Centuries of racial discrimination and injustice are the foundation upon which current social and economic institutions stand. Education, for example, is touted as a way for persons to participate fully in the American dream of opportunity and resourceful living. Schools, however, report major disparities in the educational achievement of Black and Hispanic students when compared to White students. This outcome is not because White babies are born more intelligent than Black and Hispanic babies. Major factors for this disparity are the differences in educational resources for local schools, the impact of poverty on students’ ability to have adequate nutrition and a resourceful home environment for study, and the quality of community life for students. Generational patterns of such factors compound the difficulty in overcoming the problems that current students experience. These generational patterns developed in schools and communities that were afflicted by discriminatory housing, employment, and social service policies and practices. Racism is embedded in how American institutions and systems function.
Racism also persists because a large segment of the population benefits from it. This explains why and how individuals perpetuate the system of racism, even without their conscious awareness of the implications of their actions. The existence of racism relies upon it having the personal commitment of some and the inaction of many.
From “Living Into God’s Dream: Dismantling Racism in America” by Catherine Meeks – Morehouse Publishing