Systemic Racism

in Deep Dives2 months ago

Denial of systemic racism is very much alive in America, predominantly among conservatives. I often see prominent right wing pundits trying to "debunk" systemic racism, like Ben Shapiro does in the example I'll include in this post. They are wrong though; systemic racism is just one of the many, very real systemic issues that need to be tackled if we want to move towards a fairer, more just society.


source: YouTube

Even if you are on the side of denying the existence of systemic racism, you still have to admit to the facts and statistics that are there for anyone to see; black and Hispanic people do worse in many metrics of American society, like employment rates, median income, representation in high paying jobs, representation in political bodies like Congress and Senate, household wealth, upward income mobility, education level, denial rates for loans, home ownership, Covid-19 hospitalization rates, arrests and convictions and so on. A nice overview, represented in simple charts, can be found in this article by Business Insider: 26 simple charts to show friends and family who aren’t convinced racism is still a problem in America. The differences are clear, present and overwhelming, so there's clearly something going on here.

Now, the biggest problem with denying the existence of systemic racism isn't even the denial itself, it's what follows. I don't know if it has something to do with modern society's constant and unhealthy emphasis on individualism, but those who deny systemic racism almost always resort to an explanation based on individual responsibility when they try to account for the clear and present differences. Ben Shapiro once said in an interview with Joe Rogan, that to break the cycle of criminal behavior and incarceration, the only solution is for young black men who grew up in the ghetto to choose to not get involved in criminal gangs; it's always only a matter of personal responsibility and freedom of choice for people like Ben Shapiro. The problem with that is that if systemic or environmental issues play no role, the blame falls solely on the individual black men. The conclusion then is that there's something wrong with those black men, or with their culture. I hope you can see how this can easily lead to racism...

Another often heard argument to deny the existence of systemic or institutional racism is this: "name one law that's racist!" Deniers of systemic racism love to point out the fact that there are no more laws that treat black people different from white people; the law is the same for everyone, and everyone has to play by the same rules. That's true, but there are still many ways to disadvantage certain targeted demographics. One of those ways is "redlining", where banks refuse loans to people, not because the color of their skin but because they live in an area deemed to be a poor financial risk; it's a coincidence then that those areas are populated by high concentrations of colored people I guess. During the last elections we could see another way to disadvantage colored people in action: gerrymandering, the removal of polling booths in predominantly black neighborhoods and imposing voting restrictions that are more likely to limit minority turnout.

I don't remember where I heard it, but I'll give you all an analogy that I found helpful in explaining systemic racism in America. Imagine you're playing a game of monopoly with two friends. The three of you start with an equal amount of money and, more importantly, the same rules. You and your friends play for a while, buying streets, building hotels and so on. Now imagine a fourth player coming in, after all the assets have been bought and populated with hotels by you and your friends. You give that fourth person some money and let him participate in the game. The same rules apply to everyone, right? So that should be fair, right? No, of course not; that fourth player is a victim of a severe systemic disadvantage, just like African Americans in the U.S.

To admit to the existence of systemic racism isn't saying that America is full of racists, or that there are laws written to disadvantage black people. Not at all. But on the flip-side, denying the existence of systemic racism often feeds racist views. It's not a simple problem to solve, like any other systemic problem it requires an honest look at the entire system and probably an overhaul of that system. Like the systemic poverty that targets white and colored people of all genders...

Debunked: Ben Shapiro's Attacks on Systemic Racism

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victim ment.gif

When you look at the world through the filter of victim hood, everyone else is a victim to...
Victim mentality encourages cowardice, not courage.
Victim mentality promotes infantilism, not maturity.
Victim mentality is self perpetuating , and will fight anything that tries to alter that paradigm.

The answers are easy - asking the right questions takes courage.

Imma White Supremacist...
According to my Roof!


I also Play Pool.


Ah, so you're the infamous Frank 'the kkk' Bacon !

Accordin to my roof... 😐

I've been called racist so many times, (by people that can't think) that I have to keep asking my Asian g/f, and emailing my Hispanic and black, ex's g/f's.... just to be sure..

