How to explain systemic racism to non-liberals like me

  

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Via:  john-russell  •  3 weeks ago  •  5 comments

How to explain systemic racism to non-liberals like me
Black people aren’t dying in such numbers because all or even most white people around them hate them and want bad things to happen to them. But they probably are dying because we enslaved their ancestors.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T





How to explain systemic racism to non-liberals like me


JULY 14, 2020

For many on the left, the answer is easy: “systemic racism.” That answer drives conservatives bonkers.   Covid-19   comes from a virus; it does not care whether victims are white or black and, indeed, doesn’t have eyes to distinguish.

Already, your blood pressure may be rising at the idea that the left might have something to teach you. Mine certainly does when people suggest I’ve missed something important. But give me 600 more words to prove that systemic racism exists and hurts people. If you’re not convinced by then, you never have to read me again.

Let’s start with what “systemic racism” is, which is   not   “systems full of racists.” Black people aren’t   dying in such numbers   because all or even most white people around them hate them and want bad things to happen to them. But they probably are dying because we enslaved their ancestors.

I say “we” even though my personal ancestors never, as far as I can determine, enslaved anyone or even set foot in the South. But I am a U.S. citizen, and the United States legalized slavery ,   even to the extent of helping some whites pursue runaways into free territory. “We,” as a nation, did that. They, as a people, suffered.

All modern Americans inherit a legacy stained by that suffering. But black Americans also inherit the suffering, which did not end when slavery was abolished. It went on and on, through the legal strictures of Jim Crow and through rampant private discrimination, which still unfortunately continues in diminished form.

Well-designed   studies   show   that discrimination against various signifiers of “blackness” persist in our labor markets. That’s one reason black Americans are disproportionately concentrated in lower-skilled, lower-paid service and manufacturing jobs that require their physical presence, and where many of them were exposed to the   coronavirus , while the whiter office workforce safely telecommuted this year.

Note that this could happen   even if the people making discriminatory decisions have no particular animus toward black people . All it takes is a slight preference for people whom they perceive to be “like me.” That even slight preferences can cascade into dramatic effects is illustrated by something that many of us on the right complain about a lot: the left-wing skew in mainstream cultural institutions. The enduring legacy of slavery is a uniquely stubborn and pernicious problem in American history, of course, but some of the social dynamics operate similarly.

That is to say, media and academia aren’t leaning ever further left because a bunch of lefties got into a room and decided to oust the conservatives. Mostly it happened because human beings tend to think that others who agree with them must be especially fine people. That “affinity bias” influences hiring decisions, often unconsciously. The fewer conservatives there were, the more pronounced the skew came, a process that sped up as it advanced.

Now, of course, there is a muscular young generation that is explicit about wanting to   “cancel” conservatism . But that’s a new phenomenon, and the tilt is decades old. If anything, the causation is reversed: Only when almost all the conservatives were gone did it became feasible to say that universities, magazines, awards ceremonies and the like should be explicitly left-wing projects. And if they do succeed, the skew will become self-maintaining; no one will voice a commitment not to hire conservatives, because conservatives won’t apply to places they see as hostile to their interests, their ideas, their selves.

If you understand how those institutions could arrive at a stable, no-conservatives equilibrium even without overt hostile action, then you understand part of the social dynamics behind systemic racism. The way small decisions cascade into major social forces is how Americans who profess no racial hatred — and declare their implacable hatred for racism in all forms — could nonetheless end up contributing to patterns of residential, educational and employment segregation that left the average black American with fewer opportunities for well-paid office work than the average white person.

In a world with covid-19 racing around, that disparity isn’t simply unjust; it’s deadly. I think the public health experts who condoned protests against racial injustice, but not those against lockdowns, dangerously risked their credibility. But one part of their message was indisputable: Systemic racism kills.

One can acknowledge this without endorsing every solution advanced by social justice activists. But if you think that it is a major social problem when large numbers of people are pushed to the margins of important aspects of American life — well, then you should believe that it’s a problem even when you aren’t one of those marginalized. And if you believe in the ideals of the American founding . . . in the American Dream . . . then you should believe that we must keep working at this problem until we’ve finally kicked it.


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JohnRussell
1  seeder  JohnRussell    3 weeks ago
.....if you think that it is a major social problem when large numbers of people are pushed to the margins of important aspects of American life — well, then you should believe that it’s a problem even when you aren’t one of those marginalized. And if you believe in the ideals of the American founding . . . in the American Dream . . . then you should believe that we must keep working at this problem until we’ve finally kicked it.
 
 
 
Adam_Selene
1.1  Adam_Selene  replied to  JohnRussell @1    3 weeks ago
...in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity...

This is the social contract that is, sadly, still a work in progress.

 
 
 
Dean Moriarty
2  Dean Moriarty    3 weeks ago

"But if you think that it is a major social problem when large numbers of people are pushed to the margins of important aspects of American life" - I don't.

"Black people aren’t dying in such numbers because all or even most white people around them hate them and want bad things to happen to them. But they probably are dying because we enslaved their ancestors."

No they are dying because of an inner city thug life culture where it is not uncommon for them to use a gun instead of brains. 

 
 
 
Dulay
2.1  Dulay  replied to  Dean Moriarty @2    3 weeks ago
"But if you think that it is a major social problem when large numbers of people are pushed to the margins of important aspects of American life" - I don't.

Those who have decried that 'fly over' country has been treated as such would disagree. 

"Black people aren’t dying in such numbers because all or even most white people around them hate them and want bad things to happen to them. But they probably are dying because we enslaved their ancestors." No they are dying because of an inner city thug life culture where it is not uncommon for them to use a gun instead of brains. 

Did you intentionally ignore the hyperlink Dean?

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/racial-ethnic-minorities.html

It's first sentence states:

Long-standing systemic health and social inequities have put some members of racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting COVID-19 or experiencing severe illness, regardless of age.  

It renders you statement irrelevant to the topic. 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
3  Nerm_L    3 weeks ago

Systemic racism is an academic theory that does not withstand the test of history.  So the current effort is to rewrite history to coincide with the academic theory.  History that contradicts the academic theory of systemic racism has been deliberately ignored.  The academically prescribed remedies for systemic racism will fail because those remedies aren't based upon reality.

What is currently happening in the United States will only perpetuate and strengthen racism.  The academics are dooming the United States to a future of division and conflict that will ultimately create obstacles for addressing the issue of racism.  The United States may or may not have been racist in the past.  But the United States will definitely be racist in the future if we continue on this path.

 
 
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