The Intergenerational Transmission of belief and its role in Systemic Racism.

I am thinking this evening, as I do many evenings and know many of you do, of the state of our country and larger world. After listening to President Biden’s address to Congress and the nation (April 28th, 2021) I was (and am) hopeful that many of the issues the former administration’s lack of governance unearthed will be addressed. It seems a very long road. That said, there appears to be informed leadership on that road. I will say while I am hopeful, it all seems a tall order to gain the needed support across the aisle.

There is no lack in important issues to choose from. My brain continues to revisit those around needed police reform and systemic racism. These are deeply ingrained issues, that reach into the roots of our very fabric as a country and reside in the belief systems of some (more than was understood) of our citizenry. One would believe (or maybe just want to believe) that not one among us, regardless of political affiliation, would be tolerant of racism or police brutality in any form. That this could be a uniting issue.

While I was hopeful more time would be spent on these topics, they were highlighted in President Biden’s speech. His own commitment to addressing these ugly truths was made clear in his urging of Congress to pass The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act which recently passed the house. He noted that most law enforcement officers serve “honorably” and that “systemic racism in the criminal justice system” must be addressed. In a poignant moment, he shared part of a tender conversation with Mr. Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter Gianna Floyd. Stating, “As I knelt down to talk with her so we could talk eye to eye, she said to me, Daddy changed the world”. He then encouraged Congress to make the right choice, stating, “After the conviction of George Floyd’s murderer, we can see how right she was~if~if we have the courage to act”.

There are many things reform can address. Those identified in The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, as I understand it, address qualified Immunity and prosecution of officer misconduct, ban practices such as chokeholds, carotid holds and deadly force , provide for the discontinuation of no knock warrants in federal drug cases, prohibit racial, religious and discriminatory profiling, mandate the use of body and dashboard cameras, address militarization by placing limitations on military grade equipment, use federal funding to create community task forces on police reform and create a national registry to prevent officers who have been fired to gain employment in other agencies.

In addition, issues that maintain disparity and fuel differences in what one can achieve, must be addressed. Issues such as poverty, safe and affordable housing, food insecurity, access to quality education, daycare, and healthcare, addiction services, and familial and community violence. President Biden’s “The American Families Plan” is proposed as an investment in children and families and improving the stability of the American work force through addressing issues deeply connected to poverty and inequality. In short synopsis, the proposal addresses access to quality education for all Americans, medical coverage, expansion of in school food and nutrition programs including summer meal programs. It Proposes direct services to families (including affordable childcare, and expansion of paid family and medical leave programs), expansion of unemployment benefits, and increased tax credits for both American workers with and without children. These include, The Child Tax Credit, The Earned Income Credit, and The Child and Dependent Care Credit. The plan additionally proposes ensuring that tax loopholes are closed for those in the highest tax brackets and regulation of tax preparers. The specific loopholes addressed, are capital gains, specialized rates, and provisions to real estate investors, returning taxation of the wealthy to 39.6 % as apposed to the current 37%. (As noted, this is a short synopsis. There is lots of depth in the proposal which appears to address both directly and (over the long term) by proxy many of the issues connected to poverty, and the many inequalities connected to human rights it promotes).

While both proposals address much and if passed will likely support many changes (in terms of systemic racism, the impacts of poverty, and police reform) the deeper layered issues are ingrained belief systems and the way in which these are passed along, generation after generation. True reform, of a system built on enslavement, must include this element. When I, along with so many of you, saw the horrific video of Mr. Floyd’s last moments and former Officer Chauvin’s almost defiant cruelty it seemed two worlds, built on generations of belief, had collided. Coming together in a fatal moment where there was no protection based on place in life. Not only a power differential but a judgement of less and more value. The belief systems that allowed Mr. Floyd’s death to occur reside, hundreds of years in the making, within individuals and institutions who both knowingly and unwittingly support them. These are very difficult issues to impact. I am hopeful we can find a way.

