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Anti-Defamation League sparks backlash after changing definition of 'racism' on website: 'Racial hierarchy that privileges white people'

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The Anti-Defamation League drew sharp criticism this week after it was discovered the organization changed the definition of "racism" on its website to align with what critics say is critical race theory.

What are the details?

According to the ADL, racism is the "oppression of people of color" through systems that privilege white people.

"The marginalization and/or oppression of people of color based on a socially constructed racial hierarchy that privileges white people," the ADL's definition of "racism" reads.

The website states the page was last updated in July 2020. Prior to the update, the ADL's definition of "racism" did not narrowly pit one racial group against another, but spoke broadly about beliefs of superiority and inferiority.

"Racism is the belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another, that a person’s social and moral traits are predetermined by his or her inborn biological characteristics. Racial separatism is the belief, most of the time based on racism, that different races should remain segregated and apart from one another," the definition previously read.

Meanwhile, Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines "racism" as:

...a belief that race is a fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.

What was the reaction?

In addition to being accused of promoting CRT, Jews observed how problematic the definition change is considering that the Holocaust, for example, was entirely about race, but does not fit the ADL's updated definition of racism.

"THIS is entirely unacceptable," the Jewish Policy Center said.

"The Anti-Definition League," mocked Noam Blum, who works for Tablet Magazine, a Jewish publication.

"The ADL defines 'racism' as something that explicitly benefits white ppl, koshering any kind of race-based hatred--*very much including antisemitism*, it must be said--that doesn't," Seth Mandel, executive editor of the Washington Examiner magazine, said. "ADL also now dividing Jews by an American racial construct, which explicitly downgrades Jewishness as the defining characteristic of their identity."

"Dividing the Jewish people by skin color (ie. “Jews of Color” and “White Jews) is profoundly unJewish and destructive," journalist Abigail Shrier said. "In fact, it is a common tactic of the enemies of the Jewish people and Israel. Beyond foolish for the ADL to adopt it."

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