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Thread: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

  1. #1
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    Default It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    Jus' sayin', is all.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    Norman, are we talking about racism, stupidity, ignorance ,blindfulness or what else. I wanted to put a question mark after blindfulness but somehow my computer has switched to another language. This is the Bilge after all and sometimes we need to be very clear about what we say!

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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    I had presumed that the word ‘systemic’ would be sufficient, since there have been many pundits arguing that racism in this country is systemic. I don’t believe it is... but I DO believe that there is far, far more racism in the US than most people think... and more of it is coming to the surface.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    Norm, in 1980 I took some of my friends and their kids to Florida for a holiday. I was going and knew that they would never be able to and it only cost another hotel room cost so why not. We ended up somewhere in north Florida and needed to stop for pop and things. We hit a K-mart somewhere . When we were ready to check out there were two cashiers ,one line was a few deep, the other, nobody. We went into the nobody line, the cashier looked over at the other line and looked uncomfortable . As we were checking out somebody in the other line said , loud enough to hear, Ni##er lover. It was like a slap in my face, My friends wife looked at me and I thought she was about to cry. I apologised to the cashier and we left. This incident left a really bad impression of America for my friends. Had I been alone I would probably still in one of the Florida prisons.

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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    Quote Originally Posted by LOKI View Post
    It was like a slap in my face, ...
    Wear it like a badge of honor. However, I am sad for your friends.

    We hear about lots of racists in the news today and it is true they are emboldened by our POTUS, but I am telling you there are a lot of very good people out there. The problem types are the minority and their time has passed. They just don't know it, yet.

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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    I agree but they seem to get to much media time. Do not water the plants and they wither and die. I do wish this was true.

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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    It is systemic. It is built into the justice system, built into laws, built into the housing market, built into the job market. Its in the system. It is systemic.

    Look at the way crack cocaine was legislated against vs powdered cocaine. One was used by white people, one by black. One was treated as a petty crime, the other got you life in prison.

    That is one of many many examples.

    Check this out if you don't believe me.


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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    Precisely.
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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    I had presumed that the word ‘systemic’ would be sufficient, since there have been many pundits arguing that racism in this country is systemic. I don’t believe it is...
    Why don't you believe it's systemic, Norm?

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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    J. Madison's answer.. short, sweet, accurate.

    But Norman _has_ to believe what he said.. as Biden is neck deep in some of those laws.

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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    It’s so systemic that Jesse Smallete had to pay a couple of guys to attack him.
    It’s so systemic that the whole nascar field made a show of solidarity with Bubba Wallace when a garage door handle attacked him.
    It’s so systemic that a state representative recently admitted to sending himself a threatening letter.
    It’s so systemic that it has to be faked to get attention.
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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    White racists making apologies. Check.

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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Ross View Post
    White racists making apologies. Check.
    Okay, we got Loki, j madison, david g, wi-tom, and durnik for apologists

    Me and norm say no systemic racism

    What say you?
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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    Quote Originally Posted by mdh View Post
    Okay, we got Loki, j madison, david g, wi-tom, and durnik for apologists

    Me and norm say no systemic racism

    What say you?
    I think that Norman is confused about what Systenic Racicm is.
    What is systemic racism?

    Johnson defined systemic racism, also called structural racism or institutional racism, as "systems and structures that have procedures or processes that disadvantages African Americans."
    Glenn Harris, president of Race Forward and publisher of Colorlines, defined it as "the complex interaction of culture, policy and institutions that holds in place the outcomes we see in our lives."
    "Systemic racism is naming the process of white supremacy," Harris said.
    Harris said systemic racism creates disparities in many "success indicators" including wealth, the criminal justice system, employment, housing, health care, politics and education. He said that although the concept dates back to work done by scholar and civil rights pioneer W. E. B. Du Bois, the concept was first named during the civil rights movement of the 1960s and was further refined in the 1980s.
    It is not about individual people behaviors, it is about how institutions, organisations and so on behave.

    You, on the other hand, based on post #11 . . . . .
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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    Quote Originally Posted by mdh View Post
    Okay, we got Loki, j madison, david g, wi-tom, and durnik for apologists

    Me and norm say no systemic racism

    What say you?
    Racism is common. Pervasive. Systemic. Take your pick.
    Post #11 is sad solid evidence. I used to think people who felt that way were rare. It’s sadly obvious there are many wicked people, and the racism is more profound than I thought.

