The killing of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement have sparked protests around the world and made the term “systemic racism” go mainstream. From reporters at major news outlets to the leaders of large corporations and non-profits, everyone is making proclamations against system racism and vowing to eradicate it.
Yet, while many in high-profile positions claim to know what systemic racism is, they fail to understand that the solutions, too, must be systemic. Being nicer to each other does not change the policies and practices that keep Black people from being hired. Hiring more racialized police officers does not change policing practices that target Black and Indigenous people. Being more inclusive at the leadership table also won’t automatically change policies that fail to test for COVID-19 in the hardest-hit parts of the city.