George Floyd:

Racism.

Black-Lives-Matter-Supporter: I don’t see the relevance of showing us a handful of talented black artists when we’re talking about systemic and institutionalised racism. Yes there are black people that have achieved success and fame but we can’t pretend that everything is on the same playing field. I watched a video of poc explaining to their children how to deal with the police if they got stopped by them. It’s heart breaking that a parent should have to even have this conversation let alone a child take this on board but this is the reality and what they have to do in order to try to keep them safe. I talk to my daughter about racism, but I don’t have to tell her how she must do anything to not agitate the police. We really need to listen here and try to be ally’s. Black people are saying they are exhausted with being black, that’s just not fair or right.

I don’t think having a partner that is Asian or POC means that you can’t be racist, the two are not mutually exclusive.

This is not just about George Floyd dying at the hands of a white officer(s), there are sadly numerous names. Ahmaud Arbery was shot by two white men whilst jogging. If you think white privilege doesn’t exist, watch the video of Amy Cooper and it’s plainly laid out for us to see. She knows full well her privilege, that the police are much more likely to believe her when she says an African American man is threatening her. When the reality is that he was asking her to put her dog on a leash. It’s quite unforgivable that she could have put this man in real danger but luckily he stood his ground and handled the situation incredibly well.

Ulysses Alvarez Laviada: I would need to ask you a few questions before I give you a fair answer to your concerns.

1- What exactly do you call "systemic and institutionalised racism"?

2- What made you think that putting a list of successful afro-americans means that "everything is on the same playing field" and what is for you "the same playing field"?

3- When you say, "We really need to listen here and try to be ally’s", are you refering to the abuse against George Floyd or to him being black? Do you have any factual evidence than the abuse was racially motivated or is just your dedection?

4- What number of black people are you referting when saying "Black people are saying they are exhausted with being black." ? Can you give some data or is just a saying?

5- Whe you say, "I don’t think having a partner that is Asian or POC means that you can’t be racist", how does it relate to me putting the above pictures?

6- Are you aware that if you were to accept the premise that white privilege existed you would have to accept the existence of many other privilege for other social groups which would make unsustainable your premise?

Please, do answer my questions and I will try to give you a more balanced reply.

Black-Lives-Matter-Supporter: 1) this could be achieved by a quick google search but ok ‘Institutional racism is a form of expressed racism in the practice of social & political institutions. It is reflected in disparities regarding wealth, income, criminal justice, employment, housing health care, political power & education among other factors’. This definition from Wikipedia. Many other sources available.

2) I still don’t understand the relevance of your list to what is happening in the States. I’m not sure your list of successful black artists would be happy to be on your list. Oprah, who is a billionaire, not so long ago in Switzerland got refused in a swanky shop to be shown a handbag because it would be too expensive for her. Aside from the racism who doesn’t know Oprah?!

Beyoncé wasn’t on the list but she’s incredibly famous so I’ve popped her on with a very recent quote: ‘We’re broken and we’re disgusted’.

‘We cannot normalise this pain. I’m not only speaking to people of colour. If you’re white, black, brown and anything in between, I’m sure you feel hopeless by the racism going on in America right now’.

3) I’m referring to the murder of George Floyd because he is black. Did you watch the recording? George Floyd has a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneel on his neck with all his body weight for near on 9 minutes despite losing his pulse, and pleas from people walking by to stop and help him. He said he could not breathe and he is said to have said ‘mumma’ which I think is heart breaking, towards the end of his life. No one should die like this. What do you think the protests are about? This is not the first time this has happened to a black person. Do I think this would have happened if George Floyd was white, no. What was his crime? Using a counterfeit $20, and for this he was pinned to the ground. I don’t think a white man arrested would have been treated the same. George Floyd, asked for water and he was not given any or allowed to breathe. He said he could not breathe, that police officer knows what would happen if he couldn’t breathe. I think most people do. From what I’ve seen, the officer concerned is being charged with homicide.

4) Have you watched the news? I don’t have statistics but I’ve seen several people say this and a close friend. I try to listen and not throw in a million ‘what about’s?’.

5) I should have put that comment in response to one of your friends on Facebook who said that the officer could not be racist because he had an Asian girlfriend.

6) I’ve ran out of time! I’ll come back for this...

I’m back....I’m a bit confused by this one. Not sure what your point is.

Just wondering if you watched the clip of black parents in America talking to their children about how to deal with the police and also their own experiences of the police?

Also this is a great book on White Fragility. ‘White Fragility’ by Robin Diangelo

Ulysses Alvarez Laviada: I am going to keep the same format of our exchange for the sake of clarity, so I will go point by point answering to you as concise as possible to gain a better understanding of each other positions. Before I do so I want to make something abundantly clear.

I stand firm by George Floyd and his family, particularly, Bridgett Floyd and Terrence Floyd. I do believe that Bridgett Floyd's words on TV did help in the prosecution and incarceration of Derek Chauvin, the police officer who killed George Floyd.

I also want to put emphasis on Bridgett Floyd's words when referring to the police officers involved in the crime. She insisted, “They should be put in jail for murder”.

I do firmly stand with her. They and not only Derek Chauvin should be put in jail for crime and justice should be done.

Furthermore, Terrence Floyd in his TV interview also said referring to the “unity” of the protesters on the streets:

“They might call it unity but it is destructive unity. That is not what my brother was about. He would motivate you. If you are angry it is ok to be angry but channel that anger to do something positive… he would want us to seek justice… but channel it another way, showing another way. The anger… damaging your own town is not the way he wanted.”

To close this initial point. I repeat I do stand against abuse, inhumanity, humiliation, and particularly against Derek Chauvin horrid and utterly unacceptable behavior. He and the other officers observers should be in jail for murder.

