Re: racism

David Driscoll (driscoll@LUNA.CAS.USF.EDU)
Fri, 21 Oct 1994 16:05:49 -0400

On Fri, 21 Oct 1994, Michelle B. Golden wrote:

> Racism is a form of oppression, which means that it is that is structural.
> That is, it is a set
> of beliefs and practices **backed up by societal institutions.** Given that,
> Sherwin's message isn't racism. This "reverse discrimination" thing
> really gets under my skin, not only because it's off-base, but because it
> demonstrates a total lack of understanding of what oppression is (which
> means that Marius doesn't even understand the language he's co-opting.)

Wrong. According to Webster's 7th Collegiate "Racism" is (1) 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, and (2) racial prejudice or discrimination. In other words, racist
attitudes are an individual's conceptions of superiority or inferiority,
be it in the physical, mental, or mentalist realms, based on certain
*perceived* phenotypical variations. According to this definition,
Rushton's ideas are racist, so are Francis Welsing's, and, yes, so was
Mr. Sherwin's, (not to mention sexist, what about my grandmother?).

Oppression is racial discrimination, as you said, "backed up by societal

Thank You,
David L. Driscoll
University of South Florida
Department of Applied Anthropology