The Corner

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Rooting Out Systemic Racism and White Supremacy

Former Vice President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington, D.C., March 30, 2016 (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

It’s axiomatic among progressives and the mainstream media that the country is awash in racism and white supremacy.

The entertainment industry is obsessed with racism/white supremacy. So too is the educational establishment. More than a half century after passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, racism and white supremacy apparently permeate every corner of the country. Indeed, according to the New York Times’ 1619 Project, racism is in the very DNA of America.

So virulent and widespread is racism and white supremacy today that Democratic presidential candidates call for “rooting out” the plague every chance they get. Speaking at a recent event hosted by Al Sharpton, former Vice President Joe Biden said: “We have a lot to root out, but most of all the systemic racism that most of us whites don’t like to acknowledge even exists. There’s something we have to admit — not you, me, white America — has to admit there’s still a systemic racism.” Biden wasn’t asked why he seemingly hadn’t made a dent in rooting out systemic racism in his 36 years as a senator or eight years as Barack Obama’s VP. After all, he has been a member in good standing of The System for a long time.

Elizabeth Warren also wants to root out systemic racism: “We must recognize the systemic discrimination that infects our country, and we must work actively — and deliberately — to root it out and set us on a better path.” Racism is everywhere, affects everything. Warren maintains that “race has totally permeated our justice system” and “our crisis of environmental injustice is the result of decades of discrimination and environmental racism.” Given that racism permeates nearly every facet of society, even the environment, it’s impressive that Warren willingly subjected herself to the scourge by claiming she’s Native American.

Pete Buttigieg maintains that “We are by no means even half way done dealing with systemic racism in this country.” He asserts that “systemic racism and white supremacy in particular…is the force that is most likely to destroy America.” His website proposes “a comprehensive and intentional dismantling of racist structures and systems.”

What, specifically, are these racist structures and systems? How about a few concrete examples supported by evidence? No one in the media seems the least bit interested in asking. It’s simply taken as given that whole institutions, structures, and systems in this country are racist and white supremacist. Asking for examples is, itself, racist. Or, at the very least, an embarrassing demonstration of terminal unwokeness. Racial disparities are presumptively equated with disparate treatment.

Racism and white supremacy became particularly acute, of course, after November 2016. Nearly every racial malady since then has been attributed to Donald Trump and his hordes of white supremacist minions. It’s curious, however, that there hasn’t been the expected spike in the data related to racism. Just the opposite. For example, the number of race discrimination charges filed with the EEOC reached a 25-year high of 35,890 in 2010 during the Obama administration, compared with 23,976 filed (merely filed, not even determined to have probable cause) in 2019. Similarly, the FBI reports that 7,120 hate crimes were committed in 2018, fewer than even a decade ago, when the U.S. population was millions smaller and far fewer agencies were reporting hate crimes.

These data points don’t necessarily disprove Democratic/media assertions that racism and white supremacy abound. But it’s a far easier lift than proving racism and white supremacy are ubiquitous.

Not to worry. There’s at least one clear and unequivocal example of systemic racism in America today, but you’ll never hear Democratic candidates utter a word about it: the staggering racial preferences awarded by colleges to black and Hispanic applicants over white and Asian applicants. Systemic racism is OK, provided it’s approved by progressives, and they’re running the system.

Peter Kirsanow — Peter N. Kirsanow is an attorney and a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

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