What is Racism?

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What is Racism?
by Fjordman

We hear a great deal about the evils of “racism” in the mass media. But what exactly is “racism,” anyway?

If the word means “to harbor prejudice against people with a different skin color and ethnic background”, then it is documented that Europeans, especially those from northwestern Europe, are among the least racist peoples on the surface of this planet. People coming from other parts of the world, for instance from Asia or Africa, tend on average to be more prejudiced against individuals from a different ethnic background. This further implies that mass immigration from Asia or Africa to the Western world increases the amount of racism in our societies, since Europeans are being displaced by more prejudiced newcomers.

If “racism” is used to indicate that you believe that some cultures are better than others, then this is simply common sense. A brutal, violent clan culture with endemic corruption generates a different society from a culture with high levels of trust and low levels of corruption, where citizens try to settle their differences in peaceful ways. Different cultures produce different societies, and some societies yield better results than others. This is an empirical fact that is easily documented.

If “racism” is intended to mean a belief there could be genetic differences between different human beings which affect not just how they look, but also how they think and behave, then things become more sensitive.

However, the progress in our understanding of human genetics is now very rapid. Evidence is accumulating indicating that human evolution has continued until the present day. According to some studies, it has even accelerated into historical times. Evidence further indicates that genetics influences how people behave. For instance, studies of identical twins indicate that they often hold similar political views. The implications of these studies is that people who are genetically similar also tend to think and act in similar ways.

If we expand this same principle from individuals to ethnic groups, we might theoretically face the possibility that a group of somewhat genetically related people displays related world views and behaviors, partly for biological reasons. Another way of saying the same thing is that perhaps culture has a genetic component. Please note that I say a component, not that everything in a culture is 100% genetic. Ideas clearly matter. This is, for instance, why some white converts to Islam seem to develop a sudden urge to blow things up shortly after converting.

Nevertheless, even if it is just a component, this implies that genetics has large-scale consequences for entire societies. The immigration policies in all Western countries today are essentially based on the premise that all peoples are identical in all ways, apart from some supposedly superficial traits such as skin color. As soon as recent immigrants who come from the opposite side of the Earth learn to speak to local language, they are exactly like the natives.

If this turns out not to be true after all, what does it mean? The inevitable conclusion is that the immigration policies in all Western countries, and by extension their demographic and cultural future, is based on a lie. Maybe Bangladeshis are not identical to Englishmen, Congolese to native Frenchmen or Pygmies to Germans.

There are already indications that this could in fact be the case. The Scandinavian countries have long been ranked as having some of the highest levels of social trust and happiness worldwide. A scientific study from July 2014 indicated quite seriously that there could be a genetic basis for some of this. By extension, this would imply that one cannot replace Danes with Turks, Swedes with Somalis, Norwegians with Pakistanis or Finns with Arabs and expect the same result. If this is true, it should have practical consequences for how we deal with immigration.

To be a so-called “racist” in Western societies today is one of the worst things a person can be, especially if he happens to be born with a white skin. The mere accusation is enough to ruin careers and destroy lives. Looking back on the past three generations, one is astounded by how well the fear of this little word has become embedded in our societies. This fear required decades of extensive indoctrination.

Some people call a person a “Nazi” as soon as he mentions genetic differences. This is not rational. The Nazis did not invent genes. Evolution had been going on for billions of years before single-celled organisms evolved into Adolf Hitler. Furthermore, the basic principle of evolution is that small genetic differences can make a significant difference. Even a mutation in a single gene can have real-life effects.

There is every reason to assume that this basic biological principle also applies to humans. For instance, one might say that all human beings on this planet share the vast majority of their genes with all other human beings. Technically speaking this is perfectly true. However, that does not mean that the remaining genetic differences do not matter at all. For example, perhaps you who are reading these words share 99.9% of your genes with Isaac Newton or Albert Einstein. Unfortunately, that tenth of a percentage point made a rather big difference. That is why Newton and Einstein were among the greatest geniuses who ever lived, whereas you, unfortunately, are not.

If so, what is the scientific basis for the term racist? There is probably none. The doctrines of anti-racism that are currently being aggressively promoted in certain quarters are therefore anti-scientific.

In summary: the fact that there are genetic differences between not just individuals, but also groups of people, is uncontroversial. Simple appearances confirm this. It is more controversial to suggest that these genetic differences might also influence other traits than skin color, eyes, hair and people’s appearance. Yet evidence strongly indicates that genes may influence individual behavior, not just looks. There is no logic or scientific reason to assume that the same principle does not apply to larger groups of people. We already possess some evidence indicating that this just might be the case.

What then, is the meaning of the term racism? Based on the above mentioned information, I suggest the following definition:

A racist is a person who believes in the theory of evolution and takes it seriously.

The term “racist” carries no scientific or logical value. It seems mainly to be employed as a tool of intimidation against Europeans who resist being displaced in their own countries by people from other parts of the world. The word should therefore be removed from our active vocabulary.


For a complete archive of Fjordman’s writings, see the multi-index listing in the Fjordman Files.

24 thoughts on “What is Racism?

  1. hmm…you had me with your astute observations.

