Rich’s Definitions of Racial Terms

Genesis 2:19 (KJV 1900) 19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.


Black people have long conceded the right to define things to others. Even the definition of “blackness:” of who is black and who is not, we have not claimed as our own. Defining things is a critical part of the construction of ones worldview; and although worldview is usually not reality, it serves as such for those without the benefit of the scriptures. It has never occurred to most of us that we are free to accept or reject many definitions, especially sociological definitions and those purported to be a consequence of cultural anthropology or historical analysis.

I have created a short glossary of terms that I use in the discussion of race and racial issues. These are my own definitions and in view of the aforementioned freedom, you might find them helpful in organizing your own thoughts on the issues.


Race is the arbitrary categorization of people in order to divide, conquer and maintain social and financial control over vast sections of humanity.

Arbitrary in that racial distinctions are not scientifically or even rationally based. Racial distinctions are not based upon biochemical or genetic realities.

Example: the late Julian Bond, on the right, is considered black, however, golfer V.J. Singh, on the left, is considered not black.

Example: Based upon the common definition of blackness of the last four centuries which is: the possession of any degree of black ancestry, Acts 17:26 would indicate that all humanity must be black, since blacks originated in Adam.

Example: Persons considered blacks in Alabama in 1950 A.D. are considered not black in Egypt in 1950 B.C.

Arbitrary in that racial distinctions are assigned differently depending upon the demands of the historical period and what ends are sought. I do not venture to define “whiteness” or “blackness” except to acknowledge that although they do not exist, we all basically know what they are. We use the concepts to communicate, but we do not accept them as true or binding upon our consciousness.

Example: Definitions of blackness in the US Census periodically change


Prejudice is the individual human decision to prefer or not prefer someone or something. It is an attitude.

This attitude may be based on facts or opinions, experience or the influence of others. The decision to prefer or not to prefer may be rational or irrational, beneficial or self-destructive.

Example: One might have a prejudice against Republicans or Socialists, or for Calvinists and against Dispensationalists, for fruits and vegetables and against meats and fats. One may be prejudiced against dreadlocks and those who wear them.

Racial prejudice is prejudice based upon ones beliefs about a man-made category of people.

Prejudice is internal; it is a system of beliefs, attitudes, thoughts and motivations, but not actions. Prejudice is a mental attitude that may or may not express itself outwardly. 


Discrimination is the externalization of prejudice. It is the outworking in action of the attitudes of the prejudiced individual.

Discrimination can be practiced by individuals or groups. Discrimination can be organized or disorganized.

Racial discrimination manifests itself in any and all human activities, social, political,  economic and religious as the actions of one individual or group of individuals to deny to one group what they would not deny to others and to attach to one group what they would not attach to others.

Example: Racial Discrimination might be expressed in not promoting the best candidate due to ethnicity, or using a racial epithet towards another person. It might be expressed in the form of an organized rally for the purpose of terrorizing an ethnic group/race.


Racism is the science of discrimination. Racism is the calculated introduction of discrimination into the institutions of society. Racism is a conspiracy to scientifically marginalize or destroy a specific racial group by the manipulation of the organs of society such as the family, government (including legislation, law enforcement and the courts), academia, the media and the church.

By definition, racism is cultural warfare, or the extension of conventional warfare to the cultural sphere.


Diversity is the recognition of the God-given physical differences within mankind, linguistic differences within mankind, the ethnic or cultural distinctions that result from the expansion of mankind upon the earth, and the national divisions which have resulted from these cultural realities.

God created human diversity by placing its genetic potential within Adam. God created human language and later produced the distinct language groups [Gen 11.1-9] that resulted in the separation of mankind ethnically and nationally. Diversity is based upon distinctions created by God, who is the Author of human diversity.

Acts 17:26 (NKJV) 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,


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