We all have our opinions on this matter. I am going to give you my definition of racism. Feel free to comment, criticize, and give your own definition.
My definition of racism is in three parts:
- Racism is where one believes that another person or group of people are inferior due to the color of their skin or their different country of origin.
- Racism is where one believes that another person or group of people are not deserving of rights or materials due to the color of their skin or their different country of origin. I don't think too many people would take issue with my above statements. It's my third form of racism that I suspect many might disagree with.
- Racism is where one treats an individual or group as "special" and deserving of special treatment that they would not otherwise receive. This special treatment is bestowed purely because of the color of their skin or of their different country of origin.
When one witnesses one or more of the above actions, one might be inclined to privately or publicly call the individual a "racist". I disagree with this assumption. Only the person who exhibited the behavior really knows in his or her heart, whether or not it's really due to racism.
A good example is the case of Michael Richards. Recently, at a comedy club, some individuals, who happened to be black, heckled him, apparently very strongly. Richards rebuked with a stream of foul language and racial epithets (including the 'n' word). Richards was obviously really pissed off. He knew nothing about his verbal attackers, personally, but the one thing he could see was the color of their skin. He wanted to get back at these hecklers. Now the questions are: Did Michael Richards spew out hateful stuff because he knew saying things like the 'n' word would offend his attackers or was there a deeper purpose? Did Michael Richards, in fact, hate them specifically because they were black? The answer to these questions is Only Michael Richards knows. The rest of us can endlessly speculate, debate, and accuse but that won't answer the question.