    You lost me with your proscription: who, pray tell, is going to remove the word from general discourse. Just because it has been misused, it would be a mistake to ban it. The tenents of free speech require that we leave it set right where it is. What is ignored, ridiculed, looked down upon, or worst of all, pitied, eventually withers away.

    Language is too malleable and elusive for “orders” to change it. Right now, it’s a powerful word, a weapon in the hands of the language police. When “they” decide it’s a bad word, it will be shown the door and another term of opprobrium will be introduced. The desire to create cliques with rules to follow for those who want to belong will always be with us. The arbiters are not necessarily self-appointed, but some work with great diligence to be amongst the rule-makers.

    The last time someone on Twitter called me a racist I retorted that his choice of insult was sooo 1999. Suggested he find another term. I’d only care if I got a court order re my language. I suppose in the EU that might be possible…not here. Yet.

    And despite our stringent rules re language we’re considered waaaycists anyway. Sigh.

    That’s because epithets are tools. This tool is one used by a troll to knock its victim beyond the pale. This latter territory is a desert where the kewl kids would never go. Nor would they dream of talking to anyone who had been relegated there. However, its denizens *do* talk to one another – at least the ones who aren’t mad about finding themselves there.

  2. What is a racist? Who is a racist? What does it mean? Racism, as applied in the modern world, is a variant of niceism. I love french food, god those wogs stink of garlic. To note a difference between cultures is not to desire the destruction of all difference. As far as possible one should always own up to being a racist because, under the prevailing definition, everyone is.

    • There is no universally recognised definition of racism, neither was it ever intended that there should be

  3. Dymphna said:” Just because it has been misused, it would be a mistake to ban it.”

    We can free our ankles from this ball and chain and hope we swim up in time to gasp for air, or we can drown along with it. As long as we legitimize this term, it will be used against anyone who wishes to save his, or her heritage.

  4. I’m a racist, and I’m comfortable with it. I suggest white people get comfortable with it too, lest the equalists gain too much ground.


    -The belief that people are different, in ways superior or inferior
    -A preference for people similar to you

    Nothing wrong with either case.

    The left believes that racism in every case is treating people badly because they are different, which is a rare occurrence in the Western world. One can only arrive at that conclusion by assuming that different treatment means bad treatment, and one can only arrive at THAT conclusion by assuming that equality and fairness are the same thing.

  5. I understand that the term “racist” was devised sometime in the late 1920s at the School of Social Research at the University of Frankfurt (The Frankfurt School). Like everything else that came out of that institution, it is intrinsically evil and it should be brought into disrepute as should its users.

    I do not normally call people names as it is rude but the worst thing I feel I can call a person today is a “Marxist.”

    • The worst thing you could call me is ‘muslim’. I disliked the word the first time I heard it; same thing with ‘islam’. This was long before I knew anything about either word. I simply disliked the sound of both words. Now that I’m somewhat educated about them I wonder about my prescience.

      Interestingly, I had neutral feelings about the name ‘mohamed’ when I first heard it; probably a function of sub-consciously equating it with the role of Jesus and other biblical names. And perhaps the expression ‘If the mountain wont come to mohamed then mohamed must go to the mountain’ had an influence. Paradoxically I also liked it.

  6. The egalitarians acknowledge genetic variability, and thus physical variability, occurs among humans – except in the brain. To hold the thought that the brain also is subject to natural forces, one risks being called a snob and …a racist.

  7. Here’s the rub.

    While racial groups can have average differences, there is a wide difference within groups. Thus, there are blacks who act, and think very white, and have skill sets associated with upper-class and highly-productive whites. Similarly, there are low-intelligence, criminal whites who are just as dangerous as members of the Blackstone Rangers.

    It has been a favorite staple of anti-racists to find examples where upper-class blacks have been treated as undesirables. Such examples, say in the segregated south, did exist in abundance, and did offend the sensibilities of normal people. Forcing a wealthy, highly-educated, highly-successful black in the south to sit in separated facilities and drink from separate water fountains was clearly unjust, as far as individuals were concerned.

    The eugenics movement of the 30’s used IQ, and often race, as a factor for advocating government action on sterilizing individuals. This was too close to the Nazi philosophy, which was to overrun and wipe out whole racial groups.

    But, the other side of the coin is to ignore huge group differences. By indiscriminately importing Somalis, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, Iraqis, and other members of highly-dysfunctional countries and cultures, we are importing criminal gangs, and people who are likely to be, at best, welfare liabilities, not just for a few years, but forever. Furthermore, by importing Muslims, we are importing people with an organized, stable, and deep-rooted philosophy totally alien to our culture. Logically, a democratic society cannot be maintained when importing anti-democratic elements. A productive society cannot be maintained when importing non-productive elements.

    The study of individual differences allows judgments to be made more individual. Nevertheless, it may be necessary to be somewhat unjust to individuals to maintain our societies. There may be Muslims with no intention of becoming violent, or even of systematically changing Western form of government. Nevertheless, it is quite obvious to rational thinkers that no self-identified Muslim should ever be allowed to immigrate into Western societies. A Muslim can always publicly apostacize and renounce Islam. The danger of such a course makes it difficult for Muslims leaving Islam. It’s probably beneficial, on the whole, to make an effort to identify and admit some, not all, ex-Muslims, all other things being equal.

