Pe.A wrote: ↑Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:49 am
OK. But people from minority backgrounds have also benefitted from those same systems and opportunities in the US and in the UK. It's one thing to rail against how those systems came into being etc, but it's another thing to be blinded to the fact that those opportunities are open to all (?) I'm curious about the 'anomalies' which buck the trend. You seem to be viewing Black people as some sort of homogenous group. My favourite go-to group, Nigerians, in the US perform very well. Nigerian households earn more than the national average; 37% hold Bachelor degrees and 17% hold Master degrees, compared to 19% and 8% respectively for white people in the US. Then you have other minorities which perform well. What are the reasons for this? As more recent immigrants, can they see the wood for the trees when it comes to taking advantage of the opportunities open to them; do they have less/different cultural baggage etc? You're the academic, you tell me (it's a question I previously asked, btw).
I think I also previously answered this question. Some recent immigrants might well perform better than the population average but the population that BLM is focusing on is very specifically African American (I speak of the US, where the movement originated, but one could also speak of Black British, I think).
I would make two other points here. First, I'd suggest you're mixing up arguments about equality and equity. I don't dispute that opportunities are open to all. I'm arguing that the systemic issues that very heavily impact Black populations over white populations mean that they are, on the whole, less accessible to Black folks. To use an analogy, it's like have two people run 100 meters - the same distance - on that old gravelly running track at CH but giving one person running shoes and making the other run barefoot. It's the same distance but one has a clear advantage over the other. Second,
one of the reasons that immigrant Black populations might perform better than African American populations is precisely because they have not had the multigenerational experience with systemic racism. But this line of questioning veers into dangerous territory. Once we start asking about cultural differences as if these are innate to populations, rather than a result of their experiences in society, we start making arguments that some people are just more driven that others etc. These arguments really do start becoming racist in the more traditional sense of the term.
Even if you are right about 65% firm support for BLM in all of their aims (some which I consider b*llocks- like defunding the police),
Why is defunding the police complete b*llocks? You don't think it's at all possible that reducing funding for police departments that goes towards military grade equipment and investing that money in community organizations that provide job training, afterschool programs etc might actually help? Defunding the police is not about taking away their funding completely - it's about recognizing that a militarized police force with billion dollar budgets is not solving a problem but enhancing one.
As for engaging directly with Black people directly etc, what makes you think I haven't? I've been having similar conversations for years.
I apologize for implying this. That was not my intent but it was how it came across. I meant to say that asking me - a privileged white person will not give you the answers you seek and that talking with Black folks who feel this way will.
For me, it's never been a case of systemic racism holding people back, more one of class/culture etc. Yes, there probably are glass ceilings for all sorts of people, but i'm a believer that glass ceilings can be pushed back, it just requires weight of numbers.
Plenty of research disagrees with the perspective that classism rather than racism is a driver. For example, in this research article http://www-2.rotman.utoronto.ca/facbios ... cepted.pdf
, the authors created resumes for fake Black and Asian candidates and then created "white washed" versions in which racial information was removed and names whitened. They found that white-washed resumes resulted in more than double the number of calls for interview than the minoritized resumes (nice summary here: https://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/minorities-w ... interviews
I do not know what you mean by culture holding people back. I think it is a slippery slope to make such claims though.
It's not that I think there isn't a problem with racism (whatever that word now means), but I think a lot of it is a symptom of the problems rather than the cause of them. What is clear to me is that the numbers of minorities in the UK, for example, are quite low with respects to the wider populations and that leaves the door open for stereotypes/ preconceptions to creep in as to how different minorities are seen to act/behave etc. The key is have people better informed about what opportunities are available etc. This is something that the current UK race commissioner, Tony Sewell is an advocate for. He doubts the existence, or at least the extent, of racism being systemic just because there are disparities, and wants to push more young people from Black, and other minority backgrounds, into more technical careers in STEM areas etc. It's basically concentrating on investing at a more grassroots level, and creating a better economic base to work from. And that's precisely the thing, it's not necessarily racism holding people back, it's more of a culture/class and economic thing underpinning the problems which manifest themselves in predominantly Black areas having problems with lower employment, higher than average petty crime rate etc. which then feeds into the disproportionate focus by law enforcement/profiling. All in all it's vicious circle but one which can be broken but needs better planning and leadership at national and community level.
I find this funny, because what you describe (highlighted in bold) is precisely what systemic racism is - a system that results in, either consciously or unconscionably, the lack of investment and advancement within particular communities with no course correction and resulting disproportionate attention from law enforcement. And the solutions to this issue are exactly what you describe - an increase in attention on trying to get Black kids into STEM careers, increased funding and improving the economic landscape. I don't think you and I disagree on the issue or the solution, for the most part. You just don't want to call it racist.