View Single Post
Old 09-14-2018, 09:26 AM
JB99 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 870
While I think racism and sexism should be called out MORE often, the problem is that (A) nobody wants to admit to being racist and (B) people have different definitions for how ‘racism’ or ‘sexism’ is defined.

First, literally everyone holds some level of racist/sexist ideas, even if only implicitly. But the rhetoric is such that if a person says something impolite or ignorant, we immediately jump to saying “This person is a racist,” which is synonymous with “evil.” The assumption that ‘racist = evil’ causes people to shut down and avoid critically examining their behavior. Since no one wants to admit to being racist and the rhetoric against accused racists is so vitriolic, we have big obstacles that prevent understanding and actually improving people’s behavior.

The second half is that many people assume that you are only ‘racist’ if you are ‘a racist,’ in the sense that racists are people who wear white hoods. Explicit, overt racism/sexism is their threshold. Another definition I’ve heard is that “racism” is only when the powerful group exercises their power over the minority group. (This definition implies it is impossible for anyone to be racist against white people.)

At the same time, there is another extreme that girl’s accusations of racism over practically any trivial thing. If a white person wear dreadlocks, that’s racism. If a white girl wears a Chinese dress, that’s racism. I once had someone tell me I was “racist” because I didn’t like the depiction of sexualized underage girls in Asian pop culture. I once had someone tell me I was a “bigot” because I remarked that a fictional character’s sexual orientation was not relevant to the plot of a story.

I want to be sympathetic, but it’s really hard when people hurl accusations of racism over the most inconsequential chickenshit. I suspect the problem would be easier to solve if we could come to some common consensus on what “racism” and “sexism” actually means.