In current culture, this issue of defining the essence of racism has left the realm of reason and logic behind and become mired in a messy morass of emotions… and not by accident, by the way. This, like so many other attempts at redefinition foisted upon us by the cultural Marxists depends upon people using emotions rather than logic to make decisions about how to understand the world. (And yes, I know that some of you out there are no doubt about to respond that “logic” and “reason” are part of the hegemonic western, white, patriarchal, cis-normative “system” of oppression. If that’s how you feel, you may return to your messy morass of emotional mire, because I have no other tool to convince you if you reject simple logic.)
So let us return to the realms of reason and logic… In any world where people seek to hash out disagreements in good faith, words should be primarily seen as tools of communication, not weapons with which to batter those with whom you differ. What you will notice about the way that cultural Marxists use words is that they frequently weaponize them. In the world of good-faith reason and argument, an “-ism” is an idea-system, a set of ideas centered around whatever it is that comes before the suffix that is “-ism.” Generally, it is a set of ideas making that thing of paramount importance, and sometimes also a set of ideas elevating one particular subset of those things to some sort of superiority or supremacy. Thus, “nationalism” is an “-ism” that assumes that the “nation” (or sometimes “nation-state”) is very important, perhaps the most important thing in society. Since, of course, there are many nations, the term often needs to be further qualified by mentioning a specific nation (or aspiring nation) along with it. Thus, before the 1990’s Ukrainian Nationalism was an idea-system of an out-of-power (and perhaps oppressed?) group that sought to create a true nation-state as their fondest ambition. Now, it is the position of a moderately powerful nation-state that is fighting for its existence against a somewhat-more-powerful nation-state known as Russia, that has gone to war on behalf of its own rival Russian Nationalism.
So, an “-ism” can be in power, out-of-power, whatever; what makes it an “-ism” is the fact that it is a system of ideas. An idea-system is what it is regardless of whether, and to what degree, it is in power.
Need more examples? Fascism and communism are what they are, whether they are espoused by a ruling party, a minority party, an insurgent faction, or a marginalized micro-faction. And please note: both of these “wing-nut” ideologies have, in fact been pretty much everywhere in this power spectrum at some point in space-time.
In the same way, racism, feminism, sexism, neo-Marxism, etc. are what they are, whether they are fringe theories, or establishment-dominating, politically-correct forms of group-think.
Therefore, to say that ANY “-ism” implies power is a ridiculous category error.
It is also likely a trick intended to allow an opposing “-ism” to gain an unfair advantage in the marketplace of ideas when that opposing “-ism” is marginal …and to create an establishment-dominating, politically-correct, form of group-think once it has achieved ideological dominance.
The thesis that “Racism implies power” is therefore a silly and pernicious notion calculated to muddy our thinking and to ideologically destroy those who oppose it. Currently, those who perpetrate this absurd notion have made it an establishment-dominating, politically-correct form of group-think.
How do we know that this is the case? Perhaps the best way is to watch what happens to those who question this establishment-dominating, politically-correct form of group-think. Such dissidents are ruthlessly attacked, shut-down, cancelled, and, worst of all, called racist, which is pretty much the most hurtful thing that can be said about a person in our PC world. And thus, we come full circle: anyone who challenges this ridiculous way of defining an ideology is said to be, ispo facto, guilty of it. Someday soon, however, this circle being completed, so many will be wrapped within its coils that the charge will lose all meaning. This will be bad for the real victims of racism; like the boy who cried wolf, the grifters who cry racism will be ignored, even when and if it is really a factor. This will be yet another tragedy perpetrated by the Left.