Vic: The problem is… and I know you’re going to hate this because it sounds hella insulting, but I have no better way to put it. Your argument IS naive.
Stay with me for a second before getting upset.
Your essential argument is “This is what I saw, and it’s this horrible thing about the system but it has no name because I don’t like the term systemic racism because racism has to be intentional and since sociology, rhetoric and cultural studies disagree with me, they must be wrong because I am right and this isn’t systemic racism. It is a thing without a name.”
None of us are saying intention matters. None of us are saying it’s causal (at least not in the way you mean). in this thread and others, Laura and I specifically (and others but I know the two of us) have given you numbers to the effect that *statistically* there is an overrepresentation of black people in prison. *Statistically* there are a greater number of black people killed by police than white people. *Statistically* there is an income disparity. *Statistically* there is a prison sentence disparity. You keep asking for proof. There you go.
We live in a system where that is the case. You’ve even said yourself that the system is the system. I am saying that the cause of the disparity is not in question. Even if black people are naturally less intelligent and more violent genetically and therefore the disparities are warranted, they are still individuals within that system and therefore a disparity of race in that system exists. We call that “systemic racism.”
You don’t like it. But that’s the word. It’s not about intention. You use that as your proof that it doesn’t exist but that’s not what cultural critics, sociologists or rhetoricians mean by the word. So you are arguing against a straw man.
So that returns to Kevin’s point. We are describing a system. The system has a name. Your argument that we named the system wrong and therefore sociology, rhetoric and cultural studies are invalid because you don’t like the name just … doesn’t work. The frustration that people feel here isn’t that you disagree with us (again, I shouldn’t speak for everyone… but I know that it’s my frustration and from talking to her, I know it’s Laura’s). The frustration is that your argument is circular, and invalidates itself purely by your making it.
I don’t think you’re trying to be obtuse. Laura specifically said the same thing a few comments ago. But your argument is basically… dizzying… It’s frustrating in a different way than then Mike Land argument above is. In HIS case, we are complaining because we find him specifically hypocritical and kind of directly racist through action and word (though, at least not obviously through intention. We have no way of knowing). In your case, the frustration is that you are arguing in a circle and seem far more intent on proving that your definitions are right despite their being contrary to well established discourse than actually making a coherent point.
Again…. you have several times defined systemic racism even to the point of arguing what a lot of LIBERAL miss, which is that INTENTION, and EVEN RACE OF THE INDIVIDUAL ACTOR is not relevant in that definition. And then you conclude with something that is literally logically incompatible with everything that you’ve just said and follow that with you are therefore more evolved than the established discourse which you are intuitively describing and MOSTLY AGREEING WITH just because you don’t like how words work.