Pastor Tony Evans sits down to answer the commonly asked question, what is systemic racism? He speaks from his own experience as well as from America’s own history with racism. Dr. Evans gives us a reminder that we can’t just sit idly by with these systems in place.


in light of all that’s taking place

today there are so many questions the

division the conflict the

misunderstanding I thought I would take

a moment to address one of the subjects

that regularly comes up that that people

are confused about and that is what is

systemic racism well first of all let’s

define racism racism is the conscious or

unconscious belief in the superiority of

one’s race over and against another race

that feeling that belief gets manifested

in the use of power or influence or

resources or even communication that

seeks to reject or marginalize or even

oppress a person of another color race

or ethnicity when we talk about systemic

racism we’re talking about the presence

of racism as we’ve just defined it being

embedded into the structures of society

whether those structures are political

or economic or legal or medical or

related to housing or employment it is

where it has become part of the policies

or procedures of a way a particular

entity operates of course we’re all

aware of the evil system of slavery that

was a legal system

oppressed a group of people because of

the color of their skin but that got

embedded into other structures in

society for example criminal justice

there was a practice called peonage or

debt servitude where after the 13th

amendment was established granting

freedom to slaves there was a clause

that said unless you are criminal so

what was done was the criminalizing of

men for the most minor of infractions so

that the 13th amendment could not be

applied and they would be held in

servitude oftentimes way beyond what

they were arrested for and many times

they were arrested for little or nothing

in order to keep them from being able to

claim the freedom that was being granted

by the 13th amendment it showed up in

the way people were denied employment or

educational opportunities or being able

to access the goods and services during

Jim Crow segregation it showed up in

churches that were unwilling to accept

people of a different of a different

race because of the color of their skin

or I can speak personally when I was

told when I was trying to enter into the

media ministry that a black speaker

would offend too many of our white

listeners there was a system at work

that was denying equal opportunity and

equal access those systems while a

person may not be personally a racist

can be supported by supporting the

structure that is that way and unless

you are not only not a racist but that

you speak against racism where it shows

up they can continue to be part of the


of a particular way a particular

structure operates when you understand

that in a race some people if they are

allowed to get started quicker and

faster or start at a starting point much

ahead of where where another group is

that the group behind has to play

catch-up and at least being empathetic

and sympathetic that that has been a

historical reality not only in people’s

personal views but in the structures

that people have believed in supported

affirmed then you understand why there

is a catch up that needs to take place

and when you understand that appreciate

that in grasp at it does give you a

different sensitivity to the reality now

of course that sensitivity must be

handled in a not only an empathetic way

but a responsible way but at the same

time just knowing that that that people

have been held back people of color have

been held back by structures not just by

individuals helps you to understand why

certain elements within our society need

to be corrected so that equal

opportunity is granted the granting that

God gives all men and the granting that

the United States offers to all of us as