Discrimination and Racism: Different, yet similar.

I ran into a post that was rather interesting. It discusses the difference between racism and discrimination. In the post, the author Sheryl specifies that there is a huge difference between the two terms, although they are regularly used as the same meaning. Sheryl goes to explain that racism is more of a thought process and discrimination is an action to take.

As defined by Merriam-Webster, racism is “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.”

Merriam-Webster also defines discrimination as “the practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other people or groups of people.”

It cannot be too hard to find examples of racism because it is widespread across the media from towns and cities across the nation. Looking at what is going on such as police brutality is cause, or at least seen as racism in action. The actions conducted by the police officers are discriminatory ones.


AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

What is going on in colleges across the nation are forms of racism and discriminatory actions are being conducted. The difference racial and discriminatory situations occurring on the campuses are just saddening. We don’t hear about college successes, achievements, proactive activities, but news about something that should have been abolished from institutions such as these.





From these stories, you can clearly see the similarities in the two terms from the acts taking place. Yes, in a literal sense, racism and discrimination are differenced as a belief and a practice, but I would say that they are very closely related. Discrimination is the product of racism, therefore they could be used interchangeably.

If we can eliminate racism, we can surely get rid of the other.

What is your take on the two terms?