please read the following article, located here: Reparations” In this now famous and celebrated article, Ta-Nahisi Coats makes it apparent that racism is not simply a personal matter, but has in America a systematic and institutionalized from and effect. In other words, there is what we can refer to as “systematic racism”—a racism built into American economics and politics that still has negative effects on Black and Immigrant communities. This is seen most clearly if one studies the concentration of poor ethnic groups into certain communities, the underfunding of intercity schools, the war on drugs (which has largely targeted poor black communities) police brutality, and most significantly, the 1994 crime bill and the three strikes law which strengthened and privatized the prison industrial complex. (For more on this, and to see how are these things work together systematically, I encourage you to look into Michele Alexander’s ). Systematic racism, then, means that racist policies and practices still exist even if certain individuals instilling those policies or working within these systems are not racist themselves. When we think we are not a part of racist practices because we ourselves are not racist, it becomes easy to judge and condemn certain practices of oppressed communities. In other words, it is precisely when we think that we have moved ‘beyond race’ that racism becomes the most brutal, for it allows people—privileged white males especially—to imagine that we have somehow extracted ourselves or are no longer implicated in the sins of the past, and the present. For instance, I am still reaping the benefits of my Grandfathers life—after the war, he bought a home with the GI bill, got a good Union job, was able to buy a house in a good neighborhood with good schools—all things from which Black people were systematically excluded from. And just as I am still benefitting from my grandfathers inclusion in these systems, so too are many Black people still suffering from their exclusion.After reading “The Case for Reparations” prepare a 2-3 page reflection paper. In your papers, please assume that the your reader (me) has read the article, in other words, don’t spend a lot of time re-capping the article itself. Rather, spend your time to reflect on what feelings and thoughts the article raised within you and let the content of the article come out through your own reflection.
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