“You could have just said, the greatest problem we face is the “fear of other” and saved yourself some typing.”
But it’s not just fear of the Other. As you even said yourself, it’s several factors that interact into one large system. I went into more detail than I maybe needed to because 1) you asked and 2) at this point I really won’t even try to guess what you do and don’t already understand. So I figured overexplaining was better than under.
“And that is and always will be my point. Equality does not mean fair. It does not mean that everyone is entitled to the same outcome, and no, I am not suggesting that is the point you were trying to make. I am merely making the statement.”
But the statement is sort of inherently the point. Equality isn’t what’s being striven for. Fairness is. However the inequality, for the reasons detailed in the long Marxist response has resulted in (or at least majorly contributed in resulting in) the inherent unfairness in the system.
“The minority will always be just that, a minority. We can’t will them into a position of power. Because no matter what gains they make, at the end of the day, there will always be less of “them”.”
Sure… because math. I agree.
“So the only way for “them” to not be in the minority. For them to not be subject to disparity based on their existence as “those people”. Is to make “them” as part of us.”
Here I actually disagree. It’s not the *only* way. And it’s like impossible! This gets really complicated and sort of dives off on to another super long side point that I don’t think either of us really care about for this conversation (if you do I can do so). Short version: since fear of the Other is sort of naturally inherent in the human condition, you CAN’T make all of “them” a part of “us” (in either direction). Everyone can’t be middle class. The existence of a middle relies on the existence of a top and a bottom. If everyone becomes a single non-race, then history tells us that people will Other along some other distinguishable characteristic. Tribalism just sort of happens.
“But you can’t do that by blaming all of “their” ills on “the other”. Surely every mishap that befalls “them” cannot be attributed to someone else, can it?”
I sort of agree…. but not really. And there is a disconnect there which is why the actual definition of systemic racism matters (using the real word this time because it matters). It’s not just YOU or even just “conservatives” or “whites” or anything that conflate systemic racism and active racism (what you are saying requires intention). Black people, including activists do that all the time too. Because it’s complex. The entire point of something being “systemic” is that no one is actually *doing* anything. The system is just in place. Fault doesn’t matter. Causality doesn’t matter. All that matters is the perpetuation of the inherent unfairness. SO, for instance, I would say that yesterday’s Dallas shooting is a result of the same systemic racism that the Sterling shooting was even though Micah Johnson is black. Playing the blame game isn’t really useful. But the actual point of the term — and why cultural studies matters — is investigating the phenomenon. This is why it is so incredibly important to me (and say Laura or AJ or Kevin or whoever) to get you to separate out the idea of intention. And for the record, this has also come up in a conversation with Tim who would be on the exact opposite side where I had a lengthy argument with him about separating the idea of power being required in racism.
As you said in response to Steve’s computer example. Systems don’t have intention. They don’t have agency. So that CAN’T be part of the definition. But the inherent inequality is the part of the system that is being investigated.
“Do you honestly believe that a community rooted in family and ambition would be shunned or disregarded simply because of their skin color? Do you believe that urban centers filled with artists and musicians, pastors and entrepreneurs would be seen in the same light as thugs, murderers, and common criminals.”
No, I don’t. Like I said, Tribalism will happen. In an isolated community, say pre-colonialization africa, despite being of the same technical genetic “race” the inequality still occurred. It happens in all white communities today along social class lines (the proletariat vs. bourgeois). It happens between men and women. The reason we say systemic racism is that we are specifically talking about the system fnordism that affects race (at least right now). Systemic sexism and classism are also terms. The idea is of course to strive for as much equality as possible, but if I used the word fnord every time, we wouldn’t be able to have a real conversation and therefore we can’t work on that.
“There is absolutely nothing, and I mean nothing, stopping them from building their communities up and making themselves less “other” and more “us”.”
But yes there is. That’s the point. The system is designed in a way that makes that harder. Yes, it is possible for individuals to overcome. You pointed out that you did. I’m a welfare baby from a single mother working on a PhD. HELL, the current president of the country is black. But we’re not talking about individuals. We’re talking about the makeup of the system, which as Steve pointed out is out of whack with what statistically it should be. Again, this is why intention can’t matter. The point of discussing systemic fnordism is trying to figure out a way in which to lessen fnordic inequality in the system.