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The Truth about Systemic Racism in America

3,391 words

Systemic racism is one of the most talked-about issues in society today. A Google search of “systemic” by itself will produce a first page of results that is saturated with headlines and titles about “systemic racism.” Discussion of systemic racism tends to revolve around claims that blacks and browns are systematically disadvantaged because of white racism that is stitched into the fabric of society. I argue, however, that the truth about systemic racism in America is almost the complete inversion of what we are told by the authorities. I will begin by defining “systemic racism,” then present common claims about the phenomenon in order to demonstrate that these common claims do not align with all the facts, and therefore grievously misrepresent the real situation of racism in the United States.

Definition and common claims

According to Wikipedia [1], “systemic (or institutional) racism” means “a form of racism expressed in the practice of social and political institutions.” The Wikipedia article also quotes Sir William Macpherson in the United Kingdom’s Lawrence Inquiry, who defined systemic racism as

the collective failure of an organization to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their color, culture, or ethnic origin. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantage minority ethnic people. [1] [2]

The Anti-Defamation League defines [3] “structural racism,” which appears to be another name for systemic racism, as “a combination of systems and factors that advantage White people and for people of color, cause widespread harm and disadvantages in access and opportunity.” A properly workable definition of systemic racism should not preclude any racial group from being the beneficiary or victim of unfair practices. Nor should it cover instances of racial disparity where the disparity is not the result of unfair practices. In other words, it must assume proportional equality as proper. The definition must be as much in keeping with the prevailing view as possible, but not subject to the foregoing errors. So, for the purposes of this essay, systemic racism means policies and practices within important institutions and organizations in society that systematically, whether consciously or unconsciously, benefit a racial group or groups disproportionately. Here, disproportionately means in a way that does not logically or reasonably correspond to what a group or certain groups deserve based on their behavior.

First, as is suggested by the common definitions of systemic racism above, this is a phenomenon that is alleged to disadvantage primarily black and brown people. For simplicity, this discussion will just refer to blacks. There are several key areas where systemic racism against blacks is commonly alleged to take place including in housing and bank loans, in criminal convictions, in education, and in politics. A sampling of claims in these areas will serve as an overview which is designed to be illustrative, not comprehensive.

In housing and loans, banks have tended to avoid giving loans to people from neighborhoods that have a high risk of defaulting. These have tended to be black neighborhoods. On the other hand, middle-class whites have been able to receive housing loans. In criminal convictions, blacks are massively disproportionately represented and it is frequently claimed that blacks are convicted more often and treated more harshly than whites for the same crime. [2] [4] In education, blacks consistently test worse on standardized tests. It is claimed that in higher education, blacks account for a smaller percentage of students than whites. Blacks account for a smaller percentage of faculty members than whites. Faculty members of color frequently engage in research on issues of diversity and systemic racism which is not always well-received for allegedly improper reasons, negatively affecting their likelihood of attaining tenure. It is claimed that blacks experience behavior that they perceive to be offensive or hostile which they claim interferes with their learning. As for systemic racism in politics, it is often claimed that blacks are not properly represented.

The reality

In general, the reason blacks cannot get loans is because they have lower average creditworthiness. This is well-known. On the other hand, in general, whites get loans because they tend to pay them back. There appears to be a small extent to which the low average creditworthiness of blacks does not explain the disparity in ability to get loans, because discrimination is most likely to take place among marginal applicants. This residual disparity can probably be explained by the effect of applying a general rule of black-borrowers avoidance, whereby a few marginal creditworthy blacks are missed out on because the effort and risk involved in finding them is more than the profit to be made from them. There is no systemic racism, merely businesses acting in their rational self-interest. The bottom line is that banks make money through loans. If they could make money by giving loans to blacks, they would do it. If they passed up on such opportunities, competitor banks would snap them up and get ahead. But they do not.

