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Why Do the Democrats Keep Saying 'Structural'? Candidates are promising a kind of change history suggests can't happen

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'The term “structural” is merely rhetorical, signaling the  boldness of candidates' ideas. Calling a social pattern a structure is a metaphor to suggest that it has solidity and staying power. If structures could be remade by policy fixes alone, many of our enduring social problems would have been solved long ago. The probability is low that any elected candidate will be in a position to make big structural changes to our society. Changes, yes, to make a real difference in people’s lives — but not changes that would fundamentally alter America’s social, economic and political structures. Racial structures are a good example; racial inequalities are remarkably durable! One instance: in the US the wealth gap between the average white family & the average black family is the same today as it was in 1962, despite gains in civil rights and the expansion of the black professional class.' 

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I began teaching in 1963,; Ba and BS in Education -Brooklyn College. I have the equivalent of 2 additional Master's, mainly in Literacy Studies and Graphic Design. I was the only seventh grade teacher of English from 1990 -1999 at East Side (more...)
 

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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I found this essay to be so intelligent, where it says that: "Social structures persist because of deep-seated cultural understandings, expectations and informal rules that shape everyday behavior and the workings of institutions and because people who benefit from such structures use their resources to preserve the status quo. As a result, major structural change typically requires more than what even the most progressive Democratic candidates are offering."

"Think of Jim Crow laws in one era, "redlining" practices in real estate in another and, more recently, "gentrification," which has made it harder for working-class and lower-middle-class black people to buy homes in historically minority neighborhoods."

"What such disparate forces have in common beyond the fact that those at the top of the racial hierarchy benefit from them is that they all presuppose that certain dubious ideas our society has developed about race are true and should be reflected in the country's institutional setup. Gentrification, for example, presumes that neighborhoods are generally improved by the presence of affluent whites."

Submitted on Thursday, Aug 1, 2019 at 4:32:37 PM

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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but whatever the democratic candidates talk about, it is a far cry from this kind of rhetoric which undoes the structures that keep us from violence.

Last weekend, a young man with a rifle took the lives of three people and injured at least a dozen others -- the same weekend that that Trump lashed out with Twitter rants which reporting indicates emboldened white hate groups and reinforced racist blogs, news sites and social media platforms!


Preliminary reports indicated that among the gunman's social media postings was an exhortation to read the obscure 1890 novel "Might Is Right," which justifies racism and asserts that people of color are biologically inferior.



So, if the democratic candidates' rhetoric is about positive change rather divisive rhetoric that empowers hateful people... then so be it.

Submitted on Thursday, Aug 1, 2019 at 4:43:50 PM

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