Is America Racist?
Is America Racist?
Timothy Benton 9/15/2017 2:30 PM.
Is America racist? The question has been going on for years, you ask some, they respond, “Hell yes America is racist, you see it all around you!”, others will say, “While we do have a racist past, we have shown with the election of the last president, our halls of power, the ability of anyone to rise to the top, regardless of the race shows that society isn’t any longer!” So, which one is right and which one is wrong? I would say that both answered are both right and wrong, the reason is this is far more complex than a simple yes or no, we need to consider the details.
No matter how you answer this, someone is always offended, but even that should be questioned, if I hold a belief and you are offended by it if I will not change my belief to accommodate your comfort, is that by itself racist? What about if you want to protest something, if racist people, who none of us will argue over if they are racist or not if they find problems with the same thing you are protesting, then is your right to protest suddenly nullified? Or what if they join in the protest, does this invalidate the right, and if you dare to go forward with it are you then guilty by association?
And we all know that claiming a race or group of people have negative qualities, and to judge them all by such a character, applying it even to the ones that don’t have it, that would be racist, but is it any less racist then to say another group is taking advantage of their race, they are given rights or privileges, even though the data does not support this, is that any less racist? What about a group or groups of people that suffered at the hands of another, are they responsible for compensating for this wrongdoing, if so, how long do we put a time limit on this, are the children and grandchildren hold culpability due to their forebears did this?
If you are going to apply this same principle, then why not go back generations, more so if the people in question have no knowledge or relation with the people that did these acts, they are nothing more than a name to them? And do I claim to have all the answers, or what about the people that claim to be professionals, do they have them?
Before I get started, I do not claim to be an expert, although I will claim to have had studied this very extensively, my opinion like any other, it only means something to me unless others agree with it, and even if many agree with it, does this invalidate the ones that don’t? Of course not, we become richer in knowledge and understanding not by always agreeing, but rather by having to give reason to the ones that don’t agree, many times finding their reasons enrich you by opening your understanding another perspective, even if you don’t agree, you do what their thought process is.
So, let’s get started into this very difficult, divisive, and sometimes disruptive question, and I ask for others to please give their assessment, show your idea’s, I may agree with you, learn from you, find we are not in any way in agreement or be shocked by your train of thought, but at least we will learn from each other.
What is racist, I think the first thing we need to do is look at the generic definition, sometimes that helps keep us on track, the definition of racism is, Webster breaks it down into Four specific points, these are:
- a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
- a doctrine or political program based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principles
- a political or social system founded on racism
- racial prejudice or discrimination
Before we go any further, we need to define bigotry, many times people practicing this are accused of racism, but this is not always the case.
- obstinate or intolerant devotion to one’s own opinions and prejudices: the state of mind of a. a bigot
- overcoming his bigotry
- acts or beliefs characteristic of a bigot
- racial bigotry
- will not tolerate bigotry in our organization
This needs to be understood, bigotry may be against an idea, a philosophy, a religion, a political ideology, but to be against such a thing does not show racism. Sometimes bigotry against that political belief is not a bad thing, such as American’s reaction towards Fascism in WW2, or with apartheid as practiced in the South African system of government, so it is important to recognize that there is good and bad bigotry, you need to keep in mind which is good or bad, also, this perspective is very much able to change from person to person, so in this too we will try to stick to universally held beliefs.
So then, let’s begin today in what is held as racist, either in idea’s, government actions or by individual groups. We see the protests in the NFL, people saying that due to racism, they can’t stand for the flag, for to them it represents racism, others teach in Universities there is an all-corrupting influence in our government called “White Privilege” you see politicians on both sides of the isle crawling over each other to see whom can condemn this perceived racist practice or privilege the loudest, fear of being labeled a racist causes many to shut their mouths least someone come and say they are a racist. We hear in interviews stars and celebrities saying if we don’t agree with their ideology, or better yet a politician, especially if the politician is a minority of color, this disagreement could only be due to some deep-seated racism.
Let’s look at this claim that disagreement is racist, this was a battle cry for the progressive movement when Obama was president, although he never made such a statement, he sure never said a word to refute such a claim, he did say on public TV some people could not support him because he was black, but if you bothered with the numbers, you would find that was extremely low, although we all know these people are out there, most did not support his policies because they went contrary to what they believed was best for this country, when you start to try to use racism as a means to try to force obligation to follow, you get the backlash we saw in the last election, people said nothing, did not wish to deal with the labels that would be thrown their way, then when voting came they voted as they wanted.
