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The word racism is rarely used in the correct context these days.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/15/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,255 times Debate No: 49153
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
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Welcome to this debate
The format is going to go like this:
1.acceptance and definitions
2.main arguments
3.subarguments and rebuttles
4.rebuttles and conclusion no new arguments.
I trust my opponet to define the words correctly as i am on an out dated tablet that can't have 2 windows open at the same time.


I'll accept the challenge.

As per agreement in a personal message the word racism is defined as such:
"Racism: Diminishing someone due to a difference in his cultural or race."
Alongside the more common definition of
"the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races." If my opponent agrees to that.

The debate is, as resolved: " The word racism is rarely used in the correct context these days. " where my opponent believes that it isn't used correctly or is overused while I hold the position of it being correctly used more often than not.

My opponent may object to these definitions if he sees fit.

There are 4 rounds, 3 for debating. 8000chrs for each round and 72 hour time frame to post an argument.

Standard DDO debating rules apply (no forfeits, conduct is to be held in honour, no plagarism e.t.c)

unless there are further formalities that need to be discussed (that can be discussed in the comments or Pm and made a note of at the beginning of the next round) then you may begin your case. Good luck
Debate Round No. 1


I will agree with those definions however unless other wise noted I will be using the second one.
I feel that most people do not understand that racism is negative and thus use it incorrectly.
Someone might say "Blacks like watermelon" then some one would say "That is racist!" However unless you think eating water melon is bad or revulting it is not racist. Anouther example would be when people are mad over certain football mascots and they think because these mascots are indian they are "racist" when the intion was never to diminish the indians it was to show them gratitude by idealising them. If i were to make a new definition of racism based on how people use it now it would be; noting differances of diffrent races. I feel it is correct to say there are differances in differnt races because each race has a differnt history. The diferance between blacks and whites is because of racism.However it is not racist to realise there is a differance that was created through racism. The word rarely (as in the topic of this debate) I can not prove however. It is up to the voter to decide how often the word racism is used in this manner in their lives. For me however this is the only way I ever see the word.

I will now leave it to my opponent to decide the course of the rest of the debate.


Ladies and gentlemen, this is a nice day, wouldn't you agree?

But it isn't a nice day for everyone, it never has been and never will be. This might be a bit of a grim way to start this debate, mind me, but I feel it to be required.

Racism is at large, and his century old, outdone way of thinking is so surprisingly common that you'll wonder if we have advanced anywhere. The widespread usage of the word “racism” and “racist” have sky-rocketed, and it seems like we can get nowhere without hearing of the matter. This lead up to this interesting question that we are discussing here today: Is it too much? Where does racism end and where does plain ignorance begin?

There are several distinctive types of racism, for simplification I'm going to sum them up to 3 groups albeit there are a lot more that can be looked at in another topic.

also knows as “Prejudice”. These are subtle racist remarks that don't sound so bad until you really notice what is being implied. It's those subtle cases of “You run like a black man” or “always trust a Jewish Banker.” In this form you might think that it's a compliment: but it doesn't address the fact that these sentences stem from a generalization, making an illogical judgement over all those that are in that racial group. This means a discriminating act based on race and is thus racism. It doesn't matter if the action being described is positive, negative or entertaining, it's still racism and has negative roots.

This is a more obvious form of racism. When you treat a certain individual differently or make him the lesser person due to his race or cultural difference. It may be subtle, it may be blatantly rude, it may be unintentional, but it is still racism and is still bad and illogical. It is stemmed from dishonest and narrow minded roots and thus are unacceptable.


And then we got the grand daddy, harassing someone, physically, mentally, verbally and any other “*ally”'s you can think of.This is where we get back to slave level and are blatantly demolishing a person for his race and ethnic origin.

Is enough ever enough?
Now, I've gotten a little bit off topic here but I felt that it was required to fully understand what we generally mean when we speak of Racism. It's a broad window of usage and there is no limit to what could possibly be described as Racism. Now we can get back on topic, is there too many usages of the word in a modern society? Not at all. We're just getting more aware of it.

