A definition of racism new to me

On my commute home from work last night, I listened to a discussion on KMOJ (local radio station) regarding racism. The guest was a woman (originally from Zimbabwe) who is currently on tour with a two-day workshop devoted to teaching people about racism. She offered the following definition of racism:

Racism = Race + Prejudice + Power.

She expanded on that idea.
Race is a myth, a lie that’s been told over and over again throughout history, so that most people believe it. So far, so good.

Prejudice she gave a fairly standard definition: irrational bias or hatred towards a person or group of people.

Power was where it got interesting. The power she was referring to is the institutional, entrenched variety, not individual power. Institutional power allows those in the institution to oppress and control others. In the United States, she cited the institutions of education and government as currently adhering to a white agenda, i.e. one that ignores the contributions of all other races and strives to teach people that the only way to succeed or gain power is to be white. Furthermore, her interviewer asked her if, as a black man, he was capable of being racist. She said no.

Black people (and other minorities) under this definition of racism are not capable of being racist since they do not have the power to oppress or control other elements of society.

So what do you think? Is this a good definition of racism? Can minorities, if they are (or feel) oppressed, be racist?

I’m tempted to go to the workshop, but I’m afraid my white ass will be torn to shreds. I’m really interested in how the workshops are run, how they teach people to operate in a system where they are powerless, and how they propose to correct the situation. (As a side note, she also suggested a quarantine on the continent of Africa, so that it could heal from the ravages of colonialism. Huh.)

I wonder if she believes that men cannot be sexist then. After all, this is a democracy and there are more women than men. Therefore, women are the institutional power.

Personally, I think her idea is the pinnacle of absurdity. Institutional racism is merely one form of the many forms of racism. Does she limit this to government institutions? Any group at all? What does she mean by “oppress” and “institution”, I wonder.

She lost me when she said that race was a myth, then started referring to “white people” and “black people.” If she’s not dividing the population of the planet up according to race, what do these terms refer to?

Merriam-Webster defines racism as “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.”

If gender doesn’t exist, you can’t have sexism. If everybody’s the same age, you can’t have ageism. So, if race doesn’t exist, you can’t have racism.

I find it condescending to say that impotent, powerless people can’t be racist. That’s like saying somebody who’s too poor to own a car has no idea what owning a car would be like, or what kind of car he’d like to own.

That “racism requires power” argument is tired and quite old. I first remember hearing it in the mid- to late-80’s, and I’m sure it’s much older than that. My dictionary defines racism as “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capabilities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.” I see nothing in there that makes economic, political, or social power a prerequisite to racism. Obviously, those who would redefine the word are doing it to suit their own purposes, not out of some sense of the purity of language.

And even if racism did require power, that still does nothing for “prejudice,” “bigotry,” “discrimination,” or “hatred.”

Sounds like this woman is suffering from some “racist delusions” herself.


It’s an obviously self-serving attempt to re-define “race” (as well as power) so that blacks won’t have to confronted with their own racism.

The dictionary definition of racism is good enough, but my definition is simply “any inappropriate emphasis on race”.
My equation is:

Racism + Power = Opression

Louis Farrakhan certainly has more power than I do.

It seems to me that what the person is trying to say is that racism, as she defines it, cannot be perpetrated against the racists, as she defines them. I kinda think she has a point, even if her definitions are screwed up.

As a dirty-blonde UberMongrel in America, what can, say, the Andaman-American community do to oppress me? They can draw their community tighter and keep me largely out of it, but I’m free to go f*ck up other peoples’ lives, as we Volvo-Americans are often wont to do. I don’t need the Andaman-Americans, and if they piss me off, God help 'em.

Andaman-Americans, however, may very well need me: my patronage, my acceptance, my tolerance, my uncle who purports to represent them as a Senator, etc.

It’s pretty one way.

I think that was what the speaker was trying to point out. I still don’t like the particular redefinition of the terms, but there’s a cogent observation in there, somewhere. Maybe racial oppression is a better term.

I’d say the dangerous part of her argument is that it seems to give minorities carte blanche to be assholes.

Now hold the phone, I’m not saying minorities are assholes.

What I am saying is that a black guy who says, “All white people suck,” is no better than a white guy who says, “All black people suck.”

From what I know of racism, both above statements are “racist”.

I’ll go with Sofa King - the woman in the OP was talking of racial oppression, which is a different kind of ugly.

