Racism is a systemic part of American society. From the first chattel laws to present-day police brutality, racism is at the very core of who America is. Systemic’s goal is to explore aspects of race and racism in America. The aim is to educate and explain the intertwining of race as a systemic part of American culture. We hope each episode enlightens and drives you to help work towards an anti-racist future.
Black on Black Crime
Did you know that 80 percent of white individual victims are killed by a white individual offender? The FBI reports on crime statistics every year and it turns out most racial groups are the number one offender against themselves. That's because murder, and most crimes, are mostly based on proximity. And with a long history of segregation and redlining, most American communities are homogeneous.
So why don't we ever talk about white-on-white crime? Actually, we do. It's called crime. And guess what, Black-on-Black crime is the same. just crime.
Black-on-Black crime is a dangerous fallacy that creates fear and hatred towards already struggling Black communities. We need to tackle the underlying and real issues facing Black communities and stop deflecting from them with malicious myths.
Uncommon Voices - Mary Hudson
Part of discussing and combatting systemic racism is understanding its impact and hearing directly from those who have been impacted.
Mary Hudson was born at the start of the Civil rights movement and grew up with the hope and pain of the time. As a young child in the late 50's/early 60's, she picked cotton. In the '70s, she was jailed for protesting segregated schools, 17 years after Brown vs. Board. And today, she's working remotely in our new work-from-home world.
Holding History Accountable
American history is filled with depictions of women, the LGBT+ community, and persons of color that are deplorable and reprehensible. From "Little Black Sambo" to black face, to advertising, to even Dr. Seuss, the discriminatory past of America can be vividly seen in how it portrays "the other". Can and should we judge the artifacts, some that many hold dear, based on our modern notion of what is acceptable?
Yes. Yes, we should, holding the past accountable helps to clear a way forward. Racist is Racist. Homophobic is Homophobic. Misogynistic is Misogynistic. When it happened is irrelevant. And if we want to avoid the missteps of the past, we must hold the past accountable. This isn't about canceling and banning, it's about accountability and progress.
Implicit Bias with Dr. Scott Richardson
Implicit bias is a theory that suggests how we interact and treat others is based on inherited and learned stereotypes and prejudices. The assumptions we make about the world color how we see things and others.
When looking at training and work to check a person's implicit bias, the aim is usually to just make them better aware of their biases and how it’s affecting their behavior, thoughts, and words. The goal being if you’re made aware of your bias and what it’s rooted in, you will make a change. But what if you don’t?
In this episode, I talk with Dr. Scott Richardson, the Chief Diversity and Inclusion officer at the University of Houston Clear Lake about implicit bias, the shortcoming of not holding others accountable, and how this lack of accountability plays out in academic settings with underprepared students.
Monuments to the Confederacy
The last confederate monument in America was completed in 1972. Not 1872, 1972. From the end of the civil war through the civil rights movement, monuments to a failed attempt to separate the country based on race were raised through America and abroad. These monuments and statues were never intended to honor the heritage of the south. They were intended to honor the heritage of slavery, discrimination, and the commodifying of Black bodies. They aimed to remind Black citizens of their place and further a future for White supremacy.
This is America
Dylan Roof, Charlottesville, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and on and on and on. After so many of these incidents, good-intentioned and well-meaning people like to say "this isn't the America I know!" "This isn't us!" "We're better than this!"
Have you actually looked at the American track record when it comes to race? This is America, at its core. From the earliest settlers (read colonizers) to George Floyd, America has shown us who it is time and time again. This episode will examine 1619-through the end of the Civil War and show just how American racism is.