There's lots of discussion in the media about racism these days. We've been trying to overcome these problems for decades.
I keep thinking that there are other problems in human culture that are even deeper and racism comes along for the ride. Racism is not necessarily always in the driver's seat.
For instance income inequality is a big problem and it does dis-proportionally effect racial minorities. Racial inequality is one of the effects of income inequality, but it's not the only effect.
I don't suggest that everyone should all be alike and make the same wage, but income inequality has gone to such an extreme that we have billionaires and hoards of totally homeless people. Income inequality has gone too far.
I still think racism is not be the main driver of these problems, but it is one of the results. Also, I'd say that racism was present in the design of much of our society today. Racism in our historic roots, but less present; or at least less explicit, today.
For example, from what I read, the institution of single family zoning has racism at it's core. Early government policies explicitly stated goals of preserving certain neighborhoods for white people.
The civil rights movement has removed all this obvious racism from laws, but income inequality continues to bring a result that is still disproportionately effecting racial minorities.
Like with income equality, I'm not necessarily saying that all single family neighborhoods should be abolished. It has kind of worked in protecting quiet neighborhoods. It becomes problematic as population grows in certain areas with a shortage of housing.
I recently listened to a show that was tackling both the issue of racism and the pandemic head on. The show was putting USA and of course Donald Trump to shame. I think Trump's failings are like the tip of the iceberg to a lot of human failings. That show is what got me to thinking.
Being not a typical liberal (tho still considered liberal) I often think about deeper human failings than the show brought up.
At one point, they opened the phone lines and one caller brought up some interesting ideas about combating racism. He said legalizing marijuana would cut down on disproportionate incarceration. That's a thought and I'm not really a marijuana person. We have taken that step in a few states; including here in Washington.
He also suggested that job applications should not ask if someone has had a criminal record.
Alarm bells went off in my head related to safety given the fact that some people do commit crimes and not being able to find out about that before one hands the keys to the building over to a new employee could be problematic.
Then I got to thinking about how crazy the job world is, in a way. How hard it is to, for instance, get on the faculty of a university, such as Western Washington University. Why does one need so many credentials?
I can see reasons why, but there sure are a lot of barriers in our whole system of jobs and employment.
Somehow, maybe we do need to figure out how to create more rungs to the ladder. More jobs where people could put their foot into the water and gradually build up the skills, as well as the trust that they need to advance.
How about universities creating part time custodial positions where the person could try out teaching one class? How about a custodial / student advisory position?
This isn't just a problem at universities. All of society could become more trusting. Create more rungs on the ladder.
Then I got to thinking about social media. Rungs on the ladder is the promise that I thought the internet would bring.
Facebook with it's citizen philosophers.
Not everyone can work for NPR or The New York Times, but everyone (pretty much) can publish on Facebook.
That somewhat Utopian dream has had it's problems, however. Consequences never intended in the early days of the internet.
Still I think we are, maybe, gradually making progress as a society. We do have our problems and sometimes the solutions bring new problems.
Given the imperfections in all the things we try, I keep thinking that patience has to be a virtue.