I think there is something to what she says. I would say that defining racism in the way that she is defining it is wrong, wrong, wrong, however.

To me, and this is a personal definition, racism is simply believing in the idea of race. Period. Nothing more. I think the concept of race is absurd and believing in it is racism. Unfortunately, I do find myself thinking in terms of race sometimes. So by my definition I am racist.

I think that what the Zimbabwean woman was describing deserves a separate name that is in common speech. Hegemony or Oppression by the Elite might describe the situation I guess, but most people do not use those words.

It seems there need to be clearer terms to describe various opressions and prejudices.

First, race is a myth. But myths can influence human affairs, if enought people believe.

Second, what racism is really about is groups. Who can doubt that in the US, whites AS A GROUP hold the power while blacks do not.

If you don’t believe me, look at the president, the senate, and the CEOs of major companies.

I’m sure Reginald Denny must have been comforted by his membership in the Caucasian hegemony when that crowd at Florence and Normandy was stomping the crap out of him.

Racism is judging a person by membership in a racial or ethnic group, period. You can be a working class black man sounding off about the Koreans moving into the hood, or an upperclass white woman assuming the Latino vice-president knows her lawn guy; you’re a racist either way.

That goes for positive stereotypes as well, like the Asian “model minority” thing.

Race is the same thing as ethnicity, in my opinion, and to claim that one group cannot be racist on the idea that they were oppressed in the past is absurd. Who HASN’T been oppressed? Jews, Blacks, Irish, Native American, Asian, Indian, etc etc…it all goes round and round.

Racism is ugly, no matter what. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

I can see one major flaw in the argument that minorities can’t be racist because they lack power. Everybody belongs to some institution and every institution has power and the ability exercise power somewhere at some time. Hypothetical: My family and I hate Biddelonians and refuse to allow Biddeleonians to purchase stuff at our garage sale. By the Zimbabwean’s own argument we are acting as a racist institution. If Biddeleonians refuse to give me access to their tribal land because I’m white then they’re acting as a racist institution. If a Biddeleonian storekeeper refuses to serve me, his store becomes a racist institution. Aside from the genuine homeless drifter, can anyone actually think of someone who doesn’t belong to an institution that holds some power somewhere and therefore has the power to be racist? Or doe she perhaps have a very selective view of what constitutes and institution?

I find it very interesting, and not slightly hypocritically revolting, that someone from Zimbabwe of all places is saying that she is incapable of being racist.The black government of Mugabe is encouraging and supporting the violent and horrific murder and dispossesion of people because they are white. How the hell can she say blacks have no power and are incapable of racism? If the “whites-have-all-the-power-at-some-level-and-therefore-blacks-cannot-be-racists-no-matter-what-they-do-to-whites” attitude held by this ‘lady’ is typical of Zimbabweans then it explains how these racist lunatics find it so easy to justify their genocidal works and gain supporters. A good reason for rejecting racist ramblings no matter what colour the rambler.

The argument that victims of institutional racism cannot be guilty of racism dates back at least to the late 1960s. It’s a popular theme among a few groups. Louis Farrakhan (specifically through a couple of his lieutenants) is famous for trying to assert this point.

It doesn’t wash. Any person who demeans or looks down on any group because of their perceived race (or demeans or looks down on any individual because they are perceived to be part of a racial group) is a racist.

Discussions of power and who really has it or lacks it are valid. Redefining a word to exclude your group from being accused of an act or attitude in which they engage is foolish.

While I agree that the definition that this woman is promoting is wrong, I think your definition is rather extreme. Race is one of the most obvious characteristics that every person has. Obviously, everybody wants to remember what other people look like. There is nothing racist about thinking to yourself “Joe is black”, if it will help you recognize Joe the next time you see him. Nor is there any problem with saying “Joe is black” if somebody asks you to describe him. Racism occurs when you use somebody’s race to judge that person’s worth.

First, let me say that I agree with the general gist of reactions to this woman. Clearly she’s talking about oppression and trying to cover over racism in the comportment of others.

However, with all due respect for my comrade Gaspode, he has inadvertently introduced some distortions here. I hope I can give a context.

A few clarifications for why I am taking exception to the above.

(a) the actual facts on the ground in Zimbabwe to my understanding don’t justify the appellation “genocide” although racialized politics and violence are clearly at work. Not surprising given the history of Zimbabwe (ex Rhodesia) Isolated murders by racist thugs do not qualify as genocide, and in fact (although this renders Mugabe more stinkingly hypocritical) he does quite a lot of business with white settlers. Cynical manipulation as I will explain below.