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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    I think we need a very precise definition of what we mean by 'systemic' if we're going to make any progress on this one at all.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    Quote Originally Posted by mdh View Post
    It’s so systemic that Jesse Smallete had to pay a couple of guys to attack him.
    It’s so systemic that the whole nascar field made a show of solidarity with Bubba Wallace when a garage door handle attacked him.
    It’s so systemic that a state representative recently admitted to sending himself a threatening letter.
    It’s so systemic that it has to be faked to get attention.
    I like most cherries. In Japan, the white fleshed cherries are preferred. They go for exotic, I like size and ripeness. Others prefer juicy. I suppose we all pick our cherries to some degree, but some are clearly VERY picky.
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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    I think we need a very precise definition of what we mean by 'systemic' if we're going to make any progress on this one at all.
    This definition is 20 years old
    Macpherson defined institutional racism as “the collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin”. It is seen in “processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantages minority ethnic people”.
    https://assets.publishing.service.go...77111/4262.pdf
    In the UK it is "institutional", in the US the term "systemic" is used.

    This discuses it in depth http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/31350/1/Ins...%20(lsero).pdf
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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    If it's not systemic, Norm, then why were slaves counted as 5/8ths of a person in the US Consitution?

    Sorry, man. It's baked into the basic assumption of the people who emigrated here and revolted against the English. Pursuit of Happiness was a euphanism for Getting Rich. You simply can't get rich in a manual laboring economy without laborers, and they gotta be cheap or they consume all your riches.
    A society predicated on the assumption that everyone in it should want to get rich is not well situated to become either ethical or imaginative.

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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    Quote Originally Posted by elf View Post
    If it's not systemic, Norm, then why were slaves counted as 5/8ths of a person in the US Consitution?

    Sorry, man. It's baked into the basic assumption of the people who emigrated here and revolted against the English. Pursuit of Happiness was a euphanism for Getting Rich. You simply can't get rich in a manual laboring economy without laborers, and they gotta be cheap or they consume all your riches.
    5/8ths, 3/5ths . . . The difference is only twenty five thousandths of a person, but still.
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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    Thinking about it a little more, this risks descending onto quibbling with definitions, 'systemic' or 'institutional' or 'pervasive' - and 'racism' now and then turns into little more than an meaningless insult.

    A Modest Proposal: We can perhaps agree on the following:
    - Racism is a Very Bad Thing.
    - There remains all too much of it; as Chris said, way more than I would have thought until fairly recently.
    - We need to reduce the amount of damage it does as much as possible - change minds if we can, and mitigate the damage if one way or another.

    Instead of arguing among those who agree 96%, we can then consider how to deal with folks like mdh.
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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    Quote Originally Posted by elf View Post
    If it's not systemic, Norm, then why were slaves counted as 5/8ths of a person in the US Consitution?
    3/5, actually.

    But I for one am actually interested in hearing Norm's reasoning about how he comes to what seems like such an obviously invalid conclusion to me.

    One thought: There is certainly personal racism that is NOT systemic. It is much more widespread, perhaps, than I would have believed.

    And it can be very easy to assume that behavior is personally motivated, when actually it is merely a manifestation of the system in which it occurs.

    As a teacher, I can tell you that virtually ALL "behavior problems" teachers see in their classrooms happen because of poorly designed systems that cause, or at the very least, enable such behavior.

    A classroom where a teacher who established a routine where students walk into a classroom to find an activity (a daily journal, a math problem, etc) waiting for them to begin as soon as the bell rings, and a clear expectation that they WILL begin, will look like this: Students walk in, look up at the board, and get out their notebooks. Many of them begin working before the bell rings. All of them begin when the bell rings. It's quiet--not much talking--even though the teacher isn't reminding them to be quiet and get to work.

    A classroom with no such system, and the SAME students, will see students come into class, talking, joking, moving around to different parts of the room (no problem with any of this, by the way). When the bell rings, that behavior will continue for maybe half the class. The teacher will have to make several calls to get the class's attention. Perhaps tempers will flare. It will look like students willfully "misbehaving." Well, no. They are BEHAVING. In exactly the way that the established system encourages. Remember, they are the same students who behave very differently within a different system.

