Groundhog Day

Maybe you felt the same way. You keep hearing about “Systemic Racism” but aren’t sure what it is. When in doubt, Google. The search pointed to Wikipedia, which uses the term interchangeably with “Institutional Racism,” defined “as a form of racism embedded through laws and regulations within society or an organization. It can lead to discrimination in criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power, and education, among other issues.” This got me thinking. 

In the 1950s and ’60s, we worked hard to change the nation’s laws and regulations to ensure everyone their constitutional rights. We have mainly been successful. Most of the present-day problems reside at a more local level. For instance, criminal justice, policing, and prosecution are State and local issues. Education is always a local affair. Even housing and healthcare problems originate at the local level.  

Political power at the local level is how we fix local problems. If there is racism in our local institutions, let’s get oppressed to the polls and throw the bums out. 

Never have people had greater access to the polls. Blacks in many states of the old south vote in more significant percentages than whites. Nothing is standing between Blacks joining like-minded people to form coalitions to achieve the law enforcement and education to improve lives.

In fact, blacks have formed ruling coalitions with others in almost all locales they live. Blacks are almost uniformly governed by the political party they overwhelmingly give their votes. These local governments also control the zoning that dictates the affordability of housing.

 The paradox is institutions some Black’s claim are racist are controlled by the very same people they voted into office. Walt Kelly’s Pogo would understand. He proclaimed, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” 

If you don’t like your local criminal justice system, prosecutors and police departments vote for candidates with a different approach. Maybe they belong to another party. Continuing to vote for Democrats means supporting other party pillars such as the public sector unions. Bad teachers and cops often remain employed due to the protections afforded by their unions. Achieving a workable balance is in large part stumbles over the bad cop problem. Poor areas need more policing, but not by repressive bad cops.

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