A conversation shift from "race relations" and individual intentions to "systemic injustice" and structures.


Systemic  Conversations about racism tend to focus on individual animous and malice on one side and individual suffering on the other. That people of color suffer individually as a result of the bias of others (conscious or unconscious) is not insignificant. What gives racism the power to subjugate entire groups of people, however, is the way it is enshrined in finely tuned, widely sanctioned systems. The tools of sysTemic160 focus on the structures (not the individuals) that create and perpetuate racial inequality, including disparities in health and wealth and the accumulation of disadvantage.
160  The Commonwealth of Massachusetts passed the Personal Liberty Law of 1855 in opposition to the federal Fugitive Slave Act. The Emancipation Proclamation and the 14th amendment to the US Constitution followed just a few years after. These were early acts of dismantling an unjust structure, but they didn't mark the end of systemic racial injustice. The next 160 years would see the rise of a number of new policies and practices that actively denied the liberties of people of color in the US and continue to restrict their education, employment, civic engagement, and economic opportunities.