Not all minority issues linked to racism


In a March 19 letter, Ken Kroenke posed the question: “Can White people claim they’re not racist?” Lumping people together as racist is incorrect. He continues that “racism is deeply ingrained in our society. I have come to agree that racism is systemic.” Is racism systemic? The question is too broad. Is the free enterprise system racist? Still too broad.

Despite problematic times and places like the Jim Crow South, Black people have made significant socioeconomic gains since the Civil War. Black people own 2.6 million businesses (10% of the total, or close to the Black percentage of the U.S. population) and are starting ever-increasing numbers of businesses (especially Black women, who are now the most-educated and most prolific entrepreneurs in the U.S.).

Two most pressing needs of business startups — mentors and capital — are lacking in Black communities, 70% of which lack a branch bank. This might not be due to racism. Implicit effects of taxation and regulation hit middle class minorities and small businesses especially hard and stymie the best kinds of help — self-help and person-to-person help. How about beating the system by allowing tax credits for helping small businesses (81% of Black startups need less than $100) or allowing certain small businesses, like barbershops, to operate without a license?

Society, per se, is not racist; but the legacy of Jim Crow exists in government institutions and policies, which reveal an ingrained pattern of destructive politicization. The welfare system creates a dependent class of destroyed, poor White and Black families. Public education systems comprise a virtual monopoly which, due to tax-based funding, offers inferior education to students in poor, segregated districts.

Perhaps the most advantageous change for Black people to hope for is universal expansion of school choice. The Democrat Party is still “standing in the schoolhouse door.” Why not allow every poor, struggling student, Black or White, a chance at a better-performing (as shown by report cards on schools) private school?

Kroenke claims that authorities reacted more aggressively toward the “Summer of Love” protesters across the country in 2020 than they did toward the rioters at the U.S. Capitol. Not quite. On Jan. 6, police at the U.S. Capitol were overwhelmed by hundreds of protesters, including dozens of violent, organized White supremacists and neo-Nazis, but acted very aggressively — using tear gas and making 82 forceful arrests.

Nick Theisen, Oconto Falls