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Location: Saint Louis, MO
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 2,478
In Reply To
Late Great Donald Blake 

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 7,511
Subj: Re: I'm not sure this is the best example of institutional racism.
Posted: Fri Feb 18, 2022 at 09:02:29 am EST (Viewed 216 times)
Reply Subj: I'm not sure this is the best example of institutional racism.
Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2022 at 07:23:24 pm EST (Viewed 246 times)

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Though it's clearly racist. What I think we want to show with institutional racism is the ways in which black people (and other non whites) are disadvantaged based on a set of biased institutional incentives or deprivation of material or cultural resources. It's not to say by any means that this might not be the consequence of some kind of institutional racism--at the level of say the hiring practices or the training with this police department for instance--but the reason I say that this maybe not the best examples is that instituional racism is usually counterposed with things like conscious racism, ideological racism, or personal racism (as some examples.) So in other words, this may just come down to the personal racial biases of these particular officers. And if we think of institutional racism this way it may give people the idea that it's about the conscious feelings and attitudes that happen to me floating around people's heads at any given time. I think with institutional racism the idea is we're talking about a system of incentives and power distribution such that even if (say) all the white people in said system are well-intended and don't harbor any conscious racial animus, you'd still end up with racist outcomes, i.e. violence and discrimination against black people (and other non white people.)

---the late great Donald Blake

Oh, it’s definitely more of a conscious thing. I’d like to say that most cops (and most people in general) aren’t racist in the overt sense; however, perhaps some still possess certain biases at a subconscious level, and these biases come into play (usually during extreme situations) without a person even realizing they’re there.

I guess the reason I see it more as an institutional thing is because these individual biases tend morph to the point where they become department culture. This culture includes everything from how cops are hired and trained (as you said), to how crimes are investigated, what’s deemed appropriate force, etc.

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