The reason blacks are so disproportionately represented in criminal convictions is that they commit so much more crime. For example, blacks are about 13 percent of the population, but commit over half of all murder. [3] [5] There is no evidence of bias in the criminal justice system. The figures show that police make arrests in very close proportion to the rates at which people of different races commit crime. [4] [6] Incarceration rates by race generally correspond to arrest rates, suggesting an absence of systematic racial bias after arrests. [5] [7] As for police killings of blacks, the figures are within what would reasonably be expected given the rates at which different races commit crimes and resist arrest. [6] [8] What’s more, a peer-reviewed study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that built a database of all fatal police shootings in 2015 found “no evidence of anti-Black or anti-Hispanic disparities across shootings.” [7] [9]

The reason blacks consistently test lower on standardized tests is that they have a lower average IQ. The average African American IQ is 85, whereas the average White IQ is 100. [8] [10] IQ is largely heritable (about 80%) and not significantly influenced by environment. [9] [11] The scientific consensus is that IQ tests are not racially biased, given that they are based on universal concepts such as big and small, few and many, etc. [10] [12] As for the claims of systemic racism in higher education, blacks are represented among university students in close proportion to their share of the overall population [13]. Blacks are not represented among faculty members in exact proportion to their percentage of the population. The disproportion, however, is not wild. Just over 5 percent of faculty members nationwide are black compared to their share of around 13 percent [14] of the overall population. This alone cannot prove the existence of systemic racism. Indeed, Asians and Jews are overrepresented! As for why certain white faculty members react unfavorably to diversity and systemic racism research by faculty of color, it is probably because, as shown here, this type of research tends to subordinate regard for the truth to political ends. This brings us to politics — a politician’s career will go nowhere if he does not constantly ingratiate blacks, and consistently fail to hold them responsible for their extreme criminality. Even President Trump, ostensibly a racist, is constantly currying favor with blacks.

It’s much worse than you thought

Affirmative action — actions to increase the representation of non-white individuals and women in employment, education, and culture — comes at the expense of meritocracy. In other words, it is a policy within important institutions and organizations in society that systematically benefits various racial groups disproportionately; i.e. systemic racism. Since the 1960s, blacks have benefited from affirmative action in education and employment. [11] [15] Initially, affirmative action was decentralized and soft, but then became largely mandated by various court decisions and laws. [12] [16] Every year, blacks who fall short of the requirements imposed on whites for university admissions are given preferential treatment because of their race and are admitted, and take up limited places on rolls that would otherwise have been filled by whites (or Asians) who did meet the requirements. As Herrnstein and Murray put it:

The edge given to minority applicants to college and graduate school is not a nod in their favor in the case of a close call but an extremely large advantage that puts black and Latino candidates in a separate admissions competition. On elite campuses, the average black freshman is in the region of the 10th to 15th percentile of the distribution of cognitive ability among white freshmen. Nationwide, the gap seems to be at least that large, perhaps larger. [13] [17]

In employment, employers are forced by law to hire incompetent blacks. [14] [18] The law has tightly controlled how employers can use employment tests in their selection of the best candidates. Employers would typically use the tests but hire enough protected minorities to avoid prosecution for discrimination. [15] [19] Not only do incompetent blacks get positions that otherwise would go to deserving whites who are thereby harmed, but affirmative action in employment means there will be racial disparities in performance on the job and consequent economic inefficiency in the business. Furthermore, Herrnstein and Murray note that as a result of affirmative action laws, “since the early 1960s, blacks have been overrepresented in white-collar and professional occupations relative to the number of candidates in the IQ range from which these jobs are usually filled.” [16] [20] In summary, affirmative action is a pervasive form of systemic racism in America which has gone on for over half a century where the government and other important institutions and organizations systematically discriminate against whites, causing them harm and giving unearned benefits to blacks.

Over the decades, trillions of taxpayer dollars, coming disproportionately from whites, have been spent on welfare from which blacks disproportionately benefit. We can extrapolate some contemporary figures from the analysis Michael Levin did in Why Race Matters. The total outlay for welfare in 2019 was about $1 trillion [21] ($634 billion for Medicaid, $459 billion for other welfare). In 1990, Levin calculated that 41.3 percent of all welfare went to blacks. [17] [22] Since welfare-dependant Hispanics have grown as a proportion of the population since then, it is probable that this figure is slightly lower. Let it be estimated at 36 percent, for lack of any useful data on the ethnicity of welfare recipients available today. We can then say that blacks received about $360 billion of the 2019 outlay. In 2008, black per capita earnings were roughly sixty percent that of whites ($18,406 ÷ $31,313 = 0.587). [18] [23] This ratio has held for several decades, so it is safe to assume it is still similar today. [19] [24] The progressive income tax means that the average black pays no more than half the taxes the average white pays. Given that blacks constitute about 13 percent of the population, they paid roughly 6 percent of the cost of welfare, or about $60 billion. Taking this amount away from what they receive means there was a transfer of roughly $300 billion from whites to blacks. This happens every year. Whites are practically enslaved to blacks. To put this in perspective, following Levin, after the Second World War the US spent $12 billion rebuilding Europe in what is known as the Marshall Plan. This is around $127 billion in 2020 dollars. In other words, in 2019, blacks got what is roughly equivalent to 2.3 Marshall Plans. This sort of transfer has been going on for decades.

