Sociologists traditionally defined racism as a belief or an action based on a certainty that one actual category is inferior or superior over another. It was also defined by the 1960s and 70’s civil rights and black liberation movements as a pattern of actions or thought which has an adverse consequence to the minority category, either based on inferiority or inspired by discriminatory intent. The third definition is that racism is an expression of power. The approach closest to my understanding is the one defined by the minority advocates, which refers to racism as a pattern of action that is based on inferiority or inspired by discriminatory intent. This is because the definition tends to incorporate all aspects of discernment against an individual’s race.
The statement by Dr. King defined racism as an act of prejudice discrimination, antagonism, or racial injustice to a person based on the original color of his skin, with the belief that one’s race is superior over the other.
It is possible that members of a minority group can be racists to a dominating community. This can occur in instances where they have more power or abilities of richness as compared to these dominant groups. Racism against the majority can be referred to as reverse discrimination. There have been instances where the majority have been unfairly treated against the minority, which has occurred due to variation in the race (Hoyt Jr, 2012). Racism should, hence, not only be seen as an act of discrimination for the majority or minority but rather any form of discrimination against a person just because of his/her specific race/color. The difference between racism and racial prejudice is that racism is discrimination or finding inferior based on other people’s race and color. In contrast, racial prejudice can be defined as an expression of hostility toward people of another race.
Hoyt Jr, C. (2012). The pedagogy of the meaning of racism: Reconciling a discordant discourse. Social work, 57(3), 225-234.