Monthly Archives: March 2021


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by Reid Fitzsimons

The word “racism” is used in our current culture with impressive frequency, and often with frightening consequences. From a societal standpoint, it is tantamount to being called a “witch” during a time when Western governments were largely theocracies, and such accusations could lead to severe punishments with no real opportunity for defense against the undefined charge. Similar to those dark times, when those in control were not concerned with the betterment of the people under their rule, but interested only in maintaining their elite status, vague accusations were (and are) an effective means to obtain and wield power, a way to intimidate opposition into silence and compliance. At the present time, despite the ubiquitous (and even cultish) nature of the charges of “racism,” it is largely used generically, and often by very immature people, much more like a 4-year-old calling someone a “doo doo head” while having a tantrum than a reasoned adult. The premise of this article is to actually consider what “racism” means, if indeed it was exclaimed with any thought at all. For Part 1 of this article, click here:

“They are all like that” racism: At one time I was well acquainted with a person, a former physician, who was living as a ex-patriot in Honduras (My wife and I have spent a number of years there running a small charity project). Often over the duration of our association, he would declare, “ALL Hondurans are VILE!” Not some, not many, not most, not just a handful, but ALL! There was, obviously, no basis for this other than his deranged feelings. In a way his worldview was fascinating, as if generic and immutable attributes could be applied to large numbers of people linked by whatever- race, nationality, ethnicity, religious traditions- with no allowance for individual variation.

In the US at the moment there are declarations made by racialists that ALL white people are racists- it is genetic, generic, and immutable. Like the concept of Original Sin in Christian theology, there is a stain among (white) people simply for being born, but unlike Christianity it applies only to one class of human, there is no option of redemption or forgiveness, and the intent is to see an entire race of people grovel in perpetuity. The irony here- that this in fact is racism in its most primitive form- should be obvious, and it probably is, but for some it is used as a means to power. Another irony is that the person mentioned above took great pride in the belief that he alone was the only white person who wasn’t a racist.


by Reid Fitzsimons

Accusing others of Racism in our present political and social climate is an efficient means for a person to find validation and meaning in their lives, at least for the kind of person that needs a bad “Them” so they can be part of the good “Us.” This is not unlike ill-balanced religious zealots who need others to serve as sinners so they can view themselves, in contrast, as Saints. Of course, as with so many things of this nature, word meanings are vague and often remain poorly defined.

In reality, racism is a concept that resists simplistic definitions, but rather it is better explained by category and example, which this article endeavors to do. First, an introductory warning: to anyone reading this who is emotionally and culturally fragile- prepare your fainting couch, because in a few instances the “N-word” is going to be spelled out fully.

Those who are inclined to hurl out the insult of “Racist” typical do so mindlessly, and they largely mean nothing more than anyone who disagrees with them, but if they were able to attach to it some significance, these are some possibilities:

True vile and hate-filled racism: In prior times, up into the 1960’s perhaps, truly vile racism was often public and even proud, but, where it exists today, it’s more of an hidden internet phenomenon among a handful of losers: the mostly mythical “white supremacists.” It is, fortunately, the least common form of racism, despite what social justice activists yearn to believe.

In my 62 years I have encountered this type racism twice. The first was in the late 1970s in Mississippi, where a complete jerk from a privileged family, who somehow became a lawyer, talked to me about “blacktopping the road-” intentionally running over black people. He also talked about the joys of “coon hunting” at night. As far as I know he was (fortunately) a despicable coward and never lived his fantasies.

The second encounter I had was in South Alabama soon after my wife and I moved there in 2008. I went to introduce myself to our new and elderly neighbor, and was asking him about lawn mowers when he spontaneously declared, “I don’t care much for niggers.” He went on to talk about the good old days when “niggers knew their place” and one time they got uppity and had to be driven from (presumably by the local KKK) a town in the area. We came to learn he had been a lifelong angry drunk who, ironically, had a hypoxic brain event soon after, and ended up being cared for by black caregivers.

Biased racism: this is a form of racism that has existed in my lifetime and was somewhat common- an inculcated a belief among certain whites that blacks were, simply, inferior. A perfect example of this type was as follows: I knew a person who owned (in the government backed loan sense of the word) a large amount of farmland in Mississippi, and he had a habit of hiring people as his farm managers right out of central casting for thieving rednecks.

Once, just after the latest manager absconded with pockets full of loot, I asked him if he might consider hiring Archie as the manager. Archie was a black man who had long been a dependable employee and knew farming front and back. He, the land owner, replied succinctly that Archie could not be considered because, “He’s a nigger.” He did not say this with any animosity and indeed he treated Archie and all his black farmhands well. It was simply a belief that a black person couldn’t function as a manager. In his defense, sometime later a woman with an agricultural related college degree applied to be the farm manager. I asked him why he didn’t hire her and his response was a predictable, “Because she’s a woman.”

Observational and descriptive racism: When I lived in East Africa many years ago it was common for kids to run about excitedly as I passed by shouting “Mzungu,” which essentially means “White Person” in Swahili. They were certainly not racist, simply observing that they saw a relatively rare white guy. Unfortunately, invoking a description of race, for example saying in a rural mostly white small town, “I saw a black guy crossing the street,” might be construed by easily offended “social justice” activists as racist.

Progressive politicians, feeling anointed and obligated to somehow shield black Americans from reality, have decreed that using race in describing a suspected criminal, for example, is prohibited. Hence, in some cities it is disallowed to say, “The suspect is a young black male of average size.”

Unfamiliar racism: There was an old widow neighbor (recently deceased) who my wife and I helped quite a bit- we live in a mostly white rural area and she simply hadn’t been around black people much. I was telling her that we were going to bring over from Kenya a black man to attend college in the US, that he was going to spend some time with us, and that she would enjoy meeting him. She said, “I don’t know, I’ve never had a black person in my house before,” a statement that could easily elicit a charge of racism from sensitive activist. Once he arrived she was very welcoming, was quickly and thoroughly charmed by him, and even gave him a hug when he left for school. This man is from a very dark-skinned tribe, and she observed, “He’s the darkest black person I ever saw!”