In the equal world that we strive to create we must be ready to identify and
criticize every form of racism we can find. There is a key difference between “You run as fast as a black man” and “You run much faster than anyone I know.” in one you're complementing someone based on your own experience and traits. In the other you're taking the entire population that identifies as “black” and giving them a trait that they automatically run fast, feeding a stereotype. It may not be the most negative of racist remarks there is but unfortunately you're still discriminating and separating that certain population from the rest of us in a way. Not all are good runners, some can't even walk to the end of the street without gasping for air. So giving them all a trait that is a part of the stereotype that they do not all abide to.

We can see that Racism is much, much more sensitive than slurring out racial remarks, making ill-fated jokes and abusing the minority that walks among our society. It can be small remarks, a dark thought or systematic elimination of the minority in such a subtle way that we don't realize how wrong it is until someone notices that there isn't a minority to insult left. The younger generation is taught to be racist from their elders that lived in a world so incredibly ignorant on the subject that it knew no bounds. It thins out and becomes weaker and weaker, but it will never fully be washed from our memories. Because it is a sensitive subject that stemmed from sensitive origins we must take full action against it. Anything that discriminates one human being from another without a cause they can control is something that must be eliminated.

Racism will never go away: but it is our job to find and shrink the windows that allow them to be. It is ours to reduce the social fears that causes these superior-complexes that causes people to act hostile towards those of different culture. It is ours to show that racism isn't a world where we want to live.

Pardon my late reply, It's been a rough few days. :)

Debate Round No. 2


"It's a broad window of usage and there is no limit to what could possibly be described as Racism." No it is "the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races." or "Racism: Diminishing someone due to a difference in his cultural or race."
The word racism has a limited number of uses and thus there has to be a point where it is no longer appropriate to use it. It has gotten to the point were even stating the fact of another's race is "racist". The movement to get rid of racism is a just cause however there few people who are truly racist most people can joke and laugh about stereo types though few people actually believe that one race is truly superior to another. I believe that the movement against racism has basically achieved its purpose and is now counterproductive.
Going back to my previous example of the Indian mascots: no one would have ever thought it racist or offending if no one ever brought it up the fact that the people against racism did created racism where there previously was none.


Readers of the debate, I'll keep this brief as I don't have all that many arguments to address at this moment. But shall we begin?

My opponent started the debate with the example of the black man and the watermelon. He takes this out and makes it as it was not racist. In fact it is incredibly racist, and even worse it has it's own name: “The watermelon stereotype.” and it is a major symbol in racism against African Americans with roots in slavery. The notion that black people like water melons is not only an absurd statement to make given that only 11% of all watermelon consumption in the US are consumed by African-Americans in the US. It implies that every single black person out there has a taste for watermelons. I'd like my opponent to know where that remark came from. When slavery was still at large in the US slave keepers made it a habit to hold watermelon plants on their property and actively portrayed their black slaves as simple, idiotic minds that where contempt with watermelons and a little rest. The notion that stemmed from this has made it's way into common folk-lore and even if it isn't racist on the surface it is racist because of its origins. Hence it isn't an overuse of the word to use it to describe a notion that has extremely racist roots. In fact a lot of the “common” stereotypes may not be racist on the surface, but they are often racist underneath. Idolizing a stereotype isn't something to be proud of, and as such we should try and avoid it to great lengths.

Now, not that I came do debate semantics, but my opponent must remember that it is fully possible to read between lines of the English language to reveal additional meanings to a sentence. Take the racist definition for instance:
"the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races."
What can we read from this sentence?
Well, we know that we need to give a certain race some perks that either separate the entire race in a positive or a negative way from all other races. Say: “All blacks run fast.” Here we are giving every black person alive (be it true or not) a trait making it superior to a race that does not run fast. All based on a stereotype that isn't accurate. We cannot possibly expect every black person alive to run fast, so the statement isn't even accurate. This Is a form of racism, it falls under the definition. It's usage can be summed into “All X are Y because they are X.” This may hold in extremely specific situations “All Indians have at some point lived on planet earth” but then the notion is pointless since it can most likely be applied to a lot larger group than just that race. So Racism has a large usage span, wherever you distinguish someone because of their race in a subtle way or not.

