A lot of right leaning thought leaders are saying unironically, "show me a single example of structural racism." We still have a lot of miscommunication around the term "racism." Many people believe it exclusively refers to racial discrimination in law or in peoples' behavior. /1
2/ while there is quite a bit of variety in how the terms are used, I find this set most helpful: legal racism - when the law itself discriminates based on skin color. Psychological racism - when a person discriminates based on skin color. Structural racism -
3/ Structural racism - when the structure of a society or institution produces discriminatory outcomes, even without legal or psychological racism. For example, consider quality of education.
4/ Legal racism (slavery etc) followed by psychological racism (bank redlining, employment discrimination) produced a huge wealth disparity between black and white people. Since education in the US is funded by local property taxes, this means that
5/ poorer areas will receive lower quality education. In aggregate, people with worse education will earn less income and commit more crimes. This is self-perpetuating with our local funding of education.
6/ so, even if there was zero legal or psychological racism today, we would still have a situation where black people in aggregate get worse educations than white people - aka structural racism.
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