I'll give you the point that redlining and prosecuting crack more heavily than cocaine was systemically racist. BUT, how does it get fixed? Redlining was banned 53 years ago, and its effects are still treal. And so are the effects of people caught up on bogus crack charges that should've been cocaine charges. Outside of reducing the penalties for people currently in jail from crack to cocaine, I don't see an obvious solution for the redlining aspect of systemic racism. Mind you, the world is a complicated place, and we can point at flaws a lot. But I suspect that fixing them without a simple "undo" approach creates even more problems, fucking it up to a greater degree. That's what all of these "systemic racist folk" don't understand. We need more 'undos' and less innovation. It might sound counterintuitive, but just like DNA, when you tinker from the top down into complex and evolved systems, the likelihood of breaking the whole god damn thing is far greater than fixing it. If you don't believe me, flash forward 15 years, if you are still alive, and tell me where CRISPR has gotten us. That shit'll be outlawed quick, fast, and in a hurry by the remaining few soles who continue to occupy the planet. If you've ever tinkered around in image software, you know that the undo feature is the best fix for any mistake you make. If you imagine using the program without that feature, you'll see what's wrong with the run-of-the-mill social justice whiner. They're full of piss and vinegar and terrible ideas, but the easiest fix to a bad situation is to undo the mistake. If you think I'm wrong, try and use one of those programs without the undo button—and "innovate" when you make a mistake (instead of undoing), and see where it takes you. The problem with redlining is that it's spilled milk and or toothpaste that's escaped the tube. Slavery is the same situation. I mean, you can try and "fix" the various problems from the past with innovation, but it'll just create inequity for the present generations and more consternation to boot. Nice article! I agree to a degree, but not entirely. The big problem is trying to convince the experts of inequity—not to destroy parts of the system that do more good than harm. The thing with economies is that everything gets connected like gears and sprockets. Make a single change that sounds fancy, and if it's too radical, everything will grind to a screeching halt. I get, comprehend, and align with good intentions, but the bad ideas are horrible. Not accusing you of bad ideas, just most social justice warriors who confuse the map with the territory.

Thanks so much for responding @thoughts-in-time :-) Like I said in the article: there are no simple solutions. A good start however, would be that white men stop acting like victims whenever something, anything at all, is done to correct the wrongs that originated in the past. Whenever affirmative action is taken to increase representation of historically suppressed groups, that includes women as well, there's a loud group of white men who suddenly act as if THEY are discriminated against. I'm not saying that that's what you're trying to say here, I just thought it necessary to be said. When you speak of an "undo-button" I get the feeling you think there is a simple solution for the injustices that have been built up in centuries. Is that so? And if yes, where's that button? Like you said: everything's connected, and a small change here could lead to a radical change there... Which is why there are no simple solutions...

I hear you, but the problem with trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube or un-spill the milk is the fact that it's impossible. Affirmative action may have been a good idea for a set space in time. The 60's in America is a great example. We weren't super cool with the whole notion of integration and needed a little push. However, one needs to examine the deleterious effects that it has on systems as a whole. If you are filling a spot with a person of color for the sole purpose that they're a person of color, then you're missing the forest through the trees and doing a great injustice to your business. The best way I can explain it is that it's the opposame of police quotas. If you ask the police if they got a quota to fill, they'll insist it's not true, but the fact of the matter remains. They know damn well that they do. They'll couch it behind a different and more convenient term, all the while playing that it doesn't even real. If an individual business owner in today's day and age failed to hire a more qualified person because of their skin color, then they deserve to lose in the market. Also, I'm biased as hell. Were I a business owner, I wouldn't hire anyone of a certain age bracket had I the slightest inkling that they "earned" a college degree. Color me racist if you choose, perhaps it's that, or maybe I'm all business and less heart. P.S. If I have to pay reparations for slavery when I never owned a slave, who will compensate me for my stolen car stereo system? Should it be all black men? If not, why? If yes to reparations, why is it the responsibility of all white men? What about the white women, Jews, and African American family lines who owned slaves? How about the tribal leaders who sold them down the river in the first place? Why is it just white males who did slavery? The idea of collective accountability is cute, but it's retarded and almost always leads to war. A great example of that is: Japan attacks Pearl Harbor. Therefore, your average Japanese resident of Hiroshima and Nagasaki must get turned into a nuclear shadow. Or someone takes down the trade centers, so we must have a 100-year war waged on largely innocent civilians. Collective prosecution is pure poison. Just wait for it. It's coming to a theater near you. World war is the inevitable outcome of our current trajectory. Here's to becoming a nuclear shadow as opposed to a puking pile of vomit. Sláinte!

If I were a business owner, I wouldn't hire someone of a certain age group if I had even the slightest idea that they "deserved" a university degree.

Why would that be a criteria and even the only one? Isn't that prejudging something you haven't even experienced yet? If you were running a business, who exactly would you be looking for? Who would fit into your business and what would you look for in a co-worker? What would they need to be experienced in and what exactly would they need to know?

