WORD OF THE DAY: SYSTEMIC RACISM

The second and final 2020 presidential debate was more civilized than the first one. And it was a debate. Several important issues were touched upon, racism in the USA was one of them.

This may seem fast. Let us listen to the same extract with pauses.

I never had to tell my daughter,
if she’s pulled over,
make sure she puts — for a traffic stop
Put both hands on top of the wheel
and don’t reach for the glove box,

because someone may shoot you.

But a black parent, no matter
how wealthy or how poor they are,

has to teach their child:
When you are walking down the street,
don’t have a hoodie on
when you go across the street.

Making sure that you in fact,
if you get pulled over,
just ‘Yes sir,’ ‘No sir,’
hands on top of the wheel,  
because you are in fact
the victim
whether you’re
a … person making $300,000 …a year person
or someone who’s on food stamps.

The fact of the matter is
there is institutional racism in America.

 

VOCABULARY

food stamps талоны на продовольствие: someone who’s on food stamps
glove [glʌv] перчатка: glove box / glove compartment / glovie [glʌvɪ] ящик для мелких вещей, бардачок (в автомобиле)
hoodie [‘hudɪ] / hoody: толстовка с капюшоном, балахон с капюшоном
institutional [ˌɪnstɪ’tjuːʃ(ə)n(ə)l] institutional racism институциональный / системный расизм
make sure [ʃuə] / making sure убедиться; удостовериться; обеспечить
fact [fækt]: the fact of the matter is дело в том, что
parent [‘peər(ə)nt] один из родителей
poor [puə] бедный, неимущий
pull over [‘puləˌuvə] v. съезжать на обочину и останавливаться; останавливать автомобиль (о полиции): to get pulled over быть остановленным 
put
[put] (putput) v. класть, помещать: to put both hands on top of the wheel
reach
[riːʧ] v. протягивать (руку): to reach for the glove box потянуться к бардачку / протянуть руку к бардачку

they [ðeɪ], their [ðeə] они, их употребляется вместо he и she, если неизвестно, о ком идёт речь
traffic [‘træfɪk] stop остановка движения, остановка транспортного средства
victim [‘vɪktɪm] жертва
wealthy [‘welθɪ] богатый, состоятельный
wheel [wiːl] колесо; рулевое колесо: hands on top of the wheel

 

Now, what did Trump say about racism?

Donald Trump there on the issue of racism.

Nobody has done more for the black community
than Donald Trump.
With the exception of Abraham Lincoln,
possible exception
but the exception of Abraham Lincoln,
nobody has done what I’ve done.

This statement by Donald Trump became trendy immediately. Here is just one response.

@TheDailyShow October 23
Fact Check: Donald Trump is correct when he says he’s not Abraham Lincoln.

This is, of course, true. But for us as learners of English the use of the Present Perfect tense is of greater interest.

FILL IN THE BLANKS

Nobody ____________________more for the black community than Donald Trump.

Nobody ____________________ what I____________________.

 

VOCABULARY

immediately [ɪ’miːdɪətlɪ] немедленно
issue [‘ɪʃuː] / [‘ɪsjuː] проблема, спорный вопрос
exception [ɪk’sepʃ(ə)n] / [ek’sepʃ(ə)n] исключение
trendy [‘trendɪ] модный, в тренде

 

As we see, Joe Biden explained systemic racism in the USA using a driving metaphor. Such a metaphor is quite common in American English.

Personally, I remember an American religious leader giving a talk on faith in the USA several years back. He said he explained the concept of Christianity to his flock as follows.

– You are driving along a highway. A police officer stops you and gives you a ticket for speeding. But the great thing is, Jesus has already paid it!
As they sometimes to say in English: – Have you ever? Well, I never! – Meaning: this metaphor is out of the ordinary and a surprising thing to say.

And one more thing.
Biden does not speak very clearly, but if you are a learner of English, it is good practice listening to what he says because everybody does not speak coherently.

VOCABULARY

as follows [əz ‘fɔləuz] следующим образом
Christianity [ˌkrɪstɪ’ænətɪ] христианство
clearly [‘klɪəlɪ] ясно
coherently [kə(u)’hɪər(ə)ntlɪ] связно
concept [‘kɔnsept] идея, понятие
faith [feɪθ] вера
flock [flɔk] паства

highway [‘haɪweɪ] шоссе, особ. магистральное
religious leader [rɪ’lɪʤəs] [‘liːdə] религиозный деятель
speeding [‘spiːdɪŋ] превышение скорости
ticket [‘tɪkɪt] билет, квитанция ticket for speeding

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