To the Editor:
The last year we have seen many references to “systemic” racism. Several articles have been published in this paper and others claiming to see racism everywhere and in everything. To claim that racism is “systemic” is a lazy analysis of the problems that persist among minorities in America.
Considering that humans are inherently sinful (as opposed to inherently good), sin will always exist. Therefore, racism will always exist. We all wish to eradicate racism completely, but we cannot. The definition of racism is “the belief that different races possess distinct characteristics, abilities, or qualities, especially so as to distinguish them as inferior or superior to one another.” It is our duty as Catholics to work against the actions of such belief, but it is foolish to believe we can remove the idea entirely. It’s like saying we can destroy lust, greed or any other human tendency toward sin.
Many confuse modern disparities with past or present discrimination but without regard for actual causation. People are eager to read the works of Kendi or DiAngelo, but few have read the well-researched and pragmatic works of Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Larry Elder or Jason Riley. They recognize the truth mentioned above and recognize people of color as beings capable of self-determination, rather than a generalized group of victims. This is a much more effective outlook to reduce inequalities swiftly. We must confront problems such as broken families and cradle-to-grave welfare programs.
By assuming that any disparity in outcome is the result of racism, we effectively dehumanize anyone who is a person of color. That is racist. Sowell, Williams and Elder highlight this consistently in their work and are experts on culture and race. I encourage anyone who wants to make a difference to investigate these scholars and broaden their horizons.
St. Thomas More Parish, Coralville