Loc: One of the Mexicos
As so often happens, we get way far into a discussion only to find that the misalignment of a definition of a word or two fuels any disagreement that might be extant.
Basic racism is, to me, the pre-judgement of a race based on stereotypes that indicate the other is less than the judger. From there we can assign degrees of racism, with hateful behavior being really bad and Bundy-like racism being relatively benign (the kind most folks learn to stifle).
I grew up with some racist conditioning, which was completely abstract in that my Idaho community was virtually lily white and therefor had no basis in real experiences. My Dad liked to bitch about the n_____rs and how bad they were for America, send 'em back to Africa, etc. I said the same things.
The first black kid I met was at the age of 15 in 1969 in a Forest Service summer work program called the Youth Conservation Corps. I was shooting some hoops alone and the kid came up, 14 years old and much smaller than me, and was all over telling me about his admiration for Jerry West (my name is West), which I think he was projecting on me. So we spent a half hour trading the ball and shooting, and I felt no racism at all.
Since then, I still have not lived in places where there are many black folks. But I have noticed that when I meet somebody of that race, if they talk like me I barely notice that their skin is much darker and their features are different, but when they have the stereotypical inner city black persona going on, I am pretty uncomfortable.
I am of the opinion that my discomfort is due more to culturalism than to racism.
Is it the same thing? I don't know.
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.” – R. Buckminster Fuller