The myth of systemic racism

An isolated incidence of police brutality in Minneapolis gave the left an excuse to scream about systemic racism.  The death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police was a tragedy, but it cannot prove the existence of institutionalized racist activity.

The Floyd incident raises two critical questions: (1) Is America plagued with systemic racism that justifies the dismantling of our social and political institutions?  (2) Do racist police and justice systems deliberately discriminate against black Americans?

Systemic racism no longer exists in the United States.  Individual instances of racism are occurring and always will occur — against both blacks and whites — but to argue that racism is institutionalized ignores the changes that have occurred in the last 60 years.  "America is now the least racist white-majority society in the world," said black Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson.

"The false charge of systemic racism," said author David Horowitz, "is a convenient cover for the Left's inability to identify actual racists directly responsible for inequalities in American life.  It is unable to do so because America's culture is so egalitarian and anti-racist that the numbers of actual racists are so few, and their impact so inconsequential, that they don't amount to a national problem."

Systemic racism is a myth invented by the left to create division and political chaos.  When people say America is plagued by systemic racism, says black author Shelby Steele, they are simply expanding the territory of entitlement.  Black Americans are accorded special privileges in every nook and cranny of our society.  We elected a black president — twice.  "Blacks have never been less oppressed than they are today," says Steele.  "If you are black and want to be a poet, or a doctor, or a corporate executive, or a movie star, there will surely be barriers to overcome, but white racism will be among the least of them.  You will be far more likely to receive racial preferences than to suffer racial discrimination."

The term "systemic racism" has "no meaning," said black economist Thomas Sowell.  "It's one of many words that I don't think even the people who use it have any clear idea what they are saying.  Their purpose served is to have other people cave in."

"I don't know what systemic racism is," said black civil rights activist Bob Woodson.  "After 50 years of liberal Democrats running the inner cities, where we have all these inequities, race is being used as a ruse, as a means of deflecting attention away from critical questions such as, why are poor blacks failing in systems run by their own people?"

To be truthful about the causes of social disruption in the U.S., we must point a finger not at white America, but rather at the black community.  What we are experiencing is not systemic racism from whites. It is systemic violence, mostly from black people, who "commit murder eight times more per capita than any other group," in the words of former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani.  The leftist canard that racist police and the justice system deliberately discriminate against black Americans is a lie.

In spite of a continuing history of violence, blacks are not being held responsible for their behavior.  Black men make up six percent of the U.S. population but account for a majority of all violent crime, said Heather Mac Donald in The War on Cops.  Ignoring the obvious connection between black criminality and black incarceration, the left continues to blame the police.  "Numerical disparities result from differences of offending," said black talk show host Larry Elder, "not because of racism."

Blacks lag behind other groups in economic success, safe neighborhoods, and family cohesiveness.  Addressing the question of who or what is responsible, Heather Mac Donald contends that blacks must be held responsible for their own negative behaviors.  The notion that blacks are victims of a racist society may have been true prior to the 1960s, she says, but this is a half-century after the civil rights movement.

"When Americans are viewed as individuals responsible for their decisions," says David Horowitz, "it is apparent that disparities in income, education, and even susceptibility to diseases flow principally from poor choices made by individuals who fail to take advantage of the opportunities available to them in a country where discrimination by race or gender is illegal."

America has come a long way from my childhood on the issue of race.  I remember the separate drinking fountains labeled "white" and "colored."  That is unthinkable today.  White bullies are no longer running around oppressing everyone else.  White institutional racism is an anachronism.

Ed Brodow is a conservative political commentator and author of ten books, including his latest, THE WAR ON WHITES: How Hating White People Became the New National Sport.  His website is

Image: stevepb via Pixabay, Pixabay license.

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