Project Someone director Vivek Venkatesh was recently interviewed by Le Devoir about systemic racism. Venkatesh dives into the concept in an Oct. 19 video titled Le Racisme Systémique sous la loupe de Vivek Venkatesh.
Venkatesh defines the concept in question as “an ensemble of factors propagated by our public institutions which exacerbate social inequalities and manifest in the ways individuals from minority communities are treated.”
While this seems straightforward enough, Venkatesh highlights how such a concept can be engaged with from a variety of epistemological positions. It’s much easier, he says, to point to the results of an individual racist act than to showcase the insidious effects of systemic racism empirically, which could leave devout empiricists confused or even suspicious about the “invisible nature” of systemic racism.
The key, according to Venkatesh, is to be aware of such diverging ways of engaging with a concept and to challenge oneself to approach it in different ways.
Watch the interview below.