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Blog Posted in avatar   Tamara Aspeling's Blog

Another level to the racism conundrum — Warning: May cause headaches!

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By Tamara Aspeling
Posted Sep 26, 2012 in World
So my last post was about how I consider myself to be racially aware (probably more so than some people), but not racist.
I see race. It's been bred into me since I was born - by the government of the country I was born in. I have been programmed to categorise by race - but I CHOOSE not to form opinions based on race.
Which led me to exploring the definitions of racism. That, in turn, led to an interesting (if headache inducing) conclusion.
The definition in question comes from dictionary.com. Here it is:
a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
Essentially, racism can be the assumption that a certain group of people are or behave a certain way.
Which means that every time someone hears that I am a white South African, and leaps to the conclusion that I am racist, they are themselves being racist.
Yes. It takes a while to wrap your head around it, but essentially, racism in it's least offensive form is based on preconceptions and assumptions about a particular person or group, based on their race or culture.
Assuming that white South Africans are all racist is no less racist than assuming that all black people are lazy, that all Jews are stingy or any of the other offensive beliefs out there.
So, next time you make a crack about me being racist, based purely on where I come from and the culture I belong to, remember that old saying: I am rubber, and you are glue.

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