Institutionalized Discrimination

This flowchart is a sad and to-the-point commentary on the present situation in Trump's USA. It has, however, application much beyond this space- and time-bound case.

Regarding minorities, we can expand from religious and race categories to include also ethnic groups, cultural groups, and sexual minorities. It is important to keep in mind that these categories are not mutually exclusive. In fact, culture, ethnicity, religion, and race often overlap to a considerable extent.

As for elites, we can substitute USA's White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPs) for other elites. WASPs traditionally had their stronghold along the eastern seaboard of USA. This means that they were historically to a large extent located apart from the three main categories of minorities: indigenous people (aka Indians), African Americans, and Hispanics. This is the situation also in other cases, and it contributes to explaining the separation between elites and minorities. At the same time it has to be made clear that there is not one explanatory factor behind all cases of state-sponsored discrimination.

Two present and telling examples comes to mind: Buddhists in Myanmar (who, as I am writing this, continue to loot and rape Rohingya and destroy their culture), and the Pope and the Catholic Church more generally (who ask people who, as children, were sexually assaulted by the clergy to forgive them, that is, "thoughts and prayers"). This happened last week when the Pope travelled to Ireland, while a majority of the Irish believe these bishops and priests should be prosecuted.

The one fact that runs through all such cases of state-sponsored or institutionalized discrimination globally, past and present, is that the elite in question gives preferential treatment to their own.

Lars T Soeftestad

(1) This article, including the image, is based on a comment contributed to a Facebook post, 25 August 2018.
(2) Image credit: unknown.
(3) Permalink. URL:
(4) This article was published 29 August 2018.

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