Monthly Archives: June 2021

Institutional Race Theory and Systemic Genocide

Institutional Race Theory

[First, a sort of disambiguation…but not quite:

Although we all know the words ‘hypothesis,’ ‘theory,’ and ‘ law,’ the more detailed the definitions given for their shades of difference, the less agreement among scholars and  others in general.

Theoretically, laws are not ambiguous. But there are instances when a lawyer crafts an interpretation of a law to make it ambiguous in order to win a case…not usual, but a part of  legal games.  

Apart from science, theories are considered by some as better than hypotheses, but there is an expression that belies that assessment with: “It’s only a theory!” Some think that hypothesis and theory are interchangeable, while others cite their differences. 

I would be more explicit but this article is not about semantics and, more importantly, I don’t want to fall into the traps I’ve described above.] 

Einstein’s twin theories, General Relativity and Special Relativity, Darwin’s theory, The Evolution of Species, and Copernicus’ Heliocentricity are theories. Institutional Race ‘Theory’ is neither a theory nor an hypothesis. By that, I do not mean that institutional racism is not real. It is real. It is ugly. Worst of all, institutional racism is a severe barrier to the attainment of the American Dream for nonwhite people.* Understandably, it is also a major source for anti-white sentiments. Yet, there are many of us, black or white who know that there is only one race, the human race. 

It’s disheartening to observe that the overwhelming majority of political officials who champion the abolition of what they view as ‘white supremacy’ are themselves guilty of supremacy. They lecture us about politics. Their tone, body language, and facial expressions drip with condescension, a characteristic blatantly displayed as they patiently explain the difference between ‘equality’ and ‘equity.’ 

Many of us are aware that institutional barriers are in severe opposition to the American Dream. There are also many of us who know that we are not unconscious of our alleged prejudice. We do not accept unearned guilt. We know who we are and who we are not.  

Dr. King didn’t live to see his dream realized. At my age, neither will I. But, like him, and millions of others, I share that dream.  

* Black/African American, Asian American, American Indian (Alaska), Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islands.

Systemic Genocide 

Unlike Institutional Race Theory, Systemic Genocide is not complex. One tragic instance fits all. The death of individuals (black or white, law-breakers or police officers) in the heat of violent confrontations is tragic. But it is not a holocaust. Six million Jews plus other ‘undesirables’ were killed by Nazis: that was a holocaust, impeccably systematically. 

The slogan, Black Lives Matter, clearly and loudly proclaims that policemen don’t think black lives matter. To claim that there is systemic genocide in America is an insult to six million Jews and millions of other holocaust victims, their families, and to the intelligence of millions of Americans. 

The word Matter in the slogan, Black Lives Matter, unequivocally claims that police officers believe that a black man’s life is of no significance. That claim is blatantly untrue. No matter how effective the slogan, it is a profound racial slur created by a political racist wordsmith. Tragically, the violent death of men would not occur if only the detained man would simply not resist arrest

Of course violent deaths, whatever their cause, are deeply regrettable. But deaths occasioned by resisting arrest have nothing to do with black or white…systemic or otherwise. Deadly confrontations are not necessarily generated by the arrest itself. They are often the result of a tragedy waiting to happen. 

But it is personal racism that sustains racism, from its malignant roots to the surface of society. Institutions are inanimate. Laws are able to go only as far as people will  allow them to go. As it has been in the past, it will be literary artists like Harriet Beecher Stowe and films like Schindler’s List, and outstanding politicians that will prevail over injustice. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. eloquently said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Just as inspiring as Doctor Martin Luther King’s intellectual speech, there is a video that occasionally surfaces on television.  The video is the emotional version to Dr. King’s famous words. 

Also inspiring, but without a word, the video shows us two children, aged 5 or so, one black, the other white, who have not seen each other for a long time. About one hundred feet apart, they are held by two adults. Then, they are released. They run toward  each other at top speed, and then hug each other for a long time.

Dr. King’s speech and the heart-tugging re-union of those two little boys are all we need know about prejudice. And it is all we need know about racism. The two narratives above are part of what it means to be human. Riots and “Woke” won’t cut it!     

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