The hopeful part of me, on hearing President Biden’s report of Gianna Floyd’s words (her father’s legacy) and the proposed efforts (contained in the above legislation) hopes a new story could be written. Maybe a story of an America that stared into its ugly roots and made genuine meaning and forward movement. A story in which Gianna Floyd will always know that her father’s life and death changed a nation.

My hope is many voices will be added to reform efforts. Including the voices of those who live in communities most impacted by disparity, community and police violence, and those who understand the impact of intergenerational transmission of belief.

It is important to again note the depth of the proposed legislation (The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, and The American Families Plan) could not be presented here. Links are added in the resources section of this article, as are treatment resources, and access to institutions committed to impacting structural racism, poverty, police violence, and disparity.

As always, Thank you for reading. My deepest care to you.


Copyright Protected: © 2020 LaDonna Remy MSW, LICSW . All rights reserved.

Article Resources:

The American Families Plan: Fact Sheet:

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act:

Treatment Resources:

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 (800) 273-8255

Treatment Referral Helpline: 1 (800)662-4357

Resources: Institutions committed to ending disparity.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Black Lives Matter:

Campaign Zero:

Center for Policing Equity:

Color of Change:

The Aspen Institute: Civic Action: Link to Article by Christen Cromer and Azalea Millan:

Professional Disclaimer: It is important to recognize that all information contained in the Perspective on Trauma Blog is informational. It is not intended to provide advice, assessment, treatment, or diagnosis. Content is not intended as a substitute for clinical care. It is not possible to provide informed care through web content, or to engage in an informed treatment relationship within this format. If you or a loved one need support; it is important that you access this care from your own (specifically assigned) health care provider.

Agreement of Use: In consideration for your use of and access to the Perspective on Trauma Blog, you agree that LaDonna Remy MSW, LICSW is not liable to you for any action or non-action you may take in reliance upon information from the Perspective on Trauma blog. As noted; it is not possible to provide informed (personalized care) through blog content. In the event; support is needed it is your responsibility to seek care from your own health-care provider.

Photo: Pixabay

38 thoughts on “The Intergenerational Transmission of belief and its role in Systemic Racism.

  1. Patriotism and humanity are laced in every line in this piece. Our world needs healing and hope, these can only be achieved in an atmosphere of justice, equity, security of lives, economic stability and fairness.

    We need to use our voices, our actions and our platforms to promote the values that will promote peace and prosperity in our society. I am so glad you shed more light on the various possible ways through which Joe Biden’s administration is helping to make America a healthy nation.

    I particularly love this paragraph,

    “My hope is many voices will be added to reform efforts. Including the voices of those who live in communities most impacted by disparity, community and police violence, and those who understand the impact of intergenerational transmission of belief.”

    I hope we’ll witness positive and sustainable transformations soon.
    Stay beautiful and blessed my friend.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you Adeleke. I genuinely appreciate what you have shared here and your wise thoughts on this sometimes very difficult world. I couldn’t agree more with utilizing every platform and using our voices to support humanity. Sending lots of care to you and your corner of this world♥️.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. A beautifully written article, LaDonna. Your discussion about systematic racism being ingrained into the fabric of this Nation is on point and so important. It will take all of us taking action in whatever ways possible, at every level of the social structure, to eradicate these structural issues. I love this post, my friend. ❤️

    Liked by 6 people

  3. As an outsider but very close neighbour in Canada looking at the US during the last eight years, it has been very interesting and horrifying to see all the events unfold. It was quite dystopian to be honest.

    I do feel that things have turned around for the better with a new leader and government but there is so much work to be done.

    I am glad and hopeful like you that much needed reform is happening. I also think it’s important to note the plan to improve the livelihood of American families and to address systemic poverty and inequalities as all of these issues are so interwoven and interconnected.

    It’s still shocking to me at times that a country like the US does not have a good medical care infrastructure. But slow and steady.