(b) The land issue is a sadly longstanding one, yet also one of recent vintage. To contextualize, as I recall something like 60% of white farmers lands were obtained through illegal expropriation* (at gunpoint) in the 1950s (during the height of Rhodesia’s particularly repugnant apartheid regime) from black ‘tribal’ small-holdings. That is in the living memory of many people. The peace accords of 1978/9 which ended the bloody struggle of the black majority to end the apartheid regime established some mechanism which allowed said settlers who had expropriated the land to remain in place for the time being. Resolution deferred in the interest of immediate peace. Mugabe sat on the issue for a long time. At first to let the war wounds heal, then as time dragged on and his popularity slid, it clearly became a point to exploit for cheap political purposes. He uses the rhetoric of exploitation and whatnot to keep the issue alive and has no interest in a genuine resolution.

*: although in another sense de jure legal insofar as the state gave a green light, however I believe that one can easily establish that proper common law legal procedures including due process for black inhabitants were ignored.

© Clearly by normal legal standards the white settlers’ claims to the land are highly questionable. The question becomes how to handle the issue. Clearly most present land owners have deeds of little legitimacy. At the same time dispossession without compensation will be misperceived as mere expropriation when in fact it would really be reversing the same. Ideally legal procedures to reverse the expropriations might be considered but documentation for traditional land holdings is thin, the original paper documentation to my understanding established by colonial authorities and may itself be unreliable, the process highly politicized, the few that have proceeded have largely handed over land to Mugabe cronies rather than folks rather more likely to have valid claims, to my understanding. GB has offered to my last understanding to set up a compensation fund based on its responsibility as the colonial power for the illegal expropriations but Mugabe in fact doesn’t want to resolve it and so has stone walled this avenue after initially making a big deal out of it.

(d) to the best of my knowledge most black Zimb citizens don’t support Mubage’s cynical exploitation of all concerned, in fact an opposition party allied in part with what appear to be the more progressive members of the white farmers did stunningly well in the last elections despite strong arm tactics and attempts to use the later fact against it.

(e) I do think one can understand where her sentiments come from if she grew up in the apartheid era (i.e. until 1979) although certainly she’s still wrong in her definition. Not everyone has a heart wise and big enough to be a Mandela. That goes around to the white farmers, who IMHO have themselves exploited, in international fora, Mugabe’s cynical exploitation of the issue for they never admit their own title to the land occupied is largely highly suspect. Their disregard for the violent and illegal origin of their own land titles renders their position, in my estimation, highly hypocritical itself and rather an abuse of principal.

Well Collounsbury I’ve never yet found reason to disagree with you, but on this one I’m afraid I have to.

To my understanding it is genocide.
gen·o·cide (j n -s d ) n. The systematic and planned extermination of an entire national, racial, political, or ethnic group.
I could make a very reasonable case that white landholders in Zimbabwe are both a political and ethnic group.
These are not isolated attacks by racist thugs any more than the infamopus ‘Krystalnacht’ (sp?) was an isolated attack by racist thugs. In both cases these acts are being supported, encouraged and legitimised by the government of the nation.
These attacks are both systematic and planned.

(I’ve edited what you said her Collounsbury, and apologise in advance if I’ve misrepresented your sentiments)
The legal legitimacy of the white landholders occupation of their land is not in question. As you say, they have title deeds issued by the government of Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. The moral legitimacy may be slightly less clear since they presumably took the land at gunpoint. Of course in numerous cases the land was taken as ‘spoils of war’ after legitimate wars, legally decalared on just grounds under international and British law of the day. The fact that Mr. Rhodes deliberately provoked these wars by engineering confrontation and enetering into spurious, though legal, treaties with different ribes is irrelevant. All common-law rights of blacks were upheld. The wars were legal and the white landholders who took the land had as legitimate a right to that land as the people of the USA had to the occupied lands of Germany after WWII. Even without that, those lands have in all but a few instances changed hands many times since then. If the governemnt and courts endorsed the transaction then it becomes legal ownership by default.
That land seized during the 1950’s is less morally justifiable perhaps (I don’t know the deatils of that phase of Rhodesia’s history). Nonethelesss these people have legal title to their land.

