Racism in America is “ordinary, not aberrational” and “the usual way society does business,” according to critical race theorists.
If this is true, how do they prove it?
With critical race theory influencing how our children are taught and treated in schools, the answer to this question is vital.
Merely asking for evidence or reasoned arguments to support the assertion of “systemic racism,” however, is typically met with dismissive scoffing – no supporting evidence is needed. If you don’t see it, you must be racist.
But if backed into a corner, the default response will rely heavily on so-called “disparities” in socio-economic status between the races.
The fact that people of color suffer from disproportionate rates of poverty, and the related negative consequences that come with it, is proof enough.
As Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic wrote in their 2001 book, “Critical Race Theory: An Introduction”: “Poverty, however, has a black or brown face: black families command, on the average, about one-thirteenth of the assets of their white counterparts. … People of color lead shorter lives, receive worse medical care, complete fewer years of school, and occupy more menial jobs than whites.”
In short, the mere existence of different outcomes between races in such categories is sufficient evidence to render a guilty verdict in America’s trial for systemic racism.
But what if such disparities do arise absent discrimination perpetrated by the “system”?
As Thomas Sowell wrote in his book “Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality?”, if that can be shown as the case, then the critical race theorists’ assumptions about statistical disparities “lose their validity as evidence.”
The reality of the human condition, as Sowell notes, is that, “Statistical disparities extend into every aspect of human life” and that “statistical disparities are commonplace among human beings.”
“There are many decisions wholly within the discretion of those concerned, where discrimination by others is not a factor – the choice of television programs to watch, opinions to express to poll takers, or the age at which to marry, for example. All these show pronounced patterns that differ from group to group,” Sowell continued.
Indeed, a more thoughtful and thorough analysis of the data reveals the presence of many factors that influence income and poverty statistics, a fact conveniently ignored by critical race theorists because it questions their contrived narrative.
Fatherlessness and Culture
For starters, there is a stark difference in household income and wealth between two-parent and single-parent homes.
For instance, in North Carolina families are roughly five times as likely to be in poverty when there is no father in the home.
The strong correlation between fatherlessness and poverty can’t be overestimated. That said, a racial breakdown of single-parent households may help to explain disparities in poverty rates. While no state data are readily available, national data are quite instructive. According to recent research, 64% of black children live in single-parent families, while 42% of “Hispanic/Latino” children do. Comparatively, 24% of “non-Hispanic white” children live in single-parent families.
Life choices, not “systemic racism,” account for a significant share of disparities in poverty.
Secondly, when evaluating claims of systemic racism we can compare the levels of economic success among people of color. After all, racist systems and policies just see people of color and do not differentiate based upon different backgrounds.
As Sowell wrote, “Blacks may ‘all look alike’ to racists, but there are profound internal cultural differences among blacks.”
As a result, comparing results for people of the same color but different culture is a valuable tool to provide an indication of other factors besides discrimination at work.
For instance, in 2012, the U.S. poverty rate for Jamaicans was reported as 14.8%, Ethiopians 19.7%, and Nigerians 12.8%. All the rates were significantly lower than the rate of 28% for blacks as a whole.
Furthermore, the median income for Jamaicans and Ethiopians noticeably outearned the median income for blacks overall.
How were these people of color, often without the benefit of growing up in America, able to clear the “barriers” of a discriminatory “system” far better than other people of color? Culture unquestionably plays a role in income and poverty disparities as well, even in situations comparing people of color where “discrimination” can be ruled out.
Several other factors having nothing to do with racism or discrimination, including differences in average age and career choices further explain differences in socio-economic status between the races.
There is simply no aspect of life in which outcomes will line up squarely proportional to the racial demographics of a society. To think otherwise is to ignore the diversity of the human condition.
Critical race theorists, however, cynically cling to these disparities as “proof” of their assertion of systemic racism.
As leading critical race theory critic, Dr. James Lindsay wrote, “They only care about their own power and how they might get more of it by using the disproportionalities of society as a wedge and a lever.”
Lindsay continues, “the label ‘systemic racism’ is just another arbitrary tool, another potential bit of calculated rhetorical malice, by which they might effect their intended ends.”
Of course, nobody is here pretending that racism does not exist. However, charges of “systemic racism” are wholly unsupportable. Given that systemic racism is the very foundation upon which critical race theory and its activist component seeking wholesale social upheaval is built, it is vital to expose the concept for the meaningless political ploy that it is.