Overusing the term "racism" is not helpful at all; however, you must not forget that this nation was literally built on racism.
Do you understand that the second clause in that sentence is an example of exactly what you said is not helpful in the first clause? Our nation was not "literally built on racism". It was built on a set of principles that absolutely refuted the very concept of racism (all men are created equal?), but in which slavery existed as a matter of fact. That conflict was known at the time, and every day after that, and arguably lead directly to the eventual elimination of that slavery (via a pretty violent civil war). If our nation had actually been built on racism, we'd still have slavery and everyone would think it was great (well, except the slaves).
That's simply not true.
As a result, common practices, beliefs, etc. stem from those origins.
Again. I completely disagree. The common practices, beliefs, etc, stem from the principles of liberty, equal justice, equal representation, etc. Slavery and racism are hold outs of ideas prior to this that still linger but are absolutely 100% at odds with the basic principles on which this nation was founded. Most people in our society, by default, abhor the idea of racism, bigotry, etc.
Which is a good example. The difference of "throw everyone in jail" vs "they are not criminals, but victims" when the users are of different demographics is the entire problem of institutionalize favoritism (notice I didn't say racism). The reality is, people with power and influence will focus on solving problems for friends, family and loved ones.
Except if one were actually acting on that, and we assume that it's somehow "white people in charge of the laws, with black people being affected by them", wouldn't it have been far far more effective to do nothing at all? Why would these presumed "favortist" white folks in charge care to do anything in response to a growing drug addiction problem that was occurring mostly among the poor and thus already had a baked in disproportionate negative effect on black people?
Either choice (tougher sentences on crack dealers or no response) could be interpreted as "favoritism" (or intentional race based disparate outcome). But if we reject race as a motivation at all, and just look at the crime in question, and the impact of the crime in question, one can (I would think) see a reasonable purpose to take the action in question for reasons that have everything to do with trying to fight a serious crime problem. That this has the effect of "helping" potential black addicts disproportionately gets lost in the fact that it also disproportionately results in black dealers facing tougher sentences. Focusing on one side of the equation while ignoring the other really does fall into the category of "overusing the racism label".
Just because a black person has wealth does not mean they are free from racism or favoritism. For example, white flight.
That's a whole separate issue. If we stick to ideas of crime and punishment though, we find that when we examine the stats and adjust the populations for relative poverty rates, blacks and whites have nearly identical rates of incarceration, shootings by police, police stops "for nothing", etc. So yes, every bit of data we have suggests that a black person will have the same statistical outcomes as a white person growing up in and living in the same neighborhood. The statistical outcome difference is that black people are more likely to grow up in and live in as adults, poor and high crime neighborhoods. Everything flows from that.
The root of the problem is people like you who want to deny socially created racial inequality.
It's not so much denying it, as questioning what exactly you mean when you say "socially created racial inequality". If you mean "a whole bunch of white people are racists and that's what causes the problems", I'm going to disagree with you. If you mean that "current social conditions result in racial inequalities", I'm 100% in agreement. The problem is that people use a phrase like the one you used, but then argue for "white racism is to blame".
IMO, that's non-productive. It makes it about the intent of people, and seems to be more about placing blame and creating a scapegoat or enemy to fight, rather than socio-economic conditions which we could all work together to fix. I tend to believe that you're a lot more likely to come to agreement on solutions to social problems if you start by objectively defining the problem instead of subjectively finding a "side" to blame for it. The latter immediately puts half of the people in defensive mode and is likely to not actually do anything useful. Well, except create discord and force people to "pick a side", that is.
Yes, people on the other side are also part of the problem, labeling everything as a result of racism, but you are the other "half" of the problem, denying the existence of it. You say that you believe it exists, but when several scenarios are presented, you continuously find ways to justify the actions.
There's a huge gulf between believing something exists and blaming everything on that one thing, instead of considering other more likely explanations. This is seriously not about two equal and opposite "sides" pulling in opposite directions. There is not one side blaming everything on race and the other insisting that race is never a factor. It's one side blaming everything on race, and the other trying to examine each instance and determine what was the likely cause. The issue is that when it is about race, we're in agreement and there is no conflict. It's only the cases where the first side is likely wrong and the other side points out that "hey, this probably is one of those cases where race isn't the primary factor", that we encounter disagreement. As a result, if you're only looking at when the two "sides" conflict, you could easily arrive at the conclusion you are reaching. Edited, Jun 15th 2018 3:49pm by gbaji