America has a black president and famous black people like Muhammad Ali, Oprah and Beyoncé. It has a large black middle-class. Black America makes more money than any country in Africa – even more than Nigeria with its oil or South Africa with its diamonds and gold.
The average black person compared to the average white person in America circa 2010:
- is twice as likely to be out of work;
- needs two more years of education to make the same money;
- has four cents for every dollar a white person has;
- dies four years sooner;
- is six times more likely to be in prison.
Many White Americans see nothing wrong with this. Just like many saw nothing wrong with slavery or Jim Crow.
The three stages of White American racism:
1. Race-based slavery (1660s to 1860s): Whites use guns to steal land in North America and force blacks to work on it as slaves. But no matter how hard they try to misread Scripture they cannot hide the wrong they are doing from their eyes. So they come up with a big lie: racism, that blacks are not as good as whites, that blacks are screwed up, that blacks are born bad. They build their society on that lie. The big lie receives the backing of law, religion and science. But it does not quite work: the country cracks apart into war between the slave south and the free north.
2. Jim Crow (1870s to 1960s): American apartheid. The slaves are freed but with little in the way of civil rights, property or money. Whites fear free blacks. They stereotype blacks as violent. They cow them with Klan terror and lynchings. They keep blacks separate and unequal – at the bottom of society. Scientific racism reaches its height. Many blacks move north – but whites are racist there too: “last hired, first fired”, sundown towns, black ghettos, etc.
3. Colour-blind racism (1970s to present): After the civil rights movement, racism no longer receives the backing of law, religion or science. Most whites think racism is wrong – yet oppose policies to overcome racism in hiring, housing, policing, schooling and so on. Meanwhile they imprison black men in record numbers, at 20 times the world rate, 40 times the rate in Ghana. They think it is blacks who are screwed up, not American society. After all, whites say, “Racism is dead” because “I do not see colour” and “My best friend is black.” Yet they still look down on blacks and fear them. Most whites live in white neighbourhoods, go to white schools and worship a white Jesus in a white church – and think it is all perfectly “natural”. Even though that world was created by racist fear (white flight). History books, magazines, television, Hollywood and the news still pump out racist messages night and day.
White Americans are bad judges of racism: When Gallup asked them in 1962 whether black children in their community had just as good a chance of getting a good education as white children, 85% said yes.
– Abagond, 2013.