Isn't the question of a degree not meaningless, in the same way it's meaningless what skin color someone has, if male or female, if academic or non academic? What does count for you? With whom would you love to work together? Are these questions even answerable if you are not in the position right here and now running indeed a real business? But ..., for the sake of imagination, what would be your answers?

Damn, @erh.germany, that's a very poignant Alan Watts quote, it kind of hits close to home. I wish I could say I was speaking tongue in cheek, but quite honestly, I'd be terrified to hire some of the latest college grads. Modern Educayshun, critical race theory, intersectionality, and all the various gender and race studies steadily destroy people's minds like the rage virus from the movie '28 Days Later.' Generally speaking, I'd like to work with the most qualified person regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual preference, or gender. However, brainwashed people who got acclimated to "safe spaces" and neutered speech would be far too burdensome and likely have a poor work ethic to boot. But who am I kidding? I don't have a business or that great a work ethic myself. Even so, I could outshine many of the latest models the colleges are cranking out, and I don't even have a degree. And this is why, if they have a college degree, it is ideal that they graduated before the accelerated brainwashing sunk its hooks into people's minds. The time frame varies from country to country and state to state. The sad part is that these programs have now infiltrated high schools and grade schools too. I suspect homeschoolers will be in high demand for employers who want good employees. I'm not blanket judging everyone with a college degree, just saying that the colleges have done a lot of damage to so many people, and it's only going to get worse from here on out.

Hehe, a very humorous answer, thank you very much. I had suspected that, but it's nice to hear you say it and experience the reflection. I agree with you about the quality of universities and colleges. There is nothing left to the deep research of what one wants to understand under teaching. Everything is programme and predetermined, and where it is not, it is perhaps even the students themselves who first have to learn to accept a free-spirited professor. In my opinion, professors could also be practitioners and supplement their professional experience with sufficient theoretical study, but not replace it. Don't dwell too long on theory, because it makes you unreceptive to real life.
I think the problem you are addressing is centralisation and the creation of standards, an exceedingly boring affair. Plus the egalitarianism and the eager pursuit of unity, which forgets that everyone never has to agree absolutely on anything because it quickly ends up in dictation. The more dissent there is in a group, the nicer for the process of reaching consensus, as different perspectives can only enrich any group. The ability to reach consensus, however, is very atrophied in modern societies that do not see themselves as communal but as competitors to everything they do not know and do not understand.

Well said, very nice to meet you @erh.germany!

Nice to meet you, too :)

good explanation, i hope this shitty world gets better.

I share your hope my friend :-)

Your post is reblogged and upvoted by me. It is a good post. Thank you @zyx066

I don't know if it has something to do with the constant and unhealthy emphasis on individualism in modern society.

Individualism is emphasised, but in fact it hardly exists. The individual has not been a sovereign human being for a long time, since efforts to make him fit for the collective have been going on for centuries, if not millennia. The individual is an invention from advertising. Here, the individual is exalted as a happy consumer and all paths are open to him if he only buys this or that product or service.

The racism you speak of is an expression of what all people suffer and feel as individuals because they are in the boat with those they perceive as victims of racist currents. Individuals are only allowed to feel good when they contribute to the common good. People lash out at each other when they think they see that someone is not serving the common good. For example, because he is unemployed or lazy in his work. Yet all the unemployed, and especially the poor, contribute to the common good of the better off, because they are given their justification and meaning by starting aid programmes for these poor and unemployed. By their very nature, these aid programmes cannot be reduced to the concept of racism, because they actually include all people who do not belong to the elite, who " meritlessly" take advantage of those they set out to help. The programme is everything, the individual nothing.

the law is the same for everyone, and everyone has to play by the same rules. That's true, but...

I see that you doubt the truth of this statement later on. Because it is not true that the law is the same for everyone, and that everyone has to play by the same rules. Someone who does not acknowledge a law and therefore acts against it is punished and comes to court if he does not belong to the elite. Someone who does not accept a law and acts against it will not be punished and will not come to court if he belongs to the elite.

From a psychological point of view, the powerful punishes the powerless for his powerlessness. The individual, who has been brought up to be powerless through structural violence, has to pay the price for the wrong upbringing on top of that and serves as a whipping boy and for the crime statistics. As with viruses, one could use the statement here: "The virus is nothing, the environment is everything."

Average people are threatened with so many fines and punishments, it's overwhelming. To stand up against the legislative and disregard what is called "law" takes courage and back bones.