In the wake of the murder of George Floyd and the anti-police protests that stemmed from it, there has been increased talk from the aggrieved left about “systemic racism” that is deeply ingrained in this nation — especially among law enforcement.
Not everyone agrees that the entire system is inherently racist, however; in fact, two top Trump administration officials — Attorney General Bill Barr and Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf — each dismissed the notion of “systemic racism” in separate interviews on Sunday morning, according to The Washington Times.
It should be noted, though, that both men fully acknowledged the fact that there are racist individuals who must be held accountable. Still, both said it’s unfair to smear all law enforcement with a broad brush of racism.
It’s not “systemic”
According to the Times, Attorney General Barr sat for a lengthy interview with CBS‘ Face the Nation on Sunday — not all of which was aired on TV — to discuss a number of topics. At one point, host Margaret Brennan asked the AG, “Do you believe there is systemic racism in law enforcement?”
“I think there’s racism in the United States still but I don’t think that the law enforcement system is systemically racist,” Barr replied, according to a transcript provided by CBS. “I understand the distrust, however, of the African American community given the history in this country. I think we have to recognize that for most of our history, our institutions were explicitly racist.”
The attorney general went on to recount how equal rights had been previously denied to black Americans, and mentioned slavery and Jim Crow laws. Still, he said that at least since the 1960s civil rights era, progress has been made in addressing and dealing with those sorts of explicitly racist institutions.
Barr pointed to the U.S. military as one example of a place where incredible progress has been made against racism, and suggested that law enforcement is not too far behind. He did, of course, acknowledge that there was more work that needed to be done in that regard.
Wolf says no, too
Similarly, Secretary Wolf appeared on ABC‘s This Week with host Martha Raddatz, who asked, “Do you think there is a problem with systemic racism in policing in the United States?”
“I do not think that we have a systemic racism problem with law enforcement officers across this country,” Wolf replied, according to ABC. “Do I acknowledge that there are some law enforcement officers that abuse their job? Yes. And, again, we need to hold those accountable.
“And I would say that there are individuals in every profession across this country that probably abuse their authority and their power. And we need to hold them accountable,” the secretary continued. He also noted that there is more that can be done in terms of law enforcement reaching out to minority communities in order to bridge the divide.
“But, again, I think painting law enforcement with a broad brush of systemic racism is really a disservice to the men and women who put on the badge, the uniform every day, risk their lives every day to protect the American people, to protect them so that they can go to school, they can have a business and come home safe to their families,” Wolf said, as ABC reported. “So I think we need to keep that in mind as well.”
Looks like the Trump administration has spoken.