The concept of systemic racism has been bantered around a lot lately. As a trained sociologist, I am always interested in the proper use of such terms as they relate to our society. According to the dictionary the word systemic relates to something that permeates a whole system. It affects the body as a whole. For example, a systemic disease affects the entire body or organism, and systemic changes to an organization have an impact on the entire organization, including its most basic operations. In the cultural setting it would be a practice built into the structure of the whole society. Does racism meet this criteria? Let’s look at some aspects of our culture.
If systemic racism existed in the economy we would have no black CEOs, no owners of small businesses, and no black mid-level managers in large corporations. If systemic racism existed in the sports sector we would have no black athletes drawing huge salaries for their talents. We would have no coaches. If systemic racism occurred in the political arena we would have no black mayors, governors, congressmen or women, or a president of the United States. If systemic racism occurred in our educational sector we would have no black teachers, faculty members or college and university administrators. Systemic racism would not allow any black or non-white advancement in any of these areas.
This is not to say that we don’t have a racism problem in these areas. We do. However, it is at the individual level not the systemic level. It must be dealt with at the individual level within each segment of our society. The only example of it happening at the societal level was the civil war and some laws regarding school segregation, which were not too successful.
The only real basis for racial equality at the individual level is a book that has been around for ages, the Bible. It points out that God created all men and women equal and promotes the only real solution to the race problem, loving one another. There is no other lasting solution.
If you have been watching the news the past couple weeks, any true American should be repulsed and angry at the wanton destruction of private property and people’s livelihood. These have always been basic rights cherished by Americans. Anyone who has seen the pictures of George Floyd’s treatment by the police would see it as a great injustice. Those guilty should and will be punished. But the rioters are not protesting this issue. Peaceful protests are fine, but I am not sure how effective they are. The rioting is way beyond peaceful and tears at the basic fabric of our society. The rioters don’t seem to know why they are rioting as the racial issues of this tragedy are not supported by the facts.