Does systemic racism exist?

Debate and discussion on racism and related issues

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otseng
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Does systemic racism exist?

Post #1

Post by otseng »

Institutional racism (also known as systemic racism) is a form of racism that is embedded as normal practice within society or an organization. It can lead to such issues as discrimination in criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power, and education, among other issues.
"The collective failure of an organization to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture, or ethnic origin. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behaviour that amount to discrimination through prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness, and racist stereotyping which disadvantage minority ethnic people."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institutional_racism
Just as many Americans see no signs of “systemic racism” in our society. They feel no personal racial prejudice and point to civil rights legislation and court decisions that outlawed racial discrimination in government and the private economy. Although these Americans recognize that there are a few white supremacists in the country, their number is insignificant and that they are especially rare in our law enforcement agencies. In the rare instance when a law enforcement officer is found to be racist, that officer is normally disciplined and removed from the force.
https://calcoastnews.com/2020/09/the-my ... ic-racism/
I’ve had multiple conversations with white friends and acquaintances over the past several weeks and many of them have told me about their white friends, family members, neighbors and co-workers that don’t believe systemic racism is real. They thinks it’s a hoax, that it is a tool to blame white society for the ills of communities of color. They think we live in a colorblind society and that real racism died in the 1960s.
http://www.milwaukeeindependent.com/fea ... at-you-do/

For debate:

Does systemic/institutional racism exist in the US?

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Mithrae
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Re: Does systemic racism exist?

Post #31

Post by Mithrae »

[Replying to AgnosticBoy in post #30]

Out of interest Agnostic Boy, what's your highest level of educational attainment? And of your near family (grandparents, uncles, cousins etc.) about what percentage would you guess have attained at least a bachelor's degree?

I ask because in countries like Australia and the USA, about a third of adults have attained a bachelor's qualification. (And even with that fairly modest fraction a bachelor's is already becoming little more than a bare minimum requirement for a CV rather than any kind of job guarantee it might once have been.) In your efforts to avoid all other facts and constantly repeat your 'more education' mantra, you still seem not to have considered the probability (which, again, has been pointed out for you before) that the curve of educational value versus the fraction of people able to attain it has an upper limit.

Furthermore - as you yourself inadvertently showed in another thread - even in the case of education we see evidence of systemic disadvantage against black and Latino people. Compared against white people pursuing/attaining the same level of qualifications, those groups
- were much more likely to require loans for college (85.9% vs. 66.8% for white students)
- needed to borrow more
- were more likely to work while studying
- required a full year longer to complete their bachelor's degrees
- were less likely to find employment after graduation
- had more than twice the unemployment rate (9% vs. 4.2%, shown in the referenced report), and
- even when employed, were unable to find as well-paying jobs.

Your attempts to blame others for their circumstances were proven misguided even by your own information over a month ago, yet you've continued trying to denigrate them regardless.
Last edited by Mithrae on Wed Sep 09, 2020 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

koko

Re: Does systemic racism exist?

Post #32

Post by koko »

AgnosticBoy wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 3:45 pm I'd bet you an education will get you out of the ghetto faster than Welfare and food stamps (EBT). How do you feel about that??

Never got corporate welfare so it never helped me in any way. However, I do survive on food stamps. That EBT card sure is a life saver for me.

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Re: Does systemic racism exist?

Post #33

Post by otseng »

koko wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 8:48 am
George Floyd ultimately died for the crime of using a counterfeit twenty.
Correction: Floyd died because he was murdered by a cop.
Yes, of course. My main point is the bigger problem is the Fed with their massive counterfeiting. It is causing the massive wealth disparity with the stock and housing markets exploding since 2008. It is devaluing the dollar which causes prices to go higher. It is causing people to rely on more debt just to get by. Real wages are not keeping up with the real rate of inflation and causing more stress in finances. For low wage workers, it's pretty much impossible to keep your head above water, with many requiring to work multiple jobs.

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Re: Does systemic racism exist?

Post #34

Post by AgnosticBoy »

Mithrae,

Before I answer some of your questions, I wanted to share to types of errors I tend to find in the reasoning of yours and some others here:
1. You try to establish systemic racism based on isolated instances of racism. Obviously, the two aren't equal, nor can you make a case for that even if they were a lot of cases.

2. You fail to distinguish if some factor (e.g. race) is a cause or if it's just correlation, or incidental, or secondary. For instance, your point about police shootings of Blacks. Is it being done because of race or is it being done because resisting the police, and Blacks just happen to resist more than any other race, on average? If so, then race was obviously not a cause but if you don't bother to look if it's just incidental or correlation to something else, then many will jump to conclusions about racism.

