Originally Posted by Hades36
So you also do not believe in unconscious sexism, ageism, nationalism, cultural bias, etc.?
I mean, its cool if you don't. Hey, live and live, right? But I tend to go with the idea that a lot of our behavior is shaped by unconscious forces that, if not examined, can cause us a lot of problems in life.
I think we need to stick to the dictionary definition of racism and its especially important that we do that because this is such a loaded term.
Racism is defined, basically, as "hatred or intolerance of another race or other races." That's a very active and aware statement. I've always preferred the distinction between ignorance and racist as such; ignorant means you don't know any better but you're willing to learn, racist means you DO know better but you're deliberately ignoring it.
Cultural bias is not the same thing as racism though I do accept that bias of all types exists, I just wouldn't put it on the same level as racism.
When you have a label like "unconscious racism" then, as I said, its a completely indefensible and invisible accusation and ultimately I feel creates even more of a divide between people because they want to avoid being "unconsciously racist." If you've got a situation where people are so nervous about talking with each other, you've made the situation worse than if you just sat down and said "Yeah, we're all biased, as long as it doesn't effect good sense, who cares?"