Racism, How Prevalent Is It? Is It Systemic?

I have written several articles Racism and Slavery. A list of links have been provided at bottom of this article for your convenience. This article will, however address different aspects on Racism and Slavery.

People in general fear the unknown or anything that is different. A minority race is by definition is a group of people with traits that differentiate it from the majority race. These differences in no way make that race inferior, just different. Because our country was founded by immigrants, our population is made up of various cultures and races. This is what gives rich and varied history. It also helps makes this country more resilient than many other countries. Because our country is made up of many different cultures, its citizens tend to be more tolerant of the many unique qualities this brings. So in general our population is not racist. However, there are always individuals that like to stand out from the crowd. In general they belong to fringe groups, they dress in less socially acceptable manners, they are loud and out spoken. They tend to be less tolerant of the majority and expect them to change there views and beliefs to the minority groups. Because they are more outspoken, their voice is heard more loudly. It therefore, appears that there numbers are greater. If people refuse to come over to there way of thinking, they are called racist. When in fact they are the ones that are more intolerant.

The Democratic party to gain more votes has migrated over to these left oriented groups, and over the years has totally shifted there agenda. Racism has become a powerful tool of the left. Our country has grown and matured. The general population is more tolerant and less racist than at any other time in our history. It is unfortunate, that left wants to negate all these advances just to increase their power base and further there agenda.

The term systemic Racism has become the catch phrase in today’s society. It is a very scary phrase, that is causing this country to change in very unfavorable ways. Systemic Racism is defined as a form of racism that is embedded as normal practice within society or an organization. It can lead to such issues as discrimination in criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power, and education, among other issues. Already, some academics have been ostracized and others persuaded to withdraw legitimate research that provided a more nuanced analysis of police violence. To even question whether systemic racism and white privilege are pervasive today risks being mistaken for a racist or deemed hopelessly ignorant. But the story of race in America is both more difficult and complex and attempts to eradicate all disparities are likely to lead to bad fixes that end up doing real harm.

Linda Chavez has spent a professional lifetime studying the effects of race-based preferences in college admissions programs. Most colleges — large and small, public and private, undergraduate and post-graduate — admit black and Hispanic students with, on average, lower standardized test scores and high school grades than white and Asian students who are admitted. My Center for Equal Opportunity found that among Virginia’s public universities, for example, the most competitive schools in the state, namely University of Virginia and William and Mary, admitted black students with SAT scores that were, on average, 180 and 190 points lower, respectively, than whites, and 240 points lower than Asians admitted. These results are not anomalous; in 25 years conducting analyses of school admissions by race and ethnicity, CEO has found similar or larger differences in virtually all selective schools. If race is a significant factor in admissions decisions at these schools, it is in an ostensible effort to help black students, and to a lesser degree Hispanics, gain admission to the nation’s best schools. 

Harvard University offers a case study in how another minority group is also harmed. Data uncovered during discovery for a lawsuit now before the First Circuit Court of Appeals, Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, shows that substantial numbers of Asian-American students were denied admission to Harvard with higher grades and test scores than blacks, Hispanics and whites who were admitted, but the reasons for the discrimination are revealing. According to a CEO review of an internal Harvard analysis, Harvard tested how various non-academic factors might affect the racial composition of incoming freshman classes with an eye toward depressing Asian admission and boosting black, Hispanic but also white admission. If only academic qualifications were considered, Asians would have constituted 43% of those admitted to Harvard and whites 38%, with blacks only 1% and Hispanics 3%. Adding factors such as extracurricular activities, athletics, and personal ratings based on interviews boosted whites to 51% and depressed Asians to 26%, while having limited success in boosting blacks or Hispanics. Only explicitly giving applicants a plus factor for being black or Hispanic would increase their chances for admission to 11% and 10%, respectively, but also dramatically depressed Asian admissions to 18%. As it happens, those numbers nearly perfectly reflect the ultimate racial composition of Harvard’s admissions. Clearly Asians have faced, and continue to face, racial discrimination in this society, having been the only group explicitly barred on racial grounds from immigrating to the U.S. in 1882 and denied the right to become naturalized citizens until 1952.

Indeed, Harvard did discriminate against blacks, Jews, and others in the course of its nearly 400-year history, but whatever systemic discrimination that goes on now appears to target Asians, not blacks. But blacks do not necessarily benefit, either, from the widespread adoption of racial preferences in admissions on their behalf. As Richard H. Sander and Stuart Taylor, Jr., pointed out in their comprehensive study of the effect of racial preferences in college admissions on black student performance, “Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It,” schools using racial preferences end up admitting students who often place in the lower rankings of their class and struggle to finish college or pass professional exams.

In turn, these students struggle more even after they graduate, failing to advance in their chosen careers if their college grades are subpar, which becomes proof for some not that preferences fail to achieve their goal, but that systemic racism follows blacks into the professional world, requiring yet more racial preferences in hiring and promotion. None of this is to say that racism does not exist or that it can find its way into even liberal bastions, though I would argue that the problem of racism in universities is expecting too little from black and Hispanic students, a paternalism based on racial stereotypes that is debilitating and counterproductive.   

But colleges are not the only institutions to adopt the wrong fixes to inequities. So, too, the death of George Floyd and other unarmed black victims at the hands of the police has provoked calls to defund the police and spend more in black and brown communities, hire more black police officers, insist on diversity and implicit-bias training, among others. But like preferential admissions at universities, these measures may not only be ineffective, they may exacerbate other serious problems.  In one of the most careful studies of racial bias in police killings, by economist Roland G. Fryer of Harvard University, provides little evidence that police are more likely to kill blacks with whom they come in contact than whites. As Fryer wrote recently in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, “No matter how we analyzed the data, we found no racial differences in shootings overall, in any city in particular, or in any subset of the data.”

