Letter: People who say racism is systemic are often racists


Jim Short, in his response to my recent letter to the editor that included a statement that systemic racism faded several decades ago, cites percentage statistics on minority criminal prosecutions, home ownership, graduation rates, police stops and lack of health care as a counter argument.

These statistics have nothing to do with systemic racism. They are the result of individuals making wrong choices in life, and liberal political policies that keep minorities dependent on the government instead of encouraging them to take responsibility for themselves. The problems that remain in the minority culture only minorities themselves can resolve.

Systemic racism implies that prejudice against minorities is embedded in our way of life, is held by the majority of Americans, the majority of companies, organizations, educational institutions, government and every other part of our culture.

This is no longer true.

Are there individuals who are racists? Yes, there are. But, systemic racism is no longer a part of our everyday life.

He also accuses me of implying that African Americans are intellectually and or morally inferior to whites. I suggest he re-read my letter where I point out the success of prominent blacks in our country. Nowhere in my comments do I state or imply that minorities are inferior. To the contrary, I cite specific individual black Americans who achieved great levels of success as an example of the freedom they had to succeed. In fact, those I mentioned have often stated themselves that systemic racism no longer exists.

At age 80, I have had experience with people of all races. I worked in management for three subsidiaries of a major corporation and owned my own business. I had friends in college who were minorities. I’ve had many minority employees, a black American secretary, managed direct reporting black supervisors, even conducted Affirmative Action seminars, and enjoyed many more relationships with people of all races.

My experience is that people who think racism is systemic are they themselves racists as they look at the world through their prejudiced mental filter. They look at people and only see the color of their skin instead of their depth of character.

Bill Merrill


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