    The Soviet Union almost destroyed its agriculture by promoting Lysenkoism, a pseudo-scientific theory with no factual basis. Lysenkoism downplayed and ignored the influence of genetics, while overemphasizing adaptability. We are pursuing a racial Lysenkoism right now, ignoring the influence of genetics on behavior, abilities, and culture. And the results will be far more destructive than even the original Lysenko was to Russian agriculture and prosperity.

  8. “A racist is a person who believes in the theory of evolution and takes it seriously.”

    A Marxist is a person who believes in the theory of evolution and takes it seriously – and, Marxists intend to win the evolutionary war by fighting for oligarchic ruling power over everyone else.

  9. The Cultural Marxist definition of racism is a one-way street. White Capitalists are all guilty of racism, while non-whites are incapable of racism. And that’s that.

  10. “A racist is a person who believes in the theory of evolution and takes it seriously” — that is passe now; the insanity has progressed much beyond that. In the United States, the Left and its perpetual clients,”the people of color,” are in control of the dialogue, and the Right has long ago checked out (leaving only the Nazis in this particular breach). Hence the very terms that once stood for an anti-racist attitude are now branded racist, loudly and with great outrage. You are now a racist if you believe in a color-blind society, color-blind-admissions, equal opportunity, meritocracy and so on. The few Blacks who voice support for such equal-treatment ideas cannot be called “racist,” so they are are loudly berated as “Uncle Toms.”

    Moreover, if you are White, you are now a racist even if you are not a racist, due to being white. A whole industry has sprung out to root out “unconscious racism” from Whites, and it won’t surprise a Scandinavian that it’s dhimmi Whites — self-motivated self-flagellants — who run this industry or pay for some more noble “person of color” to wield the whips, flails and scourges. You can now read headlines like “Portland Schools Spend $500k to Deem PB&J Sandwiches Racist.”
    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/09/15/Portland-Oregon-schools-spent-526-901-to-learn-that-pb-j-sandwiches-are-racist. If you are a white freshman candidate at Harvard you will go through Unconscious Racism and White Privilege indoctrination before your first day of school. Educators from all over the country attend White Privilege and Unconsious Reacism seminars (recently in Wisconsin) dinanced at taxpayers’ expense.

    This has developed into a major infectious plague — and one cannot blame the Left or its colored [term deemed “racist” nowadays] clients. One must blame the cowardice and stupidity of white people.

    • Sadly true, Takuan; I’ve been victimised by the phenomenon, though only with respect to a voluntary job.

      However not all people, irrespective of race or even intelligence/education, are taken in.

    • I refused to go along with the idiocy of antiracism and white guilt and lost my career (and wife) because of it. Still feel better about it than had I bowed to mind control – financially poorer though, and still working whereas otherwise I’d be retired on a pension now. Ah well, there’s always the pub! ;0)

    • With the large body of empirical and behavioural evidence available one must be either stupid or dishonest to claim one is NOT a racist.

  11. Thank you for an excellent essay.

    The subject matter of race has become one of the modern areas of the forbidden zone
    where thinking people enter at their own risk.

    I was reminded of Thilo Sarrazin’s book ‘Deutschland schafft sich ab: Wie wir unser Land aufs Spiel setzen’ published 2010 and still no translation to English or any other, I believe, language

  12. “The immigration policies in all Western countries today are essentially based on the premise that all peoples are identical in all ways…”


    With respect Fjordman, it is the exact opposite of what you say. The argument is that immigration improves Western countries, therefore the implication surely is that immigrants are superior to the host people.

    • Which of course accounts for the economic and cultural impoverishment of monocultures such as Japan, South Korea and China!

  13. One of the things I come away with after reading the Gates of Vienna’s postings is that we are not far away from a serious [violent weather manifestation featuring excrement].

  14. The discussions of racism above miss the point of the debate about Islamophobia being the new racism. This meme is used to denounce and discredit people who have serious, objective issues with the ideology of Islam — including child rape, wife beating, justification of slavery, cruel and unusual punishments, kill and be killed mentality as the path to salvation, etc. — all of which are sanctioned by the Quran. Racism is universally condemned primarily because it discriminates against people on the basis of inherited characteristics that cannot be changed. It would be just as offensive to belittle people who have blue eyes. However, a person’s religious beliefs can change, and in fact millions of people leave Islam (for example) every year.
    Denouncing an evil ideology is not “racism,” and besides there is no religion that is synonymous with a particular race. Religion is a choice, and as such the discussion of religion and ideology should not be burdened with a false stigma of racist motives.

  15. A racist is a person who believes in the theory of evolution and takes it seriously.

    I don’t think that’s specific enough. The anti-racist Stephen Jay Gould believed in the theory of evolution and took it seriously, but didn’t think — or said he didn’t think — it had operated on the human brain in recent evolutionary history. I’d suggest this definition:

    “A racist is a white who acts or speaks in any way that benefits whites, rather than acquiescing in or collaborating with the non-white take-over of white homelands.”

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