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I find the implied suggestion that anti-semitism is the most significant form of racism quite insulting. The US anti-African or dark skinned racism is much more significant, not only being the source of its early southern wealth, but its current policies which sees 30% of the Afro-American population subjected to its criminal system and countries like West Papua under long term invasion and torture because the US considers those people expendiable for its access to their minerals and oil.

I'm sure there will be plenty for a Talk page here :) I for one don't like at all the first sentence, which implies that merely finding the races to be different is in some way racism. Poppycock; finding one race inherently superior to another may be racism, as would supporting differential treatment under law, but finding them merely different is simple observation. --LDC

I see what you mean. I would argue that racism isn't just about finding one's own race superior or inferior, it is also about exaggerating the differences and the importance placed on the differences while ignoring the similarities. People of different ethnicities have many more things in common than things that set them apart. Not noticing that is the basis for racism. Maybe we really need two definitions, one broad and one narrow, just like on gay there's one inclusive and one exclusive. For now I've changed inherently to essentially because it better reflects what I was trying to say. --Mjausson

Finding one race superior to the other is racism. The problem with the word 'different' is that it is sometimes used by people who are reluctant to state their opinion on something. BTW: I am not an expert on this but supposedly the genetic differences between people are so minute that they can't even be described as races. WojPob

Well they can, and are, but not scientifically: I, as a french-choctaw-cherokee-dutch-irish-englishman, am considered "white," though I'm much darker than most asians, who are asian by virtue of where they live, and Tiger Woods is considered "black" by virtue of his African ancestors, rather than "white" by virtue of the European ones, or "Asian" by virtue of those. Meanwhile some natives of Latin-American countries consider themselves "Latin" but are told upon arriving in the United States that they are "black." And if you sail along the coast of Africa noting the people, there will come a time when you could not tell if a person were "black" or not. The notion of race is clearly a mess. If you wanted to be scientific about it, you might classify race by the presence or lack of epicanthic folds, or by blood type, or eyecolor, etc. --KQ

The following would not pass muster according to neutral point of view:

While there are differences between populations of different ethnicity that cannot adequately be explained by socio-economic factors (e.g. varying propensity for diseases such as diabetes, alcoholism and sickle-cell anemia), there is no scientific evidence that supports letting the minute genetic differences between people of various races affect public policy or the way individuals lead their lives.
Racist beliefs can be and in varying portions are held by all people of all ethnic groups, throughout the world, but their impact is naturally stronger in people who belong to over-privileged ethnic groups as they are likely to wield more power over others.

I think these claims need to be explained much more carefully and at greater length. --LMS

The second sentence of the first paragraph says: "Sometimes the notion of racism is treated as implying that individuals and society should enforce those differences." I have no idea what that means. --KQ

You know, KQ, I don't quite either... --LMS

I altered this a bit. Emended comments were not necessarily wrong, but they were a little confusing the way they were worded. -TS

"...and that racial differences result in an inherent superiority of people of a particular race. This belief is generally not supported by scientific research." I don't know if we want to go there, as to the latter comment. What does it mean to say that this belief is not supported by scientific research? What does scientific research have to do with anything, here? That might be clear to you, but it's not clear to me. To say that scientific research might or might not support racism is to suppose that racism is a falsifiable view in the first place. Racism is often regarded as simply an attitude, and attitudes are not the sorts of things that can be supported or disproved by scientific research. When The Bell Curve treated claims that are thought by some to embody racist beliefs, it raised an uproar, and some believe that the book's methodology was flawed, while others believe the points raised in the book could not get a fair hearing on account of the extreme anti-racist sentiment (not that that's a bad thing, of course!) in the United States. Saying simply that the belief is "generally not supported by scientific research" woefully underrepresents the situation and is just not clear. I think this sophomoric remark should either be expanded, with accurate reportage on the competing views about The Bell Curve and other aspects of the situation, or else simply removed. So I'm going to remove it until it is expanded. I'm not the one to expand it, though. --LMS


The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination defines (article 1) racism as:
the term "racial discrimination" shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin

This might be useful information in an article about racism or about racial discrimination, in a section about international responses; but as a definition of racial discrimination, it's not very good. It's way too broad as a definition, which means that all kinds of things are said to count as racial discrimination, according to this definition, when no reasonable person would say that they are racial discrimination. Please see fallacies of definition.

Also, please don't confuse racism with racial discrimination. They go hand-in-hand, but they aren't the same. I can be a racist without discriminating, and I can discriminate without being a racist. --LMS

I disagree... racism can be on grounds other than purely race... take anti-Semitism for instance... it is questionable for instance whether Jews constitute a separate race -- I certaintly wouldn't count them as one... and yet anti-Semitism is a form of racism irregardless? Why? Because they are an ethnic group, and racism is hatred of an ethnic group, not just a group defined on grounds of race or colour.

And furthermore, if hatred of an ethnic group isn't racism, what then is hatred of an ethnic group? Ethnicism? -- Simon J Kissane

Much of section headed "Research on Intelligence and Race" might profit from being moved to The Bell Curve, eh? Ed Poor


Racism is the political or ideological application of the concept of race, especially in terms of racial superiority.

was a very poor definition of racism. There are many racists out there who are racist out of pure blind hate that, as far as they're concerned anyway, has absolutely nothing to do with politics per se or ideology per se, and everything to do with xenophobia and plain old stupidity. Moreover, as a definition, it would include stuff that isn't racism: suppose I were to write an article and say, "White people, as a voting block, have a superior amount of political power in most English-speaking countries." This would be the political application of the concept of race in terms of "racial superiority," I suppose; but the remark wouldn't make me a racist. The old definition was better. --LMS