    It’s good to discuss and to amplify these issues and nice to see you using your platform to bring these to light. Better days are surely ahead!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment Ab. It is an unsettling time we are living through. Hopefully our leadership can come together and we can build on the awareness this period has ushered in. I appreciate your comments as a neighbor to us. I am sure it must appear as unsettling as it feels. There is a long journey ahead and I thank you for your care and hope♥️.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think having a real leader at the top is a step in the right direction for sure. But there is so much repair and building to be done after the destruction of the last government. But you’re right, there is reason to feel hopeful! Sadly, it’s not all perfect up here in Canada too. Always a group trying to mimic the same divisive politics but thankfully it has not been as destructive! Hang in there and take care and continue to spread the good message! 😊

        Liked by 4 people

  4. LaDonna, thank you for spotlighting the hopefulness for change that I share with you. I was moved by your line: ‘Maybe a story of an America that stared into its ugly roots and made genuine meaning and forward movement.”

    It is with lots of prayer and anticipation that our politicians will finally work together “for the people,” “of the people,” and “by the people.” For too long now, we have been singing the same old tune and not changing the notes. Great reflection. Thanks for sharing! ❤💚💛🤗💜🧡💙

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Such a great post! You highlighted the issues that are deeply connected to poverty and inequality and at the same time you manage to uplift through sharing your thoughts and staying hopeful. Thank you for the encouragement. Take care ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Nicely penned! And I hope the sentiments you’ve expressed are manifested. It is about time we’ve seen leadership trying to invest in the people of this country instead of the corporations. So much change is needed and I’m afraid the last administration thoroughly and completely divided this country into two different worlds of “facts.” I hope the damage can be undone. While I knew racism was alive in this country, I was shocked to see how widespread it was. There is indeed much healing that needs to be done

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, and I am glad you are. He and his administration appear vested in supporting the changes and shifts in culture that are needed. I hope your Sunday was good too and wish you a good week ahead.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Thanks for posting your thoughtful essay on this human crisis.

    The first step towards changing irrationally biased thinking may be the beholder’s awareness of it and its origin. Plus, infancy is typically the best time to instill and even solidify positive social-interaction skills/traits into a very young brain. Learning selflessness is one good aspect, while another could be interracial harmonization.

    Irrational racist sentiment can be (systematically?) handed down generation to generation. If it’s deliberate, it’s something I strongly feel amounts to a form of child abuse, to rear one’s very impressionable little children in an environment of overt bigotry — especially against other races and sub-racial groups, i.e. ethnicities. Not only does it fail to prepare children for the reality of an increasingly racial/ethically diverse and populous society, but, even worse, it makes it so much less likely those children will be emotionally content or (preferably) harmonious with their multicultural/-racial environment.

    Children reared into adolescents and, eventually, young adults with such bigotry can often be angry yet not fully realize at precisely what. Then they may feel left with little choice but to move to another part of the land, where their race or ethnicity predominates, preferably overwhelmingly so. In short, if they refuse to do it for society or themselves, parents should at least do their young children a big favor and NOT pass down onto their developing thus very vulnerable offspring racially/ethnically bigoted feelings and perceptions, nor implicit stereotypes and ‘humor’, for that matter. I can imagine that their children, especially in their later years, will be notably happier for it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for reading and for your comment. I can see you have spent time in reflecting on this deeply ingrained issue. If we are ever to impact the known and unknown aspects of systemic racism and the injustice and brutality it has allowed, we will all need to do our part in combating the ways in which we may unwittingly support its presence. I appreciate your time in reading and responding and hope that you have a good start to your week.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Minametry. I appreciate your blogs. I have been extremely busy of late and today is the first day I have been able to check my blog this week. 🙂 I generally write once per month, and attempt to post before the 5th of the month. I look forward to looking at your posts shortly. Have a wonderful day. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Excelente artigo. O racismo aqui no Brasil também é um problema sério, que precisa ser enfrentado. Mas não será enquanto o atual presidente estiver no poder. Congratulações pela abordagem do tema.

    Liked by 2 people

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