In capitalist societies, we typically are responsible for the choices we make. Some make bad life choices. But when a massive segment of society continues to make poor life choices, do we not have to question whether or not it is the individual or the circumstances in which they were placed?
For instance, what causes a pod of whales to beach themselves? Are these bad life choices or are they the best choices given the circumstances? If ship sonar signals these whales to turn to shallow waters where they become beached, is it the whales that are too be blamed or is it the ship? And what of baby sea turtles that turn away from the sea, thinking that house lights are the moon, and die of exhaustion?
Given societies signals, are the choices that young, inner city blacks make that end in dropping out of school, turning to gangs, making cash in illegal activities, failing to achieve job skills and living off the system poor choices? If they are, why does such a high percentage of young black make these same choices generation after generation, city after city across America?
I contend that the system provides erroneous sonar, false lights to follow if you will. And our capitalist system works whether the trade is legal or not. Without a legit signal of a living wage to swim toward, our inner city youth strand themselves on the beach. It is this false signal that is the basis of institutional racism that still persists in our country.
Perhaps it is through no fault of any individual. Who is not aware of the probabilities of high crime rates involving black youth. It would be hard not to react to such probabilities and no one can be blamed for self preservation. Yet, these signals create pathways for individuals to interact that in themselves can create institutional racism. It is these false signals which must be broken through conscious effort if we are to reduce its effect on our inner cities.