View from
The Center

How Scholars and Activists Have Reinvented Our Understanding of Racism

In short, we have dogma, and from dogma, cognitive errors in reasoning inevitably ensue.”

Editor’s note: This essay is adapted from a talk given by the author at the online Counterweight conference in September of 2022.

In the summer of 2020, at the height of race protests, I wrote in an article for The Agonist:

“In the last few decades, the academy as well as the world of ‘social justice’ activism, has undergone a revolution in how it views the nature of racism and how to solve it. Racism is no longer about consciously, or even unconsciously, held attitudes and beliefs that result in explicit discriminatory behavior at the individual level or at the institutional level of legislation, courts, and university curricula. No, racism is society itself. That is, racism is viewed as a defect in the DNA of society itself, perpetually self-replicating like a dangerous cancer.

In other words, it is systemic. Not simply, and accurately, in the sense that there are deep structural inequalities that have resulted in black Americans dying of COVID-19 at three times the rate of white people, and whites enjoying lower unemployment rates or higher median income than blacks. All of this is categorically and incontrovertibly true. But while the academy and the activists rightly and consistently point to these disparities in outcomes, they also claim that we will never make progress in reducing these inequalities if we do not address the “systemic” ideologies and discourses of Whiteness.”

This new way of thinking is what I call the reification of systemic racism. It is a particular way in which racism has been reinvented and redefined in recent decades by race scholars and activists in fields such as Critical Race Theory (CRT), Critical Whiteness Studies, and sociology. The notion of systemic racism, then, is our focal point for examining what I call the reification of racism. In my article for The Agonist, I described how scholars and activists have come to think about systemic racism in terms of ideologies and discourses of a dominant culture, identified as “Whiteness,” that stand as pillars holding up the scaffold of systemic racism.

Whiteness, however, is not the only way that scholars and activists have conceptualized the notion of systemic racism. In the Journal of Free Black Thought, David Bernstein discovers seven different definitions of “systemic racism.” One is the Whiteness paradigm, referring to “the dominant culture in America, one that supposedly favors ‘white’ cultural practices.” Two is the Disparity Paradigm, according to which “disparities are prima facie evidence of racism.” Three is the Legacy Paradigm, which “describe[s]the lingering effects of historical systemic racism.” Four is the Institutional Paradigm, which “impute[s] a culture of racism to institutions.” Fifth is the Implicit Bias Paradigm that “holds that an underlying culture of racism persists in the larger society that generates discriminatory outcomes.” [Emphasis original] Sixth is the Discriminatory Policies Paradigm, whereby “certain public policies negatively impact blacks, such as discriminatory applications of drug laws.” Finally, there is the Exclusive Network Paradigm, in which “a dominant class of whites hoards professional opportunities in a closely knit professional or social network.”

Bernstein provides a useful classification, but I want to suggest that these purported definitions of what systemic racism is are better construed as different aspects of how racism is believed to manifest or operate covertly at the systemic level of society, given the historical backdrop of overt outgroup bias in pre-Civil Rights America. In other words, Bernstein’s descriptions fold into a more fundamental distinction between historical overt racism and contemporary covert racism at the systemic level, where the latter operates primarily at the subliminal level of ideology and discourse. 

Systemic Racism as Covert Racism

The theme that motivates race scholarship and activism is about what racism is in relation to how it operates covertly at the systemic level. Racism is not simply outgroup bias, i.e., prejudice, on the part of individuals or institutions. It is a pervasive virus that erodes the molecular composition of society’s DNA with its corrosive combination of prejudice and power. Racism is not about prejudice per se, but about prejudice plus power, where power is understood in terms of a racial hierarchy in which a dominant white group controls social institutions at the expense of marginalized nonwhite groups. 

But in a world in which racial hierarchy is openly repudiated as an acceptable norm, why do marginalized groups and their allies not rise up and overthrow a system that continues to be characterized by racial inequality? The reason is that racism is an elusive, insidious virus that has penetrated the “DNA” of society’s ideology and discourse. It operates and replicates through beliefs, attitudes, norms, and ways of living life that, because they are taken for granted, remain invisible despite being pervasive. 

