“Systemic Racism” or Systematic Rubbish? part 1
by Ilana Mercer
The “systemic racism” refrain is a meaningless abstraction. To concretize a variable, it must be cast in empirical, measurable terms, the opaque “racism” abstraction being one variable, to use statistical nomenclature. Until you have meticulously applied research methodology to statistically operationalize this inchoate thing called “racism”—systemic or other—it remains nothing but a thought “crime”: impolite and impolitic thoughts, spoken, written or preached. Thought crimes are nobody’s business in a free society. By logical extension, America is not a free society.
The law already mandates that people of all races be treated equally. The law, then, is not the problem, logic is. In particular, the logical error of reasoning backward. “Backward reasoning, expounded by mystery author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle through his famous fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes,” writes Dr. Thomas Young, “applies with reasonable certainty when only one plausible explanation for the … evidence exists.”
Systemic racism is most certainly not “the only plausible explanation” for the lag in the fortunes of African-Americans, although, as it stands, systemic racism is inferred solely from one single fact: in aggregate, African-Americans trail behind whites in assorted academic and socio-economic indices and achievements.
This logical error is the central tenet of preferential treatment—affirmative action, and assorted quotas and set-aside edicts and policies. According to diversity doxology, justice is only achieved when racial and ethnic groups are reflected in academia and in the professions in proportion to their presence in the larger population. On indices of economic well-being, the same egalitarian outcomes are expected.
Equalizing individual and inter-group outcomes, however, is an impossibility, considering that it is axiomatically and self-evidently true to say that such differences have existed since the dawn of time. Nevertheless, absent such wealth egalitarianism and proportional representation in the professions, the walking wounded who control America’s cultural discourse have concluded that racism, systemic or other, reigns.
The systemic racism non sequitur is even harder to sustain when considering the Asian minority, a minority that has had its own historical hardships. In professions and academic pursuits where mathematical precocity is a factor, Asians are overrepresented, consistently outperforming whites. If proportional underrepresentation signals oppression, then overrepresentation, likewise, must reflect an unfair advantage.
And if social justice requires that the State and Corporate America act as social and economic levelers—then surely fairness demands that all minority groups that are overrepresented in assorted endeavors be similarly kneecapped in the name of equality? Should not such leveling policies be deployed to make the NBA or the 100-meter dash more “representative” of America?
High among Corporate America’s priorities is acting as a race leveler—voluntarily sniffing out deviationists and generally proceeding against and “reeducating” pay-dependent prey. Corporate America’s human resource departments are in the habit of deluging employees with the piss-poor racial agitprop of illiterate, if degreed, pamphleteers. Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility, springs to mind.
In a workplace so shot through with hatred of whites, a form of intellectual reparations, whereby the designated white “oppressors” labor behind the scenes, while the officially “oppressed” manage them and take credit for their intellectual output.
As recounted in Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for American From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011, p. 103), the African National Congress has pioneered “the creation of a unique cognitive caste system.” Throughout the South African work force, white subordinates with graduate and postgraduate degrees are doing the hard-core intellectual and technical work for their black bosses. The latter often have no more than a 10th-grade diploma but are paid a great deal more than their intellectual skivvies. A black matriculant (possessor of a high-school diploma) is perfectly poised to climb the South African corporate structure; yet, in order to have a ghost of a chance at remaining employed, a white had better possess the Masters or the Ph.D. degree. Given their pallor, promotion for whites is less and less likely.
Unlike systemic racism, intellectual indentureship could soon become a reality in America.
Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She’s the author of Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa(2011) & The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed” (June, 2016). She’s currently on Gab, YouTube, Twitter & LinkedIn, but has been banned by Facebook.