What do you consider clearest evidence of ongoing US racism?

Apologies if you feel this an ignorant question, but I intend it sincerely. And I’m a little embarrassed to be asking hte questing.

I recently had a discussion w/ someone who questioned how much ongoing racism existed in the US. They responded that many of the examples I cited (wealth/income disparity, lack or representation at high levels of govt/business/schools, disenfranchisement, etc) were potentially indicative of “black culture” as opposed to the results of institutional racism. And they maintained that sufficient resources exist for any individual to obtain the necessary education to raise themselves out of their condition.

I note that this person was not a Trumpist, and is pretty liberal on most social issues.

I firmly believe that considerable racism is pervasive throughout many aspects of the US, but was a little discouraged at my inability to form a more airtight argument in support of my position. I was hoping you might be able to help me out should a similar situation reoccur. Or - if you believe racism IS NOT the cause of such disparities as I cited, please feel free to convince me of that.

The Black Lives Matter movement pretty much nails it. To white people what happens to blacks doesn’t matter to them as long as it isn’t happening in their social sphere. I am half white and half mexican and to all outward appearances I appear to be white. I have often spoken to friends about shootings and drug use in the inner cities being problematic and fairly consistently the response is “It doesn’t matter, it’s not happening here where I am”. And often they add “Let them kill each other, I don’t care”.

The incarceration rates of black people per capita versus white people is staggering.

For me, it is the 30% or so of registered American voters who are okay enough with a blatant racist that they’ll vote for him. That’s just the culmination of the blatant racism that has been crawling out from under the rocks since 2008.

I don’t think police or legal institutional racism is the clearest evidence because you need to look at the statistics and how everyone experiences law enforcement to see the patterns. If you only look at one incident, much, but not all, of the time you can shrug it off by saying that’s how everyone should be treated.

I also think it’s clearer evidence than the outcomes that are based on educational and employment disparities, because like you said, it’s more difficult to untangle this from probably-fictional “cultural” components of the disparity.

One datum on that front, though to respond to people who bring that up, is the studies where people send out resumes that are exactly the same except for the ethnic-sounding name. The easiest explanation for the disparity in who gets the callbacks is subtle, or not-so-subtle racism, which isn’t reflective of “cultural” differences because the “applicants” have identical education and achievements.

Looks like an interesting (and LONG) report. But my initial scan suggests that they suspect multiple potential causes for the disparity. It does, however, seem to suggest pretty clear evidence of racial factors contributing to at least a portion of the disparity - such as the disparity between arrests/convicts.

That 40% of the American people still love DJT.

I have just read “Caste” by Isabel Wilkerson and it is just full of examples. Not just police shootings, but dozens of stories and examples. Like the time she was in Chicago to interview a number of business for the Times. The last one simply refused to talk to her because he had an important interview with a NY Times reporter. When she insisted she was that reporter, he simply refused to believe her and finally she left.

But it is that 40% that is most convincing.

I’ll say it’s the huge difference in funding for public education. The current public education system seems specifically designed so that the quality of public education available for any specific child is directly proportionate to the net worth of that kids parents.
High Net Worth = Good/Great Public Education
Low Net Worth = Good Fuckin’ Luck

We will never close the disparity between white people and non-white people so long as white folks are allowed to continue to hoard public resources that are supposed to be used for the betterment of all people, not just their own.

I don’t wish to play devil’s advocate, but suggest some of the difficulties I perceived making my argument.

Personally, I agree that the current system of school funding is inexcusable. But couldn’t one support local school funding for reasons OTHER than racism?

Similar for “crime rates.” It impresses me as challenging to isolate the effect of racism, as opposed to diverse other possible explanations.

I guess I’m going to have to accept that - as is often the case w/ social sciences - I’ll have to accept that my position is supported by various signs strongly supporting my interpretation/position, and a lack of equally good explanations for alternative interpretations. Any ideas/sources for expressing such a position?

The person I was talking with was mentioning factors such as a Black culture of ignorance, sloth, etc. I agreed that SOME Blacks exhibited such attributes, but observed that people of color certainly lack a monopoly on such attributes.

Apologies for appearing/being so ignorant. I appreciate your input.

[quote=“Dinsdale, post:8, topic:919067”]
The person I was talking with was mentioning factors such as a Black culture of ignorance, sloth, etc. [/quote]

That anyone believes such a thing exists, is evidence for me. I don’t care how they self-identify. They could be the head of the Democratic National Committee, or a KKK Grand Dragon.

But before I got to that post, I was going say, the fact that any problem that is more pervasive statistically among a minority group (and in this case it would include women, even though we hold up 53% of the sky), is described as a problem of that group, but a problem that is statistically a problem of white people, or particularly white men, is never described as a “white” problem.

