ADL changes definition of racism again

by sam

Samuel Case, FISM News


FISM News recently reported that the Anti-Defamation League had changed its definition of racism to match left-wing ideology. This week the ADL changed the definition again, backtracking to the more traditional understanding, while appeasing the left with a separate definition for “systemic racism.”

Following the death of George Floyd in 2020, the ADL had changed its definition of racism from “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,” to “the marginalization and/or oppression of people of color based on a socially constructed racial hierarchy that privileges white people.”

The change, which had gone largely unnoticed until this week, was widely condemned by conservatives. The Jewish Policy Center called the revision “entirely unacceptable.”

On Wednesday the ADL revised the term again to what it calls an “interim definition.”

Racism occurs when individuals or institutions show more favorable evaluation or treatment of an individual or group based on race or ethnicity.

The ADL now separately defines “systemic racism” as “a combination of systems, institutions and factors that advantage white people and for people of color, cause widespread harm and disadvantages in access and opportunity.”

The new definitions are paired with an essay from ADL CEO and National Director Johnathan Greenblatt titled “Getting it Right in Defining Racism.”

“A few years ago, ADL updated our definition to reflect that racism in the United States manifests in broader and systemic ways and to explicitly acknowledge the targeting of people of color — among many others — by the white supremacist extremism we have tracked for decades,” Greenblatt wrote.

“While this is true, this new frame narrowed the meaning in other ways. And, by being so narrow, the resulting definition was incomplete, rendering it ineffective and therefore unacceptable. It’s true, it’s just not the whole truth. It alienated many people who did not see their own experience encompassed in this definition, including many in the Jewish community.” 

Greenblatt says the ADL is allowing for public feedback on the new definitions, which can be submitted at