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The "systemic racism" dodge

Added 09-20-20 11:31:02am EST - “In a highly useful Wall Street Journal column Professor Harvey Mansfield undertakes close analysis of 'The 'systemic racism' dodge.' The column opens: Systemic racism, also known as institutional or structural racism, is a new phrase…” - Powerlineblog.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Powerlineblog.com: “The 'systemic racism' dodge”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

In a highly useful Wall Street Journal column Professor Harvey Mansfield undertakes close analysis of “The ‘systemic racism’ dodge.” The column opens:

Systemic racism, also known as institutional or structural racism, is a new phrase for a new situation. We live in a society where racism is not, and cannot be, openly professed. To do so not only is frowned upon but will get you into serious trouble, if not yet jail, in America. Yet even though this is impossible to miss and known to all, “systemic racism” supposedly persists. The phrase describes a society that is so little racist that no one can respectably advocate racism, yet so much racist that every part of it is soaked with racism. We live with the paradox of a racist society without racists.

The cancel culture is a malignant growth from the idea of systemic racism. Those who cancel stop accusing themselves; they step outside of the system they denounce. After asserting the guilt of all whites, these whites give themselves a pass.

“Systemic racism” is a bogus description that issues in an accusation made in doubtful faith that contradicts itself. But it is held by many fellow Americans, so let’s not dismiss it. It’s better to treat it respectfully as a disputable opinion.

I tried to get at the “systemic racism” dodge in my own way in a 2013 Federalist Society presentation on the elimination-of-bias continuing legal education requirement imposed on lawyers by the Minnesota Supreme Court. I called my talk “Bias in the air” and wrestled with the phenomenon of a crime without a perpetrator. This was the conclusion of my remarks:

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