A View of Systemic Racism From Within

A woman read my posts on Systemic Racism and watched the video a reader recommended. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4K5fbQ1-zps&feature=youtu.be) She was moved to share her thoughts about systemic racism in the United States. She is white and she is married to a black man for more than 40 years. I asked if I could post her opinion on my blog. She agreed provided I keep her anonymous.

Here is what she wrote to me:

“I watched the video several times.

“It’s not privilege to grow up with married parents — it should be considered the status quo. Children who have this (and the family and economic stability most likely to flow from it) aren’t “privileged”! That is twisted thinking that isn’t going to solve any problems. Nor is the answer to make people who had a good upbringing feel guilty for that.

“Rather, children who do NOT grow up this way are “disadvantaged.” Let’s call them what they are, in the interest of improving things.

“The facilitator pointed out that the life situations he called out were not things the young people had any control over in their life. I agree with that for the most part (taking issue with the “never had to worry about your cellphone being shut off,” because there are several possible causes for that, personal irresponsibility being a big one).

“So the students’ starting positions for the race (whether good or bad) were not due to any actions or decisions they had made in life. However — those positions WERE, 100%, set by the actions and life decisions of these students’ parents. And, further, whatever starting point these young people’s own children will take in life, will be 100% determined by THEM — THEIR actions, THEIR life decisions. This cannot be hammered home enough in a discussion of how to end serial generational disadvantage.

“Whatever life advantages the black youth in the video were missing, they were not missing because white people took them away! Why is America, and the media, bent on making a false racial narrative out of a socioeconomic discrepancy? No one is racially “oppressing” black youth in 2020, except their own parents!

“Why are comparatively more black children growing up disadvantaged? There is a simple answer to that, but it’s not “systemic racism,” and it’s not “oppression by white people.” It’s something blacks themselves have complete control over. They can choose to ignore it, to speak out against it, to change it for the better, or to shrug and let it continue on — disadvantaged generation after disadvantaged generation.

“Look no farther than the lack of strong black families, and especially the black out-of-wedlock birthrate. Since the civil rights era of the 1960s, it has risen steadily, from 25% then, to a staggering present-day 70% or more, greatly impeding blacks’ progress. More than two out of three black children in the U.S. — substantially more than any other race — begin life in a family situation that we know to be less-than-optimal.

“From birth, their disadvantages quickly multiply, as children born out of wedlock are more at risk for every bad thing that can happen to children:

▪︎More likely to have developmental delays, particularly with language

▪︎More likely to go hungry

▪︎More likely to become homeless

▪︎More likely to do poorly in school

▪︎More likely to move frequently, as their mother drifts in and out of relationships with various men.

▪︎More likely to be abused by their overwhelmed mother or by her boyfriends.

▪︎More likely to abuse drugs

▪︎More likely to drop out of school (Black males, in particular, have an abysmal 59 percent high school graduation rate.)

▪︎More likely to commit crimes

▪︎More likely to grow up in neighborhoods with few positive role models, and many negative ones; and

▪︎More likely to become pregnant or to impregnate, out of wedlock themselves, thus passing along the disadvantage to the next generation.

“Systemic racism? No. Systemic irresponsible reproduction. Systemic irresponsible parenthood.

“No social programs, no amount of government aid, can substitute for growing up in a stable home situation with responsible parents. White people CANNOT solve the black race’s problem here.

“Let’s try a couple of generations of black young people staying in school and out of crime, delaying parenthood until they have completed at least a high school education and are employed and financially stable and have found a loving spouse to commit to a lifetime of raising children with. Let the NAACP, the Urban League, Black Lives Matter, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, et al. advocate for these positive life choices for black youth, and devote some of their considerable resources and credibility to advancing them.

“After two generations, I submit that the term “systemic racism” would remarkably vanish from the American vocabulary.

“Anyone who thinks this is expecting too much of young blacks — that they aren’t capable of meeting the above standards — might need to look in a mirror to find the racist.”