It is clear from the outpouring of concern among broad swathes of the public — from small towns to metropolises, from NASCAR to corporate board rooms, from the U.S. military to elite universities — that most Americans want to put an end to racial discrimination, prejudice and social inequities. But there are no shortcuts to improving race relations. Symbolic actions, like taking down the statues of Confederate generals and renaming military bases that honored traitors, may be long overdue. But it is wrong to treat Thomas Jefferson and George Washington as the moral equivalents of John C. Calhoun or Jefferson Davis. Progressive mobs may have different targets than alt-right ones, but mob action rarely ends well. I remain hopeful that we will get beyond the anger and frustration demonstrated over the last two months. To get there, we will need leaders to remind us of our ideals as a nation as well as our imperfections. Most of all, we will need all Americans to believe once again that we are one nation and one people, no matter our color, and we will either achieve greatness together or fall into permanent divisions that doom our future.

Trillions of dollars devoted to minorities over the last few decades points in the direction the this country has been working on righting the wrongs perpetrated by our ancestors. If this country was systemically racist, none of this would be taking place. If we are guilty of anything we have switched so far to other side that blacks are getting unfair advantages in colleges and in the work environment.

We, Americans are good people, regardless of our race, regardless of our religion, regardless of our sex, regardless of the politicians who try to divide us, the media who try to divide us, these so-called cultural icons who try to divide us. We’re an imperfect people in an imperfect country, but it is the greatest country in the face of the Earth. Just ask most of those who are on TV who are in sports or in Hollywood, who trash it day in and day out. If you want real revolutionary, dramatic reforms, including in our inner cities, then abandon the old economic practices, allow choice, allow liberty to take place in these communities.

Article updated and re-posted with new title.

Hope Drives African American Exceptionalism

(Update 8/9/2022)

On the cusp of Black History Month, in a school where I was principal of a 100% African American student body (95% of which were from low-income families), the presumptive valedictorian and salutatorian came storming into my office: “Principal Max, there has to be more to our history than slavery and oppression.” What ensued was a long dialogue on their longing to be taught of the greatness of their history, and their fatigue with the overemphasis on oppression and injustices.

Pondering our curriculum, including our past African American History programs, I realized we had fallen short in telling the full and inspiring story of African American exceptionalism. I thought about how this may have prompted or perpetuated our students to assume negative stereotypes about themselves and how it may have harmed their academic efforts.

I fear that school districts like Albemarle County in Virginia are doing the same by introducing unconstitutional practices into the classroom, infused with Critical Race Theory (CRT).

The true central theme of the African American experience is hope. Hope was the resounding cry of many a spiritual song and is the plea of the oft sung-civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome.” It also communicated the backbone of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream that drove the civil rights movement forward in the face of violent resistance.

From slavery to Jim Crow, hope has been the engine of the black community. Hope is a mighty force. And it is hope that has empowered African Americans to overcome hurdles and achieve greater success—in the face of monumental adversity—more than any population in the history of mankind.

Albemarle County Public Schools, however, through its so-called “Anti-Racism” curriculum, has attempted to replace hope with “victimhood” as the central narrative of black history. Its curriculum forces students to view one’s status solely based on their race. Whites are characterized as “privileged” and blacks as “oppressed.”

One video told students that only white families could live in big houses. A Latina student was confused and disheartened by the video. Her parents, along with four other families, have filed a legal challenge against the school district.

Racial injustice in this country is ongoing, but replacing black success with black despair is not the answer. White students need to see the rich history of black accomplishments, and black students need to see and celebrate their rich and successful heritage. Students must learn that black entrepreneurs and white businesses funded the abolitionist and civil rights movements. The undeniable result was black success.

The importance of hope is more than just rhetorical. Solid academic research shows that a student’s success in life is highly correlated with their belief in their own ability to improve their standing. Study after study in development economics show that, while external factors like access to capital and having basic human needs met are important in rising out of poverty, such resources are almost meaningless if the recipients don’t believe in their own ability and agency to use those tools to improve their lives.

recent study by Prof. Eric Kaufmann from the University of London showed that students who read a CRT-affirming passage from Ta-Nehisi Coates, a New York Times best-selling author and CRT advocate, experienced a 30% drop in their self-assessed belief in their ability to make positive changes in their life compared to students who read a more empowering passage and even those who read no passage at all.

Finally, a recent article in the Journal of Black Psychology noted the importance of hope in countering the very real impacts of racial discrimination: “Higher levels of hope have been related to positive outcomes, including fewer depressive symptoms and less anxiety in general samples. Conversely, higher levels of hopelessness among African American emerging adults have been linked to greater suicidal ideation and depressive symptomatology, even more so than white individuals who have reported higher rates of hopelessness. Hope, therefore, may have a significant impact on mental health outcomes for African American emerging adults.”

If Albemarle County Public Schools wants to reduce inequities, counter the psychological harms associated with discrimination, and raise the success of their black students, they should heed the cry of my former students. Indeed, Albemarle County schools should be reminded that hope was the answer in even darker times and remains the answer today. Schools should focus on African American exceptionalism and success to strengthen the hope and agency of all of our students and abandon their current policy that emphasizes victimhood and disseminates such despair.


realclearpolitics.com, “The Systemic Racism Trap.” By Linda Chavez; foxnews.com, “Does systemic Racism Exist in America,” By Dr. Wilfred Reilly.; dailywire.com, “Hope Drives African American Exceptionalism.” By Derrick Max;

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