I had a long, sometimes rather loud, “discussion” with a friend last night on the subject of racism. We had a dispute over the definition of the word.

I maintained that a racist was someone who had an irrational fear of another person based simply on skin color or religious preference. His side of the argument was that black people were not racists, but simply prejudiced. He maintained that when blacks started lynching white people, denying them equal education or job opportunities, only then would he call them racists.

I disagreed.

Am I wrong here? Is he right?

Update: I had another long argument(let’s call it what it is) with my friend this morning. I’m beginning to wonder about him.

Let’s see. Michael Jackson’s death is a conspiracy by the white power structure to take out anyone who doesn’t go along with them, not as I believe: several acts of stupidity: by Michael, for wanting these powerful drugs that should not be used outside an operating room, by the numerous doctors for helping him to get them, and by the doctor for administering them that night, then leaving him alone to go to the “bathroom.”

Then there are the questions about Obama’s birth.

That last one did it for me. I never would have suspected him of being a “birther.” I knew he didn’t think much of Obama(his words: “Obama ain’t s***!”), but that one was hard to take.

I think the friendship may have ended here and I’m saddened. But I told him that he was increasingly sounding like one of those conspiracy nuts that I don’t much care for. Conversations with him were no longer interesting or fun.