School readiness is a minority problem, because statistically, it’s minority children who arrive in kindergarten unprepared. Meanwhile, statistically, child-rapists are something like 98% male, and 70% white, but child rape is not a white problem, or a male problem, at least, not when you read about it in the paper.

In other words, black problems are black people’s problems, and white people may help out, out of magnanimity, but white problems are just plain problems, and no one is allowed to be indifferent to them.

I think most people buy into the existing school funding system without ever giving the racist nature of the system a second thought.

I think most parents who are overly concerned about their kids education want to ensure their kids get the most uneven start to adult life they can possibly provide and education is one metric that they can control and help skew in their favor. To be clear: I believe they want to heap as much privilege and advantage as they can possibly muster onto their children in an effort to ensure they will live successful lives. On it’s face it’s not a bad goal…but it damn sure ain’t egalitarian and we will never even get close to closing the racial disparity in this country so long as this system is allowed to continue.

I don’t think most intend to be racist or feed into a racist system. That being said, I do firmly believe they are happy (at worst) and neutral (at best) about the fact that the current system helps to price out many non-white people from the privilege farm that are found in many suburbs if only because it reduces the number of kids their kid has to compete against.

When federal funding is accounted for poor school districts received slightly more funding per student than high income school districts. Because of this minority students receive more funding per student than white students.

The fact that 50%+ of black Americans report that they, personally, have been mistreated by law enforcement, when the % for other groups is in the low single digits. One has to have an awfully negative opinion of the honesty and intelligence of black people if one doesn’t see this as a horrifying poll result.

EDIT: Also, the fact that the two groups (black Americans and Native Americans) that were very clearly treated, by far, the most abominably in US history, are also at the very bottom of just about every statistical indicator for health, wealth, and success. There’s no reasonable explanation for why this is so other than very long term systemic bias and racism.

If 70% of child rapists are white and 70% of society is white, doesn’t that imply that child rape is not a predominately white problem?

According to the paper in 1991 76% of the incarceration rate differential was explained by arrest rate differential. Incarceration rates for black people have gone down by 33% in the last 15 years. That is twice the decline in incarceration rates for white people.

This morning on NPR, the reporter interviewed a couple who supported the president. They said they weren’t racist. When asked about racism in the US, they said they didn’t believe it was a problem–because they’d never seen it. And that’s where the fundamental problem is: too many people are not willing to empathize with others’ experiences.

The interviewer asked several probing questions (sorry, I can’t find a link to the story; it’s worth a listen). I don’t think the couple were consciously racist. Instead, they were cloistered and ignorant of the American experience for anyone outside their circle.

Getting back to the original question, the clearest evidence of ongoing racism in the US is the fact that Black people say “there is ongoing racism”. Believe them. That doesn’t mean assume every claimed racist incident is actually racist without evidence. That’d be arguing about which plant is a tree when you’re in a forest. It means that people are witnesses to their own experiences.

The most striking evidence I’ve seen are the multiple studies where they’ve submitted identical job applications with the only difference being one has a more ethnic name. Time and again, the application that had the “traditional” name would get a response and the other would not.

That is a tedious read.

It doesn’t go into specifics about what the overall funds are used for and how that might effect spending on education. As an example, poor schools will spend more on free or reduced meals where as rich schools will spend less. This leaves the poor school less money available for things like computers and other educational tools where as the rich school can afford to splurge since they don’t have to worry about trying to level the playing field amongst their students.

Regardless of the total amount overall funding the fact remains that poor schools keep getting poorer and rich schools keep getting richer and one can easily tell a rich school from a poor school just by looking at the demographics of the students.

This might be the clearest test-type “proof.”

I just got off the phone w/ the person. They clarified their position (or I misunderstood.) They maintain that they do not deny the existence of institutional racism, but they oppose the request for “handouts” as opposed to “opportunities.”

Like I said, I’m not sure if I misunderstood them, or if they are changing their position, but it is now different than I presented here.

It IS a challenge when a subset of a group acts in a extreme way that does not represent the entire group, but alows onlookers to generalize - such as violent rioters/looters taking advantage of BLM issues - or young white anarchists protesting the WTO.

If you don’t define a poor school by how much money they get from the government, how do you define it?
How are poor schools getting poorer and rich schools getting richer?

There’s a summary of recent-ish studies (on not just race and not just in the US) posted at http://www.auditstudies.com

Related, Sharad Goel published a paper earlier this year on how disparities between police pulling over black vs white drivers decrease at night when it’s harder to see the driver:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-020-0858-1