At this level of the taken for granted, we erroneously take a “good/bad” binary view of racism as the presence of individual prejudice. In this view, systemic racism is characteristic of a society that consists of a majority of overtly prejudicial individual racists who believe that only a certain race should be allowed to assume positions of authority and respectability in society. This is the kind of systemic racism, adopted widely as a matter of course in everyday life, that allowed Stephen Douglass to proclaim in his fourth debate with Abraham Lincoln: “I say that this Government was established on the white basis. It was made by white men, for the benefit of white men and their posterity forever, and never should be administered by any except white men.” 

For contemporary scholars of race, however, systemic racism refers to something more hidden and structural in nature, a residual shadow of history pervading society’s institutions. In a December, 2020 letter exchange, sociologist Derrick Shapley agreed with me that “often racism researchers and critical race theorists give very vague definitions of what is systematic or structural racism.” He then “define[s] systematic racism as the practices and policies either historically or currently that create disadvantage for one group over another in society.” In other words, the historical residue of discrimination and present practices of discrimination…create a series of racial exclusionary practices that create structural advantages for some and cultural disadvantage for others.”   

This description is straightforward enough, but I want to suggest that without a scrupulously detailed account of what these exclusionary practices and structural advantages are, we run the risk of reifying systemic racism as an invincible virus seeping into every nook and cranny of society’s DNA. There will be more on reification below, but the basic idea is to treat an abstract idea as a real thing. For example, it is treating racism as a virus, or in the words of actress Viola Davis, as being “built into the DNA of America.” It is the idea that racism is the life of society itself. For example, here is how the African American scholar and filmmaker Omowale Akintunde describes it:

“Racism is a systemic, societal, institutional, omnipresent, and epistemologically embedded phenomenon that pervades every vestige of our reality. For most whites, however, racism is like murder: the concept exists, but someone has to commit it in order for it to happen. This limited view of such a multilayered syndrome cultivates the sinister nature of racism and, in fact, perpetuates racist phenomena rather than eradicates them.”

Racism is not simply about the overt prejudice of bigoted racists that works its way openly through the system. Instead, racism is the system itself. It is a system anchored on the unmarked norm of Whiteness, constructed from “white” cultural and political practices that underpin white racial power and continues as such as evidenced by the persistence of racial inequality. But this pervasive virus of white supremacy does not manifest as it once did, with “Whites Only” signs a regular sight at public restrooms and water fountains. Instead, it replicates inside the nucleus of “white” society, where it hides within the ideas, norms, and linguistic practices from which the attitudes and behaviors that sustain racial inequality are constructed. Racism relentlessly infects these ideas, norms, and “language games” as it finds sanctuary within them. 

The result is that we are left swimming like fish in the sea of systemic racism (the metaphorical use of the sea being another example of the reification of systemic racism), with no active awareness of how the “sea” of systemic racism keeps us alive as unwitting covert racists. If this is the case, however, a paradox arises. As I wrote in an essay at Merion West on how the word “racism” has lost its meaning:

“A paradox arises…because if we are like the fish which ‘cannot live without water’ and which ‘has no way of knowing that it is actually separate from the water,’ we are left to wonder how DiAngelo and her fellow Whiteness scholars, presumably not immune from the same forces of socialization, are able to step out of the water and breath long enough to do us the service of explaining our dependence on ‘the meaning-making system that our culture provides.’ A fish, after all, cannot survive outside water for long, certainly not as long as the months, or years, it likely took for DiAngelo to write a PhD dissertation on Whiteness. She is telling us that we cannot escape socialization, while simultaneously encouraging us to break free from our socialization.”

Critical Theory

Scholars and activists attempt to resolve this seeming paradox by resorting to Critical Theory. As identified by Frankfurt School philosopher Max Horkeimer, a core premise of Critical Theory is the idea that “[t]he facts which our senses present to us are socially preformed in two ways: through the historical character of the object perceived and through the historical character of the perceiving organ.” In other words, we are fish in the sea of our own history, co-evolving as we become more acclimated through time with the institutional environment of ideas, social mores, and linguistic practices from which we derive our assumptions about other people and how the world works. 

Critical Theory comes to the rescue by engaging in theoretical critique of the social, economic, cultural, and political structures of society with the aim of emancipating us from the “false consciousness” under which we remain unwittingly committed to a “reified” oppressive social order. Like prisoners chained in Plato’s cave looking at shadows cast on the wall by a fire behind us, we need Critical Theory to unchain us and lead us into the sunlight of truth about systemic racism. False consciousness can be overcome. Despite being fish out of water, scholars and activists believe they have upgraded our understanding of racism in the attempt to expose its insidious systemic grip on us. 

