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Monday, September 16, 2002

Revising the Vocabulary-Part one-Subsets of Racism-Kathy Kinsey has a good conversation starter to revamp the political vocabulary. Here's the origional Saturday evening post and here's her follow-up this afternoon. Here's her first bugbear-racism
The term racism used to describe the idea that another race was inferior, and to be hated or despised. It applied to anyone who judged people only according to race. It seems, nowadays, to have degenerated to mean "you don't like me". Racism, in the original sense, does exist, and should be fought. But, if I think your culture sucks bigtime, it isn't racism. Maybe we could call it culturalism (or good judgment), but not racism. If one religion denigrates another, it is not racism, it is religious bigotry, or maybe one-true-wayism. If you demand to be treated better than others because you are a particular race, you are a racist. If you demand to be treated better than others because you are a particular religion (or because you are religious and others aren't), you are engaging in religious bigotry (I need a good sound-bite term for this -- any suggestions)?
Cultural critiques would head under the heading ethnocentric, preferring one's own culture to others. Denigrating another religion could be either bigotry or apologetics, depending upon how informed the critique is. Calling Judaism a "gutter religion" is bigotry; saying that that have an incomplete understanding of salvation is apologetics. Demanding better treatment for your religious background might be called phariseeism. I'll look at the other two items later-my class starts in fifteen minutes.

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