• image-icon

Free shipping on orders $50+ / Give $10, Get $10

Systematic Racism is Real: Acknowledgment Is Step 1

Systematic Racism is Real: Acknowledgment Is Step 1

Let's start with a few people's definition of Systematic Racism, also called Institutional Racism or Structural Racism:

"Systems and structures that have procedures or processes that disadvantage African Americans and people of color", per NAACP President Derrick Johnson.

Glenn Harris, president of Race Forward and publisher of Colorlines, defined it as "The complex interaction of culture, policy and institutions that holds in place the outcomes we see in our lives."

Here is an overview video which provides a good foundation and background: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrHIQIO_bdQ

Systemic racism creates disparities in many "success indicators" including wealth, the criminal justice system, employment, housing, health care, politics and education.  Below are some data points which help show this in further detail.  This has to stop.


Did you know that in 2010 Black Americans made up 13% of the population but had only 2.7% of the country's wealth? That the median net worth for a white family was $134,000, but the median net worth for a Hispanic family was $14,000, and for a Black family it was $11,000? That the median wealth for a single white woman has been measured at $41,000, while for Hispanic women it was $140, and for Black women, $120?  Did you know that? Do you know what that's called? Systemic Racism, and yes, it's really a thing.


What would you call it if lifetimes of legal segregation followed by decades of pervasive racist housing policies still, to this day, disadvantage Black people in almost every aspect of life, because where you live can decide everything from how safe you are, to what food you eat, to the quality of your health care to the quality of your job, to the quality of your children's education? 


Did you know that even though America’s infant mortality rate has gone way down in the last 50 years, Black babies are still almost 2.5 times more likely to die before reaching their 1st birthday? Did you know that Black mothers are 3 three times as likely to die during childbirth, that Black and Hispanic mothers are more than twice as likely not to receive proper prenatal care and Native American mothers are more than 3 times less likely to receive proper care?


Did you know that over 40% of drug arrests are not for selling any drugs but just for possession of marijuana? And that White and Black Americans are about equally likely to use marijuana, but Blacks are 3.7 more likely to be arrested for it? And that even if they don't get convicted of a crime that arrest can stay on their record and affect their chances at good jobs, housing and bank loans for the rest of their lives?


Did you know that back in the 80s there were less than half a million people in the US prison system, but now, thanks to the war on drugs, there are more than 2 million? That out of every 100,000 Americans about 700 are incarcerated, but out of every 100,000 Black men over 4,000 are incarcerated? And one of the many effects of that trend is that combined with felony disenfranchisement laws, it means 13% of Black American men are denied their right to vote?

This is an interesting Netflix flim called, "The 13th": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krfcq5pF8u8


Did you know that no matter what else is going on in America, year in and year out for the last 60 years, Black unemployment is always about twice as high as white unemployment? And even if you just look at Black college graduates, they're still almost twice as likely to be unemployed as white college graduates? And if you just apply for a job with a white sounding name, you're 50% more likely to get a callback than with a Black sounding name?


Combatting systematic racism has many parts.  At Vitalibis, we are calling for all brands - large and small - to eliminate names and addresses from all submitted resumes.

Systematic racism happens without seeing the color of someone's skin.  Systematic racism happens as soon as a hiring manager sees the name of the person applying to the job.

This must end.  This must end right now!

We are calling on all companies, boards, advisors, team members and hiring managers to demand this HR policy be instilled into the governance practices of all companies.  Please sign this petition and ask others to do the same.