    Why are so many people of color incarcerated? Are they "misbehaving" at higher rates? If so, why? What about the system encourages and enables that? But perhaps they are NOT "misbehaving" at higher rates (a more convincing answer to me). Then why? Because enforcement is targeted against them and not white people. Why? Because individual cops are personally racist? Or because of policies about where police are assigned, and how they are trained to handle non-violent crime.

    I think anyone who claims there is no systemic racism either doesn't understand what it is, or does not understand how it works. Or they are just flat-out wrong or dishonest.

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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Thinking about it a little more, this risks descending onto quibbling with definitions, 'systemic' or 'institutional' or 'pervasive' - and 'racism' now and then turns into little more than an meaningless insult.

    A Modest Proposal: We can perhaps agree on the following:
    - Racism is a Very Bad Thing.
    - There remains all too much of it; as Chris said, way more than I would have thought until fairly recently.
    - We need to reduce the amount of damage it does as much as possible - change minds if we can, and mitigate the damage if one way or another.

    Instead of arguing among those who agree 96%, we can then consider how to deal with folks like mdh.
    This discussion began soon after Floyd's killing.
    It petered out, possibly because the discussion could not get past "Not invented here" and the difficulties in getting your Representatives to actually do anything "For the Common Welfare".

    That 20 year old Public Enquiry was put in place by our government to deal with what was determined to be Institutional Racism in the Metropolitan Police. IIC the older thread did record that perhaps three States Governments have started your equivalent of public enquiries.
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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Thinking about it a little more, this risks descending onto quibbling with definitions, 'systemic' or 'institutional' or 'pervasive' - and 'racism' now and then turns into little more than an meaningless insult.
    I think this is completely wrong.

    Only personal experience can change a person's personal racism. That's very high-hanging fruit. Encourage it where you can, but don't expect huge successes, especially at scale.

    But we are all caught up in many overlapping systems that put people of color at a disadvantage. Many of us who participate in these systems do not WANT that to happen, but it happens precisely BECAUSE it is systemic. Without real and continual effort to recognize where the system puts people of color at a disadvantage, it'll just keep happening. And even WITH that effort, that only recognizes how the system is working. The system still needs to be changed.

    That's the lowest hanging fruit we have. We may need a TALL stepladder to pick even some of it, but it's the only option.

    Confusing personal racism with systemic racism is going to hinder that effort, not help it. We are ALL "systemically racist" despite our best intentions. That is not an insult. To equate "racist" with an insult is to miss the entire point of what systemic racism is. It's time to re-make our systems to match those best intentions.

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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    Maybe you guys could benefit by looking this site over a little bit:

    https://1776unites.com/
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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    I think this is completely wrong.

    Only personal experience can change a person's personal racism. That's very high-hanging fruit. Encourage it where you can, but don't expect huge successes, especially at scale.

    But we are all caught up in many overlapping systems that put people of color at a disadvantage. Many of us who participate in these systems do not WANT that to happen, but it happens precisely BECAUSE it is systemic. Without real and continual effort to recognize where the system puts people of color at a disadvantage, it'll just keep happening. And even WITH that effort, that only recognizes how the system is working. The system still needs to be changed.

    That's the lowest hanging fruit we have. We may need a TALL stepladder to pick even some of it, but it's the only option.

    Confusing personal racism with systemic racism is going to hinder that effort, not help it. We are ALL "systemically racist" despite our best intentions. That is not an insult. To equate "racist" with an insult is to miss the entire point of what systemic racism is. It's time to re-make our systems to match those best intentions.
    OK, fair enough. (A nearly unprecedented event, ladies and gentlemen! Someone (me) changed their mind after reading a well-reasoned argument on the WBF. ) That's actually a useful distinction between personal prejudice and institutional unfairness (whatever term one uses) . The latter may very well be easier to change. And institutional structures can have effects independent of the ideas of those running them. Nasty stuff from the past can persist for a surprisingly long time. Good point.