I'm willing to bet that I can poke holes in a lot of the viewpoints on this thread because they commit one or both types of error.
Mithrae wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 4:44 pm Out of interest Agnostic Boy, what's your highest level of educational attainment?
I'm in college now, and I have a two year degree so far.
Mithrae wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 4:44 pm And of your near family (grandparents, uncles, cousins etc.) about what percentage would you guess have attained at least a bachelor's degree?
About 60%.
Mithrae wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 4:44 pm Furthermore - as you yourself inadvertently showed in another thread - even in the case of education we see evidence of systemic disadvantage against black and Latino people. Compared against white people pursuing/attaining the same level of qualifications, those groups
- were much more likely to require loans for college (85.9% vs. 66.8% for white students)
- needed to borrow more
- were more likely to work while studying
- required a full year longer to complete their bachelor's degrees
- were less likely to find employment after graduation
- had more than twice the unemployment rate (9% vs. 4.2%, shown in the referenced report), and
- even when employed, were unable to find as well-paying jobs.

Your attempts to blame others for their circumstances were proven misguided even by your own information over a month ago, yet you've continued trying to denigrate them regardless.
If you are using all of these points to make a case for systemic racism then you're committing the error that I brought up earlier (error #2). The systemic disadvantage is not a matter of race, although there is a pattern or consistency there, but that is a correlation or even incidental to the cause. Nowadays, the problem or cause is the financial/educational status of the parents. I'm sure more White students have parents who can support them financially than Blacks but that will change when more Blacks get into higher education. And when this population of Blacks become parents, then I'm sure they'll also be supporting their kids through college and you'll see that borrowing gap and all the other factors you mentioned start to become more equal between the races.

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Re: Does systemic racism exist?

Post #35

Post by Bust Nak »

AgnosticBoy wrote: Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:47 am You fail to distinguish if some factor (e.g. race) is a cause or if it's just correlation, or incidental, or secondary.
No, social scientists has already done the hard work for us in establishing that it's not mere correlation. Remember the example where merely changing ones name lead to more interviews?

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Re: Does systemic racism exist?

Post #36

Post by AgnosticBoy »

Bust Nak wrote: Thu Sep 10, 2020 11:01 am
AgnosticBoy wrote: Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:47 am You fail to distinguish if some factor (e.g. race) is a cause or if it's just correlation, or incidental, or secondary.
No, social scientists has already done the hard work for us in establishing that it's not mere correlation. Remember the example where merely changing ones name lead to more interviews?
Oh, you mean like the one you gave me earlier that failed to mention the race of the interviewer and that had subjects EMPHASIZING their race on a resume? That was a big set up for failure. What if the interviewer was Black or Hispanic? Would that count as racism if they decided not to interview someone emphasizing race on a resume?


As for social sciences, you should keep in mind that not all sciences are equal. I'm very skeptical of "social" sciences since it deals with a subject matter that can be easily influenced (humans, including the researchers themselves), and that's esp. the case for hot button issues. I'd want to know the political views of the researchers themselves. Besides that, lots of studies are based on surveys. We know it is easy to use stats to lie, but it's even easier to use people to lie or tailor their responses to various things. I've participated in sociological studies and was given a survey regarding my views on politics and sexuality. That's probably very common on college campuses.

I judge studies on a case-by-case basis when it comes to social sciences.

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Re: Does systemic racism exist?

Post #37

Post by Bust Nak »

AgnosticBoy wrote: Thu Sep 10, 2020 12:16 pm Oh, you mean like the one you gave me earlier that failed to mention the race of the interviewer and that had subjects EMPHASIZING their race on a resume?
No, I mean like the one I gave you earlier that didn't mentioned the race of the interviewer and that had subjects DE-EMPHASIZING their race on a resume. I keep going back to that one example where merely changing the name to more White sounding, resulted in more interviews.
What if the interviewer was Black or Hispanic? Would that count as racism if they decided not to interview someone emphasizing race on a resume?
Well, yeah. You are not suggesting that Blacks and Hispanics can't be racist against their own race, are you?
As for social sciences, you should keep in mind that not all sciences are equal. I'm very skeptical of "social" sciences since it deals with a subject matter that can be easily influenced (humans, including the researchers themselves), and that's esp. the case for hot button issues. I'd want to know the political views of the researchers themselves.
Sure, that's where meta studies come in.
Besides that, lots of studies are based on surveys. We know it is easy to use stats to lie, but it's even easier to use people to lie or tailor their responses to various things. I've participated in sociological studies and was given a survey regarding my views on politics and sexuality. That's probably very common on college campuses.
Okay, not sure what this was supposed to prove. Were your responses used to lie on hot button issues?

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Re: Does systemic racism exist?

Post #38

Post by Mithrae »

AgnosticBoy wrote: Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:47 am Mithrae,

Before I answer some of your questions, I wanted to share to types of errors I tend to find in the reasoning of yours and some others here:
1. You try to establish systemic racism based on isolated instances of racism. Obviously, the two aren't equal, nor can you make a case for that even if they were a lot of cases.

