Every now and then during a leftist protest march or on a bumper sticker I would see an “End Racism” sign. There would be a reflexive eye roll at this platitude as I knew there would always be some form of racism somewhere, because a small number of people will see skin color instead of character.
Now I have never been called a racist directly, but certainly indirectly by the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton as they pursued their race extorting careers. A mandatory University of Delaware program even required residence hall students to acknowledge that “all whites are racist”. These types of things used to make me bristle internally. It was something I just could not abide, these broad brush paintings. So I decided to get the definition and here it is per the Merriam-Webster online dictionary:
1) a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capabilities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of particular race;
2) racial prejudice or discrimination
As time went by I realized, of course, that those definitions weren’t adequate. Racism or racist was the charge if you disagreed with a particular liberal policy and they were on the wrong side of the facts. I would no longer bristle at the racism charge anymore, it actually became laughable. “You disagree with me, you must be a racist”, they would say. Oh, ok, good one. So I had to come up with a new definition:
3) An attempt to cut off reasoned or philosophical debate, i.e. SHUT UP.
But even this definition soon went by the wayside. That is because “racism” started to be thrown around at the drop of a hat. Use your free speech rights at a tea party? Racist. Arrest an unruly, wealthy, tenured black professor at one of the most prestigious universities in the U.S., in a city that has a black mayor, in a state that has a black governor, in a country that has a black president? It must be Racism. Petition your government for redress of grievances? Racist. Your polls are dropping a Governor of New York? Racism. Federalist? Racist. Watch Fox News? Racist. Disagree with the President? Racism. Maureen Dowd hears voices in her head what she thought Rep. Wilson really wanted to say? Racist. Forget to put the pepper on the table? Racism. And the coup-de-grace: What Newsweek says of six-month old white babies who cannot yet speak? Yep, dirty litte racists.
All of the above and many more daily racism charges have taken all meaning from the word, it is not even laughable anymore, like a joke you’ve heard a thousand times before. Therefore, a new definition:
4) Nothing, meaningless
This over-used word, which once had seriousness, which once called out the bad character of discriminatory actions, has been rendered useless. So I was wrong, the placard or bumper sticker can now read: “End Racism: Mission Accomplished”. Racism now means nothing.