Thank you for your interest in Racial Justice. This website provides backup information and sourcing documentation of the PSA content and claims we are broadcasting at KOOP Radio. This material is part of a greater initiative created by the KOOP Community Council Subcommittee on Systemic Racism and Racial Justice.

This KOOP Radio initiative was formalized following the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2021. It was endorsed by the KOOP Board of Directors on behalf of the KOOP station as a whole in addition to the Juneteenth 2021 statement from the KOOP General Manager on behalf of KOOP Radio and the Board of Directors entitled, “KOOP Stands in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter Movement”.

The subcommittee on Systemic Racism and Racial Justice has been meeting monthly or more often since George Floyd’s death which we believe symbolizes a larger social problem woven deeply into the fabric of our culture. Other parts of the initiative include station-wide presentations including a set of core values that KOOP later adopted around race intended to begin normalizing a discussion around race and racism, and another presentation outlining the historical and current manifestations of Systemic Racism. Additionally, we have made a commitment to fighting back against all forms of discrimination.

The Subcommittee has also initiated the creation of a library of information connected to the many fronts of Systemic Racism and to help identify the many dimensions that must be acknowledged and addressed in order to better appreciate the construct which is institutional racism. We have also been pursuing concrete efforts of community outreach to promote more diversity at KOOP Radio by seeking new pathways of attracting and retaining greater numbers of People of Color (POC) at our station.

Therefore, these PSAs should be seen as a part, but an important part, of our ambitious project to promote a more thorough understanding of what has constituted systemic racism historically and currently and which we seek to dismantle.

We invite you to join the discussion by sending questions, comments, reflections, or suggestions to Communitycouncil@koop.org.

Self-Perpetuating Systemic Racism: Different Eras Use Different Methods

Systemic Racism is a manmade system of oppression created institutionally to exploit, people of color and to maintain a position of social and material supremacy and privilege. This system has generated profound wealth, social, and educational inequities between blacks and whites over different eras but through different means. First through slavery and its lingering effects ending around 1877. Second, the Jim Crow period from 1877 -1964 was marked by its prejudicial legal obstacles. The third period, 1964 to date, includes modern-day forms of discrimination such as markedly higher subprime mortgage rates for people of color. Each period utilized different methods but has perpetuated the wealth, social, and educational inequality we seek to dismantle.

Great Racial Wealth Divide

Did you Know that there is an enormous disparity between the wealth of Black and White American families that persists well into the 21st Century? According to current US federal figures, the median white family household has a net worth of $171,000, which is 10 times the net worth of the median Black family household net worth, creating disparities in housing, education, technology, medical treatment, and more. This is the nature of systemic racism.

Sources:

Brookings Institution, Closing the racial wealth gap requires heavy, progressive taxation of wealth

Education

Did you know that Education in the 21st century has NOT been the pathway to wealth equality? (pause) In 2015 the heads of households of Black families who graduated from college had about 33 percent less wealth than white families whose heads dropped out of high school. (pause) At every education level, Blacks are two times as likely to be unemployed compared to their similarly educated white peers.

Sources:

Umbrellas Don’t Make It Rain: Why Studying and Hard Work Isn’t Enough For Black Americans (PDF)

Ten Solutions To Bridge The Racial Wealth Divide

Banking and Housing Discrimination

Did you Know that subprime loans, because of their costs and risky nature, are more likely to result in foreclosures? These have been disproportionately located in low-income and predominantly black neighborhoods.
For instance, according to a 2016 citation, a black family that earns $157,000 per year is less likely to qualify for a prime loan than a white family earning just $40,000 per year. This means that white families can borrow heavily at favorable rates, while black families are far less likely to receive a safe, fair loan product.

Source:

The Problem of Resegregation In Suburbia

Legal Slavery

Following slavery, a new system of coerced servitude was created through legal means.  Black codes or Jim Crow laws criminalized blacks for behavior that had previously not been illegal. For example, vagrancy statutes made it a crime punishable by jail time if you could not prove you were employed. ‘In Alabama, before Jim Crow laws were enacted, 99% of those incarcerated were white. But after Jim Crow, 85% of those in jail were now black and became subjected to the horrific working conditions of convict leasing, a system of forced penal labor which overwhelmingly involved African American men, continuing the exploitation of Black labor.

Source:

Black History In Two Minutes or So: Convict Leasing (video)