People so often fail to address things on the level of presupposition, or what may also be termed “foundational thoughts” or “metaphysical axioms” or just plain “assumptions about reality.”
In fact, a good bit of the supposed clash between religion and science rests on the conflict of foundational thoughts as opposed to the actual content.
That’s an entry for another time as it will require more thought than what I’m putting in here.
The issue we’re facing at the moment with something like racism is that many people define “racist” as someone who avowedly is part of the KKK or is a Neo-Nazi organizatoin; “racist” for them doesn’t refer to someone who casually drops racial slurs and feels they’re better than most people of a given background.
A further problem is that many see racism as strictly a matter of particular actions of discrimination- if, in general, they see white people and black people getting along or just not actively fighting in the street, they assume that racism is dead.
Racism, for such people, couldn’t possibly exist in microaggressions or in a general cultural favoritism for white people as the “normal, good, default” people and everyone else as alternates or second-best.
The issue, then, is the difference between people who only accept overt actions and situations that fit the culturally-approved idea of what racism is versus people who see things are a less-apparent level.
That is, the difference is between people who see things superficially and people who see things more subtly.
To be sure, the people who see things subtly also agree that the overt actions are racist; the difference is that they see those as the loud version of what’s virtually always there.
So you see, when people then begin arguing about racism, they bring these different ideas and definitions to the table.
The authorities on the matter of racism are, in fact, the people who have been subjugated under it. I’m a white guy. Don’t trust me; go speak with black people. Go speak with other minorities. They’ll explain to you how the system is set up to make them second-class citizens even in 2016.
Don’t be fooled by the notion that the law officially declares black people to have the same legal rights as white people; that’s far, far from enough. Cultural attitudes haven’t progressed as fast as the law, and if you think there aren’t white people who want to hold black people back and subjugate them further, you would be dangerously mistaken.
Which brings us to the point that many people don’t realize, that will probably be the point that we white people have to use to explain to other white people because everyone’s all about their self-interest: racism hurts black people AND white people. Subjugating black people HURTS WHITE PEOPLE, TOO; it deprives white people of the insights, experiences, and contributions of black people in the wider sense by setting up hurdles for those achievements to take place, not to mention it deprives individuals of solid and lifelong friendships that can bring immense stability and joy to their lives.
So white people, if nothing else, realize that our collective prejudice, our collective bigotry, ultimately hurts us, too. And I say “we” and “us” in this case because I’m white and benefit from the cultural preference for white people in the USA.
So knock if it the fuck off, reach out, and let’s shatter white supremacy.