CRT is a case in point. CRT has four main tenets (I am indebted to Neil Shenvi for this concise summary): (1) racism is permanent and pervasive; (2) racism is hidden; (3) we learn about racism from lived experience; and (4) racism is intersectional—i.e., it is interconnected with other forms of oppression. The basic idea is that racism is everywhere, even though we cannot see it. But through theoretical critique of the existing institutions of society, we can microscopically inspect, discover, and root out the operations of the virus of systemic racism that, in the words of filmmaker Omowale Akintunde, “pervades every vestige of our reality.”

The Dogma of Reified Systemic Racism

I submit, however, that what we have is often not an upgrade but a reinvention of our understanding of racism as a “reified” fixture of society, a mystical force that instantiates itself in the material realities of things we associate with social life, such as the mundane presence of ethnic food aisles or flesh-colored Band-Aids in supermarkets, or habitual adherence to “traditional values” like the Protestant work ethic or punctuality. Reification is the logically fallacious idea that we take an abstract idea like race, or Whiteness, and regard it as having a material existence. 

The reification of systemic racism occurs when it is conceived as a socially constructed entity that defines and reproduces our social life, manifested concretely in the books that we read, in the artworks that we view, in the television shows that we watch, in the laws that are written, and so on. All of these concrete, physical aspects of our social life instantiate and preserve the abstract idea of systemic racial superiority. The way we talk and the things that we write down, for example, keep in place an ossified culture of a socially constructed, white racial supremacy. If we point out, for example, that differences in study time help explain differences in academic performance across racial groups, we are perceived not as having discovered a useful insight about how to reduce racial inequality, but as employing a racist “cultural deficit theory” to “blame the victim.” 

Although reification is a logical fallacy—what the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead called a fallacy of misplaced concreteness—it is often used metaphorically to provide an intuitive description of how an idea works. For example, seeing systemic racism as a virus or as being built into society’s DNA reinforces the idea that racism is deeply and covertly embedded in our institutions and way of life. But even when it is accepted rhetorically as a means of intuitive illustration, it locks in a classification of categories that we use to describe and understand a calcified society. We end up not with useful conceptual tools for the study of reality but, instead, with rigid narratives that co-opt the facts rather than adapt to the complexities of factual reality. We have a paradigm that shoehorns the situational intricacies of lived experience into inflexible conceptual categories.

In short, we have dogma, and from dogma, cognitive errors in reasoning inevitably ensue. A handy description of this tendency toward confusion comes from labor historian Eric Arsenen who said, “whiteness has become a blank screen onto which those who claim to analyze it can project their own meanings.” It should come as no surprise, then, that the reification of systemic racism gives birth to multiple conceptions of systemic racism that conflate racism with the legacy of racism and thereby distract us from robust developmental policies better equipped to address racial inequality.

The Hydra of Reified Systemic Racism

Let us start with Ibram X. Kendi, for whom racism and racial disparity are one and the same. As he says, “when I see disparities, I see racism.” Kendi’s remark provides us with our first glimpse of the intellectual limitations, if not outright, confusion that can arise with the reification of systemic racism. For Kendi, racial inequality can arise only from inherent differences between races (i.e., racial inferiority) or from racist policies. As political scientist Wilfred Reilly recently pointed out, “[t]he contention that the only factor that might explain group differences in performance, at any given time, is either genetic inferiority or hidden racism is simply wrong as a matter of fact.” 

It is also a fallacy of false equivalence. To say that something is wrong with a group is not to say that something is inferior about the group. Reilly directs our attention to research about differences in study time that help explain differences in academic performance across groups. This finding says nothing about inherent academic abilities across groups. It implies instead that increased study time can improve academic performance. It presumes the equality of inherent ability across groups and encourages policies to help all groups actualize the potential of increased study time. Otherwise, there would be no need to conduct such a study to determine if we might encourage more study time.

Reilly also points to age and geography as factors that can explain racial inequality. As the Pew Research Center found, the most common age among white Americans is 58. For blacks, it is 27. For Hispanics, it is 11. “Vast differences such as these, which have nothing to do with inferiority,” Reilly writes,are certain to be reflected in measured group outcomes.” As for geography, “[n]ear-majorities of both American blacks and Hispanics still live in the South or Southwest,” Reilly observes, “but a far smaller percentage of whites live in the same regions.” This is an important observation “because test scores for all groups living in those regions have traditionally been lower than for those elsewhere in the country.” [Emphasis original]

Kendi’s argument also falls prey to the fallacy of affirming the consequent. As I wrote in the aforementioned Merion West essay, this fallacy goes like this:

“If P, then Q.