Of course the people from whom these lands were taken by the Europeans were not the original imhabitants, as you would well know Collounsbury. At some stage they stole the land at spearpoint themselves. I assume any common-law rights of the existing inhabitants were never taken into account. This alone makes nonsense of any claim by current black people to have the moral right to ‘take-back-what’s-theirs’

The concept that theft of land and the associated murders and torture is somehow simply ‘reversing the same’ seems like nonsense to me. Does that justify someone of Indian descent murdering a family in New York? Or someone of pictish descent slaughtering a family in Cornwall. Or is their a statute of limitations implied in all this?

All this still glosses over the fact that these people are not just taking back land. They are killing, raping, torturing and stealing property that was never theirs. I would have few problems if they were simply taking back what was theirs.

  1. This is more than cynical exploitation. It is theft, murder and torture.
    2)I’m sure the majority don’t support it. This doesn’t change the fact that this persecution and murder is happening, that it is being encouraged by the government of the nation and that racist views are what is inspiring it.

I know an ex-Zimbabwean farmer. He accepts and has full regard for the origins of what was his land. Not knowing any of the current white farmer’s personally I have to assume that you have spoken to them all and know that they all disregard ‘the violent and illegal origin of their own land titles’. I find this a little hard to believe. As an Australian my title to my land has ‘violent and illegal origins’. I don’t disregard this. I accept and have full regard for it. However I had no choice in the matter of where I was born and I have to work within the current legal system of the nation. I cannot legally live elsewhere. How is a 30 year old white farmer in Zimbabwe any different from myself? How does this justify his or my murder and the theft of that which we have worked for? I suspect that very few if any of the poster’s on this board have title to land that doesn’t have ‘violent and illegal origins’. They accept this and in no way disregard it.

There is always a first.

To my understanding it is genocide.
gen·o·cide (j n -s d ) n. The systematic and planned extermination of an entire national, racial, political, or ethnic group.
I could make a very reasonable case that white landholders in Zimbabwe are both a political and ethnic group.
These are not isolated attacks by racist thugs any more than the infamopus ‘Krystalnacht’ (sp?) was an isolated attack by racist thugs. In both cases these acts are being supported, encouraged and legitimised by the government of the nation. These attacks are both systematic and planned.


I reject once more ‘genocide’ as a good term here. There is clearly no attempt to exterminate whites as a group, there is an attempt to drive white farmers off the land.

As for systematic and planned, I question both terms here. Some of it is, some not.

I prefer to reserve strong terms for events that truly merit them. Genocide is a term I might use for Rwanda, certainly not for Zim. If you want to cheapen its meaning I can hardly stop you.

It strikes me that on a number of bases including due process of prior owners the title of those lands is attackable under common law. Practically speaking given the state of documentation and the legal system in Zim this would not work, however the fact that the Apartheid goverment was behind the seizure of land rather renders their ‘legalization’ suspect.

Leaving aside the spoils of war argument (I would question the legitmacy even here in fact since Rhodes agents were ‘private’ in general and thus incapable of acting in a state of war as I understand international law), I noted that much of the land siezures occured within living memory, clearly not in a state of war. I recall the figure 60% but on the other hand I do not recall whether the source provided good documentation of this.

Again, I recall that Rhodes agents were largely private and did not have the legal standing to act as sovereign agents, but this is rather besides the point as it was not this period I was referring to.

They have titles to lands illegally siezed without due process. As cases in Canada and even the United States in re tribal lands siezed by white settlers have suggested, common law gives a means for challenging these titles. Of course much depends on specific Zim law etc, etc, but it is clear that the settlers legal title is not unassailable.

And? Yes, at some point all land may have been taken from others. Given we have a legal story that begins with documentation at a certain point in time and that the 1950s story has behind it a whole 50 years of fine British documentation, we can start there. If we look to the recent Canadian case in re tribal lands, one will find the court did not make this silly argument.

In re pre-colonial inhabitant, of course they did not have British common law rights as they were not under British rule. Only when British rule starts and traditional and common law rights are codified does this begin. That’s the start of the story, legally. There starts the legal duties (including of course any and all treaty obligations recognized by the crown).

Where did I say this? I refer you to my prior message. I made no such argument, rather I looked to legal solutions, although I did making oblique reference to understanding the frustration of those who grew up in the apartheid system where a genuine rule of law did not obtain for blacks. As such I can understand a frustration.

Again, I noted in regards to the process to date that it has not benefiteed in large part those who might genuinely have claim to the land but Mugabe’s cronies. I also hasten to note that ‘these people’ are clearly a small minority of goons partially under Mugabe’s control, partially just using the excuse for criminal behavior.

