The economics of racism sustains it

Letters to the Editor

The economics of racism sustains it

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

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Dear Editor,

The recent death of George Floyd in the US has caused a convulsion of anger right across the world on how black people are treated — and rightly so.

In America, especially, it seems to be hunting season on black people every day.

There have been calls to end racism against black people. They have been tearing down statues left, right, and centre, and mealy-mouthed politicians have been repeating the same, tired, old, and irrelevant platitudes to try to assuage feelings. But this has been going on for decades and we have been here before.

So the questions before us are: Why has nothing changed as yet? And, will it ever change?

I, for one, do not believe anything will change that will fundamentally alter the way black people are treated. The simple reason is that of economics. Racism is big business and very profitable. Many of the nations now convulsed with this problem were built on racism. They were built on exploiting black people from the day they were born. Those systems, processes, procedures, and thinking persist to this very day, in different guises and iterations, and continue to produce wealth.

For racism to truly be brought to a halt the economic system of many countries would have to be torn down to the ground and rebuilt. Which country is going to do that? None! Imagine America tearing up its economic system.

The cost to really make a fundamental change to enable black people and other minorities to feel at home in their own country is going to be great. To tear down the structures that foster, promote, and sustain racism will cost many countries more than just tinkering around the edges of the problem and making little adjustments, like big businesses making contributions towards #BlackLivesMatter and firing a few people here and there.

Until somebody can devise a way to slam the brakes on racism and its spin-offs without the huge cost associated with it not one country will really tackle this problem.

In other words, all the marching, tearing down of statues, the op-eds, and all the other things now being done will have very little meaningful effect. It's just a little better than a complete waste of time.

Fabian Lewis

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