Racism is taught by teachers, by parents, by society as some innately negative construct of civilization, and yet nobody seems to entirely understand and correctly define racism. In any case where racism is being taught, one will hear multitudes of negative examples, and yet not a single consideration is expressed for the potential positives racism presents. Racism is “the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race…” (Oxford Dictionary). In other words, it is simply a categorization of qualities associated with a race.
Categorizing qualities based on groupings of individuals who share some similar and trivial characteristics sound familiar; we call this stereotyping. In the case of race,…show more content… Stereotyping can be created off of incorrect understandings of groups which can furthermore cause incorrect generalizations of people to form. For example, a fictional character named Max might have formed the stereotype that all African Americans had been high school athletes based on previous experiences, and upon being introduced to Adam, an African American, for the first time, they might start off the conversation by asking about the person’s high school athletic experiences. In a case where the person was not an athlete, this could easily come off as offensive from the start. However, further analysis of the situation would reveal Max’s intent as a purely positive attempt to facilitate conversation and learn more about Adam. His attempted use of the foolish stereotype had no harmful intent. The racial stereotyping was an attempt to connect with his new acquaintance.
Since racism falls under stereotyping, and stereotyping has its many uses, racism is not inherently bad. In fact, even racial stereotyping can be helpful for situations as meeting an acquaintance and developing