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If you’re trying to explain systemic racism to a group of scientists and biotech professionals, do it in terms they understand.

Racially unjust systems are like “a mutation … in the social DNA,” said Cerevel CEO Tony Coles, speaking on a panel about race and inequality at a now-virtual conference held by the Biotech Innovation Organization, an industry trade group.

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  • Clearly there are several eloquent, educated, high-placed, successful black people in the US. And while countries with predominantly white populations rarely elect a black president or leader – the US did. Respect for black people DOES exist widely in the US. But it must be earned – just like for whites or any other colored people. Protests, chaos, and destruction do not accomplish what discipline, education, self-respect and drive do. To change a system, one has to learn to work within it, then drive changes for the betterment of all.

    • Hi Stuart, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. However, I want to point out why that line of thinking is so dangerous: it completely and willfully ignores the history of white supremacy in this nation. White people did not have to earn respect in this country, they ARE the holders of power. It was white people who came in this land, conquered territory by aggressive means, and built it on the backs of enslaved men and women.

      And so what do black people have to do to earn respect? Work for centuries under cruel and violent conditions, being stripped of their dignity and families? And once freed from the oppression of slavery, take their belongings (nothing) and seek to build up their own family and society, only to be politically and socially barred from honest work and land ownership, forced into manipulative working arrangements (sharecropping), prohibited from the democratic process, consistently stymied from attaining the same level of education and financial assistance of whites, home ownership (red-lining), and social participation as whites (Jim Crow), and violently attacked at the whim of white mobs (KKK, Tulsa race riot, etc.)?

      What else do black people have to do to earn respect? Stand up against centuries of injustice through non-violent protest, sit-ins, boycotts, marches, getting hosed by the authorities, thrown in prison, investigated by the FBI, receive constant death threats, and be violently assassinated? And the one black man, who EARNED his position (although you suggest that black people should be so grateful to have been granted a spin in the Oval Office), face constantly demeaning and racist comments, questions about his legitimacy, and handled it all with grace and class? None of that is enough?

      Please, Stuart, I am sincerely asking you to educate yourself on this history before you make comments that completely trivialize centuries of struggle and oppression. I’ll help you out, start with the Wikipedia page entitled “Jim Crow Economy”.

  • Race is a substitute for what is really going on which is class struggle.
    Slavery was actually something for whites and blacks and any other human skin color available under the Romans. The fact that some African Americans have slave ancestors who were sold out of Africa by African tribes, confuses the experience of slavery with race. Currently, we have multiple black citizens who had no ancestors in slavery because they moved here much later. We also have many immigrants who were not here in the time of slavery.
    Thus it is CoulteR productive to focus on race, because it does not apply to the multiple ethnicities of the US poor.
    It is more productive to address the economic inequality and to establish less militaristic policing of all poor/homeless prisoners etc.

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