    I will stand by the point that now and then 'racist' does become a nearly-meaningless term of abuse. Almost nobody thinks 'racism' is a good thing, so the word is overapplied - but that's perilously close to quibbling, so let it go..
    Last edited by Keith Wilson; 07-09-2020 at 11:34 AM.
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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    Tom - nicely stated.
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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    I think this is completely wrong.

    Only personal experience can change a person's personal racism. That's very high-hanging fruit. Encourage it where you can, but don't expect huge successes, especially at scale.

    But we are all caught up in many overlapping systems that put people of color at a disadvantage. Many of us who participate in these systems do not WANT that to happen, but it happens precisely BECAUSE it is systemic. Without real and continual effort to recognize where the system puts people of color at a disadvantage, it'll just keep happening. And even WITH that effort, that only recognizes how the system is working. The system still needs to be changed.

    That's the lowest hanging fruit we have. We may need a TALL stepladder to pick even some of it, but it's the only option.

    Confusing personal racism with systemic racism is going to hinder that effort, not help it. We are ALL "systemically racist" despite our best intentions. That is not an insult. To equate "racist" with an insult is to miss the entire point of what systemic racism is. It's time to re-make our systems to match those best intentions.
    Systemic racism is not caused by personal racism. It cannot be cured by removing personal racism. It is caused by individuals making rational decisions. Decisions that are better for their family and themselves. That is unfortunate.

    If we want to get rid of systemic racism, we need to make the black life better than the white life. We need to want to live with black people and go to school with them. Few white people want that.
    Life is complex.

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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Little Time View Post
    Systemic racism is not caused by personal racism. It cannot be cured by removing personal racism. It is caused by individuals making rational decisions. Decisions that are better for their family and themselves. That is unfortunate. If we want to get rid of systemic racism, we need to make the black life better than the white life. We need to want to live with black people and go to school with them. Few white people want that.
    Your heart is in the right place TLT, but your ignorance is palpable. Systemic/institutional racism has nothing to do with
    individuals making rational decisions. Decisions that are better for their family and themselves.
    It is about
    The collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin”
    Organisations TLT, organisations. Like the police racially profiling innocent folk on the street. Like Redlining housing with the result that banks will not grant loans for home purchasing, and so on. You are talking about a different type of racism.
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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Your heart is in the right place TLT, but your ignorance is palpable. Systemic/institutional racism has nothing to do with

    individuals making rational decisions. Decisions that are better for their family and themselves.
    It is about Organisations TLT, organisations. Like the police racially profiling innocent folk on the street. Like Redlining housing with the result that banks will not grant loans for home purchasing, and so on. You are talking about a different type of racism.
    No, I think you've misunderstood TLT's point. He is saying that people make decisions within a system--decisions that are driven by rational consideration of their own wants and needs. They do not make those decisions with any personally racist intent to put people of color at a disadvantage.

    But what they are largely NOT doing, is making decisions with the specific intent of changing the system to put white people and people of color on a more equal playing field. In other words, he is saying we're not doing anything to fix systemic racism, because the system works for us and we either don't notice the need for change, or are not willing to actually change it because we fear it would be inconvenient to do so, and might even take away some of the benefits we derive from it.

    I think he's exactly right.

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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    No, I think you've misunderstood TLT's point. He is saying that people make decisions within a system--decisions that are driven by rational consideration of their own wants and needs. They do not make those decisions with any personally racist intent to put people of color at a disadvantage.

    But what they are largely NOT doing, is making decisions with the specific intent of changing the system to put white people and people of color on a more equal playing field. In other words, he is saying we're not doing anything to fix systemic racism, because the system works for us and we either don't notice the need for change, or are not willing to actually change it because we fear it would be inconvenient to do so, and might even take away some of the benefits we derive from it.
    That was well said.
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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    No, I think you've misunderstood TLT's point. He is saying that people make decisions within a system--decisions that are driven by rational consideration of their own wants and needs. They do not make those decisions with any personally racist intent to put people of color at a disadvantage.

    But what they are largely NOT doing, is making decisions with the specific intent of changing the system to put white people and people of color on a more equal playing field. In other words, he is saying we're not doing anything to fix systemic racism, because the system works for us and we either don't notice the need for change, or are not willing to actually change it because we fear it would be inconvenient to do so, and might even take away some of the benefits we derive from it.

