An analysis of the relationship between racism and police brutality

Who are we doing this versus? Some old news I only just heard about: PETA is offering to pay the water bills for needy Detroit families if and only if those families agree to stop eating meat.

An analysis of the relationship between racism and police brutality

How do you define racism? As such, I define it in two ways. In short, racism is the belief that a particular race is or certain races are superior or inferior to another race or races.

An analysis of the relationship between racism and police brutality

As a system, racism is an institutional arrangement, maintained by policies, practices and procedures — both formal and informal — in which some persons typically have more or less opportunity than others, and in which such persons receive better or worse treatment than others, because of their respective racial identities.

Additionally, institutional racism involves denying persons opportunities, rewards, or various benefits on the basis of race, to which those individuals are otherwise entitled. In short, racism is a system of inequality, based on race. How is racism different from white supremacy?

White supremacy is the operationalized form of racism in the United States and throughout the Western world. Racism is like the generic product name, while white supremacy is the leading brand, with far and away the greatest market share.

While other forms of racism could exist at various times and in various places, none have ever been as effective and widespread in their impact as white supremacy, nor is it likely that any such systems might develop in the foreseeable future. Do you think all whites are racist? I believe that all people white or of color raised in a society where racism has been and still is so prevalent, will have internalized elements of racist thinking: I think all whites — as the dominant group in the U.

One can be counter-conditioned and taught to believe in equality, and to commit oneself to its achievement. These things take work — and they can never completely eradicate all of the conditioning to which one has been subjected — but they are possible.

In other words, we can be racist by conditioning, antiracist by choice. By the same token, just because we choose to be antiracist, does not mean that we no longer carry around some of the racism with which we were raised, or to which we were and are exposed.

Do you think people of color can be racist against whites? At the ideological level, anyone can be racist because anyone can endorse the kinds of thinking that qualifies as racism, as defined above.

At the systemic level, people of color can be racist in theory, but typically not in practice, and certainly not very effectively. Although a person of color in an authority position can discriminate against a white person, this kind of thing rarely happens because, a such persons are still statistically rare relative to whites in authority, b in virtually all cases, there are authorities above those people of color who are white, and who would not stand for such actions, and c even in cases where a person of color sits atop a power structure as with President Obamahe is not truly free to do anything to oppress or marginalize white people even were he so inclinedgiven his own need to attract white support in order to win election or pass any of his policy agenda.

Ultimately, there are no institutional structures in the U. As such, the ability of black and brown folks to oppress white people simply does not exist. Having said that, it is certainly true that in other countries, people of color could have power sufficient to discriminate against others, including whites.

Although even anti-white bias in those places is somewhat limited by the reality of global economics and the desire for good relations with the West, it is possible for persons of color in those places to mistreat whites individually and, occasionally, collectively for instance, the treatment of white farmers in Zimbabwe by the Mugabe government.

But it is absurd to believe that anti-white racism, practiced by people of color, remotely equates as a social problem to white racism against people of color. While all racism is equally objectionable morally and ethically, they are not practically equivalent by a long shot. What do you mean by white privilege?

White privilege refers to any advantage, opportunity, benefit, head start, or general protection from negative societal mistreatment, which persons deemed white will typically enjoy, but which others will generally not enjoy.

These benefits can be material such as greater opportunity in the labor market, or greater net worth, due to a history in which whites had the ability to accumulate wealth to a greater extent than persons of colorsocial such as presumptions of competence, creditworthiness, law-abidingness, intelligence, etc.

Operationally, white privilege is simply the flipside of discrimination against people of color. The concept is rooted in the common-sense observation that there can be no down without an up, so that if people of color are the targets of discrimination, in housing, employment, the justice system, or elsewhere, then whites, by definition, are being elevated above those persons of color.

Whites are receiving a benefit, vis-a-vis those persons of color: Although I believe all persons are harmed in the long run by racism and racial inequity — and thus, white privilege comes at an immense social cost — it still exists as a daily reality throughout the social, political and economic structure of the United States.

The fact that white privilege exists and that all whites have access to various aspects of it, does not, however, mean that all whites are wealthy, or that in competitions for jobs and other opportunities, whites will always win. In certain situations, other factors will effect the distribution of opportunities: There are, after all, also such things as class privilege, male privilege, straight privilege, Christian privilege, and able-bodied privilege.

And these other forms of privilege exist — and generally provide greater opportunity to their respective group members — even though there are rich people who lead miserable lives despite their money, and there are men, heterosexuals, Christians, and able bodied folks who are poor.

On balance, it pays to be a member of any of those dominant groups. And the same is true with whiteness. The connections are substantial.

To begin with, the development of modern white supremacy was very much connected to the way in which the class system developed, especially in the West. Afraid of rebellions that would threaten their power and their material domination of the poor, elites carved out special legal protections for all Europeans, which placed them above persons of color, and gave them a stake in the system.

The landowners and political elites also utilized poor whites on slave patrols, to give them a sense that they were a vital bulwark against black uprisings, and regularly stressed the superiority of Europeans.

By convincing white working people that their interests were rooted in skin color, rather than economic need, wealthy Europeans helped link the development of the class system to the development of white supremacy.The Associated Press delivers in-depth coverage on today's Big Story including top stories, international, politics, lifestyle, business, entertainment, and more.

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