Is There Structural Racism Still Remaining in the U.S.?

“another form of bias: the soft bigotry of low expectations” President George Bush,2000

According to Critical Race Theory, the United States is dominated by white supremacy and systemic racism and CRT is now taught in many public school systems.

On the other hand, the Wall Street Journal columnist, William McGurn, asks “Is it okay that black eighth-graders aren’t proficient in math and reading?”  He examines 27 urban school districts listed in the Trial Urban District Assessment of the National Assessment of Educational Progress for 2019 (before Covid).

The top average reading score, in these 27 urban districts, for black 8th graders, was 20% proficient for Boston MA.  The top average math score was 24% proficient for Charlotte NC.  Many cities had much lower scores.  For example, in Detroit MI, black achievement was an abysmal 4% proficient for math and 5% proficient for reading.  Some of these 27 districts have the highest annual spending per pupil in the country, for example, $28,004 for NYC, $25,653 for Boston, $22,406 for the District of Columbia, and $17,112 for Atlanta.

Let’s agree that Critical Race Theory and Black Lives Matter have increased public awareness of challenges faced by African-Americans in today’s society. There are indeed remnants of the systemic racism which existed before the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s.  But their primary challenge today is economic in the sense that average income is significantly less for blacks than for whites.

The best way to meet these challenges is to:

Conclusion.  Basic academic proficiency for African-American children is abysmal in many of our large urban school systems.  This is the worst form of structural racism still existing in the U.S.  It is holding back further black economic and social progress.  This huge problem can be addressed, however, if only national leaders would give it priority attention.

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6 thoughts on “Is There Structural Racism Still Remaining in the U.S.?

  1. ONE MORE TIME

    If you choose to improve your community, I propose that you learn a new adaptive skill. Please accept a responsibility to offer a gesture of Kindness and Respect to every person you ‘safely’ encounter every day. Kindness and Respect are especially important to ‘safely’ express when greeting
    * each woman who is recognizably caring for an infant, before or after their birth;
    * the eyes of an infant or toddler, with a brief smile;
    * every disabled person;
    * any possibly homeless person; and
    * the neighbors of your home.

    When expressed frequently within your family, your neighborhood, and your adjacent communities, learning to express Kindness and Respect builds trustworthy communities. Improving social cohesion then promotes each community’s healthy survival during the bad times as well as the good times.

    Finally, every person needs to steadily update their adaptive skills for living in our complex society. Your own or another person’s social stigmata must not be allowed to disturb our shared expressions of Kindness and Respect. Every person will now understand the special importance of honoring this personal responsibility while participating in their community’s civic life.

    Remember, goodness is possible for everyone when it’s uplifted ALTOGETHER !

  2. When I read the statistics about the dismal findings for Black educational success in mostly Black communities, I ask a fairly simple question: “Where is all the money going?” How much of the money being spent in mostly Black school systems is being spent for basic education, i.e. Reading, English and Math? And where is that spending juxtaposed to teacher salaries, board members salaries, administrative salaries, political contributions, union dues, etc.

    It is neither money nor educational opportunities that work against Black education scores and success in the classroom. Its political interference, Black family structure and sometimes minimal support for education, and lack of willpower on the part of state education boards to step in and evaluate local schools and their teaching qualifications and performance. But then the state boards have to make the hard decisions to take action against failing schools and their administrators from the local boards of education to school administrators to the classroom teacher. Get rid of those who stand in the way of quality education for quality success.

    As with most of the segments of American society today, the problem is not so much structural within the communities as it is structural within the local political party that controls the educational functions.

    • I agree with you that the black underachievement problem is primarily political. The big city progressive political establishment is simply unwilling to take on the powerful teacher unions. This is holding back black economic and social advancement. It’s a crying shame.

  3. Systemic racism implies a system or something innate within an organism, like DNA. To argue that racism is inherent in being white or any other race is absurd no matter now many times it is said, so that’s not the system. Slavery was a system backed by the law; Jim Crow was a system backed by the law; segregation was a system backed by the law. All the truly systemic racism in the US has long since been purged, except one: the government school systems. They systematically fail black and brown children and condemn too many of them to poverty and despair. There’s your systemic racism. The appalling failures you write about have to do with family structure as well as bad schools, but bad schools at least could be addressed by meaningful school choice. If it was up to me I would outlaw teacher’s unions, break up large school districts and pin public money to the coat of every schoolchild to be used by whatever school he walks into.

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