RACISM

Racism, also known as racialism, is the belief that humans can be divided into distinct biological entities known as “races,” that there is a causal link between inherited physical traits and personality, intellect, morality, and other cultural and behavioral characteristics, and that some races are innately superior to others.

While contemporary social science considers race and ethnicity to be distinct categories, the two terms have a long history of equivalency in public usage and earlier social science literature.

“Ethnicity” is frequently used in a sense similar to that of “race”: the classification of human groups based on attributes thought to be inherent or necessary to the group.

The term “racial discrimination” refers to any distinction, exclusion, restriction, or preference based on race, color, descent, national or ethnic origin that has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment, or exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal footing in the political, economic, social, cultural, or other fields of public life.

The phrase also refers to political, economic, or legal institutions and systems that participate in or perpetuate racial discrimination or otherwise exacerbate racial disparities in wealth and income, education, health care, civil rights, and other sectors.

With the rise of critical race theory, an extension of the critical legal studies movement, such institutional, structural, or systemic racism became a special focus of scholarly research in the 1980s.

Since the late twentieth century, biological race has been recognized as a cultural construct with no scientific foundation.

Racism dictated that different races (primarily blacks and whites) be separated from one another, that they should have their own distinct communities and develop their own institutions such as churches, schools, and hospitals, and that it was unnatural for members of different races to marry in North America and apartheid-era South Africa.

BLACK LIVES MATTER

On June 6, half a million people showed out in approximately 550 locations around the United States for the recent Black Lives Matter rallies, which peaked on June 6. That was just one day in a month of protests that are still going on today.

Photo by Life Matters on Pexels.com

Four recent polls, including one released this week by Civics Analytics, a data science firm that works with businesses and Democratic campaigns, estimate that between 15 million and 26 million people in the United States have participated in protests in recent weeks in response to the death of George Floyd and others.

These figures would make the recent protests the largest movement in the country’s history, according to interviews with scholars and crowd-counting experts.

While it’s likely that more people stated they protested than actually did, even if only half of them were telling the truth, the surveys indicate that over seven million people took part in recent protests.

There have been protests in more than 40% of counties in the United States (at least 1,360).

Unlike previous Black Lives Matter events, approximately 95 percent of counties with recent protests are majority white, with nearly three-quarters of counties having a white population of more than 75 percent.

Half of those who claimed they demonstrated indicated it was their first time participating in some type of activism or protest.

Within the recent year, the majority of people claimed they had seen a video of police violence against protestors or the Black community. And half of those polled thought it strengthened their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

According to the Crowd Counting Consortium, the number of protests has decreased significantly over the last two weeks, notwithstanding a rise on Juneteenth.

“Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization.”

– Mahatma Gandhi, 1925

Professor McAdam stated, “It appears, for all the world, that these protests are accomplishing what very few do: putting in motion a period of profound, persistent, and broad social, political change.” “We look to be on the verge of a social transformation tipping point, which is both rare and possibly significant in society.”