Racism: What It Is and What It Isn't

Studies in Philosophy and Education 21 (3):203-218 (2002)
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The words ‘racist’ and ‘racism’ have become so overused that they nowconstitute obstacles to understanding and interracial dialogue about racial matters. Insteadof the current practice of referring to virtually anything that goes wrong or amiss withrespect to race as ‘racism,’ we should recognize a much broader moral vocabulary forcharacterizing racial ills – racial insensitivity, racial ignorance, racial injustice, racialdiscomfort, racial exclusion. At the same time, we should fix on a definition of ‘racism’ thatis continuous with its historical usage, and avoids conceptual inflation. I suggest two basic,and distinct, forms of racism that meet this condition – antipathy racism and inferiorizingracism. We should also recognize that not all racially objectionable actions are done froma racist motive, and that not all racial stereotypes are racist.



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Lawrence Blum
University of Massachusetts, Boston

Citations of this work

The wrongs of racist beliefs.Rima Basu - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2497-2515.
Beliefs That Wrong.Rima Basu - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Southern California

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References found in this work

The Decent Society.Avishai Margalit - 1997 - Ethics 107 (4):729-731.
The Decent Society.Avishai Margalit & Naomi Goldblum - 2001 - Mind 110 (437):229-232.

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