A common bad take on racism is:

"the USA isn't a racist country because we ended slavery! we ended jim crow! we elected a black president!" etc.

The insidious unexamined assumption is that oppression is like the natural "baseline" for black people, so white people deserve credit for each step of "lifting" black people out of oppression

If we were really not-racist we would not have started slavery or jim crow in the first place, and a black president would have been unremarkable!


teenage nindokag believed in the bad take, because he hadn't studied history yet outside of the extremely sanitized version in school.

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also people saying "We're not racist anymore because we ended slavery and jim crow" are usually saying that as a way to argue that they don't have to pay attention to the racism of the present. Race-based voter suppression, the drug war, cops murdering unarmed black people in the street and getting away with it.

Saying we ended racism as a way of not having to care about that stuff? Is much like a person during Jim Crow saying "we're not racist, we ended slavery"

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