1. The belief that members of one race are superior to members of other races
  2. The belief that members of one ethnic group are superior to members of another ethnic group.
  3. The belief that capability or behavior can be racially defined.
  4. Aggression or discriminatory behavior towards members of a certain race or races.
  5. Aggression or discriminatory behavior based upon differences in ethnicity.
  6. Ethnically or culturally discriminatory behavior exhibited by members of the racial, ethnic, or cultural group dominant within a society.
  7. The practice of asserting or assuming racially or ethnically defined cultural dominance.
  8. The perpetuation of racial, ethnic, or cultural dominance of some groups over others.
  9. Opportunity inequality resulting from preferential treatment towards others of a similar cultural background.
  10. The act of using political, judicial, civil, and educational systems to oppress one based on their ethnicity.

Usage note

Part of the debate over the use of racism revolves around the concept of race itself: whether the species homo sapiens contains different races (i.e., whether there is any scientific basis for the concept of race); whether what is generally considered racism is in fact related to race (as opposed to being based on cultural differences); and whether ethnic discrimination between two groups of people within the same race can be considered racism (e.g., whether discrimination or aggression if exhibited by white Christians towards white Jews would constitute racism).

Beyond this there is debate as to whether the word racism can only be applied to conscious belief or behavior, if it can extend to people who believe themselves free of racism but in practice unknowingly discriminate or denigrate people of a different ethnic group, if it can extend to people who do not act to prevent instances of racial aggression or discrimination, if it can extend to people who knowingly or unknowingly perpetuate a social structure of racial dominance, or if it can extend to people who treat people similar to themselves preferentially, resulting in a discriminatory effect with ethnic correlations.

Some people claim that racism exists or is inherent in all people, but in varying amounts and with varying degrees of self-awareness. Other people define racism as behavior exhibited only by the culturally dominant ethnic group towards other ethnic groups (i.e., racism cannot be exhibited by ethnic minorities, since they are incapable of reinforcing the existing power structure by discriminating against members of another race. Racialism, reverse racism, and other terms have been suggested to describe racial aggression or discrimination exhibited by ethnic minorities).

Anti-racism programs often define it as "prejudice plus power," meaning that racism requires the person practicing it to be a member of the group that has power over the disempowered group. Institutionalized racism is the manifestation of discrimination through institutions of the society.

Derived terms

  • reverse racism

Related terms


See also

6 letters in word "racism": A C I M R S.

Anagrams of racism:

Words found within racism:

ai aim aims air airs ais am ami amir amirs amis ar arc arcs aris arm arms ars as asci cam cami camis cams car cars cimar cis cram crams crim crims cris is ism ma mac macs mair mairs mar marc marcs mars mas mi mic mica micas micra mics mir mirs mis rai rais ram rami ramis rams ras ria rias rim rima rims sac sai saic saim sair sam sar sari scam scar scram scrim si sic sim sima simar sir sma smir sri