Q, therefore P.

As I hope we can all agree, it is quite reasonable to argue that racism (assuming that we understand racism to mean explicit racial discrimination at the individual or institutional level) leads to racial inequality. In other words: if racism (P), then racial inequality (Q). It is fallacious, however, to argue: if racial inequality (Q), then racism (P). One reason is unobserved heterogeneity, otherwise known as omitted variable bias. That is, there may be other reasons that explain racial inequality.” 

Kendi’s argument is only one version, though a prominent one, of the multiple conceptions of systemic racism which have been invented to explain ongoing racial inequality as a manifestation of systemic racism. As noted, Bernstein provides seven ways to understand systemic racism, but whether we understand it in terms of Whiteness, disparities, legacy, institutions, implicit bias, discriminatory policies, or exclusive networks, racism is conceived as an all-encompassing, mystical force that manifests and operates covertly at the systemic level of society by means of ideology and discourse. What do we mean by ideology and discourse?

Here are five conceptions of systemic racism defined in terms of ideology and discourse:

  1. Cultural racism. This is the idea that the majority culture, or dominant culture, however difficult to define and describe, continuously, relentlessly disseminates a slew of subliminal messages that underlie a cultural mindset that one race should preside over another. This comes in the form of media messages, the movies we watch, the television sitcoms we watch, the stories we read about in the newspaper or online. Essentially, cultural racism is the transmission of covert messages via cultural venues that reinforce ideas, beliefs, habits, attitudes, and social mores about racial superiority—in particular, white supremacy. One example is what race scholars and activists decry as “cultural deficit theory”—an alleged “victim blaming” view that racial inequality will persist until blacks take responsibility for maladaptive cultural practices such as drug addiction or single-parent households. 
  2. Color-blind racism, which is the belief that one can be color-blind in his treatment of people. “Color-blindness” is regarded a racist ideology because it functions as a denial of systemic racism. The “ideology” of color-blindness avoids thinking about and addressing the inequalities that exist. We wrongly believe that racial inequality will dissipate or disappear if only, in the words of Martin Luther King Jr., we decide to judge people by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. This gets us back to the theme that it is inequality itself that is racist. If we claim to be color blind, we remain blind to the inequality that exists as a result of the very same color blindness, ignoring the fact that institutions and laws are never neutral and that they must be formulated in a political fashion to explicitly address race-based inequality.
  3. Aversive racism. This is the idea that if one tries to point to anything other than racism—e.g., culture—to explain racial inequality, he averts attention from the reality that only racism causes racial inequality. If we have any idea in our heads that inequality might persist because of something other than racial discrimination, then we are aversive racists. If one raises questions about omitted variable bias in an analysis of racial inequality, he is an aversive racist.
  4. Back-stage racism. The idea is that racism exists on the front stage and in the backstage. In her book White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo relies on a study by sociologists Leslie Picca and Joe Feagin in which “[t]hey asked 626 white college students at 28 colleges across the United States to keep journals and record every instance of racial issues, racial images, and racial understanding that they observed or were part of for six to eight weeks.” The results? “The students recorded more than 7,500 accounts of blatantly racist comments and actions by the white people in their lives (friends, families, acquaintances, strangers),” coming “from the generation most likely to claim they were taught to see everyone as equal.” This sounds a lot like overt racial prejudice, but it is revealing that such attitudes are described as being pushed to the “backstage.” In other words, such attitudes are regarded as unacceptable in open society, and must be pushed to the “backstage.” An important point about this study is that a little math shows that the average student in the study observed 1.5 or two incidents per week, depending on whether one uses six or eight weeks for the calculation. It is undoubtedly unfortunate to observe any such incidents at a rate of 1.5 or two per week, but we might also wonder if a rate of 1.5 to two incidents per week perceived by students specifically geared to be on the lookout for such incidents is not a measure of progress compared to what one might expect to have observed 10, 20, or 30 years before the study.
  5. Symbolic racism. In a sense, all of the above are forms of symbolic racism. That is, they reflect the transformation of racism from overt racial prejudice in an explicitly white supremacist society to a more coded form of racism which takes shape in the form of opposition to policies like affirmative action. Symbolic racism manifests in traditional beliefs that race scholars and activists associate with a culture of white supremacy. These “American values” included belief in individualism or Protestant work ethic. To the extent that opposition to policies designed to address racial inequality stem from adherence to these ideological beliefs, these beliefs are treated as a form of symbolic racism. However, as Paul M. Sniderman and Philip E. Tetlock note, it is not clear that we have well-defined boundaries to distinguish between old-fashioned racism and so-called symbolic racism. For example, they write: “It may sound straightforward to suggest that there are two kinds of racism. But what, it is necessary to ask, should the correlation between old-fashioned and symbolic racism be? Obviously, a very high correlation would show that the two have much in common. A high correlation, then, would undercut the contention of symbolic racism theorists that modern racism is distinctive. Alternatively, a very low correlation between old-fashioned and symbolic racism would demonstrate that the two had little in common—not even a common dislike of blacks; and if symbolic racism does not involve dislike of blacks, it is far from clear in what sense it can be said to be racism at all.”

