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Answering “Systemic Racism”
The claim of “systemic racism” is not merely a vicious slander against a great country. It’s also a terribly damaging fiction, an excuse that prevents us from looking for the actual causes of failure within our at-risk communities.
Those who invoke this fiction are culpable in the perpetuation of real human suffering. They need to be called out on it, accused of wittingly or unwittingly abetting violence and injustice. Because that’s what they’re doing.
They aren’t simply mistaken (though they are certainly mistaken), they’re destructive. They’re hurting people, just as surely as a quack doctor advising people to forgo medical care for a serious illness and, instead, take some ineffectual nostrum would be hurting people.
It isn’t enough to respond to the systemic racism charge as I’ve habitually responded to it, with a “no, that’s not true, we really aren’t a racist country.” This isn’t a rarified academic discussion, something about which reasonable and unreasonable people can agree to disagree. People are dying, lives are being wasted and ruined. Human potential is being extinguished. Young women are trying to kill other young women with knives (watch the video). Young men are kicking young women in the head as the women lie on the sidewalk (again, watch the video). And morons, including elected morons, are calling for the police to be taken off the street because they’d rather win political points than look for real answers to deep and serious problems.
We need to tell people to stop making excuses for violence, to stop turning a blind eye toward murder, shootings, abuse, addiction, horrible schools, and broken homes. That’s what saying “systemic racism” does, and we have to figure out how to communicate to the people who say it that, far from having the moral high ground, they’re a big part of the problem.Published in Domestic Policy
Whenever someone makes a claim of “systemic racism” to me, I ask them to define “systemic”. Am still waiting …
I like to ask: What is the difference between systemic and real racism? If it really were systemic, then why did the real recede so completely?
We didn’t have systemic racism until recently – the Left is pushing to have it jammed into every system we have, relentlessly. It’s as ugly as anything I have seen in my life, as I look at my beloved country.
It is irresponsible, even abusive, to teach young American children that our society will not allow them to succeed if they come from a minority group. Critical race theory is an evil ideology blocking genuine progress.
It is not the country that is racist, it is the Democrat Party. Systemic racism is built into the DNA of the Democrat Party. They have always been racists. Their party depends on racism and always has. They are promoting critical race theory and systemic racism because without it, they would disappear as a party. They need people at each others’ throats to prosper as a party.
Believing that race and white supremacy explains everything about America and about every individual denies our common humanity.
White nationalists and the New Racists on the Left bring the same analysis to our society. Their only difference is in who ends up on top.
Who thinks it’s a good idea to teach white children to hate themselves, to teach black children to hate whites, and to teach them both to hate America? Only Democrats.
Who wants to live in a society where every word you say and every post you make to social media, threatens the loss of your job, the end of a career, the closure of educational opportunities? Only Democrats.
How will any of this make for a better society for all Americans?
If you don’t want a society like this, stop voting for Democrats.
And an unfortunate corollary to the Critical Race Theory idea is that race matters. Those who teach Critical Race Theory seem blind to the fact that they’re attempting to re-introduce into American society the fundamental idea that it’s okay to judge people based on their race. That view has never served minorities well. It certainly doesn’t serve them well when they’re underperforming, in a variety of ways, the American average.
The interesting thing is since CRT is incoherent it is forced to reclassify some groups depending on the circumstances. When Asians are attacked they can be categorized as victims of white supremacy (even when most of the attacks are by other minorities). When Asians are denied admission to universities and gifted programs in high schools (where Asians are disproportionately successful) are under attack its because they have now become white-adjacent allies and part of the oppressor class. And what causes the most confusion is Asians are doing better as a group, and even measured in their subgroups, than whites, blacks and hispanics both economically and educationally. For that matter African immigrants in recent decades are doing better than whites and hispanics are also advancing quickly.
Today’s Marxism is evil. It seeks to divide us and pit one race against another. It also seeks to destroy families. Good people need to name it and call it out as evil. The unspecified “systemic racism” and “critical race theory” are tools of the Marxists and we should speak out against them.
They are not blind to it at all. They state it plainly, openly, and frequently.