2. You fail to distinguish if some factor (e.g. race) is a cause or if it's just correlation, or incidental, or secondary. For instance, your point about police shootings of Blacks. Is it being done because of race or is it being done because resisting the police, and Blacks just happen to resist more than any other race, on average? If so, then race was obviously not a cause but if you don't bother to look if it's just incidental or correlation to something else, then many will jump to conclusions about racism.

I'm willing to bet that I can poke holes in a lot of the viewpoints on this thread because they commit one or both types of error.
No-one in this thread has posted anything about police shootings of black people. Of course if you just make up the arguments you want to 'poke holes in,' I'm sure you will also be able to persuade yourself that you've done a damn fine job of it too :lol:
AgnosticBoy wrote: Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:47 am
Mithrae wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 4:44 pm Out of interest Agnostic Boy, what's your highest level of educational attainment?
I'm in college now, and I have a two year degree so far.
So you don't know yet whether you will even manage to attain a bachelor's qualification, but you're happy to tell others that they should be pursuing second or third degrees? I've known folk whose plans for further education have been interrupted by crippling depression, suicide or other illnesses. I've known others who simply don't have the aptitude, intelligence or perseverance for it. And still others who've got the qualifications and applied for hundreds of jobs, without success. Recently I went up to stay with my Mum for a week, and she's got a poem Judge Gently hanging on her toilet wall; it seems quite appropriate here.
AgnosticBoy wrote: Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:47 am
Mithrae wrote: Wed Sep 09, 2020 4:44 pm Furthermore - as you yourself inadvertently showed in another thread - even in the case of education we see evidence of systemic disadvantage against black and Latino people. Compared against white people pursuing/attaining the same level of qualifications, those groups
- were much more likely to require loans for college (85.9% vs. 66.8% for white students)
- needed to borrow more
- were more likely to work while studying
- required a full year longer to complete their bachelor's degrees
- were less likely to find employment after graduation
- had more than twice the unemployment rate (9% vs. 4.2%, shown in the referenced report), and
- even when employed, were unable to find as well-paying jobs.

Your attempts to blame others for their circumstances were proven misguided even by your own information over a month ago, yet you've continued trying to denigrate them regardless.
If you are using all of these points to make a case for systemic racism then you're committing the error that I brought up earlier (error #2). The systemic disadvantage is not a matter of race, although there is a pattern or consistency there, but that is a correlation or even incidental to the cause. Nowadays, the problem or cause is the financial/educational status of the parents. I'm sure more White students have parents who can support them financially than Blacks but that will change when more Blacks get into higher education. And when this population of Blacks become parents, then I'm sure they'll also be supporting their kids through college and you'll see that borrowing gap and all the other factors you mentioned start to become more equal between the races.
Firstly, I posted that link and information because it clearly shows the falsehood of your claims that education is a straightforward panacea to any and all racial disadvantages, and it's shown that for over a month, yet you've continued to blame and vilify black people as "suppressing themselves" and "making excuses for not even trying" based on your education spiel. The fact that those figures are also evidence of systemic racism is a secondary concern... though it's understandable that you want to avoid acknowledging the more obvious, primary point.

Now you're apparently saying that since historical racism resulted in lower rates of prosperity and education among black people, what can be seen in some of these statistics are just indifferent ongoing consequences of racially-delineated systemic disadvantages... but not active systemic racism? Perhaps with a microscope we would be able to see the distinction. But I refer you back to the Atwater quote in post #6; biases and discrimination don't need to be explicitly spelled out in racial terms at the policy level to be racially motivated and more importantly to have devastating racial consequences. Furthermore (and I would think fairly obviously) the callous indifference of a people or government to the ongoing effects of prior discriminatory policies is very much the same sort of thing as overt racial antipathy: Suggesting that the disadvantages suffered by this generation of black people pursuing education as a result of discrimination against prior generations simply don't matter - that it's not active hostility and those disadvantages will fade away eventually, so the evidence can be quietly ignored as irrelevant - would be akin to saying that if you've locked someone in a pit all you need to do to make things right is unlock the door and assume that eventually they'll manage to climb out! According to the Wikipedia definition quoted in the OP systemic racism doesn't refer only to the presence of active impediments to a particular group, but also a "failure to provide an appropriate and professional service" - in this case, the fact that black people deserve equal opportunities in the pursuit of higher education, rather than these ongoing disadvantages resulting from more overt discrimination.

