What to expect?
Systemic problems need to be fixed by fixing the system
Remove the barriers to entry
Follow the money
Bitcoin as an answer to one of the issues that addresses discrimination
Note: This is a 90% non-crypto post in support of what is going on in the world right now! If you are able to, donate to the Black Lives Matter. We did.
Disclaimer: We do not have any agenda behind this article – we think like there is too much to be done here and what we present in this article is only a few things that might become part of the solution.
Can you fix a computer issue by shooting the monitor?
That is my nerd way of saying that these protests will die down, and we will all go back to our normalcy like nothing had ever happened.
Because, no matter how many monitors we destroy, the problem with the computer, the core processor, will not be fixed. Similarly, it doesn’t matter how many angry protests we demonstrate, the system will not change.
For the system to change, you have to change the system.
How much do you make?
Let’s start with a simple issue of ‘disclosing’ salary information.
For most part, many organizations prohibit you from disclosing your salary. You could get fired if you ask or tell people how much you make. This seemingly harmless rule has been in effect under the disguise of ‘protecting privacy’.
Whether it protects privacy or not, it does mask the inequality that exists today at many organizations that are supposed to be the role models (or claim to be such).
Why is it important?
I have seen this in real life, a person of color with a Master’s degree and 6 years experience made $55,000 and the person from a privileged class with only a bachelor’s degree and 1 year experience made $75,000. [I must confess here that I do not know what this individual’s earlier salary was].
By the time, this privileged individual gains 6 years experience (and adds a Masters to his/her resume) he/she will make well over $120,000+ while the person of color will take another 10 years to double the salary and still not reach the same level.
Here is what will happen in the interim.
The family expenses will grow exponentially keeping the person of color’s standard of living worse than what it was when the individual was making $55,000 as a single person.
Some might argue that people have a choice and they can always leave and find a better opportunity. Sure. The next employer may bump your salary but that will depend on what you made in your last job which was substantially lower than the privileged class.
Yet others may argue that the person’s negotiation skills were poor to have accepted that kind of salary.
Here is the crux of the problem.
The person of color may have gone to a community college that costs much less compared to an Ivy League or other prestigious university that the person of privilege might have attended. The expectation bias plays out from the get-go.
When you don’t get paid on par – you cannot send your kids to those prestigious places, that is how you keep ‘certain’ people at bay from ever joining the elite.
This vicious cycle continues generation after generation as people of color on a low salary might end up sending their kids to a community college which keeps them in the circle of poverty while the privileged class enjoys the perks of Ivy League colleges of higher salaries and better connections.
For those of you who may not know this, most companies do not even interview at ‘certain’ (read: colored) colleges. You can verify this information about the companies that are putting out slogans about ‘BLM’.
A simple systemic change could fix this
Why not make it mandatory to disclose the ‘range’ of salary for each level?
This will help set expectations for all classes, whether privileged or not to hope to achieve a decent part of the scale on the range and might help curb the disparity among the educated class.
This will also help people to strive to do better and in turn help their respective communities. When a person of color is plagued with poverty, they cannot help others, however, if they are on the equal footing with any other educated person, they stand a chance to pull others from the clutches of poverty.
This simple change in one aspect of our society could end a type of discrimination that is prevalent TODAY.
Follow the money
At this point, it is a known fact that persons of color get jailed more often than the privileged groups. For those who prefer facts, here is one stat for you: “Black people make up 13% of the U.S. population but 33% of the prison and jail population, while Latinos make up 18% of the U.S. population and 23% of the prison population.”
Instead of protesting this discrimination, what if we start asking a different question, for example:
What incentive does the government have in putting people in prison?
The answer is a lot. But not for the government.
Prisons are rapidly getting privatized and we must ask – is there a direct connection between the prisons getting privatized to increased incarcerations?
“Over the past four decades, imprisonment in the United States has increased explosively, spurred by criminal laws that impose steep sentences and curtail the opportunity to earn probation and parole,” this is according to the ACLU.
When did private prisons come into existence? 1980, exactly four decades ago.
That is how you can explain the overall increase in prison population by 9% while the private prison population grew by 47% in the same period.
Take a look at these stats: “Six states have more than doubled the number of individuals in private prisons since 2000. Arizona had the largest increase, holding 479 percent more people in private prisons in 2016 than in 2000, followed by Indiana (296 percent), Ohio (226 percent), Florida (211 percent), Georgia (113 percent), and Tennessee (112 percent).”
Because most people of color are systemically victimized by poverty, they cannot fight the system and they simply succumb to the punishment without realizing that they may be just ‘cash cows’ in a system that is plagued by ‘capitalism above all’ mindset.
If people start asking for the accountability of money that flows in the system and who the real beneficiaries are then things will start becoming more clearer.
The same study from ACLU also finds that “mass incarceration provides a gigantic windfall for one special interest group — the private prison industry — even as current incarceration levels harm the country as a whole.”
When people open their eyes for what is really going on, they ask the right questions – the questions that have potential for change.
People are in fact waking up to this reality and more needs to be done on this front.
Why is change still possible?
When we look at the current state for what it is there is a natural tendency to lose belief in the change and an equitable world.
However, remember that the majority of the world is filled with good people. People who desire a peaceful and amicable life. People who respect other cultures and see humans as humans.
Yes there are racist remnants lingering in the society but they will die out eventually.
That leaves this issue in our hands – the Gen X, Millennials and the post millennial generations to not only demand the change but be part of the change.
We cannot fight this with riots or protests. We can only fight it with systemic changes and those changes can only happen with right action:
- Demand that employers disclose the salary ‘range’ of all of their employees
- Seek your right to information on flow of money – know who is the beneficiary
- Use your power of vote – as a combined voting bank even people of color have massive power
- Volunteer to form legal organizations that support people from the distressed communities in their legal battles
This battle cannot be won with force and it certainly cannot be won overnight.
What has bitcoin to do with discrimination?
Staying true to the theme of this website, we cannot end the article without mentioning bitcoin. This is not a callous plug, it is an honest belief that bitcoin can change the fundamentals of our society (which is why it was created in the first place).
Bitcoin helps people of all colors to participate in commerce without permission.
That means, you can start your own business and start accepting bitcoin without anyone’s permission. Thus eliminating one of the barriers of entry.
Perhaps, this protester has captured the sentiment about how systemic oppression has taken a toll on people and why bitcoin can act as a macro solution.
Bitcoin is not an answer to ALL problems
While bitcoin cannot solve the injustice and discrimination in the society, it can remove the barrier to entry into the commerce for person of any color. That in our mind makes bitcoin part of the solution to one of the many problems that plague our society today.
Protests are essential to show the politicians and the world what we stand for and against. However, protests do not solve a systemic issue but asking the right questions, exercising our voting rights to elect responsible politicians and then holding them accountable might. And yes, bitcoin too may prove as a tool in the fight against systemic inequalities.
If you are able to, donate to the Black Lives Matter. We did.
Thank you for reading and sharing this article.
Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.
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