused because some black racist judge thought you were a honkey that didn't know his place? Are you routinely denied employment? When this second question is asked, every last one of them has fell silent. Not one white person could/can tell me how black "racism" has had some negative institutional effect on them and/or their day-to-day lives or their existence en masse. Not one.
Not liking you, despising you, even hating you, is not racism. It is bigotry, it is prejudice. It is not racism. In a very perverse way, maybe when Black People in America are racists will there be true equality.
One must be cautious about what one chooses to be "equal" to.
There are cities, towns and hamlets across this country where there are white people that have never seen a black person, especially if they do not watch television. I know because I have been to some of them (New Hampshire, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Idaho, Nebraska, Michigan, The Dakotas, Appalachia, Ozarks, etc.). However, it is impossible to be a Black Person in America and not see white folks no matter where you live. The mere act of buying groceries means you will see white folks, for their images are plastered all over the currency that you use.
Now, I can almost see my white brethren girding their proverbial loins ready to pounce and regale me with stories of "reverse discrimination" (an oxymoron if there ever was one). "Discrimination" can be a component of racism, it is not racism on its own. This is the typical argument/counterpoint cited by rather unimaginative whites that are on defense, which is as it well should be. Further, such an example is both facetious and specious because policies such as Affirmative Action and EEOC laws/regulations are an attempt (however feeble) to level the playing field; designed and implemented by the white power structure. Frankly, I think them ridiculous, and absurd, but certainly not for the same reasons that my white counterparts may think them so.
Oxford English Dictionary states, in its definition of the term "racism": "Prejudice, discrimination or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior". Black People in America have sought "equality" (another silliness), few have espoused "superiority" unlike their white American compatriots. The bigotry/prejudice of Black People in America, where it exists, is based on 400 years of maltreatment and unparalleled brutality. I happen to know that white people haveth not a monopoly on intellect. I graduated from High School at 15 years old. As a sixteen year old college freshman, I made a rather handsome sum tutoring less intellectually endowed white students (I am being polite), and writing term papers/bluebooks for the lazy, entitled brats.