On July 2, 1964 President Lyndon Baines Johnson, with Martin Luther King Jr in attendance, signed the 1964 Civil Rights Bill into law, declaring discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin illegal in the United States of America. The Law prohibits that type of discrimination in voter registration requirements; in access to hotels, motels, restaurants, theaters, and all other public accommodations; in any program and activity that receives federal funds; by employers; while also enforcing the desegregation of public schools.
This was an enormous win for the Civil Rights of all people in America, and against the forces of racism. Martin Luther King Jr declared the signing of the bill into law as a “second emancipation”. For past 57 years, it has been a Federal crime to discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, yet recently, the phrase that dominates our political landscape is “systemic racism”. The United States of America is accused again, and again, and again of being “systemically racist.” But the 1964 Civil Rights Law and “systemic racism” are incompatible. They cannot co-exist. “Systemic racism” is a direct violation of that Federal law. The law was passed to eradicate “systemic racism”. You cannot have a law that prohibits racial discrimination part of a system which promulgates racial discrimination. That’s like having a computer code that says, “if A, then B” and “if A, then not B”. It does not compute.
So, charging the United States of being “systemically racist” is to claim that the 1964 Civil Rights Law is ineffective and useless. You cannot charge “systemic racism” and defend the effectiveness of the law designed to dismantle and prohibit “systemic racism” at the same time. If “systemic racism” is still so prevalent why is no one calling for the repeal of the 1964 Civil Rights law?
If “systemic racism” existed, it would not have allowed Barack Obama to become President, or Kamala Harris to become Vice President, or Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice to become Secretary of State, or Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch to become Attorney General. They would never have risen to those heights and attain that level power in this country, if this country was “systemically racist”. Their success directly contradicts this charge.
It appears that the people charging America of “systemic racism” don’t even know what the word “systemic” actually means. According to The American Heritage Dictionary, the word “systemic” is defined as; Of or relating to systems or a system. Relating to or affecting the entire body or an entire organism. “Systemic racism” means that racism affects every aspect of the entire country, and that racism is codified into the laws, the governing system of the country. Based on the meaning of the word “systemic”, and in light of the 1964 Civil Rights Law, it is safe to conclude America is “systemically” not racist.
Are there individual instances of racism? Yes. Are there individuals who are racist in this country? Yes. And these need to be exposed, and properly dealt with. But to conflate individual instances of racism to make the charge that United States is “systemically racist” is twisting reality to create a convenient narrative. This is an important distinction. If it’s individual racism but not systemic racism, then the individual person should be held accountable, and needs to change. But if it’s systemic racism then the entire system must be dismantled and changed. And that is what’s driving this continual push of the “systemic racist” narrative.
Many of the people who are charging “systemic racism”, are less interested in eradicating racism and more determined on dismantling the system. Charges of racism are being exploited to open the door to change the entire country into what they envision. This is why they want to cancel the founders of our country on the grounds of racism so they can discredit our founding principles in the Constitution. The Constitution is the bulwark that is standing in their way of implementing their vision for America, a vision that will resemble a Totalitarian Communist State more than a free Constitutional Republic. To them, America needs to be “systemically racist”, rotten to its core so they can “fundamentally transform” our country into their vision, as both Presidents Obama and Biden have promised.
We must stand up against this insidious totalitarian infiltration into our country, and into our political and social discourse. We know the majority of Americans are good, hard-working, compassionate, empathetic people who want everyone to be treated fairly and justly. That’s who we are, and that’s what we believe. Their strategy only works if we as a people are all of those things. That is what they are exploiting to force their agenda on the country. If we were uncaring, selfish, hateful people like they portray us, we would not allow their agenda to gain an inch. We would concede nothing, like they do. But our compassion, our empathy, our desire for fair play can only be exploited for so long before we collectively say, ‘not any more’. Now is the time when we need to say, no more. We are done capitulating to this racist totalitarian agenda disguised as anti-racism. No more. We are better than this.
Judd Garrett is a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He is a frequent contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.