The Systemic Nature of Racism and Sexism

June 15, 2020

In the Washington Monthly article No One Is Attempting to Silence White Men, author Nancy LeTourneau takes a deeper look at racism in America and the part that patriarchy, liberalism, and free speech play in the “fundamental transformation” our country is experiencing. Understanding the systemic racism and white supremacy built into the American culture is key to addressing the roots of violence and oppression and our part in healing social discourse.

LeTourneau cites the work of Riane Eisler in understanding the roots of entrenched domination systems:

“As these movements begin to delve more deeply into the systemic nature of racism and sexism in our culture, foundational beliefs are being challenged. We can see that in the way that the dominance model of organizing human relations is being challenged… Here is how Riane Eisler explained the issue in her book The Chalice and the Blade:

“The underlying problem is not men as a sex. The root of the problem lies in a social system in which the power of the blade is idealized – in which both men and women are taught to equate true masculinity with violence and dominance and to see men who do not conform to this ideal as too soft or effeminate”.

LeTourneau observes that protesters are helping to reveal aspects of how “patriarchy and racism have been cooked into the culture”.

We can no longer look away from symptoms of a failed domination culture. Centuries-old cultural patterns of oppression are being exposed and are fragmenting; it’s time to embrace collective “moral challenges that need to be exposed and eliminated” as we strive towards reconstructing equitable, just, and caring systems founded on principles of partnerism.

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