• Jonathan Perez

Blog: What is the Relationship Between Systems and Equity?

Updated: Apr 20

Is racism a: “Sin” (intentional, individual, and moral) vs. “Skin” (societal, non-intentional, superficial bias) Problem?

Consider the relationship between "systems"-based thinking and Racial Bias.

We do not erase the importance of "race" but also consider poverty, the environment, and access as part of systemic inequity.

“Disapproving of the systems won’t be enough to change them. I was taught to think that racism could end if white individuals changed their attitudes. But a “white” skin in the United States opens many doors for white whether or not we approve of the way dominance has been conferred on us. Individual acts can palliate, but cannot end, these problems.”

“To redesign social systems, we need to first to acknowledge their colossal unseen dimensions. These silences and denials surrounding privilege are the key political tool here. They keep the thinking about equality or equity incomplete, protecting unearned advantage and conferred dominance by making these taboo subjects. Most talk by whites about equal opportunity seem to me now to be about equal opportunity to try to get into a position of dominance while denying that systems of dominance exist.”[1]

[1] McIntosh, Peggy, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” 1989, Peace and Freedom Magazine (White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack' and 'Some Notes for Facilitators' | National SEED Project)

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