Whenever someone's words or behavior are called out as racist, a few predictable responses always follow. One is to see the word "racist" as a vicious personal attack. Two is to vehemently deny that whatever was said or done was racist. And three is to pull out the dictionary definition of racism to prove that the words or behavior weren't racist.

Honestly, as soon as someone refers to the dictionary when discussing racism, it's clear that person has never delved deeply into trying to understand racism. It's a big old red flag, every time.

I'm not an expert on race relations, but I've spent many years learning from people who are. And I've learned that the reality of racism is nuanced and complex, and resorting to a short dictionary definition completely ignores that fact. The dictionary can't include all of the ways racism manifests in individuals and society, and the limitations of dictionary definitions make it a poor tool for discussing the topic.

Since "racism" is such a loaded term for many people, let's look at such limitations through a different complex word. Let's take "anxiety." According to Merriam-Webster, "anxiety" is defined as "apprehensive uneasiness or nervousness, usually over an impending or anticipated ill."

Keep Reading Show less
Democracy

Another day in Trump's America, where the main debate between members of Congress is whether or not the kids concentrated in camps at the border are indeed in concentration camps.

Rep. Liz Cheney, third-ranking Republican in the House and spawn of Dick, is absolutely AGHAST that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez compared the detention camps to migrant children to those made famous by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

Keep Reading Show less
Recommended

Every year when LGBTQIA Pride Month rolls around, there are detractors who make false equivalences and ask the exhausting question: Why isn't there a Straight Pride parade?!

To most people, regardless of sexuality or political standing, it only takes a few minutes of critical thinking to figure out why Straight Pride isn't necessary. Straight people aren't brutalized, mocked and systemically discriminated against.

Keep Reading Show less
popular