Combatting Racism in the Land of the Free

“People might not get all they work for in this world but they must certainly work for all they get.”
Frederick Douglass, 1818 – 1895

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Racism, real and perceived, has become a big issue in the U.S. after the brutal death of George Floyd in the custody of a Minneapolis police officer.

I do not believe there is structural racism in the U.S. today, but there certainly is latent racism exhibited by a substantial number of white people.

Some people say that racism is a result of white privilege and that the only way to combat it is to dismantle white cultural supremacy.  In other words, to lift black people up, it is necessary to pull white people down.  I reject this attitude.

It is not sufficiently recognized how much progress blacks have been making in America, see here and here.  The key to this progress is “individual agency,” i.e. taking responsibility for the course of one’s own life.  The institutional engines of this progress for blacks are:

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  • College graduation
  • Full-time employment
  • Military service
  • The black church
  • Marriage

What do all of these institutions have in common?  They require and instill a sense of personal belonging and willingness to accept personal responsibility for one’s actions.

Unfortunately, “black culture today not only condones delinquency and thuggery but celebrates it. …  Hip hop music immortalizes drug dealers and murderers.”  Blacks who succeed often have to escape from this inner-city delinquent culture.

Conclusion.  Racism in America is not primarily the result of white privilege or perceived white cultural supremacy.  It is mainly the fault of destructive personal behavior by too many young blacks who are caught up in inner-city delinquincy, unable to escape from it into productive lifestyles, thereby creating a negative image of blacks.  It is not surprising that this turns off many people.

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2 thoughts on “Combatting Racism in the Land of the Free

  1. Well, put Jack. Having spent some time in both public school education and at the college level as well as in the business sector, I have seen evidence that there is a common link between perceived racism and the lack of taking advantage of the educational opportunities afforded to all members of a community.

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