Further, this was tried in the last election, people claimed the only reason people did not vote for the DNC candidate was because President Obama was not white, but one must ask, then why did all the voters that voted for Trump yet had voted for Obama the last or the last two elections prior, did they vote for him for this same reason? The claim has zero merits to it, if they voted for racist ideas, then why would have they ever voted for President Obama? If you hear these people, they say they voted not on race; they could care less, they voted for the candidate they thought would bring about improvements in America in the way they wanted, President Trump was that candidate.
With this we then can bring into account the fight you hear that America is racist, the athletes that refuse to stand for the flag, claiming it represents all that is racist about America. The one question that has to be asked is this, “If America is so racist, then how is it that President Obama was elected? How is it that we in the House of Representatives have now had 2 Native Americans, 42 Hispanic Americans, 14 Asian Americans, 48 African Americans? If you look at the demographics of the United States, the Caucasians make up 73.6% of the total population, the Hispanics make up 17% of the population, African Americans 12.6%, American Indian and Alaska Native .8%, Asian’s 5.1%, and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander .2%, there is also 4.7 of unknown or other than the races shown. If you compare this to our elected officials, the Whites make up 74%, African Americans 11%, Hispanics 10%, Asian Americans 3%, consider that many areas are mixed with most White People living in the area, the numbers are about what the population is, so if there is racism, how could this be? Go to state houses, you find the same, like it or not, when 70+% of the population is white, it is understandable why their representatives would be, this show no racism at all, it shows representation by the demographics of the area, not a racist bent.
What about prison statistics, that is a little trickier, the reason for this is you have to take in account of crimes, the severity of crimes, this will affect a demographic due to more serious crimes serve a longer sentence. First, 69% of all arrests are with white people, but does that show a greater allowance because they are white? Not really, when you make up about 74% of the population, that figure should be about right, but what about violent crimes? According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the statistics are as follows:
|All Races||Whites and Hispanics (includes White Hispanics)||African Americans, (includes black Hispanics)|
|Murder and Nonnegligent Manslaughter||10,351||4,955||5,138|
|Population||240.16 million||192.319 million||30.971 million|
As you can see, the White or Caucasians have six times the population as the African Americans, yet the African Americans commit 60% of the crimes that the white population does, if you looked at this in normal statistics you would expect them to commit around 12% keeping in their percentage of the population, so is having a larger percentage of blacks in a percentage of their population showing racism in our justice or society? Of course not, they are committing far more violent crimes about their population then the white people are, the sentencing for forcible rape or murder is far longer than say for white collar crimes. Even if you look at the murder rates, the time served for this is an average 20.4 years according to U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, the average for all other crimes is just 4 years 11 months, if you consider that the black population is committing close to 60% of all murders, this is with 12% of us population doing this, then it would stand to reason that these numbers would skew the numbers for the total population.
What about the disproportionate amount of blacks in prison compared to their white counterparts, why are their numbers so much higher? This gets more interesting, for this you need to look at one thing, what is the rate of people in relation to demographics that are repeating criminal behavior, the reason this is so important, just as we saw in the above statistics, in proportion to their population percentage, the black population commits more violent crimes in a percentage of their population, if you are a repeat offender you also will be facing a much larger sentence the second time you are convicted, even larger still the third time, and so on.
If you look at the statistics from Recidivism Center, who only investigates this, they show the African American population has a 59% rate of recidivism compared to 41.7% with whites; the Hispanics are higher than whites at 49%, but still nowhere near the rates the black community has. This then would put a larger percentage of the black inmate population as higher than the US population; this then would affect their percentages in prison since they have the largest returning number for crimes. Thus their sentences would be longer than anyone else. So the question has to be asked, is the African American population receiving longer sentences for the same crime, that material I have not found for the simple reason there is no separation of the first infraction, the second, and the third, but if you take in recidivism, type of crimes committed I would say the numbers are not as skewed as experts are claiming.
Due to the material that needs to be covered, I will have to continue this, it is important when making such arguments that facts are looked at, and there are supporting facts for statements, this takes up space while writing, and since such an investigation is so sensitive, then it needs to be handled with care to make sure facts support what you are claiming.
In the next post, we will look into inherent white racism, is there such a thing as “White Privilege” and was slavery due to this, were the white people the only ones involved in all aspects of this business. Also, we will touch off on racism other demographics have experienced, if they still are, and where American is at now.