You are right to the point in your observation that most of the time we don't expect the same high moral behavior from people who are not white. But I won't accept the idea to call a matter of racism in all cases.
Of course you avoid to define racism in your article. Usual everybody does, especially those, who are fast to accuse people of being racists.
Why do we tend to look the other way, when some non white tribal or freedom fighting groups revolt and engage in clearly genocidal atrocities against each other? Why do "we whites" barely engage in calling the UN to do their usually pretty ineffective work, whereas we tend to engage really fast, if the same atrocities are happening in Eastern Europe among white "tribes"?
Though it may look racist, I think it's something else. If you would care to define racism, you would have link the motivation of your reactions or inactions toward a group of people solely on the fact that the people you support or oppose to are biologically (genetically), different from yourself.
It is rarely the case that people actually base their actions on a pure racial basis. Racist explanations given by the Nazis, Aryan Nation-types of people, are most often a simple distraction trick to justify their grab for power. That doesn't mean that they are not racist, but it's rarely racism itself which motivates them.
The moment you use those tricks (playing the race card, if you want to use a more sugarcoated term), you become a racist in my books. When Hitler started to "measure the noses, ears and brains of Jews" to prove his point of "Arian superiority", he stepped into the territory of " pure racism".
When "extreme libertarian capitalist purists" argue that "blacks in the US" or "poor black villagers" in the sub-saharan Africa are simply "not ready" for the higher wisdoms of their own ideologies, because they are "too lazy and undisciplined to work hard" etc., they step into the territory of "racism".
When same groups in the US try to "play one ethnic minority against the other, saying that one group is more successful "to make it in America" then another ethnic group", they base their arguments purely on the affiliation of a immigrant minority to a race or ethnicity. That is racist, pure and simple.
Now, when Saddam calls the support of Israeli and US policies "support of Zionism", is that racist or not? Let's try to find out:
Definition of Zionism:
Zi·on·ism Pronunciation Key (z-nzm)
Definition of Judaism:
A Jewish movement that arose in the late 19th century in response to growing anti-Semitism and sought to reestablish a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Modern Zionism is concerned with the support and development of the state of Israel.
1. Zionism Zionism, modern political movement for reconstituting a Jewish national state in Palestine. Early Years The rise of the Zionist movement in the late 19th cent. was influenced by nationalist currents in Europe, as well as by the secularization of Jewish life in Eastern Europe.
(joo´deizem, joo´de-), the religious beliefs and practices and the way of life of the Jews . The term itself was first used by Hellenized Jews to describe their religious practice, but it is of predominantly modern usage; it is not used in the Bible or in Rabbinic literature and only rarely in the literature of the medieval period. The word Torah is employed when referring to the divinely revealed teachings of Jewish law and belief. Judaism is used more broadly, including also the totality of human interpretation and practice. Thus, one may speak of "secular Judaism," referring to an adherence to values expressed by Judaism but removed from any religious context. The most important holy days in Judaism are the weekly Sabbath , the major holidays of Rosh ha-Shanah , Yom Kippur , Sukkoth (see Tabernacles, Feast of ), Simhat Torah,Passover , and Shavuot , and the minor holidays of Hanukkah , Purim , and Tisha B'Av.
Definition of Semitism:
I couldn't find it. I could only find a definition for Anti-Semitism.
Definition of Anti-Semitism:
Definition of a Jew:
(ante-sem´itizem, anti-) , form of prejudice against Jews , ranging from antipathy to violent hatred. Before the 19th cent., anti-Semitism was largely religious and was expressed in the later Middle Ages by sporadic persecutions and expulsions notably the expulsion from Spain under Ferdinand and Isabella and in severe economic and personal restrictions (see ghetto ). However, since Jews were generally restricted to the pursuit of occupations that were taboo, such as moneylending, the sentiment was also economic in nature.
Jews, Related: Judaism
If the above definitions are correct, Jews are related to each other by genetic inheritance. I don't know if that is still true today, if that is a question in dispute among Jews themselves or if it's simply an outdated view of Judaism.
[from Judah ], traditionally, descendants of Judah, the fourth son of Jacob, whose tribe, with that of his half brother Benjamin, made up the kingdom of Judah; historically, members of the worldwide community of adherents to Judaism . The degree to which national and religious elements of Jewish culture interact has varied throughout history and has been a matter of considerable debate. There were approximately 17.8 million Jews in the world in 1990, with 8 million in the Americas (of which about 5.7 million were in the United States), 3.5 million in Israel, and 3.5 million in Europe.
May be if I would ask the question like this, I could get some answers:
If I were born to Jewish parents, could I ever become something else than a Jew? If I said to my parents, I don't believe in the religious teachings of Judaism, am I then still a Jew due to my biological inheritance or would I stop to be a Jew? I don't know the answer, but like to get one from a seriously knowledgeable Jew.