Now, let’s go into each of your points.

1 - Thanks for the Wikipedia suggestion. I am fully aware of that wiki entry. The reasons I asked you are two. First, to know if you endorse the Wikipedia basic entry and second to know if you are also aware of how such definition originated historically?

You finished your first point referring to “many other sources available.” I would very much like to know what those other sources are. There are many other sources and they are not that happy with each other.

The wiki definition is vague and general enough not to cover the true impact and the historical evolution of the so-called “Institutional racism”. This in no way means that the wiki definition is wrong. It just has a specific purpose: to give a basic vague and descriptive clarification of a term.

The first issue I have with “Institutional racism” is that we cannot fully understand what it means if we do not clarify what racism is in the first place. But before we go there let me make a short digression.

Those who historically hold the definition of “Institutional racism” outside of its wiki definition are university professors coming from the departments of Cultural Studies, Critical Theory, Women Studies, Gender Studies, Colonial Studies or Literary Studies from many academic institutions across the globe. In that sense, the term has other fanciful derivation like “Institutional rape”, “Institutional violence”, “Institutional patriarchy” and even “structural violence and “rape culture”. They all have a great single starting social and cultural point: the rebels of the 60s, the Paris riots, the hippies, and the Che Guevaras’ revolutionaries.

The way institutions got to be questioned at that time was not based on reforms but on the belief that in their very bourgeois nature all institutions are oppressive. This was marxism at his best and at his worst just Neo-marxism with “new” liberal flags. There is one culprit that is currently still causing tidal waves in the humanities department across the world: Michel Foucault. In his book, The Birth of the Clinic, Discipline and Punishment Foucault explained in detail what microphysics of power is and justified extensively precisely the concept of “Institutional racism” but under a more general term “Institutional oppression”. That is the historical origin of the term “Institutional racism”. End of digression.

Many people who fight against racism and accept as valid the existence of “institutional racism” often also consider unconscious unverified biases for a race as racism, I do not. So, if an institution has over a period of, let’s say, ten years no black, no female and not foreigner workers that does not automatically imply that it is racist, misogynist or xenophobic. To say that such a company has unconscious racist biases is just ludicrous. Being a racist is being consciously a racist, else everyone can be accused of anything unconsciously. To carry on perpetuating the idea that unconscious unverified biases for a race is racism is actually feeding into the very racism being fought against. Hence, the “institutional racism” label has its origin in this utterly irresponsible consideration about “unconscious unverified biases.”

2 - I did not make the list based on whether its members are actively fighting racism or not. They would definitely be conscious that as black they have accomplished in their lives what none of them would have imagined possible during Jim Crow Laws. Hence, the relevance of listing countless of black American who has achieved so much in America is recognizing that things ought to be view in perspective and even when I do acknowledge that racism is still a reality in America, America has made a great deal of progress since the times of Jim Crow Laws.

3. It is racist to say without proof that the policeman, Derek Chauvin, was racially motivated to abuse and kill George Floyd just because he is white and George Floyd is black. Derek Chauvin has to have a track record of consistently targeting black people for him to be charged for racism. For the rest, I am happy with Derek Chauvin being charged and put in prison for murder. When you say: “This is not the first time this has happened to a black person”, that is true, but that does not prove, whatsoever, that Derek Chauvin killing was racially motivated. When you say:

“Do I think this would have happened if George Floyd was white, no.”

Your statement is blunt speculation, so is not valid as an argument.

You said:

“George Floyd, asked for water and he was not given any or allowed to breathe. He said he could not breathe, that police officer knows what would happen if he couldn’t breathe. I think most people do.“

I fully agree with you on this and as I said, Derek Chauvin, should be put in prison. Yet, nothing that Derek Chauvin did or has done proves that he is a racist.

For him to be a racist, he has to have a past track record of targeting black people as I said before and so far the police record only shows that he has had a pattern of behavior as a bully but it does not specify that it is targeted on black people.

4. When you say:

"Black people are saying they are exhausted with being black."

That is a rhetorical deceitful way to validate the relevance of a point by resort to a general majority particularly when that majority number is not known or left ambiguous. It is not right to say, “black people are saying”. You ought to yourself to say who is saying it and what organization is represented with it, else it would be hard not to see your argument as resorting to the fallacy of the majority.

5. Having an Asian girlfriend does not exonerate anyone from being a racist but killing a black man does not either make a person a racist just on the bases of the killer being white. There has to be a pattern of similar behavior associated with the same person.

6. You stated in your comments:

“If you think white privilege doesn’t exist, watch the video of Amy Cooper and it’s

plainly laid out for us to see."

In the case of Amy Cooper, there is a piece of clear evidence in her words that she was being racist. When she made the telephone call she is clearly heard saying that she was:

"going to call the police to report that an African-American man was threatening her life."

Such a statement is clearly racist but to assume from that that she has a privilege for saying so as a white person is to assume that "constitutionally" the police and what the police represent as an institution would act to defend her white privilege.

That is just utter nonsense. Those who coined the term, constitutional racism, as I said before, assume wrongly that the police as an institution and by its own laws support and promote racism at an unconscious level which cannot be properly fact-checked but rather merely deducted from a soup of multivariant causes.

Regarding White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, I wrote a short article here on Facebook regarding her preposterous claims. You can find it below:

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Genuine tragedies in the world are not conflicts between right and wrong. They are conflicts between two rights. Friedrich Hegel.

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Ulysses Alvarez Laviada

Ulysses Alvarez Laviada

Genuine tragedies in the world are not conflicts between right and wrong. They are conflicts between two rights. Friedrich Hegel.

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