What is Systemic Racism?

Florida’s Republican leadership needs to be schooled

Brian G (aka 'bumpyjonas') - he/him
Published in
5 min readSep 16


Photo by Joshua Oluwagbemiga on Unsplash

Governor Ron DeSantis and Republican lawmakers in Florida do not believe systemic racism exists in the United States. It is one reason they have passed laws censoring African-American and American history. They are also censoring books on these topics to continue to conceal the country's real history on race matters.

However, DeSantis and the GOP legislators in Florida claiming that systemic racism does not exist are lying. This is not an opinion anymore. The evidence is widely available, and this is old news.

America was founded upon systemic racism (i.e., white supremacy, its’ underlying ideology). The entire justification for the founding of the country is white supremacy. Stokley Carmichael and Floyd Hamilton differentiated racism and systemic racism in their 1966 book, Black Power.

Carmichael and Hamilton wrote that “racism is both overt and covert. It takes two closely related forms: individual whites acting against individual blacks, and acts by the total white community against the black community.” The first is “individual racism,” but the second is “institutional racism,” the most destructive and insidious type because it “originates in the operation of established…forces in society…”

Camara Phyllis Jones breaks it down even more succinctly. Jones asserts that “racism is a system” and not an “individual character flaw” or “personal moral failing,” and certainly not “a psychiatric illness.” According to Jones, “a system (consisting structures, policies, practices, and norms) that structures opportunity and assigns value based on phenotype, or the way people look.” Most destructively, it “unfairly disadvantages some individuals and communities.”

According to Jones, the system not only disadvantages “some individuals and communities” but also provides advantages to “other individuals and communities” based on the way they look. This is “white privilege.” It is so entrenched it runs on automatic pilot at this point, with non-White Americans helping it work and denying that systemic racism exists.

Okay, how about the evidence?