There are terms used on this site that have colloquially loaded meanings. However, here, they’re used in their academic definitions. If there’s something that you feel is “off” with a word in a sentence, and you find it offensive or emotionally damaging, please take the time to read the academic definition. If it’s not here, comment on the article. This is a living, breathing page; check back frequently.

Racist: A person who, by the externally imposed definition of their racial identity, is at the top of the racial paradigm, and has, vocalizes, or acts on their racial privileges and prejudices.

Racism: A system of privileges and demerits based on race.

Prejudice: A preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience; a bias. Can be negative or positive. Can be an extrapolation from an isolated incident or third-hand knowledge.

Racial Prejudice: A formed opinion about a person that is based primarily on the color of their skin or their membership to a particular ethnic group, with little to no personal knowledge of their individual character; can be positive or negative.

Diaspora: the movement, migration, or scattering of a people away from an established or ancestral homeland

Indigenous: People considered native to a land, usually used to describe the people(s) who populated a land prior to European diasporic settlement

Here is a PDF of Clarke University’s definitions:

Coming soon: white privilege, male privilege, the gender gap, heteronormativity, rape culture, internalized oppression, American exceptionalism and first world problems

Comment here if there’s another term you’d like to see defined, or you’ve found an alternate academic definition, please post the term and the website you found it defined on.


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