• Jake Lazaroff, 8 years ago

    First line in Mirriam-Webster's definition of racism:

    poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race

    Intent is sufficient but not necessary. I think part of the problem is that "racism" is such a loaded term that when someone hears it, they automatically get defensive, as if they're being called bad people. They're not. They might have discriminated against a group of people accidentally, but if they recognize that and try to be more aware then it doesn't have to reflect on them as a person.

    How should we describe our system of systematic discrimination against people based on their race if not racist?

    2 points
    • Floyd WilliamsonFloyd Williamson, 8 years ago (edited 8 years ago )

      Invision is not treating non-white people poorly because of their race. The very definition of racism is active. This is not a difficult concept.

      In fact, since you you seem to like Merriam-Webster, here is their full 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."

      Systematic discrimination could, in some cases, also be described as systematic thoughtlessness or apathy. For example, someone is white, and they live in a neighborhood with mostly white people, and their coworkers are mostly or all white. They might create a product that showcases white people out of pure thoughtlessness to include other demographics.

      It is not necessarily racism or racial discrimination.

      2 points
      • Jake Lazaroff, 8 years ago

        And the bullet point under that:

        racial prejudice or discrimination

        These definitions are ORs, not ANDs, so they don't all have to apply. The example that you just described—a white person, able to move to a mostly-white neighborhood, with a social network of almost entirely white people, who creates a product that excludes people of color—exactly describes institutional racism.

        If someone is discriminated against on account of their race, it's racism. There doesn't need to be any intent.

        (And if you want a more academic definition rather than a dictionary one, racism is a race in power institutionalizing their prejudice against other races).

        2 points