As can be seen, government spending on blacks is nonsensically and unprecedentedly extravagant. It is also a quintessential example of systemic racism. The policies and practices within the taxation and welfare functions of the government systematically benefit blacks disproportionately. The hard-earned fruits of white labor are transferred into black pockets to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars every year.

Millions of Americans get their news from the mainstream media. They rely on it for accurate information about their country. Unfortunately, the mainstream media does not consistently report all relevant facts. They consistently fail to report the facts of black crime, especially black on white crime. For example, as noted above, blacks are about 13 percent of the population but commit over half of all murder. [20] [25] Blacks are 13.6 times more likely to kill someone of another race than the other way around. [21] [26] In violent crimes involving blacks and whites, blacks are the attacker 85 percent of the time, meaning blacks are 27 times more likely to attack a white person than vice versa. [22] [27] In 2014 in New York a black was 31 times more likely than a white to be arrested for murder, and a Hispanic was 12.4 times more likely. [23] [28] A black was 98.4 times more likely than a white to be arrested for shooting someone. [24] [29] If New York City were all white, the murder rate would drop by 91 percent, the robbery rate by 81 percent, and the shootings rate by 97 percent. [25] [30] Similarly, if Chicago were all white murder would go down by 90 percent, rape by 81 percent, and robbery by 90 percent. [26] [31] In April and May 2020 alone, at least 11 whites were murdered by blacks. Their names were Joyce Whaley, Patricia Denise Nibbe and Nettie Spencer, Andrea Camps, Nancy Nash, Willie and Barbara Tidwell, Angela Summers, Heather Perry, Leslie Baker, and Rosalie Cook. Why were these not national or international news stories about black on white crime?

Not only is there a failure to cover black crime, but there is consistent exaggeration and distortion of the truth when blacks are victims. Black criminals are routinely touted as innocent and heroic angels. George Floyd is a perfect example. Quite literally portrayed as an angel after his death, he was a career criminal who had spent his life hurting people and terrorizing communities. In 2007, he was convicted of home invasion robbery with a deadly weapon where he assaulted a woman, holding a gun to her stomach, and sentenced to five years in prison. He was arrested on nine separate occasions mostly for theft and drug charges resulting in various jail sentences [32]. The media also incites popular rage with their manner of coverage when blacks die. Take, for example, the key killings that the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has decried. The deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Philando Castile, and Eric Garner were all justifiable homicide, meaning the police officers involved were not guilty. Yet, judging by the extremely limited public knowledge of black on white crime and how it is covered by the media, it is clear the media coverage plays no small part in rallying people into the streets for black deaths such as these. The media frequently assume a killing is racially motivated and use language that highlights racial dynamics. If a white is killed by a black police officer, such as in the case of Justine Damond, the media does not incite popular rage. At best, they report it in the most race-neutral way possible without jumping to conclusions about the motive. [27] [33]

On social media, where alternative media might flourish, mainstream news sources are inorganically boosted in search results and algorithms. In many instances, independent content producers on social media networks will face censorship if they dare to speak the truth about these issues. Black crime, and especially black on white crime, is not, and cannot be, reported in an equal way. It is largely ignored and suppressed. In summary, in what is perhaps the most dangerous and evil form of systemic racism in world, the largest and most powerful mass communication organizations in human history systematically cover up the astronomically disproportionate rates of black crime and selectively report and highlight the exceptionally rare instances of white (or police) on black crime, creating the completely false impression that blacks are disproportionately victimized. In reality, whites are made to silently live in the inhumane conditions of extreme and pervasive black criminality.

