The Language of Deficit
How biased framing hides systemic racism
As I was scrolling LinkedIn a while back I came across an article citing a study by McKinsey. The headline said "it could take 100 years for Black people to catch up in corporate America, study finds" .
I was instantly annoyed.
Why? Because the subtext of that headline is that Black people are the problem and that's simply not true. Note that I am not dealing with the content of the study, simply by the way the results were framed.
That type of framing is not uncommon. You often see headlines about education and achievement gaps, pay gaps, and other kinds of deficits. Most of those have the same issue: a failure to recognise where the problem originated and a failure to recognise who's responsible for fixing it.
If you've been reading this newsletter for a while, you can probably guess what I'm going to say: the systems set up centuries ago to benefit white people are still working as intended. And the systems set up more recently to ensure white people didn't lose out on their unearned advantages are working as intended too.