And thirdly your comments would be relevant only to the first four of those bullet points in any case - to the disadvantages in attaining higher education - and not to the last three regarding biases/discrimination at the employment end. As Bust Nak has pointed out (though you continue to mischaracterize the scientific studies in question, whether out of wilful duplicity or simply not understanding them still unclear) on that score it has been extensively shown that race itself is indeed the specific variable which disadvantages black and Latino jobseekers, regardless of educational attainment; with an otherwise identical resume, Tyrone and Jose will get significantly fewer callbacks than Angus and Charles. Exactly why that is the case is less clear - at the most charitable, we might speculate that it could be simply implicit biases resulting from a heuristic of association between the job in question and the white workers who more commonly do it - but that it amounts to a very real and significant systemic racial disadvantage seems indisputable.

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Re: Does systemic racism exist?

Post #39

Post by otseng »

Harvard study finds institutional racism 'permeates' the Massachusetts justice system
CNN wrote: "People of color are overrepresented across all stages of the criminal system relative to their share of population in the state," Felix Owusu, a research fellow at the university's Criminal Justice Policy Program and an author of the report, told The Harvard Gazette on Thursday.

The release of "Racial Disparities in the Massachusetts Criminal Justice System" coincides with America's racial reckoning stemming from the police killings of George Floyd and other Black Americans. So the findings shouldn't be surprising.

"The report speaks to the need to consider policies outside of the courts entirely, such as how we structure our communities, economically, socially, how we police our communities, and what kinds of activities to criminalize at all," Owusu told the university's news website.

"The report reveals how institutional racism permeates the whole criminal justice system and ends up playing a big role in the racial disparities in incarceration rates in the state," Brook Hopkins, executive director of the Criminal Justice Policy Program, told the website. "It's not just disparate treatment by police, prosecutors, or judges once somebody is in the system. There is also a legislative piece."

Here are some the key findings:

"White people make up roughly 74% of the Massachusetts population while accounting for 58.7% of cases in our data. Meanwhile, Black people make up just 6.5% of the Massachusetts population and account for 17.1% of cases. Latinx people are similarly overrepresented, making up 8.7% of the Massachusetts population but 18.3% of the cases in the sample."

A report on the Boston Police Department from 2007 to 2010 found that Black people -- who represent 24% of the city's population -- accounted for 63% of people interrogated, stopped, frisked or searched. Latinos make up 12% of the population but were subjected to 18% of those encounters.
"The disparity in searches was more consistent with racial bias than with differences in criminal conduct," the Harvard researchers wrote.

Black people received sentences an average of 168 days longer and Latinos an average of 148 days longer than their White counterparts.

Black and Latino people received more serious initial charges than White defendants, negating possible plea deals and exposing them to longer sentences.

"The penalty in incarceration length is largest for drug and weapons charges, offenses that carry longstanding racialized stigmas. We believe that this evidence is consistent with racially disparate initial charging practices leading to weaker initial positions in the plea bargaining process for Black defendants, which then translate into longer incarceration sentences for similar offenses."

"Black and Latinx people are more likely to have their cases resolved in Superior Court where the available sentences are longer, both because they are more likely to receive charges for which the Superior Court exercises exclusive jurisdiction and because prosecutors are more likely to exercise their discretion to bring their cases in Superior Court instead of District Court..."
https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/12/us/harva ... index.html

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Re: Does systemic racism exist?

Post #40

Post by Purple Knight »

Systemic racism exists just like systemic anti-uglyism exists. Of course there are at least some people who deny the most qualified person an opportunity because he's black and they don't like that. And of course the effect of that adds up to not-nothing.

The stronger argument is not that it doesn't happen, but that it happens to almost everyone, so it's baseless to use the force of law to make up for it for some people, and not others.

It happens to redheads and fat people and ugly girls. It happens to people who smell bad and people with speech impediments. It happens to short people and tall people and even sometimes beautiful people, the last being motivated by jealousy and admittedly very rare. When you interview for a job, you are a piece of meat, and all these things will be taken into account first, while your skill at the job may be worth roughly 1% of the interview score, if it's worth anything at all. Yes, I'm saying that 99% or more of every interview is the sort of unfair discrimination only people with protected characteristics can venture to complain about.

If you've never been in a job where the one ugly girl is not only constantly abused, but also forced to do all the work of all the useless bimbos, then you haven't had a job. Everyone casually accepts that this is the way it should be. I've actually had the ugly girl tell me that it was right; that since the bosses desire appearance, then appearance has that value because they're willing to pay for it. It is libertarian; it is the free market and people being willing to pay what they like for what they like. Should I be allowed to tell people they can't purchase what they choose from willing sellers?, she asks.

You cannot protect everyone, and the problem with protecting only some people from unfounded discrimination is that it creates resentment and actually generates more racism. "Why should he get better treatment than I get?" Do you see how this might generate resentment? Is there not every bit of evidence that white people just double down and discriminate harder with every passing generation? What if this is why?

Note: I don't believe any of this and it hurt me physically a little bit to write it.

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