THE EDITOR: The Oxford English Dictionary defines "racism" as “discrimination against or antagonism towards other races” and “the belief that there are characteristics, abilities or qualities specific to each race.”
The latter definition is actually ideological since it means that, even if it is true that races differ in their abilities or traits, this accurate belief is still racist. Thus to say that Syrians and Chinese are good at business is, according to Oxford, a racist statement.
The English language is not the Trinidad language, however. In Trinidad it is mostly politicians, their fanatic followers and race ideologues who use the term “racist.” The average Trinidadian instead tends to use the word “racial” to describe someone who they believe is racially prejudiced. This is not the dictionary definition, which defines “racial” in quite neutral terms: “of or relating to a race” and “relating to relations or differences between races.
This may well be because the average Trinidadian is less concerned about race than politicians and ideologues, since the former use race to cement party loyalty and the latter to get state resources for their organisations. The average citizen, whether of Indian or African descent, parties, plays, drinks, and has sex with whoever they get along with, regardless of the other’s race.
JENSEN M RUSHTON