Now, my opponent next addressed that stating a fact about another race is racist. Isn't it? What facts do other races have that cannot be applied to a larger group without being specifically because of said race? My opponent said that there are a few people that are not truly racist, but I'd like him to back that claim up. I did a little research and found that racism is still at large with disadvantages and the most racist parts of the US being the south where the old cotton fields where. And out of a list of the most racist countries in the world the US somehow managed to jam itself on the top. Meaning that Racism is both a problem inside and outside of the states. Because racism hasn't been defeated we must still keep fighting it with all the strength we have, even if it is using the term a bit more often than we are used to. My opponent concludes by stating that we should not create racism where there was none. This is counter-productive. If we would have moved this think set back to the slave-era, would the slaves ever have gotten freedom? The act of keeping slaves was not considered racist by the slavers, but there was still racism there. We didn't create it, we simply pointed it out. There is a difference. Creating racism is bad, as it usually involves racist acts. But pointing racism out where it already is, that isn't bad. That's the only way we'll move forward.

Debate Round No. 3


Poll: Most Americans see lingering racism -- in others
(CNN) -- Most Americans, white and black, see racism as a lingering problem in the United States, and many say they know people who are racist, according to a new poll.

But few Americans of either race -- about one out of eight -- consider themselves racist.

It all depends if you think 1/8 is a large number.
I now disregard many of my previous arguments as they were based off my personal experience, Most people in the area in which I live can joke about racism and not take it seriously even if it is directed at them.

I do not see however how seeing the color of anouther person is racist it is not giving them a trait that they don't inheritly have.

In conclusion
We must remember what the goal of getting rid of racism is - to promote equality and understanding. we must not however direct the word racism at other people with out first asking if we are also at falt.


1/8th may not be a large number in itself, but when applied to the roughly 314 million inhabitants of the US we can quickly see that we have nearly 39.25 million people that, according to this survey, would identify themselves as racists. That is, with little exaggeration, 39,250,000 problems that we need to get rid of. Even if most of these things are a jokes as my opponent proclaims, jokes can hurt. Not everyone will find that joke funny, and someone will find the degrading humor to be offending. Racism is still racism, no matter who takes offense to it, if it is minor, major, if it is intended as comedy or as an insult. We have to be careful where we use it and how we use it if we are forced to use it at all

In conclusion:
The word "racism" is widely used, that much is true. But we can quickly see that it isn't overly used, for wherever it is used it is with a just reason. For racism is a moral crime, it degrades your fellow human beings for attributes they have no control over. no matter if there are a million that practise it or just one, racism is something that has to be eliminated, and limiting our uses over the word is not going to help us achive that goal. My opponent hasn't defended the resolution and my points have remained largly unanswered, and thus we can see that racism is not used out of context, for as long as it exists, it is always in context.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by WaVoter 2 years ago
"it is incorrectly used, and used when it shouldn't be used. For instance, the Treyvon Martin case was overused. "

A statement which I think is a good example of the issue. There is being 'incorrectly' used and then there's being 'over' used. Being used more than necessary should not be held in the same light as the improper use of racism/racist. Racism was one of the two main motives in the Treyvon Martin case, the other being self-defense. The ground swell of community unrest and challenge to Florida's Stand your ground law elevated the case to national news, which would include discussing the persecutor's argument of racial discrimination. To compare it to a killing where the only similar attribute you mention is the race reversal goes to show how we are able to quickly associated and dismiss claims of racism as another 'race card' accusation, (which still would not mean the accusation isn't a valid one to be made).

I disliked both conclusions but I see how the debate led them to those closing points. I wasn't convinced by Pro since how the author feels and the people he knows isn't strong to argue with. Pro also should have stayed away from the "certain football mascots" example if not going to include the historical context and making the necessary argument to defend that it "shows gratitude." (Another debate topic?)

Con was better prepared and had improved spelling and grammar. I am not convinced that whenever a claim of racism is used that it is just. I could declare the author a racist right now, motive; because I'm making a point. Not just. Overall, strong debater.
Posted by kbub 2 years ago
Not as offensive as I thought it would be.
Posted by wwwwh 2 years ago
This proably goes agianst my side but the killer of the white kid was proably put in jail.
Posted by saxman 2 years ago
I think that this is a white and black thing, or at least thats what it sounds like. And yes, it is incorrectly used, and used when it shouldn't be used. For instance, the Treyvon Martin case was overused. That same month, a white kid was killed by a black man, and it never made it past the local news. That was a form of racism. One race getting more attention than the other.
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