Yes, CRT rejects the premises of the Civil Rights Movement which it believes made an error in appealing to the universal values embodied in the Declaration and Constitution.
Oh, I couldn’t disagree more that there isn’t systemic racism. There certainly is.
What does ‘systemic racism’ mean? When the government through laws or institutions through their own policy promotes one race rather than another – that is systemic racism. And it is very alive and well.
Affirmative action has been around since the 1970s and is entirely racist. Thus systemic racism.
Many universities promote racism through their admissions policies. Thus systemic racism.
Many universities promote racism by having college unions based on race and dorms for members of a particular race. Thus systemic racism.
Many universities promote racism through their teachings. Thus systemic racism.
When a Boston hospital has preferential care on the basis of race, that is systemic racism.
And when there are appropriations of funds with set-asides based on race, that is systemic racism.
And since Joe Biden has become President and Kamala Harris has become Vice President, systemic racism has blossomed. They are the racists in chief.
Well, obviously. But no one who uses the term “systemic racism” is referring to that. They’re referring to the fiction that American minorities are being held down by people who think folks with dark skin are inferior. That is the fiction that masks the actual problems faced by minorities; pushing back against that fiction is the point of the post.
Why do you accept their definition? That’s a huge problem with conservatives.
They definitely have systemic racism in Minnesota. Supposedly, some Christian organization moved Floyd here to get away from his past. They should have sent him to Compton. It would’ve been better for him.
Supposedly, the quality of life for blacks in Mississippi is higher than it is in Minnesota.
When most people on the left say “systemic racism,” they really mean “statistical inequalities between demographic groups.” They define racism not as a belief or an attitude, but as a state of affairs. Of course, this definition takes the “ism” out of “racism” and reduces humans to abstractions, and it’s really just a way of delegitimizing the American political system and social order. The logic is something like this: Our political order has not produced perfect equality; ergo, our political order is illegitimate and must be destroyed and rebuilt.
Conservatives don’t need much persuading to understand that such utopian thinking is bad news, but good luck convincing someone left of center to accept that. The sweet, sweet taste of self-righteous self-flagellation is too much to resist.
Because I am more interested in making a difference than winning a point. (The opposite is a huge problem with some conservatives.)
Look, if someone throws “systemic racism” at you, you can agree with them that “systemic racism” exists, but argue, as you have, that it’s really the kind of pro-minority stuff you mentioned in your comment above. They won’t agree with you, which doesn’t matter. What does matter is that the audience will walk away thinking “okay, I guess both sides have a point. There’s all kinds of ‘systemic racism.'”
Or you can argue with them that systemic racism doesn’t really exist at all. Again, they won’t agree. And the audience will walk away thinking “okay, so he’s denying that racism is a real thing. Maybe he’s right.”
What I’m trying to do is approach things differently. I’m trying to respond to claims of “systemic racism” by saying something like this.
“Hey, stop it! Every time you do that knee-jerk ‘systemic racism’ thing you distract people from the real problems. There’s an enormous amount of violence in our black communities, most of it it committed by young black men against other young black men. Their educational systems have failed them, their families have failed them, and they’re living irresponsible lives that are too often doomed to end tragically. This has nothing to do with your ‘systemic racism,’ but every time you bring that up you make excuses for the kind of behavior that kills thousands of black Americans every year. We have to stop dodging the real issues, stop blaming everything on everyone except the people who are behaving badly, and start fixing the problems that are leaving so many young black men dead or in prison. You and your endless claims of ‘racism’ are part of the problem, because you aren’t part of the solution. Get out of the way and let us identify and fix the real problems.”
The person I’m talking to still won’t agree, but the audience will come away with a different perspective. And that’s the point.
It’s a boogeyman, an exterior force meant to divert away from introspection and responsibility.
It’s not that criminals fought police, it’s the racism that drove people to be criminals and white people to be cops, etc.
It’s also disingenuous because no one ever looks at the system and who has been running the system.
Dark blue metropolitan areas have been run by progressives for 2-10 decades. If there’s a problem with inequality and police it’s on them as creators and caretakers of the system. But it can’t be their fault because their intentions are good, it’s the whole concept of policing, which has nothing to do with the day to day activities in the city.
