I disagree with Hightower.

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a collection of thoughts, arguments, and observations
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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Racist definition

Defining racist seems to be most difficult.    I am going to offer my own definition for comment on Yellowarmadillos. 

1.   An act may be considered racist when made as the result of a decision consciously influenced by race.  
      2.   A racist is someone who commits a racist act.

For the moment, and for discussion, I will say that item 1 describes the only racist act(s).


  1. Two things:
    a) I'm not sure we should exclude unconscious acts? If I think it is not racist does that make it not racist?
    b) We would also be excluding positive acts designed to compensate for previous negative acts. I will pass over affirmative action for my example and use the reconstruction era program of "40 acres and a mule" that was planned for blacks.

    1. WRT to unconscious acts – My thought process here is that to be racist it must be a conscious act consciously influenced by race. If the act is not consciously influenced by race that would suggest the absence of cognitive thought making the act “aracist”. (Using the letter “a” as a prefix meaning “lacking the attributes of”)

      As you suggest nothing in my definition would exclude the possibility for an “aracist” act having racial consequences. I think that happens every day.

      WRT positive acts – You are correct. My definition of racist act would carry no marker indicating positive or negative, only that it was consciously made and influenced by race.