A racist policy, group or person distinguishes between people markedly on the basis of their genetic origins: one is favoured or not based on such racial attributes as skin colour, facial features, hair colour and curliness.

Genetic evidence for races

Studies of genetics have revealed that for scientific purposes at least, the race does not exist.


Use of "race" to justify mass murder is called genocide. Once it begins, historically, it has almost never been confined to a single target group - it spreads to other groups, to include sympathizers, those who intermarry, or share political or religious beliefs.

racist vs. xenophobic

It is therefore a mistake to think of such large scale events as being solely racist in origin.

While in some interpretations distinguishing and disadvantaging others by cultural origins or language or religion is also called racist, the correct word for this trait is xenophobic, and for a person practicing it is xenophobe. Racism and xenophobia often occur together, since historically any group of people that live near each other intermarry and ultimately blend their genes.


The words "national origin", "ethnic origin" and "ethnicity" are often used as a synonym for "race and culture" without actually directly asking for genetic information. Many people object to this sort of question:


On the Canadian Census for instance many people list their ethnicity simply as "Canadian" to avoid being "put in a category". Others simply invent fine-grained ethnicities by combining all ancenstral origins they can think of, or just making them up. This is similarly done with religion.