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Who is a racist now?
E. Ablorh-Odjidja
March 26, 2016

It is election time in the US again and I can't resist hearing some politician calling others racist. You are against illegal immigration, you are racist. You speak against Muslims, you are racist!

Who is a racist anyway?

It used to be that we knew the answer. The meaning of racism was clear and conclusive. But not any more. There is so much confusion these days about the term; so much so that hearing the term used in its modern day sense makes my ears hurt.

You oppose Obamacare or school choice and you are roundly condemned as racist.


You oppose some Islamic elements (from the Middle East) in our midst and you are called a racist.


You oppose Hispanics illegals (mostly white) crossing the southern border and you are labeled a racist.

Here, you are simply being asked rudely to shut up, without the merit of the issues you raised being fully and honestly considered.

Being called a racist, as a device for issue disruption, is a trend that has worked well. But as a tool to advance productive reasoning, it has also proven to be regressive. Essentially, it retards our ability to focus clearly on the real destructive racial issues.

Back in the days when things were less sophisticated, there was some upfront honesty in racial politics. A racist was a racist in plain sight. The issues were clear and stark. And no matter how gruesome, the focus was on how to fight real racism, not contrived ones.

If the local bus rolled to a stop and you got in, you knew where to sit. It was back of the bus for you.

And when you went to a lunch counter and you saw the sign "No Colored Allowed" you knew instantly that it was not meant for a Hispanic white!

As unpleasant as the situation was then, you knew what you were up against. But how do you confront this new reality - the liberal expansion of the definition of racism and the categorical blending of the issues that come with it now?

Guess what, we have made it more difficult to identify the real racist under the new term. We have enlarged the definition of the “racial victim” to include almost everybody who has an issue to grind.

Herein lies our weakness as blacks – a serious political weakness because we have unhinged ourselves from the driving force that propelled the civil rights gains.

The cry agiainst “racism,” essentially a black skin color based definition, was once our cause celebre.


We suffered because we were black. But whereas others kept in firm sight the basis of their political grievances, we seem to have forgotten ours. We have been helped to make less firm the grounds we stood on for our civil rights struggle and as such diluted our issues to a point where they are almost unrecognizable.


Thus, the racial injury of 400 years that created the term “racist,’ that focused and drove our intent and purposes,  has lost its political poignancy.

We have made blunt or meaningless our own historical cause celebre.

At this point, we are happy to form common cause with the unknown, including formerly known racists who had oppressed us. Or join forces with those with racist ancestry like the KKK to call those who disagree with them racist!

Consider those who we easily connect to the segregationists of the past and note how our history has been reframed. Democrats or Republicans?

Our fight against the racist was because of slavery and all that emanated from it . Slavery, by definition, was what others did to black people. No other race came close to the suffering experienced here. Whites, Arabs, Muslims, Christians and many were guilty of slavery.

So the use of the term “racist” must be rooted to and associated with the black cause. This was what the Civil Rights marches were about. It was a drive to end the disadvantages in black lives. But now we have “diversity” as the rallying call!


Imagine, we march for integration only to end up at the wall of diversity!

Diversity is what social scientist call “otherness.” Deliberate or not, it came at the tail end of the civil rights movement. The term covers all grivances, regardless of skin color.  By shifting the focus from genuine black issues, diversity has created a voter gold mine and enlarged voting rosters for liberal Democrats.

But for us, there is a damage in the shift .  "Diversity” has now subsumed the discription of victims of traditional “racism.” And, its universal appeal is killing black civil rights issues in preference for those of others.

Worse, the sting of censure intended with the “racist” label has now been rendered less potent in the minds of many, including many Democrat liberals who have racist inclinations. Yet, with a knee jerk response, we accept the blending of the definitions!

So now, to call into question the behavior of some white Hispanics or Muslims means being racist for some blacks.  But must it be without considering first the issues at stake?

Note that in spite of the diversity penchant, the real racist intents and the practice of skin color based discriminations still do very much exist. Check the power stuctures of the Hispanic world, from media to government and political interest groups, and you will note that black faces are heavily absent in the arrangement.

Yet, the confusion about who is a racist has already fooled some of us because the new term "diversity," if nothing, is so politically fanciful.  But this opacity does not benefit us.  It only enhances the chances of the unscrupulous politician's ascent to power. 


But the simple fact is the definition for racism need not be mixed, academic, reframed or redefined. It is endemic to the very fabric of black life and the condition of where it is today and/or has been historically.

E. Ablorh-Odjidja, publisher,, Washington, DC, March 26, 2016
Permission to publish: Please feel free to publish or reproduce, with credits, unedited. If posted at a website, email a copy of the web page to . Or don't publish at all


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