racism vs discrimination of race

nnyy

Senior Member
Japanese
There is racism in the USA.
There is discrimination of race in USA.

I made these sentences.
I think the second one sounds a bit iffy to me.
Can I say the second one to mean the first?
Thank you.
 
  • grassy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    You're right that 2 is unidiomatic. 1 sounds odd as a standalone sentence, however. In other words, it needs context.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I would say that discrimination of race is used more often in legal contexts.

    In ordinary English I would prefer to use race/racial discrimination or discrimination against race.

    I would not personally say that this is the same as racism, which I understand as a belief that a particular race is inferior, not an action. However, some people use also racism to mean behaviour towards others.
     
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    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Quite apart from the fact that it’s not a good idea to single out the USA in this regard, since racism exists everywhere…

    I don’t think “discrimination of race” explains the concept. e2efour’s suggestions are much more apt. What racism (and perhaps its precursor, racialism) means to most people, I think, is irrational/knee-jerk discrimination against a particular person or group entirely on the basis of their ethnicity.

    There’s an article on both the terms and the concept here: https://www.chronicle.com/blogs/lin...ists-and-racialists-and-whats-the-difference/
     

    MattiasNYC

    Senior Member
    Swedish
    I generally agree with e2efour, but is it really correct to write "discrimination against race"?

    I'm asking because I actually agree that racial discrimination and racism are possibly two different things and could or should be distinguished, but on that note we aren't discriminating against "race" though, are we? We're discriminating against people of a particular race, not the race itself.

    Or did I go overboard parsing things?
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    If you discriminate against everyone of a certain race, it’s not unreasonable to see that as discriminating against that race itself. But I would agree that discrimination against race as a concept is a different matter.
     

    MattiasNYC

    Senior Member
    Swedish
    If you discriminate against everyone of a certain race, it’s not unreasonable to see that as discriminating against that race itself. But I would agree that discrimination against race as a concept is a different matter.
    That's also how I would read it. I suppose my objection maybe is very specifically against "discrimination against race" and that if it is equal to "racial discrimination" it should perhaps read "discrimination against a race".

    Does that make sense?

    (One might say that racism is the attitude (conscious or subconscious) and discrimination is action based on that attitude. But defining "race" itself is also problematic )
    Well, just for the record: I actually disagree that there is such a thing as "race" to begin with, so "defining" it is not just problematic but essentially impossible. The "best" case scenario is that it is purely based on subjective socially derived criteria of "us vs them" essentially. But I suppose this is all off-topic.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Well, just for the record: I actually disagree that there is such a thing as "race" to begin with, so "defining" it is not just problematic but essentially impossible. The "best" case scenario is that it is purely based on subjective socially derived criteria of "us vs them" essentially. But I suppose this is all off-topic.
    (Hence the quotes around the word - I agree but didn't want to digress too far:D)
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I prefer to say "discriminate based on race". Discrimination can be based on race, religion, country of origin, language, gender, political view, weight, height, or some other attribute. A person who does any of these things is called a "bigot".

    It is important to distinguish thoughts from actions. Some people claim that everyone is prejudiced in their thinking. But many people carefully avoid racial discrimination in their words and actions.

    Note also that different people use the word "racism" differently. In today's US, there is a disagreement about these questions:
    - Does thinking count as "racism", or only words and actions?
    - Is affirmative action "racist"? It is a race-based policy.
    - Is discrimination against (or hatred of) whites "racism"? It is race-based.
     

    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    It's a huge discussion, and I agree that there are many nuances to it, and also that attitudes to race differ alot between regions and also between different institutions in any given region.

    All that aside, the first sentence is completely natural and indisputable as a generalization, as it doesn't claim that racism is everywhere or even define the term.

    The second sentence doesn't quite work, but you could say "discrimination based on race" or "racial discrimination."
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Here is part of the wording of the law referred to as Title VII in the United States. It's the type of language used in U.S. law in this area.

    It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employment agency to fail or refuse to refer for employment, or otherwise to discriminate against, any individual because of his race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, or to classify or refer for employment any individual on the basis of his race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.​

    I think the most common way we speak is to say "discrimination on the basis of race" etc.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    A person who does any of these things is called a "bigot".
    Yes, I see that a lot in AE writing. I've noticed before that we don't use the words "bigot" and "bigotry" so often in BE.

    It is used, but more often I hear "racial prejudice" (which is more the attitude or mindset) or "racial discrimination" (which concerns acts of discrimination).
     
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    Steven David

    Senior Member
    Standard General American English USA
    There is racism in the USA.
    There is discrimination of race in USA.

    I made these sentences.
    I think the second one sounds a bit iffy to me.
    Can I say the second one to mean the first?
    Thank you.

    Use the first one. That is correct and usual.

    The second one is grammatically correct. However, it's rather unusual, and no one would say that. As you said, yes, it sounds iffy.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Setting aside issues related to the meaning of race and 'racial discrimination, the preposition American English would use in the second sentence is 'by': "There is discrimination by race in USA."

    For example:
    The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination by race, color, national origin, religion, familial status, sex and disability.​
    Government Technology, Mar 29, 2019​

    I notice that several British contributors are comfortable with 'discrimination of race'. Perhaps there is a difference between British English in this respect.
     

    Steven David

    Senior Member
    Standard General American English USA
    I generally agree with e2efour, but is it really correct to write "discrimination against race"?

    I'm asking because I actually agree that racial discrimination and racism are possibly two different things and could or should be distinguished, but on that note we aren't discriminating against "race" though, are we? We're discriminating against people of a particular race, not the race itself.

    Or did I go overboard parsing things?

    I understand what you mean. However, I would say, yes, just a little bit overboard with the parsing.

    Where there is one, we find the other. Though they are two separate ideas, one cannot walk without the other by its side.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I notice that several British contributors are comfortable with 'discrimination of race'. Perhaps there is a difference between British English in this respect.
    I noticed that too, and it puzzled me. As far as I'm aware, BE also uses "discrimination by race". I can't recall having ever seen "discrimination of race", although it would be perfectly acceptable in "MattiasNYC has no discrimination of race" - but that would be taking the "discern a difference" meaning of "discriminate", not "treat differently because of a perceived difference".
     
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