It’s an offshoot of “these problems are too big for the city, we need the state. Well they’re too big for the state, we need Federal help” kicking the can stuff. You know, it’s not that Progressives in Minneapolis can’t do police reform it’s that we need to do it much larger so that we can’t adequately gauge if what a single city does works, because what if it fails. If everyone does it, it has to work.
It is as simple as this: if you can’t find enough real racists or racism, claim to find systematic racism everywhere.
It is “racism without racists“. So convenient…
An organization I am familiar with is falling all over itself saying how we must attack our systemic racism. I also ask, “Which of our systems are racist, and why have we waited so long to change those policies? And where are our racists? If there are so many among us, how about naming names?”
Some detestable humans have no problem calling anyone a racist (usually people who are not), but the average person is not comfortable doing that. Claiming it is “systemic” avoids the need to actually call out a real person, if you can find one not on TV.
I am surprised to agree with such an extreme statement but circumstances force me to. They are doing everything they can to tell poor inner city blacks that their propensity towards violence and crime is the fault of whites and they are driving a wedge between crime ridden communities and police. They also oppose any policy to help poor black people. (Politically connected black donors to the Democratic Part are of course excepted.) They also treat black criminals different from white criminals and white cops different from black cops.
What else can be said of them but, ‘racists in chief.’
Henry, you know I always feel… uneasy… when I agree with you.
But I agree with you.
This is exactly what I’m trying to convey to my woke daughters. Not having much luck.
I know the feeling. Sometimes I agree with Boss Mongo.
Never go full Boss Mongo.
I’m sorry to hear that.
I had a positive experience with my older daughter last night. She’s 16 years old. We did a McDonalds run, and were talking about Wokeism and BLM issues in the car. She mentioned a new book that was out, that she really wanted to read. I asked her which book, suggesting that maybe it was Heather McDonald’s War on Cops, but it wasn’t.
She looked it up on her phone, and the book she had in mind was Fault Lines by Voddie Baucham. I had just bought that book on Audible two days earlier. I was able to give her access to my Audible account on her phone.
I think that she’s being well vaccinated against the Wokeist mind-virus.
Well how has she responded to Thomas Sowell?
I agree that this is what the left generally means when they talk about “systemic racism.” They would add, however, that it’s not just that our political order “has not produced perfect equality,” it’s that the statistical inequalities were created by deliberate racist acts and policies – slavery, Jim Crow, redlining and on and on. If it weren’t for that history, they say, cultures would have evolved differently and you wouldn’t see the inequalities today in, for example, poverty rates, crime rates, incarceration rates, etc… Frankly, I think there’s merit to that argument.
Having said that, I still generally agree with the post and most of the recent events that set off these arguments are not racially motivated acts which belong in the same category as those historical outrages. I definitely agree that CRT’s fixation on race as a person’s primary identity is a step in the wrong direction.
In fact, I would argue that the best way, and maybe the only way, out of this is by mixing people up more, getting people out of their bubbles. The government shouldn’t even attempt such a project directly. It will have to come from somewhere else, some other organic institutions in society. The church is likely the best chance at one that will work. Church, schools, sports, service organizations, will have to do the heavy lifting.
I think it’s useful to hear people in context. Today, in the context of Antifa and BLM, “systemic racism” means “blacks are targeted for destruction by the police,” and “if you aren’t actively ‘woke’ then you subconsciously hate minorities.” It’s a dog whistle for — more than that, a blunt assertion of — the idea that current disparity of outcome is the result of ongoing racism, full stop.
So yes, we can have a genteel and thoughtful discussion of the long-term effects, if any, of very real past racism of the conventional sort. But that’s not the battle we’re in right now, and that we’re failing to fight.
My friends on the left are keen to call out the Big Lie: the notion that there was systemic voter fraud leading to the election of Joe Biden over Donal Trump. I have taken to saying “Y’all have your own Big Lie: that of systemic racism. You take it at face value without any evidence, and get angry at anyone who disagrees with you.” That really gets folks goin’. Of course, I don’t intend to get folks goin’. I just want to show them that they’ve got their own issue that causes great harm to the nation.