Surprise, surprise
The election was (mostly) about money

Educated enough to be comfortable. Comfortable enough to care more about decency than money.

Surprise, surprise
The election was (mostly) about money

Laws and Practices –
Unequal Advantages

In a recent meeting held by SURJ-Boston (Stand Up for Racial Justice) and the Boston Anti-Racism Knapsack group, we talked about all the laws and practices that have led to structural racism throughout our history. This is the list we came up with collectively; it is not exhaustive. From a systems thinking point of view it is quite impressive.

The word STRUCTURE in structural racism is used appropriately. When systems thinkers say structure, we are referring to laws, customs, and practices. We are also talking about the movement and stockpiles of money, of people, of material, information, and perceptions, and even emotion. These stockpiles endure, and what is happening now is inextricably linked to what has happened in the past. For example, if a big pile of money has accumulated over the years, it gives the owners, and their children, an advantage. One of the biggest ideas from systems thinking is this.

Structure drives behavior. Structure drivesperformance, and success, orlack thereof.

Below is a partial list of legal and business practices that have prevented people of color from having the same access to wealth and happiness that white people have received. These laws and practices are part of what is meant by “Structural racism”, they are structures that have not worked for all people, only some. And “white privilege” refers to the exclusive benefits that white people have gotten (and continue to get) from these and many other structures.



Law or Practice

Info

Began

End

Slavery [People as Property]

learn

1789

1861

Civil War

learn

1861

1865

Reconstruction

learn

1865

1877

Lynching

learn

1880

1960

Sharecropping

learn

1865

1877

Jim Crow

learn

1877

1917

Black Code Laws

learn

1865

1866

Vagrancy Laws

learn

1865

1909

Convict Leasing

learn

1865

1928

Great Migration

learn

1910

1970

New Deal

learn

1933

1938

Social Security [excluded domestic and agricultural workers]

learn

1935

1950

GI Bill, Title III

learn

1944

1952

Bank Lending Policies [exclude Blacks]

learn

1944

1968

FHA Mortgage Insurance [Restrictive Deeds]

learn

1934

1968

Redlining

learn

1934

1968

White Flight [enabled by the Interstate Highway System]

learn

1950

1970

Urban Renewal [Highways through communities of color]

learn

1949

1974

Blockbusting

learn

1947

1980

Restrictive Laws [loss of voting rights]

learn

1950

2016

COINTELPRO

learn

1956

1971

Voting Rights Act

learn

1965

1965

Police Brutality

learn

1969

2016

Prison Contract Labor [Public and privately managed prisons]

learn

1970

2016

War on Drugs

learn

1971

1994

Mass Incarceration

learn

1975

2013

Prisons for Profit

learn

1984

2016

Crime Omnibus Bill
[Three Strikes]

learn

1994

2016

Zero Tolerance [in education]

learn

1994

2016

NAFTA

learn

1994

2016

Subprime Lending [Disproportionately affects people of color]

learn

1994

2009

Stop & Frisk

learn

2011

2014

Affordable Care Act [Medicaid only state by state]

learn

2014

2016

structurtal-racism-timeline

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