Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hunting for institutional racism

M.G., author of Those Who Can See, has yet another tremendously data-packed post, this time on institutional racism (including a fun yeti metaphor). Like the terrifying shambling strider, it wreaks havoc and destruction wherever it treads, yet no one is ever able to pinpoint any hard evidence of its actual existence.

That doesn't stop us from writing about it, though. Using Ngram viewer, the percentage of published books in the US containing the phrase, from the sixties--1962 being the year of its inception--through 2008:

During the high crime crack war years, we began to forget about the renegade ronso, as making excuses for dangerous behavior that was suddenly hitting too close to home presumably fell out of favor. But once that straightened itself out, we set our sights back on the sasquatch, and we haven't taken them off him since.


M.G. said...

I tried this phrase on the ngram along with 'white privilege' and 'disparate impact', interesting stuff. 'Disparate impact' had its boom in the mid-1990s and is in slow decline, but 'white privilege' has taken off like a rocket since then and looks like it could even surpass 'institutional racism' as the bogeyman of our age.

I wonder if we'll keep inventing ever more far-fetched labels for this nebulous Thing which makes blacks under-perform whites until genetic science finally delivers some kind of hammer-blow to the whole affair.

(That ngram tool is addictive by the way.)

Lexus Liberal said...

Try "white hegemony" since that is the all encompassing concept being used to illustrate modern day colonialism.

I suppose white hegemony continues because of the white privilege gained by the social elites from institutional racism that lead to disparate impact among the public.

The power elite doesn't want the present status quo to shift, why would they arm the ignorant masses with knowledge of the truth/HBD?

pat said...

I posted an on-topic and hopefully relevant comment - and then lost it while trying to prove that I'm not a robot.

Is this really needed?


Audacious Epigone said...


I hate that it is, but yes, it's necessary. Before implementing it, in some posts I'd get 20+ bogus comments per day that I'd have to go back and delete.

Since authenticity verification has become pretty standard in the blogosphere, I'd recommend hitting CTRL+A and then CTRL+C before ever trying to post anything--if the post is interrupted for some reason, go back and hit CTRL+V and you're in business. I've done it habitually for years now and there have been several times where it's bailed me out, and it's super quick so it's easy to do every time you post anything.