im another privileged white male 1st world socialist and a grump
By not seeing that racism is systemic (part of a system), people often personalize or individualize racist acts. For example, they will reduce racist police behavior to “a few bad apples” who need to be removed, rather than seeing it exists in police departments all over the country and is basic to the society. This mistake has real consequences: refusing to see police brutality as part of a system, and that the system needs to be changed, means that the brutality will continue.
The need to recognize racism as being systemic is one reason the term White Supremacy has been more useful than the term racism. They refer to the same problem but:
A. The purpose of racism is much clearer when we call it “white supremacy.” Some people think of racism as just a matter of prejudice. “Supremacy” defines a power relationship.
B. Race is an unscientific term. Although racism is a social reality, it is based on a term which has no biological or other scientific reality.
C. The term racism often leads to dead-end debates about whether a particular remark or action by an individual white person was really racist or not. We will achieve a clearer understanding of racism if we analyze how a certain action relates to the system of White Supremacy.
D. The term White Supremacy gives white people a clear choice of supporting or opposing a system, rather than getting bogged down in claims to be anti-racist (or not) in their personal behavior. http://soaw.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=482 (via whitedenial-ontrial)