do racist people know they're racist?

Jul 2013
On a happy trail
How's your "wife," by the way?
Humans have a tendency to "in group" preference.
Racism is using the skin colour to determine who you should give "in group" preference to.
I think we can all agree that doing so is both illogical and hurtful (to both the receiver and doer).

However we are now much more likely to prejudge people based on their political ideas.
We simply presume ill will and evil because they hold a differing political idea.
We jump to wild assumptions about people because they are in differing political group.
We back people on "our" and denigrate people on "their" side.
Our team just makes an honest mistake, their side always commits unforgivable actions.

Prejudice in humans is like acne in a teenager, we clean up one area and at breaks out somewhere else.
Political bigotry is no less bigotry then racial bigotry.
What's with all the "we " stuff. Can't you speak for yourself? BTW is the preferred Trump skin color, orange?


Former Staff
Feb 2007
It's a great question and topic. Luckily if you aren't sure, someone will be along shortly to let you know.

Rev. Hellh0und

Former Staff
Jul 2011
315 bowery/DMS
This is my class! There are three kinds of prejudices ..acknowledged sanctioned and unacknowleged.
In my class I ask what the N-word is and no one really wants to say it because it’s an acknowledged prejudice but then I talk about this woman and she such a b and I ask what the b is and everyone shouts bitch. Isn’t that a perjoratuve also, but for women it’s ok
Another one is trailer trash...are people who live in trailers garbage?
Then there’s the euphemism..”inner city” for black neighborhoods.
Sanctioned prejudice is one that we know is prejudice but we will laugh about it but not in front of the people..ex: fat jokes, gay jokes

One can look to performance "Artists" such as that scumbag Jay-z for why there is two different standards. So is Jay-z's sexism and prejudice, homophobia, sanctioned, acknowledged or unacknowledged?

I'm an inner city kid, not sure what you mean there.
Jan 2019
What's with all the "we " stuff. Can't you speak for yourself? BTW is the preferred Trump skin color, orange?
"We" is because I think all people myself included are what is wrong with the world.

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956


Former Staff
Apr 2007
Deep State
there's this old saying about crazy people. It contends that if they can ask themselves if they are insane then they aren't insane. I don't know if that's true. Doesn't seem like it.

But, what about racist? Do they know that they're racist? That's a loaded question. First of all, who gets to decide if they're racist? We need a working definition just for the sake of the discussion. If they believe in the superiority of one race over another. Short and simple. Right?

But then, we start to get into when that definition applies.

Let's say, for instance, they believe that certain abilities appear to come more naturally to people of a particular race. Say, math, or sports, or , I don't know, being good at certain jobs. Racist or no? Certain sports are dominated by African American's. Is it racist to presume that African American's are , therefore, superior in those sports?

Then, there's institutional racism. For the sake of discussion, let's define that as well.

So then, say a person believes that there is no institutional racism and/or that things are just fine the way they are? Say, in fact, that they believe that civil rights, Affirmative Action, laws against racial discrimination, are all a means by which people of color gain an unfair societal advantage over whites. Racist or not?

Turns out the premise question is a lot more complicated than when we first began.

So, let's try to simplify it a bit.

Do members of racist groups like , say, the KKK, or the New Black Pathers, think they're racist?

Generally speaking , they don't tend to believe their believes at at all racist. I think that's safe to say.

Well now, that just way too simple.

Let's turn, then, to that elusive "average American".

Let's say it's a guy named "Russ". Average.

Russ is watching television and he sees a advertisement for , oh I don't know, a Mexican restaurant.
In response he makes a crack about how many "illegals" must work there.

See what I did there?

The term "illegals" is used a lot by people who aren't necessarily racist.

Racist or not?

I could give a few more examples or expand on the premise. But, I'd like to stop now and get your thoughts.
I think it's like people who work at the town dump.


Former Staff
Apr 2007
Deep State
Let's remember that racism is different today than it was in, say, 1968.

Most racists I know are perfectly fine with black people having access to everything, unless it's something that might be perceived as diminishing THEM in some way. Also, racists seem to want black people to be more like white people. That's important! None of that scary dialect.
Jan 2019

I'd agree that racism is understood differently today by some.
In 1968, Racism was nearly universally seen as judging and treating people differently on the basis of their colour. e.g. MLK -"will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." So people of any race could be racist.

Today some people still use the older understanding.
Others have decided that Racism = Racial Prejudice + Power.
In the second view only those with power can be racist, those without power cannot be racist.
These people then created "colorism", which is when people without do would under the old understanding be racism, but can't cause they have no power.

Your point about it being OK as long it doesn't impact them is true.
As for dialects, Appalachian whites with a local dialect face a lot negative stereo typing.