Cynical exploitation is clearly in reference to Mugabe’s policies. I fail to see, other than as an appeal to emotion, your point here.

Well, your original post managed to impute on all Zimbabweans the actions of a few.

As for racist views inspiring it, I don’t know about that. Political maneuvering and land hunger. If the settlers were foreign black Africans I think we’d see more or less the same thing. Racism is a secondary component. Clearly there, but I don’t see it as the true motivating factor.

Now, now I do believe that speaking in the collective here is clearly a established English usage for generalizing.

I don’t believe it implies in any way I have spoken with all farmers. It does imply that I have read and had enough information to make a generalization about the body of them. I feel that I have, via reading on the issue in news reports, occasional trips to Harare some years back on business wherein I had personal contacts with the same -most disturbingly unedifying- and having read materials published by various ‘white’ Zim associations.

It may be my estimation is wrong but I believe it is adequately based and I stand by my opinion that given public declarations and what I saw from private conduct, most white farmers

First, I reiterate that my post in no way justified any violent actions. I took exception to the lack of context and what I see as completely unjustified hyperbole. I believe a handful of farmers have suffered violence, which is what leads me again to reject your hyperbolic language.

Now as to the specific question, of course this is the precise reason why violent solutions are to be rejected and that the offer by the British government to fund a compensation fund is to be taken up by a non-Mugabe government. I would think that alternative compensation to former land owners who may not be able to effectively utilize the land would also be a good idea.

I will note a key difference between you and the hypothetical 30 year white zim farmer. The direct victims of the dispossesion are still alive and kicking, the train of documentation is more likely to be in place.

Do they? I doubt it.

Fair enough, I was using the word genocide as defined above. As I said I think I could make a very good case that white farmers are a political and ethnic group.

Mr. Mugabe seems to think it is planned and should continue to be planned. From the link I posted above ““Our party must continue to strike fear in the heart of the white man, our real enemy,” he told about 7,000 supporters of his ruling ZANU-PF at Harare Sports Centre. He vowed to continue commandeering white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks and said the courts, which have twice declared the land grab illegal, would not stop him.”
If the ruling political party and head of state are indulging in an activity and giving it legal protection then that’s about as organised as I can imagine.

You have your right to your opinion, however I use the term exactly as my dictionary defines it.

Yet again, I agree, but none of this detracts from the fact that as things stand the deeds are legally binding. The Zimbawean courts seem to support my view.

Except that he/they were granted legitimacy by the Crown despite being private/ex military.

Quite true, but as things stand their deeds should be secure, and should remain secure until nullified or modified by due process. I don’t understand how you can use possesion of said legally acquired deeds to justify the murder, torture and robbery of the bearers. As I said holding a spurious though currently legal deed in Manitoba should not justify being butchered by Indians.

I agree totally with the facts, but you seem to be missing my point or confusing two systems. You have implied above that the fact that land was taken illegally (a case still not proved in any court) justifies or mitigates murder and theft. This is strange to me. Either we are working in the framework of British law and its descendants in Zimbabwe, or we are working under the ‘law of the jungle’ If the former there are legal steps that must be followed and murder of thieves is not acceptable. If the latter then the fact that the land was stolen from the original inhabitants of Rhodesia makes nonsense of any concept that justice is at play and this is simply “reversing the same”. This is simply a murderous act being carried out by the man with the biggest stick. Either way there is no way to argue this is just.

You said it here: “At the same time dispossession without compensation will be misperceived as mere expropriation when in fact it would really be reversing the same.” Dispossession without compensation, and regardless of objection or lack of consent from the owners, is theft isn’t it? Ignoring the fact that these landholders are being murdered and tortured while their land is being taken, the concept that theft from someone who legitimately purchased land is simply ‘reversing the same’ is nonsense IMHO. If we have a British syle legal system this is not just ‘reversing the same’, it’s theft. If we have a ‘law of the jungle’ situation then it is not ‘reversing the same’, it’s theft from those too weak to resist. There is no justice here.

This is all true. None of this in any way invalidates what I originally posted or supports the concept that I had introduced ‘distortion’ to the debate. I never addressed who was doing it, only that racist blacks were attacking whites and justifying it using the ‘whites-did-it –to-us-when-they-had-the-power’ line.

