There are a cacophony of voices talking from every direction about systemic racism right now, and there are those who say our society is nothing but racism, others who say it doesn’t exist. Identifying and defining it is challenging.
President elect Biden announcing that one of his major focuses is combatting systemic racism has raised the topic to the forefront.
A lot of what is said is far from compelling. Michelle Obama talking about being in a store and having other customers cut in front of her in line, attributing it to her race. Black people are invisible, she says.
Yet I am a rather large white man and people do that to me all the time. I was just telling my wife that being in the grocery store, people are constantly acting like I am not there. The other day, I waited in the aisle while a couple looked at items on the shelf while blocking the aisle with themselves and their cart, and I was just looking at them like, hello, can you move your cart over? They seemed oblivious.
Things like that happen constantly to everyone.
I am not saying that is not example of racism, but it demonstrates the difficulty in clearly identifying racism. A lot of it is subjective.
Another thing that happens is a statistical analysis that is said to show racism based on numbers. For instance, with Covid, saying that blacks and POC are harder hit due to systemic racism, based on statistics.
But what about climate change policy then? In California, which has the highest number of minorities by percentage than anywhere in the US, electricity is at least 50 percent more expensive due mainly to regulations. Are climate change regulations the result of systemic racism too? Using a statistical analysis similar to that being done to proclaim racism on health care issues would indicate climate change regulations are the result of racism as well, which is obviously absurd.
It will take more than correlative statistics to prove systemic racism.
This article explores a few of my personal experiences dealing with race, and goes on to attempt to define what systemic racism is and the problems with confronting it. It then looks at possible answers to systemic racism.