If there is a secular Judaism, that would mean even without being born by a Jewish mother, any person could become Jewish and live according to the teachings of Judaism. If that is true, then Judaism wouldn't be related genetically to a race, and being against Zionist or Jews (Judaism) would not be a racist expression, but a political and secular one.
If it's not true, and if Judaism is related to a tribe, into which you have to be born into and can't become a member by deliberately choosing Judaism as your life-style and religious beliefs, then being against Judaism or Zionists is a racist attitude.
Vice versa it would mean that actions by Jews or Zionists, not only can be considered as always being racist, but they logically must be considered as racist. The opposite would also be true, if you declare that Judaism is not related and linked genetically to a tribe or race, their actions never could be considered to be racist. Take your pick.
Now, if a knowledgeable Jew could explain to me, if I, not born to a Jewish mother, can become a Jew, can be a Zionist, can be a Semite or can become an Israeli national, I would be able to make up my mind, if I should consider a political opposition against the Israeli government's policies right now a racist attitude or not.
I could also make up my mind, if I should consider Saddam's accusations against the Zionist a racist attitude, and if I should consider the support of Israeli policies a racist support. D'oh.
Before someone enlightens me in this respect, I would like to come back to racism unrelated to the Jewish/Zionist/Semite/Israeli question.
How much we consider our actions to be based on racism, is really a matter of our honest self-examination of our motives.
Is the silence of Afro-Americans toward the atrocities of African dictators in former Zaire, toward tribal atrocities among Tutsis and Hutus, or toward rebel's atrocities against civilians in Sierra Leone, Angola, Mozambique racist when you compare that to their vocal opposition toward the atrocities the white Southern African government engaged in with their black population?
How about the other way around? Is the silence of white Americans toward the atrocities of the same above mentioned groups racism?
I think it depends. The policies of the white Southern African government against their own black population were constitutionally based
on race. You had to be categorized "genetically" and were treated unequally in front of the law according to your racial categorizations.
Because you can't choose your genes, you can't choose your affiliation to a race and you can't avoid to be categorized according to your race.
If you are living in a country, which engages in racially based categorization schemes and allows different legal treatment of its citizens on the basis of such categorization, you live in a racist hell. So, Southern African policies were racist, plain and simple. Support of those policies by other nations can be considered as supporting racism.
According to this the Afro-American reaction against the Southern African policies and the support of (some) white Americans toward Southern African policies are both "racist", because once you can define a nation engaging in racist policies, your opposition or support becomes "racist" as well.
So, is Mugabe's policies to throw out white farmers from their land, racist or not? And is your opposition or support of Mugabe's policies racist? Of course it is, it has to be as soon as you can prove that a policy, treatment or legal inequality of a group of citizens is being based on their genetically defined race and/or ethnicity. The same is true for your support or opposition to the regime that preceded Mugabe. The policies to take away land from Africans for the advantage of white Africans was based on race.
Now, another question: When does support or oppression of a religion becomes racist?
As soon as the religion itself is intertwined with your genetically defined ethnicity and race. Your support or opposition of a religion becomes racist as well. Whose fault is in that case the sin of "racism"?
If I decide to consider a religion to be a dangerous threat to my livelihood and survival, because the religion teaches that I am an evil-doing unbeliever and must be fought against and possible killed, then I am confronted with two possibilities:
Either the religion, who teaches that I am the evil-doer, is a religion, which is linked to a genetically based race or ethnicity or that religion is not.
If the former is the case (religion linked genetically to a tribe or race), people of that religion become racists (against me) and I become a racist (against them) by default, because I have no choice over my own race and therefore have no chance of not belonging to the evildoing unbelievers and have no chance to belong to the holy good-doer-race-religion. No luck for both sides.
If the latter (no linkage of religion to race/ethnicity) is the case, the religion, which teaches the murder of the unbelievers is necessary, is committing a crime against human rights of other human beings. They are engaging in crimes against humanity, as outlined in the UN charter, and I, opposing them, become someone acting in self-defense of my human and civil rights. There is nothing racist about it on both sides, but it's deeply criminal and/or unethical.
Aside from religion and race, people are killing each other for the sake of their "ideologies", where the ideologies usually just define how to distribute the wealth of the globe among its inhabitants. Ideologies are chosen and not related in any way to your ethnicity or race or religion.
Therefore, the silence of white American administration toward or their support of corrupt, tyrannical dictatorships in Africa, as well as the silence of Afro-Americans toward the same, can not be viewed as racist, because those corrupt regimes don't based their oppression on racial discrimination, but on accepting and using flaws and unethical business methods of capitalist or socialist ideologies with the intent to oppress their own people and gain financial and political power over them. Of course they always try to distract those motives and play the "tribal card" as well.