Clark County Council Chair Eileen Quiring’s litany of “good people” among county officials and staff reveals her ignorance of what systemic racism is and how it works.
In a report citing calls for her resignation, Quiring stated she knows these employees personally and “none are racist” (“Groups call for Quiring to resign,” The Columbian, June 28). She concludes that “if all of these people and departments … aren’t racist, there is not SYSTEMIC racism! That has always been my point!”
Systemic racism is not about whether or not individuals within the system are racists. Wherever racism exists, it taints the whole system and affects everyone who is part of that system. Some suffer greatly from it, some helplessly deplore it, some remain comfortably unaware of it, and some gain by it, pretending it isn’t there.
But it is there, in every system you can name, from the economy to education to law enforcement to health care to social services, on and on in a dizzying web of systems within systems. We all suffer from it, more than we know. The question is, at this convergent moment in history, what will we do about it?