Why do we call certain attitudes, both individual and collective, racist? Why do we list certain discourses—admittedly a very wide range of discourses, which single out, stigmatize, threaten, or discriminate against various human and social groups—as racist? Why do we consider that practices, both spontaneous and institutional, unofficial and officially organized, that in the past and present have resulted in lasting forms of oppression, persistent hostilities and misunderstanding, and sometimes tragic violence in all sorts of societies are racist? To my surprise, this basic and preliminary question is seldom addressed in the huge scholarly and popular literature concerning racism—the old and new forms of racism, the modernity or antiquity of racism, the quantitative and qualitative variations of racism, and so on. Or, better said, the question is addressed only partially and indirectly: the category itself is taken for granted, all the more because the study of racism has become an essential sociological and political object, and what are mainly discussed are different definitions and theories and the conditions of their application. It seems that the very fact that there exists (and has long existed) something called racism, which includes a variety of manifestations, is subject to transformations, and does not purely and simply coincide with violence, not even violence based on collective hatred, need not be questioned. But isn't it necessary to discuss the reasons that we consider this fact obvious?