It's not racism, dammit!

OK, this thing is one of my pet-peeves: people not knowing what "racism" means. First things first: what IS racism? Racism is discrimination based on race and/or ethnic background of the individual. And racism is bad, mmmmkay?

Simple enough, yes? I think so. And we still have people calling some things "racism" that clearly are not. An example. So Googles "Summer of Code" is off-limits to citizens of Iran, North-Korea and other countries that US Administration thinks is "supporting terrorism". Roozbeh then asks " Please tell me how this is not racism?" (I would, but there's no way to comment on your blog-entries Roozbeh!). Simple: the discrimination is not happening because of race or ethnic background, it's based on nationality. South-Koreans can take part in SoC, yet they are of same race as their brothers north of the border are, who can not take part. Iranians are not discriminated because of their race or ethnic background, they are discriminated because of their governments (true or perceived) policies.

Now, feel free to disagree with the policy of Google (which IIRC is mandated by the government). But DON'T start calling it "racism"!

This is a rather mild example of this "neo-speak". Quite often I see people who live "alternative" lifestyle (vegans, hip-hoppers etc.) talk about "racism" when they are subjected to prejudice because of their lifestyle. Prejudices are bad (yet we all have them them, in one way or the other), and racism is a form of prejudice. But not all prejudices are racism! And that fact seems to be beyond the grasp of many people!

Hey white boy! Just because your white roommate said some nasty comments about your taste of music does not mean that you were subjected to "racist taunts"! Racism is a serious problem, and I get annoyed when people dilute the term by calling all prejudices "racism". Just because someone dislikes some type of music, does not mean that the person is a "racist".

So get your terminology straight, dammit! End rant.

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