Prejudice vs. Racism

Prejudice vs Racism. Is there any difference? Not to me. It’s the same thing housed under different words, intended to make Blacks feel as low as they can go. But if you check the dictionaries, they will tell you there’s a difference, so for the sake of not mixing words, we want to explore the

Prejudice vs. Racism

Prejudice vs Racism. Is there any difference? Not to me. It’s the same thing housed under different words, intended to make Blacks feel as low as they can go.

But if you check the dictionaries, they will tell you there’s a difference, so for the sake of not mixing words, we want to explore the “ugly truths” of both.

Prejudice is defined as a preconceived judgment or opinion, or an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics.

In simpler terms, it is judging someone without really knowing them.  It can be likened to automatically judging your father’s new, young girlfriend before you ever have a chance to meet her. You may not like her just because she’s “younger” and you feel she is up to no good. As with the definition – her youth is just one of her characteristics. We know how much that happens. But in terms of this piece, when breaking down “prejudice,” it can be equated to thinking that “all Blacks are this” or “all Blacks are that,” and the “this or that” is NEGATIVE — without even knowing a person. It’s like a White woman clutching her purse tighter while walking on the sidewalk with a Black man – thinking he wants to steal from her. When, in all fairness, the Black man could possibly have more money on his wrist than the White woman has in her empty handbag.  Still, she thinks he is a danger – not even knowing his name or his background. We all know how much this happens as well.

Simple prejudices and fears of the unknown lead to the bigger monster of racism.

Racism is defined as prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people based on their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.

It is the belief that different races possess distinct characteristics, abilities, or qualities, especially to distinguish them as inferior or superior to one another…this clearly underscores the concept of WHITE SUPREMACY and how racism contributes to SYSTEMIC OPPRESSION.

Angela Y. Davis said “One of the many ruses racism achieves is the virtual erasure of historical contributions by people of color.

You ever heard the slang phrase, “they don’t never want to give us credit for nothing?” That is what Davis is talking about. Dating back to the days of slavery, Whites have historically taken credit for the hard work that Negroes have been doing. We are not lying when we say we built this nation, even responsible for the basic infrastructure that many people take for granted today. Every time you’re on a paved road or waiting for a train to pass, you may want to think about the sweat of your Black ancestors who created those paths for you.

But of course, we’ve done more than that, which is why Black History Month is so important because it specifically shines a light on the “did you know” achievements of African Americans throughout the generations; things they don’t teach our children in schools, things that should be taught every day, but that is not the world that we live in.

Remember, we are in a land filled with racism.

Discriminatory housing practices, redlining neighborhoods, underfunded education, lack of access to healthcare, racial profiling, police brutality and mass incarceration are just a few examples that contribute to structural racism.

Racism even contributes to the health hazards we face in our communities and neighborhoods. People of color, low-income people, and Indigenous people have been made especially vulnerable through decades of environmental racism: policies that intentionally concentrate pollution and toxic hazards in our communities. Remember the cancer clusters popping up in our Historic Fifth Ward and Kashmere Gardens districts? Remember the hazard plant we just had to fight out of Acres Home?

White political leaders would never allow harmful businesses to be set up in predominantly White or high scale neighborhoods, but they will turn a blind eye to one being erected in a Black or Hispanic neighborhood and let the business operate its toxic practices routinely until someone exposes them, then launch a potentially years long fight.  Why do you even put minorities through that? As we explained — pure and simple RACISM — no regard for the health and safety of the people they deem “inferior.”

So, do you understand the difference? The textbook term vs. the overall experience? I still say, they both are the same damn thing. No matter how you fluff it up, both racism and prejudice are just the White way to keep a Black down – out of fear of the unknown, or more so, jealousy of the greatness that is pure, unapologetic BLACKNESS!

Think about it.