Systemic Racism: Follow The Money

Systemic Racism: Follow The Money

Much of the deniability of systemic racism is derived from the notion that there exists a level playing field of opportunity where choices and options are ubiquitous for all. The documentary 13th by Ava DuVernay about the Thirteenth Amendment (emancipation) offers a view of how the oppression of Blacks has evolved over the centuries, managing to keep oppression systemically acceptable. As slavery fell out of favour, it was replaced over time with new controlling conventions, each slightly more palatable than the previous – redemption, convict leasing, Jim Crow segregation, socialized criminalization.

The current penal system (the prison-industrial complex), which disproportionately punishes Blacks to an extreme degree, is compared to the military-industrial complex where stakeholders are diverse, distributed, privatized and well-compensated. No one in the penal industry is motivated to tear down this publicly-funded money-machine. The business of punishment, including policing and incarceration, rewards growth and is lucrative for many.

All forms of oppression have historically been driven by economics. If we are to move forward with providing equitable/acceptable living conditions for everyone, the existing norm of systemic racism must be acknowledged and addressed. Follow the money.