The Progressives' Most Often Used "Tool" Against Those Who Disagree With Them
However, an estimate is that 99.999% of the time their use of the term "racist" is incorrect and does naught but display for all to see (or hear) their ignorance. Hearing that word and how it is most often used today I am reminded of a scene from the movie 'The Princess Bride'.
Actually, it's repeated use, its incorrect repeated use, appears to be an application of a quote by Valdimir Lenin, "A lie told often enough becomes the truth". (Or maybe Lenin's quote is the main tool used by the progressives; but, I digress.) The acceptance and proliferation of political correctness seems to be the main culprit.
With having offered the above, let's look at some facts.
The definition of the term "racism" and its derivatives' uses, assumedly, are not well understood by those in the progressive arm of politics. A dictionary look up may be of help.
From the Oxford Dictionary we get: "Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior."
It is rather easy to discern statements or pronouncements that are racist from those which are not. If causation is stated or implied, then racism may - and only may - be applicable. If facts are stated then any statement factually based, indeed, may possibly be seen as "impolite" or "inappropriate", but not racist.
Let's look at some real world examples and test my opinion:
"I did not vote for him because he is black." - RACIST. The word "because" implies causation which fails a reasonableness test as to why.
"I voted for him because he is black." - RACIST. The word "because" implies causation which fails a reasonableness test as to why.
"I did not vote for him because he is white." - RACIST. The word "because" implies causation which fails a reasonableness test as to why.
"Black people are less educated than whites." - Not RACIST. The facts, as bad as they are, are accurately stated.
"Syrian refugees should not be allowed into our country because they are Muslim and we can't trust them." - Not RACIST. As harsh as this may sound to some, it is still not racist; being a Muslim is not a racial distinction. However, it does display ignorance as clearly many, many Muslims are trustworthy. One who makes such a statement may be xenophobic and may even hold ill will against a specific religion, but the statement is not racist.
"Illegal immigrants are Hispanics and we don't want them here. - Not RACIST. As harsh and ignorant as this may sound to some, it is still not racist. There are two problems here. First, there is no "race" labeled Hispanic. Second, the statement, itself, is not true. Many besides Hispanics enter our country illegally. Again, one who makes such a statement may be xenophobic, but the statement is not racist.
"People who disagree with our president, who is black, are racists." - Not RACIST. An overtly ignorant statement, perhaps, but not racist. Because a person disagrees with another has little to do with race; they may disagree on policy, approaches, any number of things. However, neither facts nor causation due to race was mentioned nor implied and no race was targeted.
As a general rule, whenever you hear the words "racist", "racism", and the like used, be very wary of the person making the statement. Using such terms incorrectly or as a general way to shut down free speech is political correctness run amok and is the chosen tool of the ignorant. But, we have the 1st Amendment to our Constitution for a reason.
And, that reason is to allow and protect persons who say things ignorant or not. Its primary intent is not so you can shut other people up. Nor is it there so as to enable the perception of ill will coming from others who may disagree with you.