Ezra Klein makes the distinction between the end of “statutory discrimination” and the “end of racism” in his compelling piece on racism.
Arguing that although racism remains a pervasive problem in America, many believe “changing government policy changes all the attitudes that led to that policy, and all the social arrangements that were built around that policy. It’s a view often held by conservatives, which is odd, because it requires a tremendous belief in the government’s power to cleanly reshape whole societies.”
“The idea that racism is over … has a clear winner: the group that benefited from the years of racism and that now doesn’t have to pay any compensatory costs … Today’s wealth gap is, in part, the legacy of the country’s past.”
“It’s easy to say that racism isn’t over. It’s harder to face up to the policy implications of that. The question: … if the fight against racism is ongoing, how should policy reflect that?”
“The theory is that the legacy of racist policy can be met with colorblind policy that helps the poor. There’s not much evidence that that theory is working.”