ADL inserts 'provisional definition' of racism

Whoopi Goldberg chats with Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt on The View Tuesday. The Anti-Defamation League has once aga...


Whoopi Goldberg spoke with Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt on The View

Whoopi Goldberg chats with Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt on The View Tuesday.

The Anti-Defamation League has once again changed its definition of racism due to backlash over how it had defined the concept, amid controversy over by Whoopi Goldberg comments on the Holocaust.

The ADL has played a calming role in the controversy involving the host of View, who was suspended this week for saying on air that the Holocaust was “not about race.”

leader of the ADL Jonathan Greenblatt originally sentenced Goldberg, before accept his apology and appearing on View for a thoughtful discussion why she was wrong.

But the ADL exhibit drew attention to how the organization defines racism on its website. A few years ago, its definition was commonly accepted.

She defined “racism” as follows: “The belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another, that a person’s social and moral traits are predetermined by their innate biological characteristics. Racial separatism is the belief, mostly based on racism, that different races should be separate and apart from each other.

But then, in July 2020, the ADL updated its definition to make it oddly narrow: racism, he said, was “the marginalization and/or oppression of people of color based on a socially constructed racial hierarchy that privileges white people.”

ADL Definition of Racism

Such a definition, like the critics and we here at Mediaite have noted, excluded millions of victims of the Holocaust – the very sin the ADL had accused Goldberg of committing.

The ADL did not respond to Mediaite’s request for comment on Tuesday. But on Wednesday they had again changed their definition of racism to a “provisional” one.

Now, the ADL definition reads: “Racism occurs when individuals or institutions show a more favorable evaluation or treatment of an individual or group based on their race or ethnicity.”

ADL new definition of racism

No need for “interim” here, the new definition of the ADL is quite satisfactory.

Nevertheless, the ADL definition of systemic racism remains on its website, and remains imperfect by its narrow scope:

A combination of systems, institutions, and factors that advantage white people and people of color cause widespread harm and disadvantage in access and opportunity. A person or even a group of people did not create systemic racism, but rather: (1) is embedded in the history of our laws and institutions that were created on the basis of white supremacy;* (2) exists in institutions and policies that benefit white people and disadvantage people of color; and (3) takes place in communication and interpersonal behaviors (e.g. name-calling, bullying, offensive language) that maintain and support systemic inequalities and systemic racism.

*In the definition above, the term “white supremacy” refers to the systematic marginalization or oppression of people of color based on a socially constructed racial hierarchy that privileges people who identify as white. It does not refer to extremist ideologies that believe that whites are genetically or culturally superior to non-whites and/or that whites should live in a whites-only society.

By definition, white people are not the only group capable of systemic racism. Anyone, regardless of skin color, can institute a racist system.

The ADL, which was founded to fight anti-Semitism, has maintained its mission in the Goldberg saga. Unfortunately, he undermined the same mission in his own posts on racism.

This is an opinion piece. The opinions expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author.



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Newsrust - US Top News: ADL inserts 'provisional definition' of racism
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