Juneau is looking for people who think they have a knack for spotting and rooting out racism and perceived inequalities, no matter how subtle they may appear to be.
The borough is now in the process of recruiting social justice activists to serve three year terms on its new “Systemic Racism Review Committee. These members will vet all proposed legislation before the Juneau Assembly to ensure it is untainted by so-called “systemic racism.”
Approved by the Assembly this past August, the seven-member committee is charged with reading over proposed legislation and offering personal opinions before the Assembly takes action or holds public hearings, although this process can be overridden if the Assembly deems it necessary.
In approving the committee, the Assembly admitted that systemic racism is often “covert” and defining it would be a tricky endeavor.
“[S]ystemic racism … may be harder for individuals to see even when revealed in disparities and data,” the law establishing the committee states.
Critics of systemic racism theory argue that it is intentionally ill defined and vague in order to undermine ideas, people and legislation without identifying actual objective instances of racism. In essence, one can be guilty of promoting systemic racism without even knowing it. The idea is often used as a political tool many leftist organizations to undermine groups or laws they disagree with.
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In fact, the Juneau law states that systemic racism may be found in “all aspects of society, including but not limited to education, criminal justice, elections, housing and political power.”
The borough is now accepting applications from those interested in serving on the racism committee. Applicants have until Jan. 10 to apply by going to the Boards, Committees, Commissions & Task Forces webpage and clicking on the apply button.
The seven-member committee will be charged with the following:
- Developing criteria to advise whether legislation likely includes a systemic racism policy or implication.
- Reviewing all ordinances after introduction and before public hearing to advise whether the ordinance likely includes a systemic racism policy or implication.
- Reviewing all resolutions to advise whether the resolution likely perpetuates systemic racism.
- Presenting options for curing the potential systemic racism or implications.
- Presenting the committee’s analysis and conclusions to the Assembly in a short statement for each item of legislation.
According to the ordinance establishing the committee, members will be selected to “provide the most balanced representation possible.”
Members should have experience identifying unlawful discrimination, experience identifying social justice inequity, or intimate knowledge of local cultures and practices, including tribal culture and practices.