Meaning of ‘Racism’


Re: the article “Declaration Against Racism by Harlem Parishes, Others Addresses ‘Evil’” in CNY’s Nov. 23 issue.

Racism denotes prejudice based on race; a belief that race or the color of one’s skin, accounts for differences in human character or ability, and that a particular race is superior to others. Over time the term racism has become a bludgeon employed by those who seek to squelch any discussion of issues, and strike fear into the hearts of anyone the accuser deems is opposed to their social and ideological agenda.

Say or do something that is disagreeable to a group or individual and you might suffer the slings and arrows of feigned outrage, and be accused of racism where in fact there is none. It has become a daily occurrence, and is often employed by liberal Democrats and their minority supporters, usually against conservatives and Republicans.

What would have been more appropriate is if the declaration had been against bigotry. The term racism for many Americans has been overused, and it is often employed to slander and silence someone. It has lost its impact and social significance. When the term is used, the first thing that comes into the minds of most people is a minority victim, usually black, and the villain is usually a Caucasian, who is guilty until proven innocent, but don’t expect that to happen.

There is indeed racism, but due to its having been used on too many occasions as a device to divide people and destroy reputations, it is losing its intended meaning and effects.

Bob Pascarella