Laws matter – even when they’re occasionally disregarded. Yes, Americans may sometimes exceed posted speed limits, but that doesn’t mean we’re “systemically” a nation of reckless drivers. By the same token, the fact that racism and discrimination remain a stubborn factor in American life, doesn’t mean that such hateful behavior represents the norm – or qualifies as systemic.
Discrimination in employment, housing, education and criminal justice has been unequivocally illegal for more than a half century. Literally thousands of government attorneys in the Department of Justice and in every state Attorney General’s office work every day to root out racial discrimination. The people, working through our elected representatives, consistently choose to prohibit and punish racism, not to permit or promote it.
The American system of justice isn’t built around oppression and bigotry. It promises “equal protection of the laws” – guaranteed by the 14th Amendment 152 years ago as a Constitutional right, regardless of race.