From RACIST to FEATURIST and ETHNICIST

Before you continue to read, I need you to understand several factors:

  1. I’m not a Sociologist
  2. I’m not a Psychologist
  3. I’m not an Academic
  4. I’m not a Researcher

So what am I?

  1. I am Human

In this topic that I’m going to share with you, we first need to understand the different definitions of the term, ‘RACIST’

TheFreeDictionary

Noun. racist – a person with a prejudiced belief that one race is superior to others

Oxford Dictionaries

Noun. racism – the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as superior or inferior to another race or races

Merriam Webster Dictionary

Noun. racism – the belief that some races of people are better than others

So, what then makes someone belong to a particular race?

The Free Dictionary

Noun. race – 1) A local geographic or global human population distinguished as a more or less distinct group by genetically transmitted physical characteristics, 2) A group of people united or classified together on the basis of common history, nationality, or geographic distribution, 3) A geneological line: A lineage

Oxford Dictionaries

Noun. race – 1) each of the major divisions of humankind, having distinct physical characteristics: people of all races, colors, and creeds, 2) a group of people sharing the same culture, history, language, etc.; an ethnic group:we Scots were a bloodthirsty race then, 3) the fact or condition of belonging to a racial division or group; the qualities or characteristics associated with this:people of mixed race, 4) a group or set of people or things with a common feature or features:some male firefighters still regarded women as a race apart

Merriam Webster Dictionary

Noun. race – 1) a family, tribe, people or nation that belong the same stock, 2) a class or kind of people unified by shared interests, habits or characteristics

Okay, so the dictionaries have helped to define for us what race is although one of the definitions might be confusing, ‘a group of people sharing the same culture, history, language, etc: an ethnic group’

It’s confusing because first it speaks about race and then it goes on to say ethnic group. So, for the purposes of this, let’s find out what ‘ethnic’ is.

The Free Dictionary

Adj. ethnic – 1) Of, relating to, or characteristic of a sizable group of people sharing a common and distinctive racial, national, religious, linguistic, or cultural heritage, 2) Being a member of a particular ethnic group, especially belonging to a national group by heritage or culture but residing outside its national boundaries: ethnic Hungarians living in northern Serbia, 3) Relating to a people not Christian or Jewish.

Noun. ethnic – A member of a particular ethnic group, especially one who maintains the language or customs of the group.

Oxford Dictionaries

Adj. ethnic – 1) of or relating to a population subgroup (within a larger or dominant national or cultural group) with a common national or cultural tradition:leaders of ethnic communities, 2) of or relating to national and cultural origins:two playwrights of different ethnic origins, 3) denoting origin by birth or descent rather than by present nationality:ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, 4) characteristic of or belonging to a non-Western cultural tradition:ethnic dishesfolk and ethnic music

Noun. ethnic – chiefly North American: a member of an ethnic minority

Merriam Webster Dictionary

Adj. ethnic – 1) of or relating to races or large groups of people who have the same customs, religion, origin, etc, 2) associated with or belonging to a particular race or group of people who have a culture that is different from the main culture of a country

Noun. ethnic – a member of an ethnic group; especially :  a member of a minority group who retains the customs, language, or social views of the group

We now have a better understanding of what Race and Ethnic is:

  1. To belong to a particular RACE, you inherit the following:
  • Physical characteristics or sharing common features as a result of your lineage
  • You share common history with others: a nationality, culture, language
  • Group of people unified by shared interests, habits or characteristics
  1. To belong to a particular ETHNIC, you inherit the following:
  • Group of people sharing common racial, national, religious, linguistic or culture heritage
  • You belong to a group of people who maintains/retains the language or customs of the group

Looking at this, you see that the only major difference between RACE and ETHNIC is the mention of ‘physical characteristics or sharing common features as a result of your lineage’. 

What this means, in other better words, it is referring to PHYSICAL FEATURES. Most common physical feature that perhaps we make reference to would be based on our skin colour.

So, let’s now watch take a short break from reading and watch this video:

(Minutes after I posted this blog up, I came across this video and had to share it as well)

With that new found knowledge, we can now omit skin colour from physical features because we were all once probably dark skinned. And for those of you who are Christian, Jewish and Muslim or if you believe that Adam was the first human created, then all of us, as progeny of Adam, we once had the same skin colour.

And because of human migration and the body’s ability to adapt itself to the different climate changes, our skin had adapted itself to the changing environments leading us to have different skin colours.

So, now that we have determined that RACE is making reference to Physical Features minus skin colour, we are left with the following physical features:

  • Size (Tall vs Short, Big vs Small)
  • Eye Colour (Okay well, there’s just a lot)
  • Eye shape/sizes
  • Mouth shape/Sizes
  • Nose shape/sizes
  • Ear shapes/sizes

Everything else but colour of our skin.

Where does that then put the term RACE under?

So, I don’t think it’d be particularly accurate for anyone to be a racist since you’d also be making reference to ethnic. What would be more accurate would perhaps for us to be, ‘FEATURIST’ because we are then only focusing on the individual’s features.

We can also then conclude the following:

  • Humans belong to one race – HUMAN RACE
  • Humans are segregated by ETHNIC which entails habits, cultures, language, religion
  • Humans are different in skin colour due to migration patterns (now we sound like birds)

So, the next time someone talks about someone being a ‘Racist’, correct the person to use the right term, ‘Featurist’. If he/she gets confused, ask him/her what is it that he/she is referring to?

If it’s regarding physical features, then he’s being a ‘Featurist’ and if it’s regarding cultures, language, religion, habits, then he’s being an ‘Ethnicist’.

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