The Ambiguity of Racism without Racists

The upshot is what sociologist Eduardo Bonilla-Silva calls a “new racism” regime which “unlike Jim Crow, reproduces racial domination mostly through subtle and covert discriminatory practices which are often institutionalized, defended with coded language, and bonded by the racial ideology of color-blind racism. Compared to Jim Crow, this new system seems genteel but it is extremely effective in preserving systemic advantages for whites and keeping people of color at bay.”

“Racism without racists” consists of the ideologies and discourses that encode white supremacy into society’s DNA. Racism has not disappeared. It has become more covert and subtle. After all, how could racial inequality remain entrenched as “old-fashioned” racism declines? One might ask whether it is reasonable to expect that racial inequality will suddenly disappear because attitudes and behavior are improving incrementally. In fact, a recent report by McKinsey concludes that “racial parity in U.S. colleges is 70 years away.” Given the residual effects of a deep legacy of racism in the United States, it is quite reasonable to assume that it will take time to achieve parity. 

But does the legacy of racism mean that racism is no longer what it used to be? Does it mean that our understanding of racism is too limited? Does it mean that racism encompasses much more than old-fashioned prejudicial racists who are plagued with outgroup bias? For the new generation of scholars and activists, the answer is yes. Not only are we seemingly not allowed to observe that progress has taken place, but we are required to regard this observable progress, and any hope it generates about the future, as a masquerade that camouflages a deeper entrenchment of viral racism. 

My contention is that the risk we run with what I will call a “progress-phobic” worldview is the reification—i.e. reinventing—of racism. Color blind racism, cultural racism, aversive racism, backstage racism, and symbolic racism are different ways of conceiving systemic racism as a pernicious virus replicating in our ideas, norms, and language. When we have racism without racists, we have reified the notion of systemic racism as a kind of mythical hydra whose many ugly heads reflect how the mutating virus of racism at the heart of society evolves and singularly explains racial inequality. 

Racial disparities can only be explained by systemic racism, a singularity of presumed causation that, in its extreme parsimony, reifies systemic racism as a “blank screen” onto which we record all evidence of racial inequality as evidence of systemic racism. Reification may appear useful as metaphor (hence, my varying use of the metaphors of a virus and hydra). As a matter of logic, however, it is a well-known fallacy of misplaced concreteness. It is when we think of some mystical, abstract idea as taking on a material existence—e.g., a so-called “unmarked norm” of Whiteness walking around in society in the form of artwork, television shows, actors on television, books we read, television commercials, and cultural manifestations of racist beliefs that reinforce racial inequality. 

It is, of course, meant to metaphorically illustrate socially constructed aspects of our reality. But we are still treating an abstract idea as having a concrete existence, such as seeing ethnic food aisles and flesh colored Band Aids not as manifestations of a majority culture but as instantiations of Whiteness. The fallacy of reification effectively becomes a fallacy of ambiguity. When it is systemic racism to the exclusion of all else in attempting to explain racial inequality, we fall prey to cognitive errors like confirmation bias, omitted variable bias, base-rate neglect and other errors in reasoning, failing to observe aspects of reality such as differences in study time across racial groups that can clear up perplexities that would not otherwise get resolved by chalking it up to “systemic racism” and advocating ineffective “solutions” such as implicit bias training.