  1. This is more than cynical exploitation. It is theft, murder and torture.

My point was that you had, in that one sentence, minimised Mugabes policies to ‘cynical exploitation’ when his stated policies include “Our party must continue to strike fear in the heart of the white man, our real enemy. The courts can do whatever they want, but no judicial decision will stand in our way”. You then repeat this minimisation again in your response. My intention was not to appeal to emotion but to place Mugabe’s genocidal and murderous policies in their true light. They are not ‘cynical exploitation’. That is a policy of every politician in my experience, they are murder and terrorism.

I certainly never intended to do any such thing.
If you read what I posted again you will see that I actually said “If the “whites-have-all-the-power-at-some-level-and-therefore-blacks-cannot-be-racists-no-matter-what-they-do-to-whites” attitude held by this ‘lady’ is typical of Zimbabweans then it explains how these racist lunatics find it so easy to justify their genocidal works and gain supporters.”
How you can take this to be imputing racist beliefs on all Zimbabweans is beyond me. It quite clearly states that if the hypothesis were to be true then it would explain the ease with which Mugabe is carrying out his criminal acts. Had I said that I had met one illiterate Zimbabwean and hypothesised “If all Zimbabweans were illiterate it would explain their low performance on IQ tests” would you assume that this too was imputing all Zimbabweans. You appear much to sensitive on this issue.

That is as ludicrous as saying that Hitler’s views weren’t racist because he seized the Jew’s and Romany’s property. If Hitler hadn’t had the Jews I’m sure he too would have picked another victim group. I think you and I both know the way the metality of this sort of bigot works. That does not mean Rcaism was secondary component of Hitler’s psychosis, nor does it detract from the fact that these farmers are being singled out because they are of a separate race. Read the link I provided. Mugabe quite clearly states “Our party must continue to strike fear in the heart of the white man, our real enemy. The white man is not indigenous to Africa. Africa is for Africans. Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans” How the hell can you that that isn’t an attempt to inspire and appeal to a racist viewpoint in his followers?

Yes, and as greinspace, peace AWC and co. have proven these types of generalisations are never conducive to healthy debate or the elimination of ignorance. We are talking here of a group of people being victimised and murdered as a group, all statements must apply to the whole group or they are invalid. See below.

You clearly have more experience in this than me and I won’t dispute that your assessment of the mentality of the population is correct (nor will I support it, I reserve the right be dubious). However the reason why I called you on your blanket assertion that all white farmers “disregard… the violent and illegal origin of their own land titles” is because if even 10% have full regard for their history then these ten percent are being victimised and slaughtered along with the 90% majority. This alone means that your attempt to mitigate or justify these actions by this route is morally and legally invalid.

That may be so but you certainly appear to be attempting to mitgate or justify it. If this was not your intention then exactly what is the relevance of your initial post to either the OP or what I posted? How does any of that history make the Zimbabweans less guilty of racist acts. Or is it supposed to invalidate my assertion that Mugabe is encouraging and supporting violent and horrific murders? I’m not quite sure what your intention was if not to mitigate the acts I stated were occurin.

That’s your opinion, however that is not what you said. You stated that I had “has inadvertently introduced some distortions”. This is a far cry from hyperbole. I fail to see that you have supported this so far beyond your assertion that you didn’t like the way I used the word ‘genocide’. That is your right but its usage is correct as far as my dictionary defines it. Beyond that do you dispute that the murders are supported by Mugabe? Do you dispute that they are both violent and in many cases horrific? Which statement of mine is an exaggeration? If there is no exaggeration how can their be hyperbole?

And this invalidates or lessens the truth of what was posted how?

I still fail to see how that makes my deed to stolen land more valid than his, but we digress.

And I respect your right to that opinion.

I’m afraid I know niothing about the land switches going on in Zimbabwe, but I wanted to comment on the OP.

The problem I have always had with the “racism requires power” thing is that it changes the apparent meaning of the word so much as to make it meaningless.

Consider this: A person from Zimbabwe in the United States who happens to hate and discriminate against White people (I am not referring to the woman on the radio show; I don’t know if she hates or discriminates against anyone. My person is hypothetical). This fellow has no power to oppress white people and is therefore not a racist.

He gets in a plane and flies back to Zimbabwe. When he arrives in a country with a black power structure he is able to oppress white people and, since he hates them and discriminates against them, he is by definition racist.

So, when did he become a racist? Halfway across the ocean?
When the plane wheels touched down?

What does racism mean if it depends on where you are sitting as opposed to what you are thinking and doing?