Ratuva discusses the relevance and potential overuse of racism

May 28, 2023 8:45 am

Professor Steven Ratuva.

Professor Steven Ratuva, a political analyst has shared his insights on the evolving usage of racism in political discourse and its potential impact on constructive dialogue.

According to Professor Ratuva, while racism initially referred to the belief in racial superiority or inferiority, its meaning has undergone a significant transformation in recent years.

He noted that in Fiji and other parts of the world, the term has been redefined to label anyone expressing unpopular views as racist.

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This redefinition, he argued, diminishes the capacity for dialogue and instead focuses on branding individuals.

Professor Ratuva emphasized the importance of maturity and addressing issues directly rather than jumping to conclusions or resorting to labels.

“Sometimes those labels have been deliberately constructed to suit the need of those using them but in some cases people actually make racist comments which hurt the feelings of others and I think that’s when you have to address that particular issue when you have prejudices perceptions of other people and you call them out and you address the issue of racism when it happens rather than using it all the time for any situation which you don’t like.”

Regarding the relevance of racism in political debates, Professor Ratuva suggested that the prevalent use of the term can detract from addressing other important matters.

He warned that when racism becomes the central focus, it tends to overshadow crucial issues, hinder constructive discussions, and impede progress in tackling systemic problems.

Professor Ratuva highlighted the potential political advantage gained through the weaponization of the term racism.

He cautioned that using such labels without substantial evidence or genuine intentions for dialogue can silence dissenting voices and divert attention from substantive issues.

He has called for a balance between open conversations and addressing societal issues.