Implicit Bias

We can finish up with implicit bias as a case in point. It would seem, in light of all that we have discussed, that implicit bias is a root cause of systemic racism. Implicit bias is essentially what it sounds like. It is unconscious bias. The psychology literature says there are several ways to measure it; however, in the 1990s, the Implicit Association Test (IAT) came into existence through the efforts of three psychologists. People take a reaction-time test that measures the time it takes for them to react to associations of words and images that supposedly have coded messages about race, sex, and other social identities. Lots of people have taken this test and apparently have learned that, contrary to what they believed, they hold prejudicial attitudes toward people outside of their ingroup. 

In the last decade and a half, however, there has been a second generation of research that has emerged that has cast doubt on the implicit bias paradigm. Even one of the inventors of the IAT, Mahzarin Banaji, recommends against mandatory training. This is presumably because, while she would say it is a valuable tool, she is cautious, Lee Jussim explains, about drawing definitive conclusions about it. Caution is warranted.

There are many problems with the implicit bias paradigm. One problem is that the construct validity is dubious. We do not know if it is unconscious bias or something else. We do not know if it measures a situational state of mind or a durable characteristic. We do not know if it’s about the causes of biases, the effects of biases, or that we are simply unaware of the biases. Another problem is low test-retest correlations. One can take the test today and tomorrow and get different scores. Moreover, those correlations are typically below what would be expected in more viable constructs. Yet another problem is that it is not clear if the IAT is measuring bias or base rates. Finally, it is not clear that IAT results predict behavior, as several meta-studies have demonstrated.

Where does this leave us? We have a psychological paradigm that would seem to explain systemic racism that is largely taken for granted in diversity trainings, perhaps one reason that the literature on diversity training shows that diversity trainings are not nearly as effective as the money spent on them would lead us to believe. In the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and in social justice activism, it is fair to say that the notion of implicit bias as a root cause or explanation of systemic racism is taken for granted, even as there is little evidence to show that it should be. 

By extension, implicit bias dovetails with such notions as color blind racism, cultural racism, aversive racism, backstage racism, and symbolic racism. It provides a neat way of understanding why these notions make sense as mechanisms by which society has seen a transformation of old-fashioned overt racism into ideologically rooted covert racism that institutionally facilitates the persistence of racial inequality. But the literature casts many doubts on it, which calls into question, even as it does not entirely rebut, the arguments for these alleged new forms of systemic racism. It raises the question of whether the reification of systemic racism has undermined our ability not only to understand the causes of racial inequality, but our ability to do something about it.


By no means should any of this be taken to indicate that the legacy of racism has disappeared or significantly dissipated. We are still dealing with it. However, the entire point of this essay is to stress that we should not let the legacy of racism turn into the reification of racism. The legacy of racism implies that we still have blood on our hands, so to speak, but with the right policies to rectify the sins of the past, we can wash it off. On the other hand, the reification of systemic racism implies that we are condemned to a life in which the tattoo of original sin is stamped upon us at birth and can never be erased. Running on the racism treadmill is our only option.

The way to avoid such nihilism is, in fact, to join hands with Kendi in the idea that policy matters, even if we are likely to disagree with Kendi on the nature of those policies. It is a prudential approach, not an ideological approach, that, for example, recognizes the vital significance of institutional reforms that facilitate early childhood development, as advocated by three economists of varying theoretical perspectives recently agreed upon in a forum discussion on inequality.

In sum, we want to get away from the reification of systemic racism and talk more about the legacy of racism. Racism is what it has always been: old-fashioned racial prejudice that becomes systemic when a majority in-group controls social institutions and intentionally disempowers members of a racial out-group on the basis of racial prejudice. The reification of systemic racism creates more confusion than clarity by seeing racism as a pervasive virus that eludes our ability to wash the blood off our hands with the development of good policy. As much as race scholars and activists constitute a movement for changing society, de facto adherence to the reification of racism ironically degenerates into a form of cynicism that strips us of our sense of agency.

Jonathan Church, a contributing editor at Merion West, is also a government economist and author. He is author of Reinventing Racism: Why “White Fragility” Is the Wrong Way to Think about Racial Inequality, as well as Virtue in an Age of Identity Politics: A Stoic Approach to Social Justice. He can be found on X @jondavidchurch 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.