Corporate support for blacks

Even though police racism against blacks in America is a non-issue, and even though the real issue is extreme black criminality, and even though blacks are objectively the most privileged group in America, the mainstream media has the politically correct world marching in lockstep against imagined anti-black racism. The corporate world has also now made blacks more privileged than perhaps was ever imaginable. The amount of money poured into black and other non-white ethnic activism organizations, and organizations that focus on stopping “racism” after the BLM riots in May and June, was sickening to say the least. Bank of America pledged $1 billion dollars [34], and they’re not alone [35]: Warner Music gave $100 million. Sony Music gave $100 million. Walmart gave $100 million. Nike gave $40 million. Google gave $12 million. Amazon gave $10 million. Bad Robot Productions gave $10 million. Facebook gave $10 million. Goldman Sachs gave $10 million. Spotify gave $10 million. Target gave $10 million. United Health gave $10 million. Verizon gave $10 million. Cisco gave $5 million. Procter & Gamble gave $5 million. Walt Disney gave $5 million. Lego gave $4 million. Microsoft gave $1.25 million. Intel gave $1 million. PwC gave $1 million. Reddit co-founder Alex Ohanian gave $1 million. Starbucks gave $1 million. Uber gave $1 million. The total (as of this writing) is close to $1.5 billion.

This is a situation unparalleled in human history. It is the effect of a purity-spiraling cult of political correctness and anti-racism (where racism does not just mean hating other races, but anything that benefits whites or detriments other races, including the truth making them look bad) compounded with historically unprecedented levels of herd delusion created by the lying mainstream media. How can it be the case that blacks are victims of systemic racism when so many giants of the corporate world unhesitatingly give them hundreds of millions of dollars after they riot about non-existent racism against them? Again, if anything, there is widespread systemic racism favoring blacks.

Objectively speaking, American blacks are perhaps the single most privileged group in human history. Blacks constitute a plague on any civilized society where they are found. They are the new black plague. Yet almost the entire public sector and what feels like the entire private sector are out to give them handouts and cover their asses. They disproportionately live off the hard work of other people, and the most powerful mass communication organizations in history pull the wool over the world’s eyes on their behalf. If they decide to throw a tantrum and burn down cities, powerful companies start giving them money. It is difficult to think of another time in history where a group has been treated this favorably by the authorities, even putting aside their general lack of virtue. But when that is factored in, the situation becomes almost completely incomprehensible. Is this all just a way of hurting whites? Is society paralyzed by a fake moral code, where it cannot call things how they are? Or, is it just that liberals need to feel big?

Given the apparently irrational lengths that the establishment will go to to help such a lousy group of people, one is seriously left to wonder whether it is really blacks that are so important here.

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[1] [38] Sir William MacPherson et al, The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry [39], Secretary of State for the Home Department of the United Kingdom, London, 1999.

[2] [40] John J. Dilulio, Jr, “My Black Crime Problem, and Ours [41],” City Journal (Spring 1996); Edwin S. Rubenstein, The Color of Crime. Oakton, Virginia: New Century Foundation, 2016, p. 3.

[3] [42] Cooper and Smith, “Homicide Trends in the United States, 1980-2008 [43],” United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2011, p. 3.

[4] [44] Rubenstein, 4.

[5] [45] Ibid, 10.

[6] [46] Ibid, 14.

[7] [47] Johnson et al,Officer characteristics and racial disparities in fatal officer-involved shootings [48],” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116, no. 32 (July 2019).

[8] [49] Linda S. Gottfredson, “Mainstream Science on Intelligence: An Editorial with 52 Signatories, History, and Bibliography [50],” Intelligence 24, no. 1 (1997): p. 13.

[9] [51] Michael Levin, Why Race Matters. Oakton, Virginia: New Century Books, 2016, p. 96.

[10] [52] Reeve and Charles, “Survey of opinions on the primacy of g and social consequences of ability testing: A comparison of expert and non-expert views [53],” Intelligence 36, no. 6 (2008): p. 681.

[11] [54] Herrnstein and Murray, The Bell Curve. New York: First Free Press Paperbacks, 1994, p. 448.

[12] [55] Ibid, 448.

[13] [56] Ibid, 447.

[14] [57] Ibid, 479.

[15] [58] Ibid.

[16] [59] Ibid.

[17] [60] Levin, 256.

[18] [61] De Navas-Walt et al, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States, 2008 [62]. The United States Census Bureau, 2009.

[19] [63] Levin, 256.

[20] [64] Cooper and Smith, 3.

[21] [65] Rubenstein, 13.

[22] [66] Ibid.

[23] [67] Ibid, 5.

[24] [68] Ibid.

[25] [69] Ibid.

[26] [70] Ibid.

[27] [71] See, for example, CNN’s coverage of Damond’s shooting [72].