I think there is much confusion around the question of race. Without trying to rewrite the dictionary, I have arranged a simple hierarchical progression of race terminology, evolving from the primitive to the more nuanced. I hope this leads to more discussion about these terms, which are often bandied about rather loosely.
White supremacy, nationalism – a strong, irrational belief that “we” are somehow better than “them” and must assert our superiority or face annihilation as a race.
Racism – the denial, and sometimes deeply buried feelings of hatred, anger and blame toward other groups, which none-the-less influences and undermines all our interactions on a conscious or subconscious level.
Racial blindness – the conscious effort to deny that our physical appearance carries with it any implicit preconceptions. A conscious choice to treat everyone the same, regardless of race.
Racial awareness – an overly self-conscious effort to breakdown racial differences and stereotypes. Use of hyperbole and/or innuendo that shows or points out our differences in a humorous way, intended to call attention to the absurdity of our differences. But in the end, just another form of denial.
Race conscious – an awareness of our differences and acceptance of the problem along with a desire to speak openly and sensitively about the issues commonly associated with race and race culture, combined with a commitment to focusing on finding commonality and achieving equality, by finding and implementing positive solutions.
Racial equality – no awareness of our differences. Most racists believe they are here. But that is a delusion born of entitlement and ignorance. The truth is, aside from very young children who have not yet been taught to hate and fear those who are different from themselves, none of us will ever achieve this. Until true equality is achieved, and institutional racism and oppression is stamped out, there will never be true racial equality or freedom for anyone.