What ISN'T racism?
Racism is NOT a state of being. Let me repeat that:
Racism is NOT a state of being.
Sound confusing? Well, it isn't, not really. Many reading this statement now will probably ask, "What the hell is she talking about?" I'll tell you...
Racism is an economic, institutional and social construct.
That means racism was created, designed, constructed and implemented by people who were in the position to do so as part of the culture of the new Americans in the USA. It is a system of society, part of the "fabric," or infrastructure of the nation's social, collective consciousness. It has been built into every -- and I mean EVERY aspect of human life in America.
This is why you might hear words like, "systemic." This systemic construct proffers privilege on the basis of color -- the color of the people in the position to create, design, construct and implement such a system, for the benefit or detriment of its recipients.
To put things into perspective, the other "USA," or Union of South Africa also built a system infrastructure very similar to the one in place today in America. It was called "Apartheid."
... But a little history first:
Apartheid (Afrikaans pronunciation: [ɐˈpɑːrtɦɛit]; from Afrikaans "the state of being apart") was a system of racial segregation enforced through legislation by the National Party (NP) governments, who were the ruling party from 1948 to 1994, of South Africa, under which the rights of the majority black inhabitants of South Africa were curtailed and white supremacy and Afrikaner minority rule was maintained.
Racial segregation in South Africa began in colonial times under Dutch and British rule. However, apartheid as an official policy was introduced following the general election of 1948. New legislation classified inhabitants into four racial groups ("native", "white", "coloured", and "Asian"), and residential areas were segregated, sometimes by means of forced removals. Non-white political representation was completely abolished in 1970, and starting in that year black people were deprived of their citizenship, legally becoming citizens of one of ten tribally based self-governing homelands called bantustans, four of which became nominally independent states. The government segregated education, medical care, beaches, and other public services, and provided black people with services inferior to those of white people.
Apartheid sparked significant internal resistance and violence as well as a long arms and trade embargo against South Africa. Since the 1950s, a series of popular uprisings and protests were met with the banning of opposition and imprisoning of anti-apartheid leaders. As unrest spread and became more effective and militarised, state organisations responded with repression and violence. This, along with the sanctions placed on South Africa by the West made it increasingly difficult for the government to maintain the regime.
Reforms to apartheid in the 1980s failed to quell the mounting opposition, and in 1990 President Frederik Willem de Klerk began negotiations to end apartheid, culminating in multi-racial democratic elections in 1994, which were won by the African National Congress under Nelson Mandela. The vestiges of apartheid still shape South African politics and society. Although the official abolishment of Apartheid occurred in 1990 with repeal of the last of the remaining Apartheid laws, the end of Apartheid is widely regarded as arising from the 1994 democratic general elections.
...There are some striking similarities, don't you think? Don't think so, well, I'll show you:
classifications of people by race
government segregation of education, medical care, public services
services inferior to those of white people
internal résistance to "reforms"
system of racial segregation
...Now here are the differences:
Oh, I forgot. There is one.
The US of Africa was under "minority rule" since the whites were in the minority. The US of America is under "majority rule," because whites maintain the majority. (I'll be talking about the majority thing in later posts.)
And yes, here's one more.
The US of America only stripped citizenship from black people, but gave it back and took away the fundamental right of citizenship -- the right to vote.
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In my next post I will discuss the reasons why there are a whole heck of a lot of bigots but there is no such thing as a Racist.
Yeah, I actually believe that. Come back and find out why.