One of the more common charges made against American society in these tumultuous times—even in public prayer—is that we suffer from systemic racism, systemic injustice, systemic police brutality, etc. What is meant, apparently, is that these defects are fundamental components of our national institutions. And furthermore, the underlying charge is that these social, economic or political evils were and still are intentionally perpetrated by those privileged segments of our society who allegedly benefit from them.
However, uncovering indications of racism by particular individuals or examples of injustice in specific cases only indicates that these terrible flaws exist, not that they are inherent to the American system. To unavoidably risk redundancy, allow me to put it this way: something which is “systemic” to a “system” is a native part of that very system. That the system has problems (or, as we say today, “issues”), such as a gasoline engine with a clogged carburetor, indicates a lack of maintenance or due diligence, not an inherent design problem.
Consider another metaphor: our highway system. Are car crashes systemic to the highway system? In other words, are highway accidents a component part of the vision or plans of the highway engineers? The answer is, I believe, obvious. And, while neither highway accidents nor incidents of police brutality (or other injustices) should be described as “systemic,” they can and should be defined as unacceptable and treated with every preventive and curative measure available.
But, these measures, among rational people, do NOT include violence, thievery and arson.
3 thoughts on “Systemic?”
Thank you for your clarifying comparison to the highway system, and for pointing out that to be “systemic” it must be an intended component or consequence.
Thank you, Don…well said.
Thanks Don. You are correct in what you say–the association of violence with any form of protest is being rationalized by some people who have something to gain by it and no concept of what they are doing to society.
Societies are structured with rules because without them we lose trust in each other. Rules let each of us know what to expect. If I trust that you will live within the rules and you trust that I will live within the rules, then we meet each other’s expectations, avoiding the inevitable emotional response when we do not. We can have idealogical conversations within that superstructure. We can come to conclusions that benefit all, we can resolve problems and we can create change peacefully.
But when one of us violates the trust they lose credibility and they cannot be trusted. In the future, we might even believe in one of their causes, but because they have violated our trust, we can’t support them. If people say black lives matter and then go out and violate the rules of society, other people can no longer support their cause, even if it were not, by its very nature, extremely racist. For example, we now are forced by the cancel culture crowd to talk about “people of color” hoping that in some way that is less racist than “blacks and whites” or the more racist “Blacks and Whites,” but we deny “white” people a place in that spectrum, as though that denial is not itself racist.Of course in some less racist countries (e.g., Brazil), whites are included in the “rainbow” and as a result, no one pays any of it much attention.
So many words have been thrown about—“systemic.” Well, here is a charge of systemic:
They take over the education system
They eliminate religion and moral education
They eliminate respect for our system of government/constitution
They teach a distorted history with a new vocabulary that generates hate
They create a cancel culture
They get the children chanting mindless, irrational ideas about our fundamental, systemic injustices while forbidding prayer and moral education
They convince our children that all government is bad, ergo anarchy is the only solution
They have been assisted in this effort by our colleges and universities who have built the language of hate and dissension surrounding “systemic” issues of racism, injustice and brutality
They have participated in the process of de-educating the masses and creating the opportunity for the extreme left to convince the masses
They suggest that WE will overcome, that WE can take away and redistribute, that WE have real power and can make it all right
There is no WE because they are all ME people and don’t even trust each other
They violate all rules that do not promote their own cause
They lie, cheat and steal and wonder why they are not credible, believed or respected
The nature of life is hard for most people
They have little time to think critically on these issues
Training to think critically on the issues was taken out of the schools
Cancel culture mutes all but the woke and true Blacks, certainly the capital W whites and anyone who refuses to carry their banner
But the cancel culture has dictated that the “old, white privileged” class may not participate in the discussion
They see the beauty of “from each according to his abilities to each according to his needs,” even the Christianity in it
But they don’t see the nature of mankind, that we are all flawed, that people don’t work hard for no gain, so all scream ‘need’ but no one screams ‘take’
They forget that no communist or socialist culture has ever been successful
They can’t see the flaws in “systemic racism” — Every human being would like to be considered wonderful. Pride, ego, the ultimate scourge of all of us. We sin. We work hard (some do) to do better. The Lord has been good enough to forgive us of this sin, to take the brunt of it on himself. There is no perfect “man” (or woman, or other) who has overcome these sins.
So in that sense, we are all a little racist. However, claiming the whole society, the whole system, the whole culture is bad because humans sin does not give reason to destroy the whole system. And who would do it as we are all part of it? Surely only God has the right and obligation to take whatever action needs to be taken.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.