    I think he's exactly right.

    Tom
    If that is what TLT is saying, and he seems to agree that it is, it is still wrong.
    I dispute that the politicians who came up with the legislation that resulted in redlining, nor the public servants who carried it out nor the banks were acting in accordance with their employees own wants and needs. There is no reason to believe that was their motivation. Similarly, police do not racially profile people to make their home lives better.
    If you do think that systemic racism in those institutions and organizations guilty of it respond to the employee's wants and needs, please show me how.
    I agree that not enough is being done, if anything, which is why I did not address that part of TLT's post
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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    I think I need to clarify my OP a bit... it wasn't really all that accurate.

    First, I was referring quite specifically to racism against African-Americans, in the US. There ARE examples of systemic racism in this country, however.... the racism against Latin-Americans at the southern border, in particular. It's 'systemic' because it's the result of intentional governmental policy.

    The 'pervasive' racism I was referring to is the interpersonal stuff... the racism of individuals. I'm a big consumer of YouTube videos these days, and there's been an alarming increase in the number of videos capturing racists in everyday American life. I'm not suggesting that this is a recent phenomenon, of course... it's merely come to the forefront because of the explosion of cell phones with cameras.

    We, as a nation, have well established laws to combat discrimination; they're not always effective, but they exist, and it's pretty hard to find 'systemic' racism. On occasion, we might find some bank whose unpublished policies might amount to something akin to systemic racism... but once uncovered, it's snuffed out. There certainly has been, and continues to be, pervasive racism like the redlining of real estate (both Trump and his daddy, as well as Jared and HIS daddy, have clearly been participants in that)... but, once again, it's not 'policy', it's 'individual'.

    Racists are people, and people are responsible for institutions. I think Keith caught on to what I have been trying to say, in post #26.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







  34. #34
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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    If that is what TLT is saying, and he seems to agree that it is, it is still wrong.
    I dispute that the politicians who came up with the legislation that resulted in redlining, nor the public servants who carried it out nor the banks were acting in accordance with their employees own wants and needs. There is no reason to believe that was their motivation. Similarly, police do not racially profile people to make their home lives better.

    If you do think that systemic racism in those institutions and organizations guilty of it respond to the employee's wants and needs, please show me how.
    I agree that not enough is being done, if anything, which is why I did not address that part of TLT's post
    When you have a day or two to spare read the links in post#18.
    I may be that rarity who actually does read links when they're posted by people who have something to say that's worth listening to--I already read through the links in #18.

    But I think you're still wrong. Here's why:

    1. First, red-lining very clearly DOES meet the wants and needs of white people--at the expense of people of color. They got affordable housing while people of color did not:

    The government's efforts were "primarily designed to provide housing to white, middle-class, lower-middle-class families," he says. African-Americans and other people of color were left out of the new suburban communities — and pushed instead into urban housing projects.
    SOURCE

    The INTENT may have been to exclude people of color. But it's not intent that matters. The EFFECT matters. And the effect was double: to serve white people well, while disadvantaging people of color.

    2. Second, why and how the system was formed is relatively unimportant. What matters is the way that such systems put people of color at a disadvantage. Once a system is running, the people in that system (all of society) tend to play by its rules. They are rarely racist at a personal level. They use the system as it is. And if they are white, that means they gain advantages over people of color. They don't INTEND to do that; they intend to make the choices that will be best for them.

    In other words, the systems we live in are often racist. We play by the rules of those systems without any personal intent to be racist. But the problem is, that only perpetuates the system, so the effects of our (on the surface) non-racist actions is racist. That is systemic racism. The way to beat it is to begin with an intent to recognize how it is manifested, then envision an intentionally anti-racist system to replace it.

    And honestly, I think an anti-racist system might need to include things like reparations and affirmative action policies to correct the massive inequity in distribution of wealth between people of color and white people.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Walney, near Cumbria UK
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    Default Re: It isn't 'systemic'.... but it IS pervasive.

    ^That is sound, but does not agree with TLT's words that I took issue with. It is more complex and unconscious behaviour than what was implied by
    individuals making rational decisions.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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