This is an outstanding article showing how systemic injustice operates, and how it can be made visible.It applies equally to systemic racism, systemic homophobia, systemic transphobia, systemic sexism, and intersectional inequality (such as that experienced by transgender people of colour).
The simple test is to see if the life chances of a whole group are significantly impacted. A disproportionate number of Black people in prison? Systemic racism. A disproportionate number of trans people arrested for sex work? Systemic transphobia. Young LGBTQ people more likely to commit suicide? Systemic anti-LGBTQ discrimination.
If you don't believe that this is correct, read the article to see how systemic inequality is perpetuated. And then read Ta-Nehisi Coates on the case for reparations.
In trying to understanding discrimination, we can get caught up in questions like, as he phrased it, “did someone intentionally exclude you because of your identity and can you prove that?” Instead, he said, we should look deeper. “Where we find population-level maldistribution of life chances, there is injustice. It doesn’t matter whether we can find one individual with a bad intention, or whether the law stated an intent to exclude a certain group.” This is how systemic injustice is perpetuated, even as individual “bad actors” are occasionally disciplined and as bad laws are sometimes reformed. Ensuring safety will go beyond ensuring our laws are fair.