Institutional Racism

Posted in Library of Congress, Race by chamblee54 on March 20, 2016








It is blackberry winter in Brookhaven. PG is editing pictures from The Library of Congress, some of which will illustrate this repost. While fussing over group portraits from a Navy vessel, PG is listening to The Glenn Show. Today’s episode features the host, Glenn Loury, and frequent guest John McWhorter. Both men are professors at Ivy League institutions. They are also African Americans. Their conversations are usually entertaining, and provide fodder for slack blogger content.

The first part of the chat involves politicians who say, in effect, “my opponent is not black enough.” An incident involving Barack Obama was discussed. In some of his early elections, the opponent charged that BHO was too closely connected to the big money elite.

Duh. You don’t get elected to public office without having wealthy friends. They want a return on their investment. This has been a problem for the *naive* people who thought they were voting for hope and change. BHO did not raise a billion dollars without making shady promises.

Most politicians face the “authentic enough” issue. When running in the party primary, they try to appear blacker than Spike Lee, or more conservative than Herbert Hoover. When the general election arrives, the need to reach less radical voters arises. Many politicians see the need to back away from what they were saying a few weeks earlier. Saints do not win elections.

After a while, Doctors Loury and McWhorter moved onto the issue of gentrification. Dr. McWhorter wrote a Time magazine piece, “Spike Lee’s Racism Isn’t Cute: ‘M—–f—– Hipster’ Is the New ‘Honkey” Regarding this article, there is a lovely quote from Dr. McWhorter. The quote says to always remember that racism is institutional.

Hissy fits about racism like to have it both ways. They will tell you that racism is *really* about institutional systems that oppress POC. Ok, fine. Exactly what does a tweet, quoting a joke taken out of context, have to do with institutional systems of oppression?








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